A pit stop at Margaret’s Deck Tea Lounge Kurseong
The journey is often more interesting than the destination. Especially when it involves totally impulsive and unplanned stops along the way. We had one such at Margaret’s Deck Tea Lounge on Hill Cart Road, on our way to Darjeeling. This post was unplanned but as always, I wanted to write about this small beautiful place and our memories there. If you are a Bengali and on your way to Darjeeling then rarely you would prefer any stop before the destination but we had kids with us and we had to take one.
Address of Margaret’s Deck Tea Lounge Kurseong
This photogenic tea shop is on NH – 55, close to Tung station, which is one of the halts for the Darjeeling Himalayan Rails or Toy Train. UNESCO has declared the Darjeeling Himalayan Railways as World Heritage site in 1999 and if you are lucky you can hear the noise of a passing train as you sip your tea. The address is NH-55, Hill Cart Road, Gairigaon, PO- Tung, Kurseong, West Bengal 734224, India. You can see the toy train tracks running on the other side of the road.
Entrance and inside Margaret’s Deck Tea Lounge Kurseong.
The entrance was just out of an Enid Blyton story book. There was a fountain with cascading tea cups, where the water finally flowed into a teapot in the centre of the well. The white hand painted wooden cart bursting with mountain blooms and cute little bamboo planters on the wall with creepers and hanging plants cannot miss your eyes. A step inside took us to a display of different kinds of tea and a graphic information about Margaret’s Hope tea garden. A permanent gangplank with a slope took us to the main tea lounge.
Shaped like the deck of a ship, the tea lounge was almost floating on the Margaret’s Hope Tea Garden owned by Goodricke. We had a tea tasting session with Goodricke in 2016 and had heard about the story of Margaret Hope from our guide for that evening, Mr. Gurung. As we moved towards the main lounge, the fog welcomed us. Set on top of the tea garden, it looked like a green carpet below us. The visibility was very poor, we were told, otherwise the deck offered stunning mountain views.
The smoke coming out from mouth, the childhood excitement
Tugga getting excited is okay, but no one could match the excitement with which Brishti ran around the wooden ramp leading to the main restaurant. She ran up and down the entire length many times. Each time we had to hold our breath but I guess, kids also know how to take care of themselves. The gentle gradient of the ramp made it even more interesting for her. The tea lounge had an inside seating area surrounded by an outside open space with chairs and lounges. In our childhood, one of the fun games during winters was breathing out to create smoke on a foggy morning. Tugga started doing this impersonation of smoking dragon, thanks to some quick field training by yours truly.
The food and what all you can have at Margaret’s deck tea lounge Kurseong
If there is one reason why one should come to Margaret’s Deck tea lounge is the view. The lush greenery half sunk into the mist, it’s a different world out there. The seats at the corners and the edge of the deck are most coveted and claim them fast, once you enter the place. Small hanging orchids and other flowers along the railings will be there for the company. There will be tea too served in an English way with tea pots and dainty cups. A wide variety of tea, almost 25 – 30 types, are there on the menu depending on the availability and the season. There are cookies, cakes and desserts too. The green tea cookie is a delicacy here, as well as the apple walnut cake and chocolate brownies. The non-vegetarian and vegetarian combinations also offer platters and combos.
Though planned as a pit stop, you can spend some more time here as that’s what relaxed travelling is all about. Get refreshed and head onwards to your destination but rest assured, this pit stop will be etched in your memory forever.
We were in Margaret’s Deck tea Lounge as a part of the Darjeeling trail organised by Courtyard by Marriott Siliguri . You can check out the experience of the stay here. (Link)