Margaret's Deck Tea Lounge, Kurseong

 
 

About Margaret's Deck

 
As the name suggests, this is a tea lounge and a pretty one which is owned and run by the Goodricke Group that owns several premium tea gardens in Darjeeling hills under its brand of Goodricke Tea Pot chain of tea lounges. But, why such a name of this tea lounge? 
 
Margaretís Deck, Kurseong 
(Photo: Rangan Datta Wiki, cc by-sa 4.0) 
 
The first part of its name, i.e., 'Margaret' comes from the Margaret's Hope Tea Garden which it overlooks and that tea garden also belongs to Goodricke Group. The second part of the name 'Deck' has been used because that is what it is. 
 
It is a long deck that literally hangs over the valley and is supported by stilts and wooden beams from the bottom... it overlooks the sprawling tea gardens of Margaret's Hope on the slopes of the hills. 
 
 
 

The Tea Lounge

 
The entrance to the tea lounge is right from the Hill Cart Road (NH-110)... as you walk in, you get into a boutique showroom which showcases several tea accessories on impressive wooden racks including ceramic cups, tea ports, tea cozy etc. 
 
There are pictures and tales of tea and tea gardens on the walls. On the right, there is a tea counter if you wish to buy tea packs from an array of Goodricke collections of Darjeeling tea. 
 
Tea Showroom, Margaret's Deck 
Tea Showroom, Margaretís Deck 
 
Most come here to enjoy a cup of fine tea, have some snacks and soak in the magnificent views of the tea gardens. For that, walk through the door straight ahead and you will be on the walkthrough deck. 
 
Walkthrough at Margaretís Deck 
 
As you walk along, a section of the deck protrudes to the right... it has roof covers and large glass panes on three sides so that you get a lovely view of the valley. But, this section is usually opened when the other sections get full or if it is privately booked. 
 
Margaret's Deck - Private Section 
Margaretís Deck Private Section 
 
Walk along the deck... shortly you will find a door on your left to enter the inside dining room. This is a fairly large dining space which has a snack counter at its end. 
 
You can see the samples of the snacks that are displayed at the glass showcase, take guidance from the staff at the counter and order tea and snacks of your choice. 
 
Margaretís Deck Dining Counter 
 
There are tables laid out in the dining room. If free, you can take up a table and wait for a staff to attend to you. Soon a young staff would walk up to you and hand over the menu.  
 
The dining menu looks like a gramophone record... the food menu is written on it. Although the food menu is not extensive, for a tea lounge it is good enough. The tea menu however is very extensive and you have a lot of choices. 
 
Margaretís Deck Inside Dining 
 
Unless it's raining outside and is foggy, most prefer to take up a table on the deck outside where too tables are laid out... it's like a roof covered narrow passage that's hanging over the valley below. 
 
Margaretís Deck 
(Photo: Margaret's Deck Management) 
 
The seating on the outside deck is alfresco and there are no glass panes to hinder the views of the rolling tea gardens ahead. This is the best place to enjoy the view of the tea gardens, valley and the mountains all around. 
 
Note that Margaret's Deck has become extremely popular with tourists... both budget and luxury travelers make it as a must visit place although the prices are comparatively high. And even the locals of Kurseong visit this place regularly. 
 
So, expect the place to be crowded, particularly during high season and getting a table on the open deck is often quite difficult. In fact, there can be a long wait time outside while the guard coordinates and lets people enter by turn as and when a table gets free. 
 
Although the staff are very friendly and the service is generally very good, when the place overflows with guests, the service can become a little slow. 
 
Margaretís Deck 
 
While this tea lounge offers a great mix of everything that you might be looking for... such as a scenic setting, great indoor ambience, nice snacks, excellent premium Darjeeling tea, etc, but try to avoid the rush time. 
 
Because, when it gets crowded, it no longer appears as serene and intimate that it is otherwise... in fact, it can look quite chaotic at such times and it would be easy for one to call this place an over-hyped roadside cafe. 
 
There is a washroom and toilet facility at Margaret's Deck next to the front showroom. 
 

