When you head to the Nilgiris, you think of landscaped tea gardens, curvy roads and heritage British bungalows. Your weekend getaway needs to be nested inside nature providing you tranquility, relaxation and rejuvenation. One such trip took us to Tea Nest which is part of Nature Resorts’ many properties in the Nilgiris. Ooty can become a disappointment sometimes due to overcrowded streets, traffic and crumbling infrastructure so we prefer travelling to Coonoor instead.
Nestled in the Singara estates of Coonoor, is a homestay called Tea Nest. It is a colonial era British styled bungalow, overlooking the Nilgiri mountains with a panoramic view of Mettupalayam city. Landscaped gardens, tall pine trees in the courtyard with tea estates all around make this one of the most scenic properties near Coonoor.
Tucked away in the middle of endless hills covered with tea plantations in the outskirts of Coonoor, Tea Nest is an ultimate retreat for someone who is willing to spend a few quiet days away from the hustle-bustle of the city life.
Everything at the Tea Nest revolves around the concept of tea; be it the cozy rooms named after the different flavors of tea, or the tea-infused special menu or the interiors and the decor.
The stately mansion built-in the 1800s was home to a British Aristocrat and then a tea school until the Nature Resorts took it over and transformed it into a budget homestay. The mansion is located on the slope of a hill in the Singara Tea Estate and offers a panoramic view of the tea estate surrounding it on all four sides.
Based around the concept of tea, there are 6 rooms namely lemon, green, silver tips, golden tips, chamomile, jasmine: all are names of different teas grown in the Nilgiris. There is a large sitting room with a cozy fire-place in each room which provides a quiet escape to read or play board games. The property is surrounded by tea gardens on all four sides offering views of a forest from one side.
One of the most unusual experiences we had here was their signature tea tasting dinner course. We had never heard of something of this sort and were very curious to see how the chefs would incorporate tea into every single dish they serve which included:
Organic smoked tea salad
Jasmine tea consomme soup
Lemon rind green tea sorbet
Grilled cottage cheese wrapped with pickled tea leaves served along with a tea salsa
Chamomile tea souffle
Home made organic spiced ice tea
We were also treated to a tea tasting session. It’s an exclusive session meant only for guests and taken by highly qualified tea tasters of the region. The staff took us through the process of brewing different types of tea and shared some interesting snippets about how some of the rare Nilgiri tea brands originated. We went through varieties such as Frost Tea, Organic Green Tea, Golden Tips, and White Tea with the last one being our personal favorite.
Our days we spent walking around the estate, cycling with the clouds or talking to the helpful staff who had many stories to share. They are very friendly, always eager to serve and cook yummy food!
Tea Nest is a lovely place for those who connect with nature, love the outdoors and are looking for tranquility. Where else would you witness a lush green carpet of tea estate right outside your window or the majestic movements of floating clouds over the Nilgiris. Tea Nest offers you an experience that can only be describe as spectacular.