‘For the love of Tea’- Nuwara Eliya - Samantha Owen-Stoddart
I departed Kandy for Nuwara Eliya, otherwise known as ‘Little England’ and Tea Country. The journey was long but well and truly worth it. Nuwara Eliya is a city in the hill country of the Central Province, Sri Lanka. Its name means “city on the plain’ or “city of light” and its stands at an altitude of 6,128 feet high or 1,868 metres, with a temperate climate and picturesque landscape. Making it the most important location for tea production in Sri Lanka. Nuwara Eliya is known for its cool climate, the coolest area in Sri Lanka, making me feel right at home.
On the way to my hotel for the night, we stopped at many waterfalls and enjoyed the true beauty of nature. Once in tea country I visited a working tea factory called Glenloch and toured it, I picked some tea leaves then watched the full process play out in front of my very eyes in the factory. I certainly now appreciate what goes into making a good cuppa! The factory was well run, my guide was lovely very informative with a friendly nature. It took a couple of hours to pick, see and watch the production of the tea leaves and the best part was at the end you are rewarded with a very nice cup of tea overlooking the fields of tea. The shop is well stocked and I bought lots of Ceylon tea to bring home, all varieties are available.
My hotel used to be a working tea factory, the award winning Heritance Tea Factory. If you can stay here I would highly recommend it, the hotel has been converted but looses none of its charm. The location of the hotel resides in the mountain range, that is considered “the birthplace of the worlds best tea”. The original tea factory was constructed in the days of the British Raj. Greeted with hot spiced tea on arrival, exclusive to the hotel, you enter what feels like a quirky museum. Lots of information pops out it you, everywhere you look. There is a colour coded system showing you what parts are original metalwork of the factory (green) and what has been added as supports since the coversion in 1996 (red). Heritance Tea Factory offers a perfect experience whilst in tea country, its cosy yet cool in design with 54 bedrooms with a chance to eat in a 1930s railway carriage. They have an onsite mini tea factory of their own, where you can go and pick your own tea and have it processed to take home with you. I enjoyed a walk around the area, everywhere Iooked there was tea fields and I rewarded myself with a pre booked high tea back at the hotel. It was amazing, traditional afternoon tea with a Sri Lankan twist, again cost wise it was less than half of what we would pay back in the UK and far superior, especially given the surroundings. I only stayed one night and it truly felt like I was back at home for the day, staying in a stately home. Heritance Tea Factory offers you something different yet truly traditional.
On descending back to lower ground, we stopped at a waterfall named Devon Falls for a break and lunch. Enjoying the views and Sri Lankan cuisine. The journey to the coast was 205 kilometres away, which would take 7 hours. Goodbye Little England, Kalutara here I come!
If you want to see more great pictures, or read further blogs by Sam, visit her website www.sostravel.co.uk
Samantha Owen-Stoddart: The girl who loves to travel, sharing her experiences and inspiring others along the way