After the scorching summers, the first rains of monsoon have swept away the grime, leaving Mumbaikars restless with fresh energy. The coming weekend thus has the pressure of expectations on it, of doing something worthwhile in the weather. The typical destinations have been struck off, any mention of Lonavla has been met with a collective sigh. So, where does the Mumbaikar go?

Chikoos left to dry
Chikoos left to dry

Authenticook, a city-based experience dining service, have come up with a new option.

A three-four hour drive away from Mumbai, Gholvad (near Dahanu) is known for its chikoo farms, a quiet beach and the thriving Parsi community. The group has arranged for a stay and dining experience here, which they say will offer an experience of the food and culture of the community living there.

Farm labour wash the fruit
Farm labour wash the fruit

Guests will stay in a homestay (Parsi-owned bungalow) complemented by Parsi fare cooked by locals. Ameya Deshpande, co-founder of Authenticook, says that the idea is to offer the visitors a unique time. “We offer experiences. The food that they would get here would not be something that they would get in restaurants, and it is not every day that one gets to stay in comfortable bungalow or go chikoo farming,” he shares.

The Bedroom at the homestay
The Bedroom at the homestay

There will also be a demonstration of the ancient art of Warli paintings done by the Warli tribe, the original inhabitants of Gholvad and nearby regions. Those who reach the destination before Saturday noon will also be able to visit the local market, buzzing with stalls selling fresh organic vegetables, spices and such.

“We seldom get a chance to be close to nature, where our food grows. For example, chikoos in Mumbai come from Dahanu apart from West Bengal. People usually don’t get a chance to partake in an activity like chikoo farming and neither do we always have an idea of where our fruits come from. This is also a reason why we zeroed in on this area,” he says.