Just a 20-kilometer drive away from the main town of Ooty, Acres Wild’s farm really takes you to another place. Quiet, unpretentious, and down to earth, it is a dream if you’re looking to reconnect with nature, and even give back — by being part of the self-sustaining ecosystem here. Plus, very engaging conversation with the owners — former filmmaker Mansoor and Tina, make the stay worthwhile. The rooms here are all named after cheeses you see — Haloumi and Cheddar House, with two rooms each and Colby Cottage. The homestay style rooms with antique furniture, comfy beds, and sit-outs offer a spectacular view of the Nilgiris, you’ll forget you need WiFi and HD.
Once you are done marvelling, step out and really get your hands dirty by helping out on the farm. There’s plenty of chickens to feed, cows to milk, and organic veggies to be dealt with. But since cheese is the main attraction here, we highly recommend doing one of their cheese-making courses. The two-day sessions teach two types of cheeses (although multiple students mean all will learn the same one). But if you’re keen, extend your stay and add a cheese a day to your repertoire. Currently, you can learn to whip up soft cheese, Gouda, Colby, Monterey Jack, Havarti, Cheddar, Gruyere, Parmesan, Feta, Haloumi, and good old Mozzarella.