Once Sri Lanka was a part of British India, and the traditional “teatime” would not have been lost on the colonialists. Tea was brought to Sri Lanka in 1847 by a British man named James Taylor. Taylor began with 19 acres. Eventually he progressed to the point where he had a large tea factory and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was comparing him to a famous general at Waterloo.
So with this rich history in mind, it is possible to stay in some nice colonial style hotels in the area, including the historic Grand Hotel in Nuwara Eliya, and the more upscale private bungalows of Tea Trails in Bogawantalawa.
My base was the Grand Hotel, which is a heritage property that brings to life the epoch of yesteryear’s erstwhile British Empire. It is a comfortable 4 star property and offers a good base to explore neighboring tea plantations.
The tea plantations are situated off the sides of the mountains, and the (mostly) Tamil tea pickers can be seen picking tea. I always make a point to go deep into the plantations to talk with these women, and in turn they always seem to get a kick out of seeing me too.