UNLIKELY FAVOURITE: KODAIKANAL
Kodaikanal, that little town in Tamil Nadu just happens to be one of the best places in India for a food excursion (and I don’t mean mushrooms).
Last year some of my dearest friends and I spent a few days in a garden full of flowers overlooking a stunning valley and dozens of plum trees from which we ate hundreds of tiny sweet yellow plums. We woke up to pillow soft idli breakfasts. We feasted on avocadoes: we made guacamole, sliced them to put on toast, cut them in half and filled them with honey (Sohrab’s odd Kodi school tradition that I couldn't get behind. But momos at Tibs and dosas at Astoria were some I could.) We made delicious plantain curry. We tried stuffing peppers but those peppers happened to be habaneros and we ended up burning our hands and faces off in the process. Never again!
Kodi really is for eating well. It has good cheese and the main street is lined with chocolatiers. It has a ridiculously popular bakery and Eco-Nut, a fantastic organic grocer. Tropical fruit is abundant! We gorged on mangosteen, rambutan and palmyra fruit.
If you go, go hungry and don't bother packing for the chill. There is a cart in the main town that sells bizarrely hip sweaters. A short distance from Kodai is the glorious, sprawling Karuna Farms which we later moved to. It’s a wobbly drive through a eucalyptus forest but the lush surrounds and striking views are worth all the effort. It also houses India’s first Earthship which you have got to see. I have just two words for it: BALLER STATUS.