Sunday, the seventh day on tour, was spent at the beautiful Somerset Estate. Situated in the iconic Dimbula Valley on the Western slopes of the Central Hills of Sri Lanka, Somerset Estate lies at an elevation of 4,000 – 5,000 feet . Forming the heart of the Uda Watte tea, this region can trace its origins back to the 1870s.
Uda Watte means the high garden in the local dialect. The region occupies some of the world’s finest tea gardens set amidst breathtaking scenery of mountain ranges and ravines, of winding roads and waterfalls; and the crisp, cool air creates a distinctive high grown full bodied, rounded and refreshing blend.
The tour bus wound its way through these treasured slopes of the Sri Lankan tea country, as the team got ready to soak up nothing but tea and the radiant sunshine that turned the valley in to a carpet of living green gold. At the estate, all gathered for an intense training on tea tasting, which was conducted by Dilhan, using a variety of teas grown in the region. It was a new experience for many as they learnt to respect the limitless variety tea offers with each cup.
The tasting session completed, the team visited the medical centre, one of the many established, funded and operated by the MJF Charitable Foundation for the welfare of the estate workers as well as others who do not have means of obtaining healthcare otherwise. Thus with their cup of kindness overflowing, they headed back to the Nuwara Eliya town for a much needed afternoon of rest and relaxation.
Some opted to make use of the fine day to play a round of golf at the Nuwara Eliya Golf Course situated just a few minutes away from the hotel, while the others felt that the mellow sunshine and the nip in the crisp air was heaven sent for a day of lounging about, doing sweet nothing.
While they spent an afternoon of indulgence, the star of the day Nick Casely from New Zealand got ready to prepare his unique brew. His earthy, spicy concoction featuring the best of high grown Ceylon tea accompanied by a plethora of Sri Lankan mementos was simply spectacular and befitting this jewel of the Sri Lakan tea country.