Namaste gastronomads and Happy New Year!
In spite of a few natural disasters like some rain, the whole state of Tamil Nadu being closed for a day due to a strike in support of Jallikattu (bull-taming) and three 'dry' days where we had to have gin snuck in to us, we are alive and well to tell the story of the first ever South India tour.
We arrived into Chennai and had a delicious seafood dinner by the beach at our resort hotel, then rocked off to Pondicherry via the astounding 7th century monolithic temple complex of Mamallapurram. Pondicherry is a very pretty French/Tamil seaside town, full of great French/Tamil food and colonial architecture. We accessed our inner yogis at the spiritual centre of Auroville and enjoyed a remarkable music meditation class and tour of an organic permaculture farm.
Travelling in our luxury cars, we then headed off to Chettinad to enjoy banana leaf feasts and tour the beautiful 19th century mansions. Fearlessly we moved on to the ancient (3rd century) temple city of Madurai then ended up in the Western Ghats at Rajakkad Estate where we relaxed amongst the coffee trees and pepper vines, had cooking classes and did yoga. The last night in the hills was the usual understated affair of speeches, singing and fireworks. I'll be doing it all again in January 2018 and bookings are open now.
Due to the popularity of the sold-out North India trip in October this year, I have added another tour from 4 – 14 October – Jaipur, Goa, Kolkata and Darjeeling. Be there or be square!
We also have 2 places available on Puglia in September this year.... and then it's on to 2018. Next up is my tour to vibrant Vietnam (1 – 11 April), then I'm off to Uzès from May to October to teach half day cooking classes all summer. In between I will be lying on the floor, staring at the ceiling.