Snacks Menu at Margaret's Deck

 
There is an all-day combo breakfast offered for Rs. 550 (Rs. 500 for vegetarian option) that comprises of cut fruits, porridge, eggs on order, sausages &†bacons (Paneer bhurji for vegetarians), and this is accompanied by plain toasts or pancakes or Australian Scones as per your choice.  
 
Under Non-Veg Delights, they serve items such grilled chicken sandwich, chicken sausage rolls, chicken &†mushroom quiches, bacon &†mushroom quiches, double decker club sandwich, fish fingers, chicken wrap, chicken basket etc. The price for a dish would range from Rs. 150 - 350. 
 
Front facade of Margaret's Deck Tea Lounge 
Margaretís Deck Front Facade 
 
In cold meat items you get dishes such as chicken and pork sausage, chicken and pork smoked sausage, bacon, and you can accompany these with eggs made to order, pancake with honey, toast, etc. A plate would cost between Rs. 150 - 200. 
 
Under vegetarian delights, they serve Cheese toasts, grilled cheese sandwiches, vegetable spring roll, mushroom envelop, cottage cheese and veg wrap, pasta with red &†white sauce, etc. The price for a vegetarian dish would range from Rs. 125 - 250. 
 
Apart from these, they also offer soups such as cheese &†broccoli soup, cauliflower cheese soup etc. The menu also includes smoked paneer salad and smoked chicken salad. 
 
Soups and salads are Rs. 200 each. There are some nice desserts as well such as apple pie, cakes &†pastries, scones, banana cake, chocolate mousse, pudding, etc. 
 
So, if you are okay to compromise with a typical conventional meal, the menu has enough for even a lunch. 
 

Tea Menu at Margaret's Deck

 
If you a tea connoisseur, you can savor a range of Darjeeling's finest teas that have been collected from all the Tea Gardens that are owned by the Goodricke group. 
 
You can order a pot of black tea, green tea, oolong tea and even white tea. If you want, you can also buy packets of your favorite tea from the tea counter. 
 
Tea counter in the front showroom 
Margaretís Deck Tea Counter 
 
If you want to order a pot of tea, you have a choice of ordering a single pot tea or a double pot tea. Some of the choices of tea that you can order here includes: 
 
  • Castleton Muscatel, Castleton Autumn Flush, 
  • Barnesbeg Premium Organic Green Tea, 
  • Angoorie Orange Pekoe, 
  • Margaret's Hope White Tea, 
  • Badamtam Earl Grey,  
  • Thurbo Tippy Clonal, etc  
  • All of these are offered at Rs. 525 for a single pot of tea and Rs. 750 for a double pot. 
     
    At the lower range, you get Thurbo First Flush †(Rs. 350 for a single pot), Castleton Oolong †(Rs. 290), Castleton Moonlight (Rs. 500), Barnesbeg Tippy Clonal †(Rs. 375), Thurbo Second Flush †(Rs. 350), etc. 
     
    And if you want to indulge, try out the Purple Tea or the Yellow Royal Tea... Rs. 1047 each for a single pot. 
     

    How to get there

     
    Margaret's Deck is located in a small settlement called Tung which is part of Kurseong Subdivision. From Kurseong main market area or the Kurseong Railway Station, it is only about 8.5kms along Hill Cart Road (NH-110) towards Darjeeling. 
     
    So, if you are visiting Darjeeling or Kurseong, do not miss out on this lovely tea lounge which offers a lot more that only a premium tea experience. 
     
    If you have taken a reserved taxi from NJP or Bagdogra for Darjeeling, then you can ask your taxi driver to stop here for a while. 
     
    If you are staying at Kurseong, then from Kurseong Taxi Stand (near the station area) you can get shared taxis for Darjeeling and that can drop you at Margaret's Deck. 
     
    On your return, you can stop a shared taxi in front of the tea lounge and hop in. One-way fare would be around Rs. 30/- per person. Note that private taxis from Kurseong stand may charge an erratic fare for a drop because they usually look for tourists for local tours. 
     
     
     

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