Landour is a hill town straight out of your dreams, situated a few km uphill of Mussoorie. The place always stood in my mind for the town where the likes of Ruskin Bond, Stephen Alter, and Bill Aitken live. I knew a lot about this part of Garhwal more from their writings than from my visits as a child. So when I got an invitation from Rokeby Manor & Residences in Landour, I immediately packed my bags. Little did I know that I would see words everywhere in this lovely little town. I would see them at Rokeby Manor’s dining room, tea garden or their lounge. I would see them in each of their restaurants and their bakehouse. And I would see them in places we least expect them to be.
Let me walk you through Rokeby Manor and the Landour around it through the quotations, sayings, signs that I met. Hope they make you smile as much as they made me smile.
Say it with Tea
Tea is such an integral part of the English Hill culture. It is perfectly suited to the weather of Landour. A dream setting would be to hold a book in one hand and a cup of tea in another.
Look at this wall full of teacups in a soothing tea color saying – Make tea, Not War. How you wish you could tell this to people carrying guns.
Life is like a cup of tea, it’s all in how you make it – you have to be a tea connoisseur to appreciate this.
The first picture is from their tea garden – can easily send you to a dream state.
While you eat at Rokeby Manor
My first meal was sitting on this comfortable seating with classic red and white checks upholstery.
The wall in front of me read very flattering words like –
- Dieting is a piece of cake. Go figure it out.
- Keep Calm & Have a cupcake – can you say no to that?
As soon as you head towards the all-wood library on the same floor, the words are tweaked to say – Keep Calm & Read a Book.
With so many Keep Calm boards, I wondered about the clientele they get. Or is it that they want to ensure a calm, serene setting for their guest. I am sure it is later. Thanks for the reminder guys.
In the evening I sat in the corner that would be just perfect for a late-night chat with buddies. Of course with cups of tea in your hands. The poster behind says just the perfect thing – Everything stops for tea.
Another that all the ladies of the house would love – If you want breakfast in the bed, sleep in the kitchen.
There was more wit around but I would let you explore that on your own.
Let me close this section with some wisdom bytes.
At one of their premium residences, besides the plush setting, I would admire quotes like
- What the world needs is more love and less paperwork.
At the Bakehouse
This vintage van becomes a showpiece with the words painted on it. If you were just passing by this town, this kind of humor will tell you a lot about the inhabitants of the town.
Inside the Bakehouse that also belongs to the Rokeby group, there are words everywhere. Let me share my favorite ones – about what else – tea, along with baking.
Another one that I would remember for a long time is – Even though life seems to stand still, the future is coming.
I have not seen a better ‘No Smoking’ board.
In case you missed it while entering, do not miss it while stepping out – what they say on the top of the door.
PUSH – if that doesn’t work – PULL. If that doesn’t work either, it’s because we are closed. Made you smile – right?
At the Stray Dog – Ale House & Stubli
A reminder to the dog owners.
Some humor around drinks.
How to say cheers in various languages? Wonder if there is a word for ‘Cheers’ in Hindi?
The food was not without words.
At the Clock Tower Cafe
This cafe with green doors & windows and brick walls in the bazaar was my last stop in the village. Walls of Clock Tower cafe were like the grand finale of words. Check a glimpse of what I saw & read here:
On the Road
As I went around walking on the famous walking Gol Chakkar of the famous village, I would meet more wit, humor, and nuggets of wisdom.
This is how a cafe at Char Dukan entices its customers.
Even the trees wanted to say something – something subtle & some warning.
There is no wi-fi in the forest but I promise you will find a better connection.
Under the ‘Keep Landour Clean’ initiative, Rokeby Manor has installed dustbins across the town – even they have some wisdom to share.
Thank you, Rokeby Manor, for letting me soak in the words for 3 days. For practical travel information – do check out their website.
This hotel is a part of the Mars Hospitality Group.
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