Fluff your feather pillows, snuggle into the soft cotton sheets, revel in the warmth of your quilt and recall you need not do a thing all day! But alas, the aroma of coffee and fresh-baked bread lures you to the lobby. Pad on down the stairs, load up a tray with cookies, warm bread and coffee and treat your sweetie to tea in bed. Gaze out over the mountains as the morning sun glistens on the leaves and snow. Watch the farm animals pick their way through the ice to their pastures across the snow. Pick up that book you have not found time to read. Strap on a pair of snowshoes to explore the rim of the adjoining forest. Tromp into the Reserve Forest Sanctuary and revel in the sound of your snowshoes crunching the freshly fallen snow. Return for a nap before treating yourself to a legendary Himachali Dham. Of course, we’ll need to know in advance as fresh ingredients need to be procured from the market. Khanabadosh offers up this memorable dining experience often on cold winter nights!
After a lazy breakfast, drive to the Skating Rink at Shimla and give ice-skating a try. Can be great fun and there are enough enthusiastic youngsters to lend a helping hand or give you advice on how to skate like a professional. Head to Shimla and stroll down the mall, have lunch at a mall-side cafe and take advantage of winter sales in the adorable shops. There are a lot of wine stores on the Mall selling locally produced wine. Try some. Also make sure you take back some apple cider vinegar. Head back. Another quick nap and tonight is dinner of your choice at Khanabadosh; under the stars if you so wish!
Hundreds of kms of snow trails await you for an all-day adventure. Take the cycles out, and ride to Shali Tibba – see route and plan in our section titled ‘The Trails’. Explore the area from the inside-out. Stop and lunch at one of the many small yet strategically placed eateries along the trails. Warm up while you guzzle chai at a roadside joint, chat with the villagers, listen to stories of superstitions and beliefs – tell your own. Laugh a little, play with some local kids, then hit the trails again. Dinner back at Khanabadosh is guaranteed to satisfy, with a cozy atmosphere and mouthwatering fare. Today around a fire, maybe?
You may have caught a glimpse of Naldehra as you zipped along the trails yesterday. Drive up/ride up, depending on the weather. Along the route you’ll find many local youth with rough, hand made sleds, promising you exhilarating sledding. Grab a couple of the sleds and hang onto your hat. Remember, I did say rough right in the beginning! A little lunch at one of the ever-so-popular road side eateries, and you will be ready to head back. Short siesta, warm bath, and head down the road, dressed in enough woolies, to catch a gorgeous sunset. Dinner back at Khanabadosh awaits you – hot, comforting and made with oodles of love.
Day Five, Six, Seven …
More of all of the above plus candlelight dinners at Khanabadosh, plays at the magnificent Gaiety Theatre, scrunching walks in the snow, treks from our ‘The Trails’ section, sleigh rides, music and entertainment at the Mall, Shimla, the MTB challenge, if you are so inclined, a Heritage Walk around Shimla pointing out all the old buildings, a meal at the legendary Indian Coffee House, and if you are here on Christmas and New Year’s Day, add the snowman making, collecting pine cones and gallons of homemade spiced rum to your list.