The Golden Tusk

From the Blog

Mysterious Gin Tree

It’s Thursday night and I finally reached home after being stuck in traffic for two hours! I slumped on the couch, closed my eyes and took a deep breath. Right then, an idea hit me. Suddenly energised, I leapt at my phone and text my comrades-in-arms, my two best friends, “Road trip to Corbett. Get your bikes ready. Report at my place on Saturday at 6 AM.” and then opened my laptop to make reservations. As it was such an impulsive plan, I kept my fingers crossed and opened The Golden Tusk site. On a family trip last year to Corbett, I had stayed here and was very happy with the entire experience. Luck was on my side, as I saw one suite available. I pounced on the booking button like a tiger (yes one of Jim Corbett National park Tiger) on its prey and then sat back, smiling in anticipation of the trip.

Early Saturday morning, the three musketeers revved up their bikes and left the hustle-bustle of National Capital Region. The highway was lined with open fields, plants swaying lazily in the breeze as if synchronizing a dance. At Moradabad we took a quick tea break and stretched our legs. Though tired, the calls from Kumaon hills empowered us and we geared up for the second lap of our journey. From Kashipur, we felt a stark change in the climate and the scenery. The temperature dropped and the cool breeze ruffled the Tibetan flags on our bikes and the agricultural fields gave up to lush green jungles with foothills of Himalayas as a perfect backdrop. We saw the gates of The Golden Tusk and followed the path to the reception. White buildings and tents peaked at us through the foliage of, well landscaped, greenery. We parked and went into the lobby and were immediately served with colourful Welcome Drinks and smiling faces. We surveyed the maps of different Safari zones while we enjoyed our refreshing drink and then the staff guided us to our “Forest view Suite”.

As we followed our guide down a pathway and were informed of the various delights that awaited us at the resort like club facilities, outdoor games, sprawling library, etc. The room was spacious and clean with a separate sitting area, TV, mini bar and all, but the two things that took my breath away were, the majestic wall art of a tiger and the view from the window. The forest was flaunting its green colour with the hills standing tall in the background and the sky beaming in its “forget-me not” blue colour. I was in total bliss.
It was already two in the afternoon so we ordered a quick scrumptious lunch from the room service menu and a short nap. To charge our battery more, we took a dip in the pool and lazed around drinking in the beauty of Ramganga river Valley. We headed back to our rooms and got ready for a evening of fun. All ready, I headed to the restaurant block. Based on my own research, I was already aware of The Golden Tusks’ well stocked bar ‘The Gin Tree’ and of the bartender’s magic in mixing the perfect happiness potions, so neglecting the beautiful outdoor sitting arrangement I went straight to the bar to wait for my friends Seating on the bar stool, I surveyed the bar menu and was impressed with listings of all the exclusive brands in scotch, the wine collection and the diversity in cocktails. Even the non- drinkers would be happy with the choices available in mocktails. Settling on a drink, I asked, the ever-smiling, bar-tender about the story behind the unique name of the bar. While fulfilling other orders, he told about the history of the alcoholic beverage ‘Gin’ and how it was made from Juniper berries. Taking that as an inspiration, the bar at The Golden Tusk, was named “The Gin Tree”.

As my friends joined me at the bar, on recommendation of another guest, we ordered Long Island Ice Tea and coaxed our new friend to show how it is made. To our amazement, we found that despite it’s name, LIIT contains no tea. As our spirits rose, we said goodbye to our friends at the bar and moved to our table. We all picked our favourite dishes from the different cuisines offered by the restaurant and were delighted at the head waiter’s knowledge on Wines and local brews and his ability to suggest the right drink with the right dish thus accentuating our dining experience. The explosion of flavours took over our taste-buds and the explosion of laughter took over our table. Leaving all the worries behind, as we jumped from one topic to another with our hearts soaring high on happiness, I looked around. Outside the moon was shining bright and covered everything in silver and inside, I saw families and friends, enjoying, conversing and laughing, sharing the same happiness bubble that we were and the staff, though smiling and attentive, was careful not to disturb it. There is a melody in the sound of ice clinking in glasses. The night went on and so did the endless babbles.

As we headed out the gates of The Golden Tusk next day, we stopped and took one last look and
remembered all the precious moments spent there. We were sad that our trip was at an end but happy as each of us made a promise the return and steal such good moments again and again.

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