It's 9am and we are at war! Literally. Driving through rush hour traffic in Bangalore is nothing short of WWIII. The radio is on and it helps draw our attention away from the maddening crowd near Lalbagh. An ad on air catches our attention as it talks about tea estates and a serene hill station. Nature Resorts has opened a new property in Kotagiri, Tea Nest Nightingale and we immediately decide to get in touch with them. A call is made and we are booked for the coming weekend!
5:30am on a Saturday and we are off to Kotagiri. Its raining heavily as we drive through Mysore road. Soon we have crossed Bandipur and reach Ooty. The scene is quite harrowing. Rivers of sewage water flood the streets in Ooty as the rain pounds heavily all over the Nilgiris. Reminds us of the recent flood situation in the North East and Mumbai.
We take a break and have our lunch. Our shoes are completely drenched. Its 2pm and we head towards our destination. At this point we are tired of drving through the rain and waterclogged roads and just want to have a hot cuppa tea. The map shows we have reached our destination. We wind down from the main road on to a small 1 acre property that houses an old British bungalow. The car is parked and we are greeted by Augustine, the manager here.
All though the homestay is next to the road, its quiet peaceful here. There is a lovely landscaped garden in front of the bungalow with a view of the hills and tea plantations. At a distance we can see the hills surrounding Mettupalayam. Lovely view!! We check in and are taken to our room, The Scarlet Minivet. 4 rooms here and all are named after bird species. Ours has a king size bed with an attic and a bed for kids. There is a small sitout area too with a view of the garden.
The room is very plush with all creature comforts in it. The room is cozy, elegant and provides for a great recluse from our busy lives. The property is very well maintained and well suited for couples as well as families. Children would love it here since there is plenty of space to play around. There is a small trail that leads to the tea estates and we are sure the kids will love walking through these!
The rain stops and the clouds move away. The hills appear from behind the black clouds and the view is just so amazing! This is exactly what we look for when we travel to such places. We take a table on the lawn and are served piping hot tea. A cool breeze blows towards us making the tea drinking experience even amazing. The next couple of hours are spent taking pictures of the landscape and talking to the staff. Some are locals and the chef is from Nepal. We request him to make us some nepali cuisine for dinner and he obliges. They have an elaborate menu with options of Indian, continental and Chinese food with yummy deserts as well.
After spending tranquil moments surrounded by tea estates, a couple of meandering clouds, immersing ourselves in the chirping birds and the clicks of camera shutters, we decided to head back inside. The chef informs us that dinner is served and we go out into the dining area. A large antique radio and a few, really old cameras are kept on the fireplace. We strike a conversation with the staff as they explain how these items were collected from all over the years.
Dinner is served and we are glad to see that the chef has made nepalese chicken and yellow dal. The food is absolutely yum and we finish it off in no time. Its time to hit the sack. We watch an old movie and soon doze off.
6am and we are up to witness the sunrise. There is a small hillock next to Tea Nest and we see the sun rising from behind the hill. Its an amazing spectacle and we tried to capture this moment with our cameras. Tea Nest Nightingle offers a lot of activities such a horse riding/training, jeep rides, tea tours, waterfall visits, market tours etc and one can indulge in these during their stay here. We recommend you come here for at least 2 nights to experience all these activities.
Nature Resorts is the group that manages this and other properties such as Tea Nest, Tea Nest Annexe and Kurumba Village. We have already fixed dates to visit other properties as we've had a lovely experience with Tea Nest Nightingale.
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