Celebrating my birthday at Sala Cafe in Mae Rim, Chiang Mai
I woke up to the start of my last year of being a ‘twenty something’, the sun shone through the window as the low hum of the air conditioning seeped into my ears, Eden lying next to me in a furry pile. The bedroom door was ajar and I could hear Jmayel downstairs, the sounds of a busy kitchen and a man on a mission.
A smile crept over my still sleepy face as my eyes closed again in a blissful slumber.
Jmayel always complains that he isn’t ever able to get up before me to make breakfast in bed before I wake up, I always catch him, normally waking up just as he’s about to leave the room. This morning though was an exception, maybe turning 29 makes me more sleepy. Or maybe this year I just wanted to bury my head under the pillow and forget all about it, whatever it was, he’d done it.
My eyes opened once again to a bowl of freshly cooked, steaming scrambled eggs with chunks of rustic, seeded rye bread, a colorful bowl full of delicately cut watermelon and pineapple with a banana and peanut butter smoothie.
Since the last time I had seen Eden she had been wrapped in pink ribbon and sat by the side of the bed, tail wagging. A beaming husband looked down on me ‘Happy Birthday Wife’
I sat up and received a kiss on the lips, my birthday had begun.
Jmayel had booked a surprise trip away for my birthday, but with the hotel being full up on the actual day, we weren’t leaving for a couple of days yet, so a birthday plan was put into action.
After our leisurely breakfast and lie in, a present opening session ensued before deciding on going out for lunch.
We usually go straight to one of our favorite cafes in Mae Rim, but this time we thought we would try somewhere new. Still in the Mae Rim area but this time we were headed for Sala Café.
What seemed to be a popular hangout for Thai’s, when we arrived the place was bustling and a hive of activity, the car park was full to bursting and all the chairs inside the main wooden café were taken. With the large outside sala also full up, we found ourselves a little table among the many scattered over the lawn. With a sun umbrella up for shade we settled ourselves, and Eden, in.
As J went off to grab some menus from inside I looked around me, it was easy to see why this place is so popular. Hidden off the main road it’s the kind of place you have to know about or stumble upon. Rustic benches and wagon wheels adorn the outside while the café itself is a charming teak wood house.
The clientele were a mix of young and old, friends gathering over ipads and iced coffees, girls sharing a slice of cake as they laughed and chatted, couples lingering over lunch and families of entire generations enjoying the atmosphere, children played and ran around the grass as the adults put their feet up. A suited business man sat at one table on his laptop, smart phone in one hand with a fruit smoothie in the other while a young woman studied at another, college work and books scattered all around her, lost in concentration while the gentle breeze teased her piles of paper.
I saw Jmayel bounding back towards me with a little grin on his face and for the 2nd time that day my heart skipped a beat, we hadn’t even got down to lunch yet.
A strawberry yogurt smoothie was J’s first drink of choice while I enjoyed a mint and mango ‘mojito’ complete with jellied sweets on top, it was really delicious.
I ordered a chicken pad thai while J went for a fried rice, the main food turned out to be rather average but the drinks and cakes soon made up for it.
After what we felt was a suitable amount of ‘cake waiting time’ we treated ourselves to dessert and coffees, espresso and chocolate brownie for me, cappuccino and a slice of ‘chocolate lovers’ cake for J.
Eden had her own supply of home bought biscuits and water which kept her happy as she laid at our feet on the cool grass, still with the pink ribbon tied in a bow around her neck!
Overall my birthday lunch was very enjoyable, husband, dog, Thailand, sunshine, pretty new dress and cake. What more could a girl ask for?!
15km from Chiang Mai city, Sala Café is open 8am-6pm every day.
Sala = resting place. In Thai it is an open gazebo like structure where people go to gather or to take a break and relax.
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