When Hanoi becomes too much an attack on the senses, sometimes it pays to forget it’s there.


As its name suggests, Tranquil is not the place that you come to catch up with a large group of friends you haven’t seen since last spring; the tables are littered with laptops and sketchbooks. Tranquil is where you go to sip coffee and put those archived ideas and inspirations onto paper, watched over by towering bookshelves and soothed by a piano sitting next to a red fireplace.

 

Not Just Caffeine

 

 

Once I am settled, the barista puts a menu on the table along with a glass of cold water. The cappuccino I order at the bar is a reasonable VND48,000 and served with half an inch of froth, once the coffee is gone there is still enough froth in the mug to spoon out with a topping of sugar.

 

The décor is very wooden, with the occasional red brick interrupted by the spine of a paperback. One side of the room is the coffee bar; wooden stalls lined up in front of it and a collection of mugs hanging from a rack. The bar-top is busy with glass jars of free sweets to snack on while you wait for your coffee, or if you’d prefer a warm croissant, it’s only VND20,000.

 

Behind the coffee bar is a bold menu, with different espressos starting from VND24,000, and the regular coffee options are no more than VND34,000. There is also a range of herbal tea and ‘brain refreshers’ for those working away the daylight hours; these range from lemon juice (VND34,000) to the signature ‘Tranquil Rock’ blend of espresso, bourbon and cream (VND60,000). Lastly, of course, hot chocolate for those chilly Hanoi mornings (VND52,000).

 

By Night

 

 

I look forward to coming back one evening with some company to try some of the drinks options Tranquil offers; a dry martini, whisky sour or mojito all average a reasonable VND60,000. The outside area is netted with tea lights and small tables sporting ashtrays for more audible chatter, while the two sofas inside provide the perfect setting for a writers’ or book club.

 

Tranquil is the perfect atmosphere to escape Hanoi’s bustle, and the large selection of books makes a nice addition to an already serene atmosphere. It would be nice to see more food options in the future. Overall, Tranquil lives up to its name. — Billy Gray

 

Tranquil is at 5 Nguyen Quang Bich, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi or online at facebook.com/Tranquil-1577260969205379

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