Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Rail, road and boat - Kandy to Ceylon Tea Trails

It was another early start yesterday morning as we said goodbye to Clove Villa in Kandy - such a lovely place to stay!
We joined the crowd of tourists and backpackers waiting at Kandy Railway Station - for the train to Badulla. Most of the backpackers were heading to Adam's Peak. We were heading to Hatton, to meet up with our driver again for the drive to Ceylon Tea Trails, a collection of 5 luxury bungalows that were originally the residences of British tea planters in the colonial era - now run by Relais & Chateaux as luxury boutique hotels (a very special treat for us!).




This is a very popular train journey in Sri Lanka - through spectacular highland scenery and tea plantings as far as the eye can see .......


It was a very pleasant two and a half hour journey for us sitting in our First Class Reserved seats.
Hatton is a small but buzzy city....... but with not much else to recommend it ...
We were without our guide this morning (sick with flu). Our driver Samon is a beautiful man and a fantastic driver - but his English is much more limited so we ended up somewhat confused when after  an hour of driving through the beautiful mist shrouded hills of Sri Lanka's high country we ended up at Summerville Bungalow, instead of our intended Castlereigh Bungalow, on the opposite side of the lake! Turns out we were reaching our final destination by boat (apparently the road to Castlereigh was "not well" today!).


Our Castlereigh Bungalow overlooks the lake and is set in beautifully landscaped gardens. At an altitude of 1250 metres there obviously was no problem establishing a charming, English style cottage garden .......
The bungalow includes 5 spacious bedroom suites. We are shown to our garden view room by the butler ....




..with our own private garden overlooking the lake ....
We have our own chef too and a beautiful 3 course lunch is served for us on the veranda - and a choice of wines. That is followed by high tea around 4.00pm, and canap├ęs and pre dinner drinks, then a beautiful 4 course dinner at about 7.30pm ...... We take over this table and don't move very far for this marathon of ultimate gastronomy.










The property's garden merges with the perfectly manicured tea plantings covering the surrounding hills.




Rain settled in, quite heavy at times, with rolling thunder and lightning. There was little else we could do but sit back and enjoy all the food, the beautiful wines and the constant but unobtrusive service of the highly trained staff at this beautiful property. We all drank and ate far too much over the 9 hours or so - but what else were we to do??

1 comment:

Vp Singh said...

A wee bit of Amir Khusrau, the poet's "Gar Firdaus bar-rue Zamin Asto..." (If there were heaven on earth..!).
He said that for Kashmir.
Enjoy your travels!