Stanmore Tea Bungalow
STANMORE TEA BUNGALOW
I was at the colonial bungalow of Briar Tea right in the middle of tea plantations at Valparai. Stanmore bungalow or Injipara bungalow was built in 1935 by the Britishers. Virgin Valparai in the Anamalai ranges at Tamilnadu is a pristine land that is untouched by the perils of tourism. As I walked into the bungalow I noticed a old world charm to this place. Manicured lawns, flower gardens and a breathtaking landscape coupled with the fresh mountain breeze Stanmore bungalow took me to the bygone era.
A beautiful sit out to relax and watch the sun rise with a cup of Briar tea. As you move in you notice the rooms with a Victorian touch a small fireplace in the common area, switches from the days of old, a library stocked with books and the dinning area with the finest crockery. Antique show pieces like the telephone from the yesteryear adorn the mantel. Monochrome photographs from the days of yore shows a nineteenth century tea plucker wearing a saree without a blouse. The rooms are tastefully done with a separate dressing room for every guest.
Stanmore spoils you with choices. If the bungalows aren’t enough the quaint wooden chalets bring out an altogether different experience. These cottages with a sit out that gives a view of the tea gardens is sure to make you stay indoors. You can watch the tea pluckers walk through the estate with their shears and gossip on the daily affairs. Occasionally you might spot some wildlife too. Standing on the balcony I noticed birds visiting the trees in the wee hours. If you are an early starter I would suggest opening it’s doors by dawn and watch the mist permeate through the surroundings. Tea Leaves with dew drops and the early morning chill is sure to refresh you for an action packed day.
The staff is extremely friendly as they help you with your needs. Stories of Food in Stanmore is something that you would take back when leaving Valparai. Buffet meals with a mix of south and north indian dishes plays with your palate. Every meal is finished off with a mouth watering European dessert like puddings, pies and souffles.
Vodafone and BSNL are the only service providers that normally work in this area. WIFI works in the bungalow and if you are staying in the wooden chalet you can access internet in the common area.
Valparai has many places to visit like the Chinnakallar Falls, Sholayar Dam,Nallamudi Poonjolai, Balaji temple, involve in some wildlife and birding activities, go on a plantation trail, trek to the Injipara river or visit a tea factory. Stanmore staff ensures your stay is comfortable as they take care of the transport for these sight seeing activities.
Briar tea bungalows has many more bungalows in Valparai under its wing apart from Stanmore like the Monica Bungalow, Sirukundra and Puthuthottam Annexe. Monica and Sirukundra also provides tent facility. You can make bookings at http://www.teabungalows.com/
If you want to relax in the company of nature, be pampered, get up to the bird calls, relish good food and breathe in the fresh mountain air Briar bungalow is the place you need to be. So when are you heading there? Don’t forget to tell me your story in case you have already visited this place.