Let me make this a clear as possible: If you ever want a once in a lifetime vacation, head for Sri Lanka and Tea Trails. (More photos at the end of the copy)
Tea Trails is absolutely amazing. It has five “bungalows” scattered across a 300-acre tea plantation that fills one end of a valley and hugs a sparkling blue lake. The bungalows were the homes of the tea plantation managers back during the British colonial era. Each of them is a work of art from a bygone era.
We’re staying at the bungalow called Castlereagh, which has five guest suites. We have our own butler and every morning he brings tea to our room at whatever time we requested the night before. After breakfast he asks what we would like the chef to prepare for lunch and dinner. After dinner, the chef comes out to accept the accolades of the guests and to ask each of us what we would like for breakfast the next morning. Each of the meals is beyond your wildest expectations.
And, of course, we mustn’t forget tea time at 4:00 each afternoon, when we’re served our choice of teas along with an array of homemade scones and cookies and cakes and tarts.
Want your laundry done? Put it in a basket in your room. It will disappear while you’re at dinner and reappear the next morning. Want orange juice in your room? Today’s Colombo newspaper? A guide to lead you on a walk around the plantation or to take you kayaking across the lake? Just ring the bell in your room and someone will come running.
It’s a warm day and the window is open in our suite and the gentle breezes not only cool the room, but carry the faint chants from the Buddhist temple across the valley.
Of course, the best part of traveling is that you get to meet really interesting people. Like Graeme, the mountain climbing dentist from Sydney, and Cate his non-mountain climbing wife. And Tom, the gas and oil industry attorney, and Kelly, his interior designer wife, who are Aussie expats now living and working in Singapore. You get to have conversations about subjects that just never pop up over dinners at home.
Rather than me blathering on and on about Tea Trails, just go to TeaTrails.com and check it out for yourself. You will not believe how incredible it is. (I guess that fact that you won’t believe it makes “incredible” an accurate choice of words.)
I particularly like the way Jamie framed this photo to make my bald head line up with the scones.