So from Colombo, we made the 4 hour journey up to rolling tea country near Hatton for a two night stay at Ceylon Tea Trails. Made up of 4 separate bungalows dotted around a beautiful lake on a working tea plantation, Tea Trails is such a special place. Totally spoiling but really homely, it kind of feels like staying with very generous, welcoming friends which is my favourite kind of hotel. There are no locks on doors (you can lock from the inside) and only about four rooms per bungalow (we were in Sommerville) so it never feels crowded or impersonal and you’re basically free to roam around and settle well and truly in.
With all good holidays, we spent our days eating and then waiting for the next meal. Lunch and dinner are both three courses (arranged in the morning personally with the chef) with afternoon tea thrown in for good measure… Well, we were on a tea estate, it would be rude not to right?! Oh and the tea… If you’re like me and have about 10 different types on constant rotation, you won’t be disappointed. And they’ll even bring a pot of ‘bed tea’ to your room in the morning to wake you up before breakfast. Told you it was spoiling…
Between all that gluttony, we went on long walks around the greener than green tea trails, toured the tea factory, soaked in that ever-changing view of the lake (and even rowed across it for lunch one day), and had massages and a jasmine rose petal bath in our room, the latter of which might have been one of the nicest things I’ve treated myself to on holiday. Next time you’re staying somewhere with a ‘bath menu’ I recommend taking the plunge. Pun intended.
I read a whole book in two days (David Nichols’ Us for those interested – SO good) and found myself slipping into holiday mode pretty damn easily. Jamie was brave enough to take a dip in the admittedly chilly pool (it’s a lot cooler up in the hills than down in the south), we played scrabble next to the log fire, watched the lightening set the sky on fire every night and the days passed by all too quickly.
Wider than I thought…. Testing those hamstrings right there.
Our walks around the tea trails (the bungalows’ namesake) were one of my favourite bits of our stay and I think you can see why from those insane views.
Time to wallow in jasmine and rose petals. As you do.
Booking a colourist as we speak… #ROOTS
On our second day we rowed across the lake (alright Jamie and a guide rowed. I offered moral support) for lunch at one of the other bungalows before touring (and tasting) the tea factory.
Oh to spend every day in orthopaedic shoes and a cheesecloth shirt next to the most beauteous lake…. Peaceful doesn’t quite cut it when it comes to describing this place.
Rowing across the lake for lunch at one of the other bungalows. I’m smiling trying to cover up the fact I was terrified of the narrowest boat ever serving as our vessel. Jamie just looks really cool and relaxed as ever… How annoying.
I treated myself to ‘bed tea’ in the mornings and read my book in the little seating nook with a cup of the best Ceylon tea while Jamie snoozed. Heaven.
The PJs are by Yolke.
Breakfast is always better with a view…. And the teeniest pot of Marmite ever.
Even our roast chicken came with a cup of tea….
Geriatrics on tour.
I lived in comfy basics all day everyday, rotating between birkenstocks and trainers depending if I was walking or just shuffling around. Jeans, tank tops, open shirts and cashmere jumpers in the evenings pretty much sum up my daily uniform at Tea Trails. I don’t think I wore makeup the whole time we were there either so yeah, I felt well and truly at home…
I might be a certified beach addict, but l loved starting our experience of Sri Lanka in the hills at Ceylon Tea Trails and next time (yes there’ll be a next time) we’ll definitely be spending a bit more time travelling further inland and north. But the waves were calling and after two nights it was time to head south, and once we were on the road we couldn’t wait to catch a glimpse of the Indian ocean for the first time…