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Ashburnham Tea Estate, boutique hotel review, Sri Lanka.

Although disappointed to no longer be able meet the on-estate elephant (don’t even ask), I was instead enchanted to meet Mr Das, who after managing this spectacular working tea estate in the hill country of central Sri Lanka for TWENTY FIVE whole years, may aswell have been the elephant. And what a great tour of the plantations it was. I am a big fan of tea, in fact, I think pausing for a tea pit-stop has stopped me from making more then one terrible decision in my life. I firmly believe that 9 times out of 10, when you think you’re having a nervous break down, really what you need is a good cup of tea and a biscuit.
Arriving at Ashburnham Estate, or ‘Ash’ as the cool kids call it, felt a bit like travelling ten thousand miles away from home through the jungle across the dessert and up into the clouds to arrive, well, back at the old rich British grandads house that I never actually had. But in a good way. Built in the 1930’s, modernised immaculately in the noughties with a little help from John Lewis, and plonked right in the middle of some hundred acres of glorious emerald green tea plantations, it’s difficult not to be completely and utterly instantly charmed by this planter’s bungalow. Serving a full English in a Sri Lankan hopper at breakfast, afternoon tea every day at 4pm, wood-fire by night, G&T’s at all hours (they keep away the mozzies!) and guarding a very modest CV that includes a natural plunge pool, access to the Knuckles mountain range, cooking classes with Kandyan-legend-chef Reggie, home-made coconut ice cream, the most kid-nappable local staff and of course the little side-note of THAT onsite private waterfall.. I’m done.

Final beauty shots by Pete Helme Photography.

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