Tea spread across Ceylon like wildfire and planter’s bungalows popped up like mushrooms in the
late 19th century. Today, more than 188,000 hectares of tea estates cover Sri Lanka, from the coastal lowlands to the lofty heights of Hill Country.
And so it is with no lack of awe that I sit with Andrew Taylor, a distant relative of James Taylor, under a small gazebo in the garden of an old planter’s bungalow, sipping a steaming hot cup of tea after an exhausting tour of the Norwood Estate tea factory.
Perched on the banks of Castlereagh reservoir, some 50km from the regional capital Nuwara Eliya, Castlereagh is one of four planter’s bungalows that make up Ceylon Tea Trails, part of the Dilmah tea company and a member of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux group.
Between the four bungalows, a criss-cross of walking trails takes visitors around some of the most picturesque scenery in Sri Lanka, right into the heart of tea-picking country. Strolling through the plantations, I pass groups of pluckers bent under sacks of tea, which are filled with up to 16kg of leaves at a time. Read more: DOTW Dubai Oct 12