One of my favourite haunts while in Chennai is Amethyst. This 100-year-old colonial mansion set in a leafy garden is a green, peaceful oasis of calm in this big, dusty and noisy city.
The lounge, veranda and gardens have been transformed into a café and restaurant where you can sit among potted palms with a good book, a good friend, or your laptop, as there’s free wifi (something which is still rare in India). They have yummy homemade cakes, which are also difficult to find.
On the ground floor there’s a boutique with (pricey) indo-western designer wear and jewellery. There’s also a flower shop selling exotic plants.
Service is a little patchy. There are plenty of waiters but somehow they don’t see you, or forget they’ve taken your order. All the reason to stay a little while longer.
Mosquitoes are regular visitors, day and night, so repellent is a must!
Despite the unreliable waiters, the pricey menu and biting insects, I’m a daily visitor while in Chennai. I just wish there was something similar in Bangalore. Or maybe not – it makes a trip to Chennai a little extra special.
See for yourself:
Amethyst is located at:
Padmavathi Road, Jeypore Colony
Phone: 2820 3582Open every day from 10am to 10pm.