Q is for Quintessential Cafe
2014 and beyond, Nirvana Courtyard, Nirvana Country, Gurugram, NCR, India,
We all have our cosy nook don’t we? A place away from home that we sometimes like to get away to and unwind. Well, I have mine right next door, in my neighbourhood. It’s my go-to-place when I’m bogged down with home management, need a solitary break, or want to write or work – away from the confines of my home (basically a change in place helps those creative juices flow you see). It’s my cubby hole that invigorates and cheers me up. So I take quite a few journeys to this little café of “mine”, on my bicycle, in the car or through a languorous or sometimes brisk walk. This quintessential little café is called Madison and Pike, located in Nirvana Courtyard, Gurugram.
Conceptualised and started by this lovely, petite, soft-spoken young lady, Sakshi, M&P is a class apart. Sakshi brilliantly juggles her time between the cafe and bringing up her two year old son. She gave up her career with Microsoft, in Seattle to chase her dreams.
In Sakshi’s words, “Madison & Pike really began in 2010, nearly 4 years before it’s launch, in Seattle, 8,000 miles from Gurugram, at a Christmas dinner party where we were expressing our hopes and dreams for the future. Madison & Pike has been a labor of love and a leap of faith. The menu is a humble attempt at celebrating old-fashioned cooking by giving it a modern twist, marrying old familiars with unique flavours, and evoking the experience of a quintessential American kitchen where cookie dough is rolled out and cake batter whipped up for both ordinary days and special occasions. Of course, in keeping with the melting-pot that is American culture, you will also see some global influences (such as the British Invasion!) in our offerings. Whether you’re grabbing a coffee and a cookie while you clear your emails, or indulging in a wedge of apple pie as you discuss the latest book you’re reading with your friend, whether you’re simply carving out some ‘me time’ over lunch or picking up bread for breakfast tomorrow, Madison and Pike was designed keeping in mind it’s customers would feel at home. The way they would in their own kitchen and living room.”
Those are exactly my experiences with Madison and Pike. My family and M&P go back a long way-since they opened shop in 2014. We were one of their first few customers and at that time the 18-year-old had just finished high school and was keenly looking at “interning” at a café. Well, what better and convenient option than M&P. Sakshi more than happily opened her arms and took her in. The 18-year-old volunteered 4 times a week serving customers, writing quirky chalkboards, and as per Sakshi and my friends she was brilliant at her job. Proud Mommy moment you see! We were having breakfast at M&P one weekend, while the 18 year-old was at work; when her Senior School results came in and she had made it with flying colours. That was a very memorable moment we shared as a family, in our favourite café where we often. The staff is very cordial, prompt and they make every customer feel at home.
The delightful spread at M&P is every foodie’s delight. For me it’s an all comfort food zone, seriously. The Banana Almond Smoothie, the Pear & Brie Sandwich, the Brazilian Latte, are just a few of my favourites. M&P is so much more than a café to me, it is a home away from home, a place where I hang out with my friends, a place where I bump into like-minded people and engage in a conversation with a perfect stranger, a place that has ignited some brilliant ideas and a place where I can just be. On my own, cherishing my me time. Though slowly but surely, it’s getting more tough to find alone time here. M&P has become everyone’s hot spot, and I inadvertently end up bumping into known faces.
There are two other quintessential cafe’s where I also like to hang out as well, C’est La Vie and DiGhent. I love them to bits too, but Madison & Pike will always be my cosy den. We have a certain bond and a history to go back to, you see.
In the hum-drum and business of life and it’s every day routine, it’s important to take off once in a while. To recharge and replenish oneself. Don’t we all need that comfort zone, away from the rigmarole of our day, where we can just be with ourselves? Do you have one of those go-to-places? I’d love to hear from you about them, so please go right ahead and tell me.
My theme for this year’s Blogging from A-Z Challenge is Travel Epiphanies that are my very own tales of adventure and revelation. I will be writing 26 posts throughout the month of April. You can read my theme here.