I first met Janhavi and Kanta at Suryagarh, where they were celebrating a family event. I had no idea I would be seeing them outside of my work place, but a family trip to Ranikhet took us through Nainital, and, well, there we were! At Abbotsford.
Janhavi’s great grand parents purchased Abbotsford in the year 1903. It was renamed “Prasada Bhawan” till 2007, when Janhavi’s mother, Kanta, started to restore the family home and to keep it buzzing and maintained, decided to bring back the original name and to open it up as a homestay.
Abbotsford is a throwback to the British Raj – the interiors and food and experiences, remind guests of the Summer Homes of yore, in the Kumaon Hills in Nainital, Uttarakhand.
Each room at Abbotsford is meticulously decorated and different. There are three separate buildings / cottages where one can book either an individual room or a few rooms for a family or a small group of people.
And there are books. So many books. And the views!
Oh. And the food. At Cafe Chica, you can come and eat even if you are not staying at the homestay. The food reminded me of English Breakfast and English Dinners at the Army Mess when I was growing up.
A poser’s paradise! Totally Instagrammable everything. So many of the items – like furniture and wall art – are hundreds of years old and well-maintained. I was especially enamoured by some of the oval / rounded rectangle photo frames. And I could not get enough of the room with the red and gold walls.
Imagine walking around the area, huffing and puffing uphill and coming upon the “Cafe Chica” sign board and just wandering in and finding this magical little place, seemingly in the middle of nowhere – especially for city-folk like me.