Quite a few years ago, I helped create a writing group. While our group consisted of many writing prompts and the need to tell our stories the two staples that had to accompany our classes were chocolate and tea. Our name was actually spun from the word tea where we claimed the name “The Teacup Writers.” I admit it wasn’t exactly creative but it did fit and when we get together we still have our tea and chocolate before we venture into our own fairytale lands we are more than willing to share. When I heard about a place where I could be surrounded by tea plantations and enjoy a tour or two I wanted to know all the details.
In Sri Lanka there is a plethora of tea plantations and tea factories. All of which are easily accessible and depending on which factory you go to you can tour the facility. One of the more famous is the Ceylon Tea Plantation. You are able to stay in one of the four bungalows, each offering a slight variation of their rooms. You will have your own butler, chef and manager during your stay. There are master suites with their own private gardens, other suites with private verandahs. You have the option of staying in the same bungalow or choosing to spend a night in each.
Each morning the butler will awaken you with tea and a drawn bath. What can be more fabulous? This is only the beginning. When you’re fully awake and ready for breakfast, it is waiting. The staff will use locally grown fruits and vegetables and incorporate tea into the recipes they will be serving. After breakfast treat yourself to a walk on the trails through the tea plantation. There are guides if you want a more structured tour or you can travel from one bungalow to the next discovering the area for yourself. There is also crochet to play, white water rafting, tennis and after a long day refresh yourself at the spa. If you want to venture into the surrounding areas there are more than one excursion you can participate in. You can visit the capital, Kandy or take a walk to the Horton Plains National Park.
Of course you’re here for the tea and tea you will learn all about. From the moment they plant the seed to when they decide to pluck the leaves and bud. How it becomes your favorite taste. By the end of the introduction you are able to sample different flavors. During the latter part of each day, Afternoon Tea is served with clotted creams, jams, finger sandwiches, all those specialty foods that make your mouth water just thinking about them. If you want to continue with your tea excursion the spa offers “tea” treatments. You can pick from a wide variety of treatments and choose the type of tea bath you want to luxuriate in.
If you’re a lover of tea as much as I am, this is heaven waiting on a hillside to come bask in all its richness while you relax in the gardens sipping your favorite tea with that book you’ve been waiting to read.