Where To Rest Your Chapeau
In Pondicherry there’s just two distinct areas to try and both possess their own charm, either ‘Tamil Town’ or ‘White Town’. As the names might suggest, the Tamil neighbourhood is full of Indian energy, pace and vibrancy and the ‘White Town’ is brimming with French colonial charm, shaded streets and conservative ambiance. Neither are better than the other, they’re just different. In the Tamil district, there’s only one place of note to stay if you’re after somewhere with Tamil spirit, yet combined with simple Indian luxury….it’s Maison Perumal.
A former Tamil family mansion, which has been revived by CGH Hotels (stands for Clean, Green and Healthy) and it’s been restored to even greater glory. It is an oasis of respectful calm all of its suites are blessed with coma inducing beds and antique curios, which reflect the area’s past as well as injecting some French art deco flourishes. The central courtyard is open to the elements, soothing one’s senses to the sound of fluttering birds and foliage, swaying in a calm breeze.
If you’re looking for ‘Karmic Inspiration’ to review your world view this is a comfortable environment in which to start the journey, there’s plenty here to stimulate the soul, but for the body one only needs to look to the menu for imaginative and life giving Tamil cuisine. The food has been cultivated to such a high level that even the hardest of foodies would drool and surrender to yet another course such as Kariveppilai Meen Kolambu and Kuzhi Panniyaram with Kozhi Muringai Kolambu …sounding exotic? Well you need to try these fish and chicken based dishes which are cut through with tamarind and soothing coconut. However, it’s not just the fabulous food and the uber comfy rooms which charm you, it’s the warmth of the team – they have the gift of hospitality, not just service which is what turns Maison Perumal from just another place to stay into a boutique destination in its own right.
Time to taste the Tamil spirit…