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FLORENCE     Florence –  the capital of the Tuscany region and the cradle of Renaissance   We opted for Flix Bus while traveling from Venice to Florence. The road journey takes about three and a half-hour. In Florence, it terminates at the rear end of Santa Maria Novella (SMN) train station. One of Italy’s busiest stations, it got its name from Santa Maria Novella Church just across the plaza from the main entrance. We debarked at the station and refreshed ourselves at McDonald's before hiring a cab for our hotel. Florence, popularly known as ‘Firenze’ by the Italians, is located in central Italy. This dreamy city with a romantic name is the regional capital of the lovely Tuscany region.   Columbus Hotel, where we stayed, is located in Lugarno District. We always prefer to book our hotels through Booking.com as we always land up getting good hotels at good locations. Despite being a little away from the heart of the city and Santa Maria Novella station

Leaves & Aroma

Cafe Leaves n Aroma --- Adda with Great Tastes

Not very far from the din,bustle and squabbles of Calcutta lies another Calcutta. A new Calcutta-Kolkata comprising Rajarhat and New Town. A newly developed Park known as Eco Park is located here. We bumped into it recently on our way back from the airport. Built on the concept of providing eco-friendly atmosphere it houses amongst other attractions an exclusive and unique Butterfly Park. Nature lovers can catch a glimpse and observe the behavior of a wide variety of butterflies and moths. Way to the Park saw us at a culinary stopover ‘Leaves n Aroma’, a cute little café seated a few meters from the Eco-Park entrance gate. Run by Ms Mitali Mitra and Ms Sunetra Chaudhury, the inside décor is simple and warm. We were greeted by Mitali, a former journalist. Bubbling with ideas she has effectively all the ingredients in place to create the nostalgic café culture of seventies. A book rack with some very interesting collection is an added attraction for avid readers, like my wife, who would enjoy leafing through pages over a cup of piping hot Darjeeling tea. Being a connoisseur of tea, I always enjoy indulging on prolonged sips if I find it to my satisfaction. And then there is something decadent and sumptuous for everyone’s individual taste and personality – that is what Mitali strives to achieve. However, on the Menu you will find from a savory Aloo Paratha with Tomato Chutney or with curd and pickle, Methi Paratha, Chicken Nuggets, Finger Chips, a wide variety of cakes. And for those who prefer health food in the eco- surrounding there is a tempting choice of oil free finger chips, nuggets and peanut pakodas. One day we have to try out Luchi Sabji / Dal, which they normally serve during breakfast hours. But what satisfied me most is the discovery of yet another new ‘Adda’ joint in Calcutta. Being an ‘AddaBaaz’ and ‘Adda’ lover I always prefer ‘Adda’ in tranquil surroundings, and that’s where ‘Leaves & Aroma’ scores over others.

(Photographs by Arundhati Sengupta)
Leaves n Aroma Cafe

Ms Mitali Mitra runs the show
My wife engrossed over a book

Mama Mia - Mitali's Assistant

Mitali serving tea
Assortment of cakes

A small library inside the cafe

The cafe is a great place for 'Adda' as well

The counter

The tempting Darjeeling Tea

Aloo Paratha

Health food - Oil free finger chips


Biswanath Maiti said…
Very tempting, we will spend some time there definitely on my next trip.

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