On the moderately chilly but serene slopes of Coonoor, in Radhika Shastry’s backyard, lies the quirky Cafe Diem with its welcoming warm yellow lights and exquisite interior artifacts against the quaint but cozy brick walls, luring tourists and residents alike.

“I always knew I would live in the hills,” declares the founder who quit her corporate job in Bangalore, “I grew up in Dehradun, so the city life was never really for me.” Once, while visiting friends in Coonoor, she noticed that her driver had parked the car in front of someone’s driveway. Only while apologising to the watchman did she realise that the house was up for sale. She fell in love with the property immediately—bought the house, began renovation and shuttled between Bangalore and the house every two weeks. “Finally in 2016, I decided to move lock, stock and barrel to Coonoor.” Ooty, Kodaikanal, Coorg and Yercaud were on the cards but she zeroed in on Coonoor because it was the most scenic and cosmopolitan. “Coonoor has an eclectic community, you have people from the armed forces, authors and even retired astronauts!”

The hill life…

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