Glenburn, 2 January, 2006: Glenburn is splendid. Nestled in layers and layers of grand mountains, with abundant rolling hills of lush tea gardens, Glenburn is situated at an idyllic spot. We arrived yesterday afternoon, and were greeted by Mrs. Neena Pradhan, our hostess.
The bungalow is a beautifully restored English house with four suites. We have the Rose Suite. We have gone back a hundred years, to the times of the Raj. We are pampered thoroughly.
After a lavish lunch, we walk down to a village about an hour away. Prakash, one of the Bungalow bearers, is our guide. At the end of the walk, he pours us fresh lemonade in real glasses, on a tray with a tray-cloth. We sit at the edge of a mountain, sipping the drink, as Prakash smilingly asks us to guess "what else" has he put in the drink! We fail, of course. "An ever so slight touch of mint and ginger", laughs our friend. Completely personalized touches such as this are sprinkled all over the experience. It is elegantly rendered, and delivered with warmth and sincerity by the Glenburn staff.
Upon return to the Bungalow, Neena has her afternoon tea ready ... delicious tea-cakes and an outstanding Autumn Flush tea, freshly created from the latest harvest!
Tea grows 9 months of the year, with the First Flush harvested in February, followed by the Second Flush (stronger), the Monsoon Flush (lesser of the four flushes), and the Autumn Flush (a delightful mellow but fragrant bouquet).
My question has been answered. Glenburn is the model of what the entire Darjeeling region needs to create: magical Tea Destinations amidst heavenly scenic beauty. Where are the entrepreneurs, though?
Glenburn, 3 January, 2006: Today we went for another walk in the mountains. From the Bungalow at 3,300 ft down to their campsite at 800ft by the river Rungeet - is a long 8km downhill walk. It was gorgeous. We have seen a lot of the world already, so it takes something truly unique to take our breath away. Glenburn is special.
All along Prakash introduces us to local vegetation, especially medicinal plants. At the lodge by the river, another lavish arrangement awaits us, deftly administered by four bearers. Drinks, barbecued appetizers, followed by a ten-course lunch at an elegantly set table by the river.
We spend the afternoon reading. A car waits to bring us back up to the Bungalow at the end of the day. While driving up, we realize, how far we had walked. At the Bungalow, again, Neena's afternoon tea is ready, complete with a rich fruit cake and nasturtium fritters.
Glenburn is a completely personalized experience, and shamelessly decadent and luxurious. We love it here, and hope more of the Darjeeling estates will build up similar destinations, and the world will discover this Himalayan jewel in all its splendour and charm. Meanwhile, we are amongst the privileged few who know of it.
- Also Known As:
- Glenburn Tea Estate Hotel Darjeeling
- Glenburn Tea Estate West Bengal