To say that tea is a national obsession in the UK is to vastly understate the matter. We live and breathe tea. We have impassioned debates about the pros and cons of tea before milk or milk before tea, china cups or giant mugs, the best biscuits for dunking (hobnobs rule supreme; rich teas are an eternal disappointment). The leaves of the Camellia Sinensis are woven into the very fabric of our society.
This, of course, is a relic of our history – dating back 150 years to the very first tea bush planted in Sri Lanka. In the face of a blight which destroyed the nation’s coffee crop, a Scotsman named James Taylor planted tea bushes. They flourished in the misty hills and valleys of the interior, creating a tea beloved around the globe.
To celebrate 150 years of the perfect brew, Resplendent Ceylon – the family behind Sri Lanka’s first family-owned, single-origin tea, Dilmah – has launched the Tea Celebration package. Staying in Tea Trails’ exclusive one-bedroom hideaway, the Taylor Owners’ Cottage – which opened last year alongside Dunkeld as the latest additions to the cluster of tea planters’ bungalows in the lush Bogawantalawa valley – tea lovers will awake to a knock at the door from their butler, with a freshly brewed cup of the valley’s finest tea.
Continue the celebration as you enjoy a private tea experience with Dilmah’s resident tea planter and a guided night trail through the tea estate to spot fireflies and nocturnal jungle cats.
Looking for some down time? Try a sumptuous tea-infused spa treatment, then relax by your infinity pool with panoramic views of the tea estate and lake below. Merrill Fernando, Founder of Dilmah Tea, will lead you through a private tea tasting, before you jet off to the coast aboard a sea plane, for three nights of oceanside luxury at Cape Weligama.
Admittedly, Sri Lanka isn’t so big on the hob nobs. This is a no-dunking zone. However, for true tea nuts, very few experiences could come close to following the story of our nation’s drink from bud, to leaf, to cup.