Travel

Where to Stay – and Eat – in Tamil Nadu

Visiting India's southern state of Tamil Nadu? Here are some recommendations for restaurants and hotels.

Alicia Taylor/Bauersyndication.com.au/Magazinefeatures.co.za

Tamil Nadu | House and Leisure

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.

Tamil Nadu | House and Leisure
A colourful thali spread from Southern Spice restaurant at the Taj Coromandel includes popular favourites such 
as Alleppey fish curry, broccoli and pepper usili, and parotta.

 

Where to Eat in Tamil Nadu

Aaharam

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

Southern Spice

Heavy pillars and murals create a temple-like ambience for feasts showcasing traditional offerings from four southern Indian states. tajhotels.com

Villa Shanti

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

ALSO READ: In India's Vibrant Deep South, Take a Tour of Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu | House and Leisure
Palais de Mahe provides the ideal base from which to explore Puducherry’s French Quarter.

 

Where to Stay in Tamil Nadu

Maison Perumal

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

Svatma

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

Taj Coromandel

One of Chennai’s best-known hotels has understated dark timber interiors, subdued lighting and magnificent views of the city. tajhotels.com

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Tamil Nadu | House and Leisure