Carvalho’s Nest

December 18, 2008


One of the highlights of my last trip to Goa was discovering Carvalho’s Nest. This is a quaint little “bar” about 200 metres from Arco. It is a hole in the wall and the odds are you would miss it completely if you were to drive past. Thankfully, I had the good sense to take a walk this time around and stumbled onto the place.

Having seen it from the outside, I was curious to check the place out. On the way back from Arco, Beni and I decided to drop in there. When we walked in at around 7 PM, the place was more or less empty. The place itself is no big deal. It is essentially two rooms of a house converted into the neighbourhood watering hole. Mr Carvalho himself stays there and personally serves the patrons. Carrom boards mounted on four legs passed off for tables (at least that was the case with our table). People had to sit on backless stools. I was disappointed when Mr Carvalho announced that he did not stock my favorite Old Monk. Romanov was available and I decided to go back to my one time favorite. The way he responded when I asked him if he had Sprite or Fanta for me to mix the drink with made it apparent that he had not yet been spoilt by the Cokes and Pepsicos of the world. He served an orange drink which was good enough. By this time, the place was slowly filling up and the locals were walkling in for their customary tipple. There was a sense of familiarity and bonding amongst the patrons. There was a stern sounding “No Smoking” board near the cash counter and I hesitated to light up. Also not being familiar with the local language, I was not confident about communicating with Mr Carvalho. When the urge to have a puff became irresistable, I mimed my question to Mr Carvalho. He thought I was asking for a light and promptly proceeded to pull out a match box from, of all places, the refrigerator !!!. This was a first for me and if anyone can throw light on this, I would be much obliged.

What was also apparent was that Mr Carvalho and most of the other patrons knew that we were the people who had bought Arco. A couple of them came up, shook hands with Beni and I and proceeded to say a few words about the place and the earlier owners of the property. I was surprised at how news spreads in a small little village. By this time, I was on my fourth drink and was very keen to ask Mr Carvalho to serve everyone a drink on me. Since Beni was there, better sense prevailed and we decided to head back. When I asked Mr Carvalho for the bill, he did some complex calculations and announed the total bill to be Rs. 76. For Rs. 76, I had four drinks of Vodka and two bottles of soft drinks. And the rest of the country is worried about inflation and the economy. We paid the bill, said our good byes to the people around and left, me with a heavy heart. On another day, I would have had a few more and would have had to crawl back home. I am sure that day shall also come soon. There are several incentives for me to move to Arco ASAP, and Carvalho’s Nest is the latest addition to the list.

Three cheers to Mr Carvalho and his heavenly Nest !!!

PS The place itself is nameless. A board at the gate says “Carvalho” and for the sake of simplicity, we decided to call it Carvalho’s Nest.

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One Response to “Carvalho’s Nest”

  1. Bennita Says:

    Hic! Hic! Hooray!

    Seriously, one of our most important discoveries till date. Makes Arco perfect. You can bet where we will be bringing in the New Year. Considering the kind of year 2008 has been, I’m sure Carvalho’s nest will ensure a great year 2009.

    Bookings open!!


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