Nigel Tisdall is charmed by Sri Lanka’s landscape and religious shrines. But what really gets
him going is a nice cuppa. “Some of these bushes are over 130 years old,” Andrew Taylor explains as he escorts my wife and me through the emerald hills of Bogawantalawa, otherwise known as Sri Lanka’s “Golden Valley of Tea”. Set 4,000 feet up in the hill country near Hatton, the enveloping landscape presents a fairy-tale scene of misty lakes, tranquil woods and vividly coloured tropical gardens.
Every available slope is striped with long, winding rows of tea plants, while at carefully chosen spots former bungalows built in the Twenties for estate managers drink in the views. Now converted into well-appointed lodges, these elegant retreats offer visitors the chance to overnight in a nostalgic world of scones, croquet and hot-water bottles slipped between the sheets. Every day starts with a cup of “bed tea” brought to your room, and later you can tour a tea factory, follow well-signed walks through the plantations, soak in a detoxifying green tea bath – then dine on roast lamb with a crusting of Earl Grey. Read More: Sri Lanka- Temples and tea leaves – UK Sunday Telegraph 2 Oct 2011