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Sunday, 27 December 2009

Glenburn Tea Estate, Darjeeling, India - Page 2

Written by Christina Kay Bolton
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Glenburn Tea Estate is one of the most special and unique places in India. The former quarters of a British tea estate owner has been meticulously restored in grand style and its lounges, verandahs, gardens and rooms are the perfect place to relax after traveling around India. At Glenburn, the hospitality is genuine and your every need is taken care of.

Breakfast is served under the pommelo tree and there are several tables, so you can choose to sit with your dinner companions or with your own small group. Once again, it is a nicely prepared and abundant meal. Your many choices include: freshly squeezed juice, fruit, yogurt, granola, porridge, eggs cooked to order, bacon, sausages, potato cakes, toast, and Glenburn tea or french-press coffee (which is tough to find in India!).

Another nice thing about Glenburn is that once you arrive you no longer have to pay for anything (except alcohol); all the activities, guides, drivers, meals, laundry service, and even pick ups and drop off’s hours away are included. It’s a welcome change from other resorts where your vacation quickly turns even more expensive as the cost of overpriced laundry service, excursions, and meals quickly add up.

Glenburn Tea Estate, Simbong Butterfly Room, Kanchenjunga Suite, Neena Pradhan, Husna-Tara Prakesh, Glenburn Camp, Darjeeling tea, tea tour, travel Darjeeling, Darjeeling unique accomodationFor excursions you can choose to hike down with a naturalist guide through the tea plantation and villages to the Glenburn Camp next to a river, and then enjoy a fabulous three course barbeque lunch served with a variety of salads while the air is filled with the sound of rapids rushing past. If you like you can continue hiking over a suspension bridge to a small village in Sikkim, or you can relax with a good book while being served fresh lemonade or beer. The hike to Sikkim was fun as the village kids loved getting their pictures taken and would break into big smiles and laughter every time we showed them a photo. From the camp you can take a jeep back up the hill to Glenburn over an extremely skinny, bumpy road. If by chance you meet another vehicle you’ll really see the skill of these drivers as they come inches from the edge while squeezing past one another.

Another must-do is the tea tour; where Sanjay (the manager of the tea plantation) or his assistant shows you the process of making tea. There is a lot to explore: picking, withering, drying, separating, Glenburn Tea Estate, Simbong Butterfly Room, Kanchenjunga Suite, Neena Pradhan, Husna-Tara Prakesh, Glenburn Camp, Darjeeling tea, tea tour, travel Darjeeling, Darjeeling unique accomodationand tasting. I learned so much about tea – such as most of the ‘tea’ that makes it to the west into tea bags is mainly dust and stems and it is also usually about a year old (which means it has lost most of its flavor). To have a good cup of tea you need to use whole tea leaves and steep them for five minutes, also you’re not supposed to drink it too hot as the flavor is not as good. Darjeeling is a prized and delicate tea and should not be taken with milk (also milk degrades tea’s antioxidants and actually creates carcinogens). Glenburn is coming up with a program to sell tea directly to customers and ship it the day after its finished so you can receive fresh tea all year long.

Later in the day you can hike down to a different river with other guests and a guide, as I did, and have a picnic lunch on its wide, sandy beach. If you have another day at Glenburn you could go to Darjeeling for a sightseeing tour, go fishing, or just relax at the lovely lodge.

(Page 2 of 3)
Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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