Captivating Coonoor!

Captivating Coonoor!

Last summer we had a family reunion cum holiday in Wellington, a quaint Cantonment town in the Nilgiris (South India) straight out of the British Raj, which hosts The Madras Regimental Centre and The Defence Staff College.

And just outside Wellington is Coonoor, a lovely hill station that does not get the attention it deserves because nearby Ooty tends to attract the tourist traffic. If I were asked to chose between the two towns, Coonoor would win, without a shred of doubt.

But even a day spent in Coonoor will make you want to come back, again and again, to rest and relax. And discover more. Like Sim’s Park. This beautiful park cum botanical garden is situated in a ravine, and was developed in 1874, using the natural contours of the land. It tends to get a bit overcrowded, but to the credit of the staff of the park, the place is very well maintained.

Beautiful Sim's Park
Beautiful Sim’s Park
The flowers in full bloom in May
The flowers in full bloom in May

We had to cut short our stay at the Park because we had to two other important things to do. First, locate Baker’s Junction and second, have lunch at 180 McIver. Actually, we had come across McIver’s on our way into Coonoor from Wellington and Baker’s Junction had been highly recommended for the cheese it stocked.

After driving around a bit, we located Baker’s Junction, which was well stocked with dry goods, provisions and of course, cheese. And we were once again reminded that we live in a small world. Turned out that owner, Cedric Joseph was the brother of an old friend of Corinne.

Having ticked off the items in the shopping lists, we headed to 180 McIver. The 180 in the name comes from the unique location on a cliff that offers a fantastic 180 degree view of Coonoor.

180McCiver
180McIver

180McIver is an old colonial era resort with a multi-cuisine restaurant, La Belle Vie.We had some delicious pastas and pizzas madeΒ  from scratch after the order is placed. And the desserts were delectable. Though the food is a bit expensive, the location is so unique, that overall it is a value for money proposition.

180McIver – The Resort

 

The Wellington Gymkhana Club
The Wellington Gymkhana Club

By the time we finished a leisurely lunch and went round the beautifully appointed rooms in the resort, it was almost tea time. We headed toΒ Β The Wellington Gymkhana Club for tea.

teaatwellington
My first taste of NonSuch BOP

ThereΒ  I was introduced to NonSuch tea. And after tasting the NonSuch Broken Orange Pekoe (BOP) tea, I was hooked. I now order it directly from the tea garden to drink in Mumbai. So now we have memories of Coonoor at least four times, everyday! πŸ˜‰

PS: Thanks to my brother-in-law, John Campos, for the fantastic pictures.Β  Until he gets his website up and running, we’ll continue to showcase his talent! πŸ™‚
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Today we’re on C of the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge.

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