Finding the Delhi Vibe

Whether you’re in Delhi or in Johannesburg; London or Bangkok; New York or Singapore; a bar, is a bar, is a bar. Right? Wrong. They may all serve the same drinks, they may all have similar names, they may all have alcohol served, but each offers their patrons an experience unlike each other’s and unlike any other. The decor may be the same, but the ambiance is a different matter altogether.

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Nights in Delhi

Take for instance the bar scene in India’s grand capital city, Delhi. Amidst the grandeur of the administrative capital and the history of one of India’s oldest cities dating back almost five millennia, the ambiance here plays well into hosting an environment that is second to none when creating an atmosphere of serene class among midnight revelers. Cruise the city through the Diplomatic enclaves and streets, through the Connaught Place and across the Parliament Street and you will stumble across some of the bars that set the global standard in cocktails and caviar.

Setting the Mood

It doesn’t really matter which bar you end up at if all you are in the mood for is a drink. That’s not what these bars are there for, not by a long shot. A Grey Goose at Claridges’ Aura tastes just as heavenly as the one at Q’ba, but it’s not the essence of a cocktail gracing your pallet that’s the issue; it’s the vibe of the joint that makes all the difference. It’s the crowd, the lights, the flavor in the air, it’s a million things, inexplicable but true. No two bars can really penetrate one’s soul in the same way, and that’s why we jump from bar to bar till we find the one that resonates just at the right frequency.

A Grey Goose Here a Grey Goose There

One such place that hits the chord every time is the Aura in New Delhi. The decor is classy-minimalist meeting 007’s shaken-not-stirred in a way that is refreshing and yet allows a conversation with a new acquaintance to take foot. The tropical air that sets the stage on a balmy Delhi night outside is pierced by the refreshing air of the Aura inside and leaves and lights a flame not easily extinguished. The Goose here is as you like it, in a Martini or straight. But it’s the atmosphere that will go to your head on the way to your soul.

The only other place on this planet that replicates the same effect, is in London on any summer’s night. There is a place right off of Regent Street where the summer comes to a screeching halt as you transcend temperature gradients, crossing the entrance in to Mayfair’s Icebar. The mood is set by the time you perch yourself atop one of the icy stools and lean over the ice sculptured table. Your Grey Goose here is served in stemware carved from Swedish ice, and it’s chilled to subzero so shots of it taste divine.

The Renewal

Whether it’s Aura or the Icebar, the two are worlds apart when you cross the threshold outbound, or even on the way in for that matter, but they both vibrate at the same harmony. The feeling of comfort at an almost peaceful level is unavoidably detectable. The evenings, at both, end with the same result, with a feeling of deep renewal- a refreshed feeling that makes the following day a pleasure to charge ahead into.

9 thoughts on “Finding the Delhi Vibe”

  1. Hi Shalu,

    A nice post to show the difference between the bars, yet they are all so similar in many ways. 🙂

    Honestly speaking, I’ve never been to any bar like this. The only one I remember going to were with my Dad when he was serving and those weren’t all so decorated like the ones you have nowadays, yet they had their own friendly ambiance. More so, we never had anything at the bar, except for cokes!

    Thanks for sharing – it surely brought back good old memories of days gone past by 🙂

    • Thanks Harleena
      You must try some of these bars. Next time, you could have a tequila shot. Better still, bacardi with coke. Thank you for your comment and sharing the post. Have a nice day.

  2. Some friends of mine were in Delhi at the same time as I was, so we went out to a few bars one night. They were all pretty terrible, since we had no idea where to go.

    Overall, I found alcohol to be very expensive in India (apart from Goa), so I barely drank at all while I was there. You could easily get a few meals for the price of one beer and since I love eating, that’s usually where I spent my money. Or on lassis.

    • Daniel
      Some beers are cheaper than others. Usually Kingfisher is fine. I am surprised that you are saying beer was expensive. Perhaps they were adding some sort of service charges.

  3. India is on my bucket list and I hope to make it there at the beginning of the next year. Going out in Delhi sounds great, but isn’t it too dangerous for a young blonde girl?

  4. India is on my bucket list and I hope to make it there at the beginning of the next year. Going out in Delhi sounds great, but isn’t it too dangerous for a young blonde girl?


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