Where to Stay – and Eat – in Tamil Nadu
Visiting India's southern state of Tamil Nadu? Here are some recommendations for restaurants and hotels.
From stalls selling dahi puri – wafer-thin wheat-flour balls filled with potato and topped with a spicy tamarind chutney, diced onion and carrot, coriander, sweetened curd, crushed chickpea noodles and pomegranate seeds – to refined meals of 15 courses at Southern Spice in the Taj Coromandel hotel, there is much to sample and savour in Tamil Nadu.
Here’s our selection of some of the best places to eat in this sprawling Indian state, which is best known for its ancient Hindu temples, and suggestions for where you should stay too.
Where to Eat in Tamil Nadu
This all-day fine-diner serves outstanding Tamil vegetarian breakfasts, thalis and evening tasting menus based on family recipes and heirloom grains. svatma.in
Bread & Chocolate
Expect baked goods, seasonal bowls and Mason & Co chocolates made from organic Tamil cacao at this café in Auroville. Bread and Chocolate India
Heavy pillars and murals create a temple-like ambience for feasts showcasing traditional offerings from four southern Indian states. tajhotels.com
Dine indoors or on a colonnaded patio facing a vertical garden at this boutique hotel in the French Quarter, which serves pan-Indian and French dishes. lavillashanti.com
Where to Stay in Tamil Nadu
This restored heritage home in Puducherry’s Tamil Quarter features a traditional facade opening onto two courtyards, and 10 rooms with carved timber details and stained glass. cghearth.com
Palais de Mahe
Crowning this colonial-style mansion in the quiet French Quarter is a spectacular rooftop terrace, while 18 elegant large rooms with balconies are arranged around a courtyard pool. cghearth.com
A mix of heritage restoration and contemporary styling creates a hotel full of surprises, much like the oft-forgotten city of Thanjavur in which it is located. svatma.in
One of Chennai’s best-known hotels has understated dark timber interiors, subdued lighting and magnificent views of the city. tajhotels.com