Speak softly love

Valentine’s is the right day to recap how romantic Bombay once played and pined, danced and dined.

To start with my own folks in the late 1950s… The moment my father popped the question and mother murmured Yes, they headed for Bombelli’s at Breach Candy. To seal the deal with happy helpings of some “mooh meetha” of their choice – vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce.

They weren’t alone. The soaring passion and proposals that Freddy and Betty Bombelli indulgently witnessed, at their Breach Candy and Chuchgate branches, delighted the Swiss restaurateurs year-round.

Bombelli’s at Breach Candy

Propelling plenty of prem kahaanis, Bombelli’s cast a spell over everyone walking in. When its Polish pianist paved the way for a three-piece band, the dance floor livened up with jazzy jiving at packed “jam sessions”. Georgie the singer-pianist, Darryl the guitarist and Philip the drummer made a melodic trio for bopping collegians everywhere, from SoBo to the suburbs.

Bombelli’s was a veritable haven away from home. Lovers locked looks here, passed perfumed notes, dared dangerous liaisons, distanced from prying parents. One overwhelmed, bothered bride made it a getaway space. Dazed numb by shaadi shenanigans, she simply took off for Bombelli’s after the morning ceremony. Informing only her understanding groom. Bedecked in trousseau finery, she stole some peaceful breaths. Like other such spaces in live-and-let-live Bombay, her favourite cafe embraced her. Rested, she rejoined her wedding party.


This article has 3 comments

  1. Niloufer patel gupta Reply

    Yes Bombellis churchgate was my haven as well- in the early 60’s on my return back across the ocean.
    Courting couples,cooing and disagreeing ,on what to wear and what not to do !
    Bombellis at it’s best with music and coffee.

  2. Ansuya behl Reply

    Next to Ben- Nevis at Kemps Corner lived my newly found friend Persis Khambatta… she saw me standing under the building and asked me if I would like to be her friend … I jumped at it , as I was visiting from Delhi all of 16 years old. She took me to Bombellis .. shared a coke.. the walk on Breach Candy was a delight , the sight of the ocean was mesmerizing .., we continued to be friends .. wrote to each other, bumped into her in Manhattan , she attended my daughter’s wedding ..charming memories!!

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