Nestled away in the village of Batim, a short distance from the capital city of Panjim lies Casa Menezes Heritage Homestay.
The picturesque village of Batim is located just 13 kilometers from Panjim, in Tiswadi taluka. It has lots of fields and salt pans around and is just a very peaceful place to visit. There are coconut trees all over the place and the air is pure and clean and you completely forget that there is a busy highway just a couple of kilometers away and a bustling city close by as well. This village received widespread publicity in 1994 due to an alleged apparition of Our Lady of Fatima to a local woman named Iveta Gomes.
Casa Menezes Heritage Homestay
Casa Menezes Heritage Homestay in Batim falls neatly into this picture. A 300-year-old heritage mansion, it is also the ancestral home of a close friend, Mr. David Nathaniel de Menezes Pereira. The house is a typical Portuguese style mansion filled with rooms that lead one into the other. I am pretty sure there’s a high possibility of getting lost in there if left to your own devices in this grand old house.
David, himself is the one who decided to turn part of his home into a bed & breakfast. The homestay part of the house is located to the right as you enter the very pretty driveway. There are 8 bedrooms in all. Each one is done up very tastefully with wooden floors and wooden fixtures such as the doors and window shutters. Teak, oak, and rosewood carved antique furniture, original art, and beautiful interiors complete the wonderfully authentic look of living in a Goan/Portuguese mansion in Goa.
“Authentic Goan heritage and Culture”
When I asked David how and why he decided to open his house and start a business, he said, “I saw that most places were commercial and if someone wanted to experience authentic Goan heritage and culture, they really didn’t have much of a choice. My home was too large for just my mother and me to live in and the cost of maintaining old homes is very high. It made more sense to create and build a revenue-generating stream around the home so that it can somewhat take care of itself.”
He went further to say, “I hope many others join me and start homestays in their heritage homes so that these architectural gems are preserved for the future generations to see. It is a lot of hard work but it is the only way to maintain these old homes.”
The homestay has four rooms on the upper level, reached by a short staircase, and four rooms on the lower level. All the rooms overlook a lush, green garden.
All the rooms have attached bathrooms and these are filled with modern amenities like 24-hour hot water supply and a shower.
The house also boasts of an art gallery known as Sala de Kala where many local artists have been known to display their work. Additionally, the house has also featured in a few wedding shoots and most recently was the staging area for the wedding of two of our close friends.
304 Kitchen & Tavern
Casa Menezes Heritage Homestay also has its very own restaurant, situated just opposite the gates of this wonderful home. It is known as 304 Kitchen & Tavern and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner to homestay guests as well as walk-ins and friends alike. The food is really good and has a mix of Goan and Continental dishes. They do serve alcohol and wines and soft beverages.
304 Kitchen & Tavern is open from Monday to Sunday between 09:00 – 15:30 and then from 19:30 – 23:00 hours. There is also a swimming pool at the restaurant so you have to bring your swimwear along when you visit. There are music jam-ups on the weekend so if music is your thing, don’t hold back. Stop by on Sundays and sing along with the famous Mac Dourado.
One of the best things about both the homestay and the restaurant is that they are pet-friendly. David, having his own dogs, Chicane, a Labrador, and Phoebe, a Lhasa apso (if I am not mistaken) wants to make it easy for people to travel with pets and not wonder where to leave them. This works out very well provided the pets are good natured and don’t cause a problem to anyone else visiting. His dogs are an absolute delight to have around. I may be biased about this, however.
Casa Menezes Heritage Homestay also serves some delicious breakfast on a complimentary basis. If anyone wants an authentic home cooked Portuguese/Goan and/or Indian meal, this can be pre-ordered. Guests with a taste for some local adventure can also avail of the trekking packages on offer. David also does heritage walks for those interested in the history and culture of the area.
Even if you are someone that is used to big city life, that’s not too far away, if you hunger for it. But, believe me, when I say that once you enter Batim, a calm takes over your body and you can feel the stress melting away. This feeling is enhanced once you see Casa Menezes Heritage Homestay and 304 Kitchen & Tavern.
Batim – a village filled with little gems
The village is also filled with little gems. Guests can cycle around the village, go bird watching at the Batim lake, try their hands at salt harvesting at the local salt pans, walk up to the famous miraculous St.Simon and Jude Church in Maina to appease their spiritual yearnings. They can drive to the Santa Ana Church believed to be one of the oldest churches in Asia, or to Siridao beach to bask on the sand and soak in the waves of the Arabian Sea.
The avid birdwatcher might get to see such exotic birds as the Whistling Duck, Cotton Pygmy-goose, Malabar Grey Hornbill, Shoveler, Garganey, Pintail, Kingfisher, Purple Swamphen and both jacanas, Comb Duck, Spot-billed Duck, and Darter. All this happens at the Batim lake provided you go at the right time of day.
So wait no longer. Go visit, go stay and most importantly, tell your friends about this little piece of heaven on earth. Make him famous, people!
304, Gaunkarwaddo Batim
Goa-Velha, Goa – 403108
David Nathaniel de Menezes Pereira – +91 904976676
For more information, find them on Facebook or the Homestay’s official website. You can also call David at the number posted.
Facebook – Casa Menezes Heritage Homestay – https://www.facebook.com/thegoanheritagehomestay/
Facebook – 304 Kitchen & Tavern – https://www.facebook.com/304kitchenandtavern/
Official website – http://www.casamenezesgoa.com/