Drive around the country lanes of Britain and you come upon this lovely old cottage. There’s a white picket fence around the manicured lawn, dahlias, rhododendrons and lilies bloom in the garden. Well we just arrived there, except its not Britain its tea country Sri Lanka.
As the weather had cooled slightly we were warmly welcomed with a hot towel and cup of hot chocolate (marshmallows on top of course) whilst we completed check in formalities. We had booked the Master Suite on a half board basis and were shown to and around the facilities of our accommodation whilst our luggage was brought to our room. The room, as does the whole of the premises, gave the feel of a country estate from times gone by and reflecting the character of the pioneering Scottish owners. The main part of the suite consisted of a luxurious four poster bed with a large area of rich polished wood flooring around it. A sizeable desk and chair provided room to work if required, utilising the complimentary WiFi, plus a couple of chairs gave a place to relax. The wardrobe incorporated a mini safe and a hair dryer hung in a bag close to the bathroom. There was a heater and ceiling fan to warm or cool as required. A call button gave us access to a member of staff 24 hours, who would supply anything extra you required e.g. an iron and board (or they would do the ironing for you). Outside a private patio area had a settee and two chairs to sit on and look out over a small area of garden. In the sizeable bathroom there was a rain shower and complimentary toiletries e.g. shower gel, shampoo. The toiletries were provided in refillable bottles (as was the filtered water in the main room), a welcome contribution to reducing the use of single use plastic. No need to worry if it’s been raining and you want to go for a splash in any puddles, wellies were in the room for use during your stay.
High tea was included in the room rate and could be served indoors or outside on the lawn as desired and weather conditions permitted. It was a beautiful afternoon on our arrival, so we took tea on the lawn, a tasty and interesting variant on traditional afternoon tea. During tea we agreed on a time for dinner as well as what would be served. We were happy with the suggested menu but were informed we could have what (I assume within reason) we wanted and have it when we wanted it.
Also included was an interesting tour of the tea estate (90 mins walk) and after seeing all the hard work that goes into growing and picking it, we’ll never take a cup of tea for granted again. We also saw the vegetable gardens and the terraced cultivation. An interesting and informative tour.
Many other activities were also available, such as bird watching, tennis courts etc. Relaxing on the loungers on the lawn or reading (watching a DVD) in the library was also an option.
The following morning we took breakfast on the lawn, a combination of refreshing fresh fruit and a cooked plate of our choice. I had eggs Benedict, with tomato and hash browns.
Dinner was proceeded by a gin and tonic in the lounge and the five courses were beautifully served, mouth watering and delicious. Its a standard of food and service that one would be delighted with on a high end cruise ship.
There appears to be step free access from the car park and all areas of the bungalow I used. The staff told me that the master suite shower opening is wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair and that wheelchair guests have used that suite before, however they do not have specific disabled facilities. As always, prospective guests with mobility issues should check to see if their specific needs can be accommodated.
Thank you Stafford Bungalow for a delightful stay and the complimentary night during our two night stay. We’d love to return and next time we’ll stay for an extra day.