Having to spend most of my life in Delhi (minus few years when I was in Bangalore and England) I was on a look-out for a place where you can take a break from the hustle, the crowd and the usual routine.
Tikli is that place.
It is a small village on the outskirts of Delhi- a few kms away from Gurgoan. Holding the exact vibe of a hill station, Tikli is nestled around the beautiful Aravali Hills. Here’s where Martin and Annie welcome everyone into their colonial, Lutyens style bungalow which is a private guest house- “The Tikli Bottom”. I have been here twice, last year and this year, and nothing has changed (except the Emus that were sadly killed by a leopard).
Anyway from here onward, I will try and give out as much information as I can pass about this place, the whole journey and other things you can try when you are around.
It is a small ride from Delhi- an hour or two depending on the traffic. And less if you are starting from Gurgoan. We always take the Delhi-Faridabad <starting from Suraj Kund> road to reach Gurgoan. Then follow Google Maps to reach Tikli. The Delhi-Faridabad road is less crowded, hence more preferable. Anyway, once in Tikli the roads do get bumpy. The lanes get narrower but the view is too die for. You will cross paddy fields, small houses, and tiny stores. There will be tractors, children running around and tons of birds.
What you need to carry?
Nothing, actually. If you are going to visit “Tikli Bottom” you are well taken care of. However, we always carry beer. It is nice to sip along the ride and soak in the whole rustic feel. There is this French Beer, 1664, which is crisp, light and very tasty- I would recommend it.
Also, any car would do. The roads are jerky, but not that you need a SUV to reach here.
What all can you do here?
Once in the village try and follow the path to the hills. Last time, we climbed up one and enjoyed the view thoroughly. The sprawling gardens are so serene and peaceful to look at along with chirpy birds and bucolic atmosphere.
Also there is a stable around. Not open to public, but if requested sweetly <done that> you are allowed to look around.
This place has so much to offer. Book a room and stay overnight or RSVP for lunch/dinner <that’s what I have done>. The whole property is breath-taking, especially during winters. The air is clean and fresh, the grounds are lush, the pool is pristine and the space is huge. Their garden leads into farms where they grow their own vegetables, with roasters, goats, buffalos, rabbits and more.
The insides too, rooms, bathrooms and the drawing room are spick-and-span.
Martin and Annie are such wonderful hosts- they are friendly, warm and full of conversation. It is so easy to talk to them- they openly discuss about organic farming, rainwater harvesting and even Indian politics.
The staff is very sweet too. They make you feel at home. You can ask them anything and they will help you if they can. In fact the ladies here make some very delicious ‘Bloody Mary’s’.
The whole deal, which is around Rs. 1500, includes food, alcohol, beverages and the day-spend. Steal, according to me. The food is fresh and really delicious. They make everything at home and European is the standard cuisine here. There is no set menu- but they will ask if you veg or non-veg. Do keep some space for desserts- Annie usually makes pies and they are lip smacking.
You can eat as much as you want, but I reckon you can’t go beyond two plates. They offer tea, green tea and even French press after the lunch. You can lodge around after that.
This is a place where you can come with a group of friends, family or just with your partner- it caters to everyone. Highly recommend it.
Things you need to know:
- Email them. And wait for them to revert. This is no restaurant. Martin’s email will enclose the directions to the place.
- Be here on time. I have done this mistake. Coming on time will ensure you get piping hot food and a lot of time on hand to explore the place.
- You can carry your own ‘charpai’. And even Bluetooth speakers.
- Don’t waste food here. Please.
- They are not open in April and June. Not sure of the dates, though.
- There is no TV here. A good thing, actually.
- The phone network may fade. Another good thing.
For further details, click here.