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inland, north Goa

The food at Avanilaya is excellent, with a repertoire that includes European, French, Thai and Goan dishes. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all served, although prior notice for the latter two is requested. Some of the produce is organic, sourced from the vegetable garden on the property, the rest is as fresh and local as possible.

The cooks are very creative with dishes thoughtfully prepared and exquisitely presented. Lunch and dinner are normally four course affairs eaten in the open dining room that overlooks the rolling countryside at Padimunu, or in the long, shaded verandah that runs along the back of Panchavatti.

Our giant breakfast came with fresh fruits, freshly baked cupcakes, smoked salmon, ham, sausages, eggs cooked to order, muesli, juice and coffee. A real treat.

A sample lunch would be cold beetroot soup followed by a tangy mackerel carpaccio and a lemon sorbet to cleanse the palate before a main course of honey-glazed prawns with vietnamese rice paper rolls, followed by cheesecake or hot chocolate souffle.

Dinner is similarly elaborate, with chilled avocado soup followed by a stuffed calamari salad and a main of the local fish Modso with vegetables in a mulberry sauce.

The choice of drinks, considering the cuisine on offer, is rather disappointing with just a small selection of domestic beer, wine and spirits available, and with the unavailability of fridge space for guests there’s little scope for bringing your own. One could reasonably expect some degree of access in this regard.



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Avanilaya is one of those rare places where you can get both authentic European and Goan food.  Mixed styles coexist peacefully: fresh and healthy European dishes sitting alongside manager Charmaine’s elaborate Goan preparations.

There’s no real menu but food can be cooked to dietary preferences and you are free to discuss your meals with the staff beforehand. It’s very easy, with the excellence of the food, to let go of the decision-making process and allow the kitchen to surprise you every time.

Dining nearby

Aldona is primarily a residential and rural area, with few dining options.

The nearest restaurant that is worth a visit is Andron – run by an ex seaman – famous in the area for its robust, meaty Goan food.

You’ll have to go further afield into the nearest market town Mapusa for more options: Navtara has a decent thali, chaat and local Indian comfort-food, and Ruchira at Hotel Satyaheera has a famous tandoori chicken and decent kebabs and curries.

If you’re craving proper European food, Villa Blanche in Assagao (25 mins by taxi) is a great day-time option for quiches and cakes, salads and smoothies and a couple of km west on the same road is Italian bistro Ciao Bella, open only at night and perfect for an intimate three-course Italian meal.

Also check out our guide to eating in Goa.

Type Private villas
Rooms 10
Children Yes
Closed Never