Nature Republic

January 22, 2009

Weekend at Silver Oak Farm

Long weekends are all very well, but planning for them is another matter altogether. Not for me blocking out dates months in advance, packing bags days ahead and travelling for hours together — I like to head out with a full tank and a phone number. And for the Republic Day holidays, I have just one number on my speed-dial: That of Praveen Khanna, who runs Silver Oak Farm in the shade of Nandi Hills, just 90 minutes away from the city.

Silver Oak Farm

After settling in the foothills about four years ago, Praveen and his wife Meera decided to throw open their home to visitors for breakfast and lunch, as well as short stays. Meera serves up delicious meals (don’t miss her delish homemade star fruit juice) and day-trippers can soak in the views from the large sit-out, with resident Alsatians Mickey and Minnie for company.

I, however, like the idea of spending a couple of nights with the Khannas. On offer are candlelight dinners, walks through the working farm — inexperienced helping hands are welcome too — treks through the surrounding countryside, bird-watching, miniature golf and indoor games. And, of course, the option of doing nothing at all.

As Praveen regales you with his experiences of running the farm — and how he began, when the farm only had huge boulders and no tree cover at all — try battling those back-to-nature urges. Instead, enjoy the moment, weave those dreams. And open your eyes underneath the eponymous silver oaks to know they can be realised too.

Not a bad takeaway from a weekend, I say.

Silver Oak Farm, Nandi Valley, Sultanpet Village. Contact Praveen and Meera Khanna on +919845652267. Open only on weekends (Friday-Sunday) and public holidays. Reservations required. Cost: Breakfast and lunch around Rs 700 per person. Rooms start from Rs3,500. Visit www.silveroakfarm.com for directions, menus and other info.

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