Sri Lanka is the world’s fourth largest producer of tea.
Visit to the tea plantation and tea factory is one of the tourist attractions. But it is really nice experience to stay in the traditional Victorian bungalows on these estates. The plantations were set up around 150 years ago by English colonists and seem to be frozen in time. It’s just like staying in some pretty manor house in England in the 19th century.
I went with my Russian friend who is a buyer for a major tea distributor in Moscow. My friend’s company buys massive amounts of Ceylon tea (as it is still known in Russia), so we were treated like minor royalty and were given “president’s guests bungalow” by Kirkoswald tea co.
which was delightfully dated, unpretentious and meticulously maintained. It is located very high in the mountains and this is the view from its amazing English garden:
To get here you travel through serpentine road for couple of hours among terraced terrain of the Hill Country which is pretty breath-taking.
Air is always cool in the mountains and it rains often allowing for high-quality teas to be cultivated there. It was very nice for me after months of non-stop summer on the coast. In the morning I was running among the ”tea gardens” wearing a long-sleeved t-shirt (first time in 6 months)!
We spent the day walking the hills admiring the views and watching colorfully dressed Tamil women plucking tea leaves.
then we were shown around the factory with ancient equipment, so it looked pretty cool and vintage-like.
and even popped into tea museum, displaying peculiar items like this gadget measuring the sunlight.
… and after traditional English afternoon tea served by elderly trusted butlers in a lounge looking exactly like a front room of a suburban English House we headed back down. The end of quintessentially post-colonial weekend.