Days of Raj class stay on behind the white picket fences on the Stafford Bungalow. The roads to Ragala snake, writhe and wriggle perpetually upwards by way of the tea fields of Sri Lanka’s central area. A mile above sea degree, in Sri Lankan hill nation, sits the Stafford Bungalow. A luxurious boutique villa with full service.
Set amidst a working 50 acre plantation, dotted with yellow acacia timber and morning glory vegetation, the bungalow remembers the luxurious way of life of the colonial tea planters. Inbuilt 1884 the black-and-white timbered structure appeared to the Dwelling Counties for its inspiration.
Though the unique planters Sir G.H.D. Elphinstone and J. Paterson Senior had been Scottish, the native space grew to become often called Little England. Not only for the billiard-table flat inexperienced lawns and English nation backyard roses but additionally due to the cool local weather and common rain.
Recalling the homely type of the plantation years, the bungalow has 4 visitor rooms and an extra two inside the proprietor’s cottage.
A way of privateness and timeless class have drawn the Sri Lankan President to remain at Stafford Bungalow as a retreat from the pressures of workplace.
While we had been travelling, Christy our butler, rang asking for choices from the lunch menu. On arrival, with drizzle within the air, we’re met by employees with umbrellas.
We recognize heat flannels and sizzling chocolate after the lengthy drive.
The bottom ground Grasp Suite leads out on to a lined patio with an inviting couch in addition to desk and chairs. Wrapping across the nook of the twin facet suite there’s a small walled backyard.
Burgundy curtains and darkish wood flooring create a way of opulence. Nonetheless life art work of flower preparations wouldn’t look misplaced in a Royal Academy summer time exhibition.
Famend inside designer Taru Fonseka makes use of furnishings to recreate the aura of a misplaced age. Darkish wooden wardrobe, dressing desk, desk, chests of drawers and chairs encompass a stable 4 poster mattress to construct a way of heritage and custom.
Just lately, two new bigger rooms have been created within the Proprietor’s Cottage with the loos that includes free-standing baths in addition to showers. Each rooms have direct entry to their very own backyard.
Returning to the master bedroom, the place the Sri Lankan President stayed, the lavatory is giant, mild and spacious. It has each rainfall and directional showers.
Adjoining to the master bedroom there’s a studying room for books borrowed from the bungalow’s library. As there’s a chill within the air, Christy lights a fireplace in a lounge the place afternoon tea and pre-dinner gin and tonic are served. “It’s a custom,” Christy broadcasts as he pours earlier than asking what number of slices of lime and what number of ice cubes we want.
Within the eating room, glass doorways slide again to disclose the totally glory of the backyard. After each meal the Head Chef Sanjeewa seems, in his white chef’s hat, to debate the menu for the following meal.
His recommendations for dinner start with a feta cheese and peashoot salad, adopted by a roasted pumpkin soup accompanied by heat oregano rolls. Flavours of cumin and coriander recommend that the kitchen has made the a lot of the natural herb, spice and vegetable gardens on web site.
Atlantic salmon, sourced from Norway, and beef tenderloin from the USA are the choices for the primary course. We negotiate the warmth of the accompanying curry sauce with Sanjeewa.
A swimming pool, sun-loungers and jacuzzi beckon. Except it’s the moist season when the video games room comes into its personal.
Most friends begin by exploring the property: birdwatching, taking a Stafford plantation trek or choosing a tea plucking and tasting expertise. Close by Ravana Rock presents quite a lot of hikes which might be mixed with a picnic lunch.
Having learnt easy methods to pluck two leaves and a bud, friends can guide a manufacturing unit tour to witness the following phases of a tea leaf’s journey.
For a scenic trek from Stafford Bungalow there may be The Pekoe Path, a brand new 300 km lengthy distance strolling path by way of the Central Highlands. Adventurer Miguel Cunat’s mind youngster has been funded by the EU and USAiD, benefiting villages that don’t normally see vacationers
Friends may take a strolling tour of Ragala while a tour of its temples can also be accessible. Buddhists, Catholics, Hindus and Moslems fortunately co-exist within the city with many blended marriages happening.
Just a little additional afield, the Hill Station of Nuwara Eliya was a favorite escape from the Summer season warmth for the British. The racecourse, golf membership and Victoria Park all contribute to the city’s Little England nickname.
Different good touches
Breakfast begins with an eye-opening wholesome shot, maybe ardour fruit juice or gooseberry. When the solar is shining breakfast is taken on the garden surrounded by dew-sprinkled flame lilies, false jalap and white dianthus.
Nearly each merchandise that emerges from the kitchen is do-it-yourself: marmalade and jams for breakfast, oats biscuits with espresso, the cake or scones or dim sum that accompany afternoon tea.
If there’s a chill within the air, the turndown service locations sizzling water bottles into the beds.
Deluxe rooms start from US$ 650 on a half board foundation together with breakfast, afternoon tea, 4 course dinner and tea/ espresso with meals throughout January and February 2024.
The all-inclusive charge of US$ 780 per room, per evening, consists of consists of breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, complimentary gentle drinks, beer, home wine, home gin/vodka/whisky/arrack with mixers in addition to tea and low.
The very best bit
A trek by way of the tea fields is a traditional introduction to the tea property. The tea-pluckers, largely girls in vibrant saris, are dotted across the waist-high tea bushes.
Walkers be taught in regards to the routines of the tea fields. The pluckers selecting two leaves and a bud for six days per week. The inspectors who weigh and test the standard of the decide. The property employees who undertake pruning and upkeep each 4 years: brushing moss from the bark, loosening the soil around the timber’ roots with a fork.
The ultimate verdict
Way more intimate than even essentially the most boutique of inns, Stafford Bungalow gives an enchanting perception right into a misplaced period. Removed from residence, the planters turned to reassuring touches of the homeland: caddies on teapots, Marmite on toast, wellies and slippers prepared for walks.
Service is impeccable. The butler provides you his card with a 24/7 quantity that you may ring at any time.
Disclosure: Our keep was sponsored by the Stafford Bungalow.
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