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Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

We were bowled over by the food here.

Go for a stroll into town, or a long wander through the forest, and you can return to the smell of hearty home-cooked food: shepherd’s pie with veggies from the garden, Indian dishes with jack fruit, saag, fresh parathas, the list goes on, plus whatever Madhavi has taken upon herself to bake for the sheer satisfaction of putting a smile on her guests’ faces.

The ground floor dining room can seat around 8 people for breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner. Note that lunch is not served.

Weather-permitting you can also eat outside in the small garden with its view of the valley. It’s a great setting for an inspiring start to the day or a romantic end to the evening; just remember you might have three dogs and two cats for company!

Breakfast, served from 8 till 9.30am, includes home-baked breads, breakfast cereals, eggs to order, fresh fruit salads and freshly squeezed juices. For dinner, served from 7.30 to 8.30pm, it’s a matter of what’s available and what you fancy, just chat to the staff or take a recommendation; we chose the latter option and were never disappointed.

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Rates from USD$ 89.79

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There is no menu but with fresh produce from the garden, the kitchen’s repertoire of Indian and Western dishes, and Madhavi’s baking the culinary perfection of good hospitality, you can only be satisfied by the food here.

Note that Himachal Pradesh is a very strict excise state and thus there is no alcohol license or availability at Sunnymead, but you are welcome to bring your own which you can also purchase at a shop nearby.

Dining nearby

10 minutes away is the Oberoi Cecil, a 5-star institution with a great atmosphere, which serves a variety of lovely but, as one would expect, expensive food. The atrium is great for a drink in the evening or a coffee stop on the way back from the Mall.

Spars Lodge on the State Museum Road does great pork chops and smoked trout; it’s a great place to hang out.

On the Mall in the centre of Shimla, the India Coffee House is an institution, with smart waiters serving coffee, idlis and strawberry jelly with cream. Get yourself a thriller from Minerva book-house or a Francis Younghusband from Maria Brothers, an antiquarian bookseller, and plod up the stairs to the Wake and Bake café. Opposite the town hall, the café is a great spot for people watching, freshly ground organic coffee, pizzas, cakes and crepes.

If you’re yearning for a slice of pizza, walk down to La Pino’z Pizza. The vegetarian pizzas are a good bet, much more so than Dominos. Café Sol, the café at the Combermere Hotel near the lift on the Mall, does a line of Mexican and Italian food. Further down the Mall is the Hotel Marina that serves a delicious khao-suey and laksa and has the cleanest loos around. The Hotel Holiday Home near the High Court has a limited but good Himachali menu. The chhaa gosht and chicken anaardana are good. The dhabas near the Gaiety theatre serve delicious chhola bhatura but be sure you’re not eating when there’s a water shortage in Shimla.


Type Bed and breakfast
Rooms 4
Children Yes
Closed Never