Bir: Gourmet meals and paragliding

There are places that can kill you with surprises- last year it was Four Tables, this year Garden cafe.  All this food porn is happening in a tiny Tibetan refugee hamlet tucked in Himachal Pradesh, a half hour drive ahead of Palampur.

Bir, known more for its excellent paragliding landing site showed some hidden gems for freshly made foods- last year i was led to Four Tables by a chance name drop and google search to Frank’s little nest in Gunehra.  He serves you by appointment in the courtyard of his eclectic home- gourmet concoctions in European cuisine styles…. I recommend his non vegetarian main courses though this time with my vegan friends it was pretty inventive and good too.  There is wine and beer to accompany the meals and excellent coffee.  Some funky art and good music will make it an evening to remember.

Then there is Chokling Restaurant with its tasty Tibetan delights- the momos stuffed with green vegetables and the stir fry will stir your healthy heart.  Almost everything we tried was above average.

The delectable crown however goes to Garden Cafe – the freshest of meals, mostly organic and local- a pumpkin soup with roasted garlic – unforgettable… the vegetable pasta any Italian would be proud to serve, vegan friendly with the ambience of madhumaltis and Mint tea with ladhaki mint.  Take a look-

Set on the main street of Bir, this also offers rooms with madhumalti strung along the facade, a little tibetan store and ticked a little away from the hustle and noise.
The paragliding is year round short of a rainy day and you float above the paddy fields and Buddhist monasteries, briefly free of the cares and concerns of city life.

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