What you see -
Located behind Saravana Bhavan in Thousand Lights, Amethyst is easy to access from both Mount Road and Gopalapuram in Chennai. Started in 2000, this is a 100-year-old house converted into a café cum boutique. You see ample parking space here and the area is peaceful and quiet despite being in the heart of Chennai. Once inside it’s easy to get lost in the large rooms with high ceilings that add a touch of old-world charm.
What you get – Amethyst
has designer wear, jewelry and accessories. Most of the designers from Lakme Fashion Week and Wills Lifestyle Shows are known to have their merchandise here. So if you are looking for the latest in fashion this is the place to go to. As boutique stores go, this place has contemporary jewelry and accessories to match. Most of the jewelry is from the Amrapali brand and is priced Rs. 1,000 upwards. There is plenty to choose from in silver, white metal, precious and semi precious stones. Plenty of earrings and bangles
in wood are there too. There is also an entire collection of pendants with figures of Hindu gods.
If you are looking for gifts, there are plenty of candle stands in silver with stone work and small artefacts for side tables upwards of Rs. 1,000. There are also ladies’ evening purses which come at around Rs. 990 and more. Plenty of light stoles in different colors are also available
The entire upstairs of Amethyst is a furniture store and has antiques and reproductions. It’s ideal for people looking to do up their homes as per bygone era, without compromising on style and functionality. The furniture comprises sofa sets, tables, rocking chairs, side tables and some large four poster beds. Prices start at Rs. 10,000.
All around this house is a large veranda and garden that houses the Amethyst café. Open from 10 AM to 10 PM on all days including Sundays, they serve snacks, tea, coffee and cool drinks along with lunch and dinner. The menu covers pizzas, pasta, toast and sandwiches, fresh drinks, soups and salads. While tea and fresh juices range from Rs. 70-150, the main course dishes cost Rs. 150-300. However, fresh juices are not always what they seem like. Most of the time they come out of a can. Nonetheless, this is an ideal place for a small business meeting or a quiet place to read a book, do some writing or just catch up on work. The place is Wi-fi enabled so you can bring your laptop along. The best part of the café is that they don’t rush you out to let others in. So it’s an ideal place to chill out and spend time.
Amethyst also has a florist open from 8 AM to 8 PM which has a lovely array of lush flowers. Tucked away at the back of the house its entrance is enchanting with the many trees that shade it from the heat of Chennai. Home delivery is available and the charges are a minimum of Rs. 50 depending on the distance. You will have to inform them at least two hours in advance. The flowers are pretty high priced as compared to other florists in Chennai though. A single stem of lilies comes for around Rs. 45.
Our verdict -
The ambience at Amethyst is what makes it an oasis in Chennai. Despite being in one of the more busy parts, it shuts out the sound and fury of the city around it. Trees, a well planned garden and the chirping of birds makes this one of the few places where you can browse through in leisure, chat with friends or just soak in the ambience.
If you are looking for a bargain, this is not the place to be in. Remember, prices are based on exclusivity and ambience so come prepared with a large enough budget to shop with. Quick service is unheard of at Amethyst. This is a laidback place and you have to catch the eye of the waiter to be served. It may take time so this is not a place for a quick bite.
Anytime between –
11 AM – 8 PM
By Rebecca Pothan