My husband Matthew and I have been coming to Dr. Bombay's since we began dating around 2011. We'd always get some tea or a Cream Tea (our favorite) and two samosas with the awesome green sauce, and pick a booth so we could sit on the same side and hold hands while we eat. We've been in and out of this shop for years, watching the construction of the room next door, enjoying the occasional High Tea, attending the Taste of India events when we can. It is our favorite place to go together. Matthew used to live within walking distance, and so we'd always walk to the shop to have tea if we could. I sincerely miss doing that, now. But that doesn't mean we don't drive!
In 2014 my husband wanted to celebrate the completion of my most recent book, so he suggested we go to Dr. Bombay's on a Sunday. Unbeknownst to me, he had secretly booked a High Tea for us. The week before we were supposed to go, an unavoidable conflict rose up in my schedule, and I asked if we could go the following Wednesday. He of course couldn't reveal his secret plan, so he silently cancelled the High Tea, and we ended up having Cream Tea instead that Wednesday.
We're sitting in a booth, on the same side as usual, chatting about my book and enjoying the summer view outside the front windows. I look down at my tea for a moment, and then hear a "click" on the table top. When I look up, there's a box sitting there. A very small one. He looks me dead in the eye and asks me if I'll marry him.
Of course I said yes, and many tears ensued. I hadn't though I'd cry, but we'd been courting for so long, having known we wanted to marry each other almost from the beginning -- so yeah, I teared up! The person in the booth just behind us must have been super engrossed in a book or something, or have massive self-control, because they never turned around while this was going on. (Every time I see a proposal I ogle unashamedly.) The High Tea for my book had been a ruse all along so he could propose, and even in the face of it not going quite according to plan, he still managed to surprise me in our favorite tea shop of all. To this day we still sit in a booth on the same side, and we still go every Valentine's Day for a Cream Tea and samosas!
I used to work in a tea shop in Philadelphia. My wife was a regular customer there. It took me two years to ask her out, but we finally started dating 3 months before she moved to Atlanta for grad school.
Shortly after she moved, I followed. For a long time we both hated Atlanta. We had left our friends and families behind, and it was a huge culture shock for us, having come from Philly. Dr. Bombay's was our solace. It was comfortable and familiar. In some ways it was even better than the tea shop where we met - we also both happen to be big bibliophiles, and we would spend hours looking through books we found on the shelves while we drank our tea.
Since tea - and Dr. Bombay's - holds such an important place in our relationship, I decided to propose there. One day we came for high tea, and while Zuneirah was washing her hands, I wrote "Will you marry me?" on her napkin, and put her tea cup on top of it.
Unfortunately, when she came back she spotted a children's book about sloths on the shelf behind her chair. She was so absorbed in looking at adorable photos of baby sloths, she didn't notice anything unusual about her napkin. After 5 minutes of her absently sipping her tea and laughing at baby sloths in human clothing, I oh-so-smoothly said, "Oh hey, I think there's something on your napkin."
After she finished laughing at my suavité, she said yes.
Dr. Bombay's then became central HQ for our wedding. It is where we interviewed our wedding planner, where we continued to meet her once we'd selected her, and where our closest friends came for high tea to celebrate our engagement. And since we don't drink (we're Muslim), tea was an important part of our wedding: we served tea-based mocktails of my own creation at the reception instead of alcohol.
My boyfriend and I had our first date at Dr. Bombay's. It had always been on my list of Atlanta Must Visits, but for whatever reason I never went there until Max suggested it. Both of us had recently given up alcohol due to health problems, so picking an easy-going first date was a little trickier; but getting "tea drunk" as he called it was just the ticket. He actually grew up in Candler Park and told me all about his childhood living in the neighborhood. I was charmed by him and the whimsical decor. That was back in May and tea is still a very prominent aspect to our relationship. Thanks for a sweet and memorable setting for an awesome first date!
N.R. & M.B.
I debated about entering in this contest. My story is complicated with a lot of ups and downs. If I won I don’t know if he would show up. We were both on the dating app and kept crossing paths constantly according to the app. So finally I messaged something cute like “are you following me? “ Turns out we both live on McLendon ave. We went out on a date at Dr.Bombays for the Indian Monday night events. It was the last Monday in November of 2016. I was so nervous that I kept fidgeting. He had bought a bottle of wine but we didn’t get to it during the dinner. We were the last ones there and realized we had to leave. So because we live on the same road he walked me home but since we didn’t open the wine I had suggested let’s sit on the porch and finish our talk. We ended up talking til midnight. Ended with a kiss on the cheek.
So we hung out a couple of times and then of course he said he didn’t want a relationship...we reconnected sometime in February of 2017 just hanging out as just friends. We had an evening at sweet auburn and then went to blind willies for the blues. Chemistry couldn’t keep us apart. Things were great til his friends got involved. We went to one of Fernbank Friday nights where we walked through our neighborhood. So I met his friends and I could tell they were judging me hardcore. Pretty much because I didn’t fit in amongst their PhD colleagues. We had a wonderful evening full of kidlike splendor. As he’s walking me home he says “ I don’t want to hurt you, you deserve someone amazing”. It’s as if he forgot all the feelings that were had earlier. sometimes it feels like I’m in some cheesy 80s movie and I’m molly ringwald.
So fast forward to July 2017, he’s boarding a plane for a conference in London and I’m still getting the will they want they finally be together. Remember the friends that were judging me, one of them decided to invite me for drinks basically to let me know what was said. Honestly it wasn’t good. I was furious to think he would ever say this “one” thing about me. So doing what I do best I texted him my feelings about what was said and didn’t give him a chance to respond because I blocked and deleted him on everything along with his so called friends. I sometimes wish I would have bought that plane ticket to just confront him right then and there.
Reason why I am entering this contest is to get closure and to hopefully apologize to him for the way I reacted and not giving him the chance to explain. When I feel the slightest push in a relationship, I run! It’s all I know to do. I just don’t want to get hurt.
I am moving at the end of this month to Alpharetta. I couldn’t think of a better way to remember candler park. The neighborhood where I fell head over heels for the guy trying to cure Alzheimer’s.
I know he follows Dr. Bombay’s on Facebook so I know he would see it at least I think he would. It’s worth a shot I guess. If I didn’t win at least I got this off my chest.