Zostel Getaway to Panchgani

With the advent of rains in Maharashtra, like all other people, we also flocked to one of the cosiest hill stations near Pune: Panchgani. The clouds descend onto the roads which even at midday are enveloped in fog. It is the best time for long drives but do keep those fog lights on!

After 2.5 hours and 100 km, we pulled into the parking lot of Zostel. A chain of hostels spread across many cities in India and Nepal, the Panchgani franchisee is brand new. Being my first experience in a hostel in India, I was filled with apprehension and curiosity and a tad bit of anxiety. Turns out, I was in for a surprise.

While shipping containers contain the reception, dorms and private rooms, colourful graffiti adds a creative touch to the premises. I love our very own version of Frida Kahlo! #becontained

And the view! Like everyone says ‘Location! Location!! Location!!!’ In the evening the fog thickens, the temperature drops and it’s time to wear that sweater while enjoying your cuppa’ chai or coffee. Also, the kitchen here dishes out some mean starters most popular naturally are the chicken dumplings.

Monsoon magic at Zostel

Such wonderful weather calls for a sizzling BBQ. We ordered chicken, mushrooms, cottage cheese, capsicum and potatoes from a lady in Panchgani. All deliciously marinated and delivered to our Zostel. Now that is a good service! To add to the experience, Zostel let us use their grill for free and even set it all up for us! The smell of rain and BBQ together is pretty much the best way to end the evening.

PS: Can you see the aluminium foiled potatoes cooking directly with the coal? I have a wonderfully simple recipe for jacket potatoes (thanks to my talented painter friend Akshay, check out his work here: drownedincolor ). Send me a message, I can gladly share the recipe 🙂

The next morning we drove to Panchgani market and had breakfast at the iconic Lucky Bakery. If bun maska, cheese omelettes, tea, cheese toast, cream rolls, chocolate balls and the likes sound like music to your ears, it’s time to plan a getaway 🙂

be passionate. be curious.

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