On a beautiful weekend, when you are thinking how to spend time with your partner and experience some peace and solitude from the mundane of city life, just start your car and head to Puducherry. It is only a 3-4  hour drive (depending on your speed level, of course!) Once you enter the Union Territory, just steer your vehicle directly towards the White Town. With numerous people riding bicycles, others strolling along tree-lined boulevards, it is almost as if an elegant French country town had been transported to the Bay of Bengal.

To give a historical context to White Town, you should know how this bit of Puducherry remained a French colony for long. By 1850, the British had secured their grip on India. They allowed the retreating French to remain in four small pockets of South Indian territory. Pondicherry was pocket central. The British were content to let this Gallic anomaly survive until it, too, gained its full independence in 1963. The French laid out their streets in a formal grid pattern. This was White Town.

The area has numerous cafes and beautiful French quarters restored into hotels. Among the popular hotels and guest houses with a colonial touch of high ceilings, French windows and et all are Le Dupleix, Dumas Guest House, Hotel De L’orient, De Pondicherry – A Heritage Boutique Hotel By Sea, L’escale Guest House and many more. If you love a nice English breakfast or a lovely seafood grill for lunch and a wood fired pizza, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants that serve European food, some even have chefs from the country.

Old Port Beach. Courtesy: india.com

Old Port . Courtesy: india.com

You can start the day by waking up early to watch the sun rise on the Gandhi beach, walk along the beach walkway to work up an appetite and then go for a hearty breakfast at one of the umpteen bakeries or cafes. If you are seeking early breakfast, the café at Allaince Francaise is a great option and serves delicious pancakes and stuffed omelettes. You can spend rest of the day lazing around in the hotel room, reading books or simply chit-chatting with family members. Probably, if the weather permits, a swim in the pool of the hotel or walking the alleys checking out a few shops selling apparels, paintings, etc is a good option. For lunch, head straight to one of the popular cafes like Satsanga, Le Dupleix’s restaurant or Café des Arts and gorge on fresh seafood with some chilled beer.

The evenings can be spent sitting on the rocks at beach, watching the sun set and enjoying the cool breeze. After that, if you are in mood for some fun try out the lounge bars in White Town or even most of the popular restaurants serve a wide variety of liquor. If you don’t want to spend much, you can buy booze from one of the three fancy liquor stores located in White Town, get loads of alcohol and just spend the evening at the hotel room.

As you revel through the night, ensure that you don’t get a major hangover next morning. You can drive back after checking out at noon or just repeat the previous day’s activity, if you are planning to stay over for another day