Heritage is the soul of Darjeeling. When I chose to stay at Goomtee Resort, I had a faint idea about what it had in store for me. I only intended to enjoy Darjeeling’s natural vicinity secluded away from the crowds. I think when you know little about what you are going to experience, it adds to the joy of travel.
The heritage of Darjeeling is preserved in the most genuine fashion at Goomtee Resort, which was originally a bungalow built by a British planter, Mr. Henry Montgomery Lennox for his own stay with his family. The bungalow was converted into a resort much later to give travellers an exclusive experience of the vintage Darjeeling tea.
Also check out - Tea Gardens Of Darjeeling –A Photo Essay
The moment I checked in at Goomtee Resort, I was instantly charmed by its daintiness. My room was quite big, and since I was alone, it proved to be even more spacious. I liked its English era wooden architecture, which was nicely blended with modernity. The room opened to a well-kept garden on the other side, which beckoned me for unceasing hours of nature soaking.
To say that I was savouring my quiet time at Goomtee Resort would be stating the obvious. But, there was more to it. The courteous and hospitable staff at the resort made sure that I made the most of my stay. Thus, they insisted that I should quickly take a tour of the Goomtee Tea Factory and the Tea Garden. I obediently followed my guide who took me to the tea factory first, which was vacant at that time, because it was already past 5 pm and the workers had left for the day. Later, we went to the tea garden, which was at the walking distance of five minutes from the tea estate.
The tea-pluckers were still at work. They were a bit amused to see me and they sniggered amongst themselves. I told them jokingly that I understood their language and could make out what they were talking about. Apparently, some of them are a little shy about being photographed. I was super excited about being able to witness the tea-plucking process at one of the heritage tea gardens of Darjeeling, but for them, it was the usual wrap-up working hour.
After I came back to the resort, I was served a cup of freshly harvested Darjeeling Tea. It was delicious. I’d like to admit that I don’t relish black tea at all. But the typical Darjeeling tea, which is served without milk is so rich in flavour that it feels almost addictive. I made sure that I lived each moment at a slower pace and didn’t let time pass so swiftly.
The following morning, my attendants reminded me of the tea factory visit. Although I had already experienced what I really cared about – the tea garden and the tea itself, I still dawdled my way to the factory with my guide. He walked me through tea-making in the presence of the staff involved in the process. It was interesting to learn about the subtle details of production. The ‘first flush’ is known to be the superior quality tea, which is produced during the spring season. Then there is the ‘second flush’ produced during the early summers, followed by ‘rains’ during the monsoons and ‘autumnal’ during the falls. Different flushes have different aromas and resonances.
Besides being an isolated abode of nature, Goomtee Tea Estate & Resort is an exceptional experience of Darjeeling – a taste of its classic heritage.
Practical Information: Goomtee Tea Estate & Resort is only 40 km from Siliguri. It is easily accessible from both Bagdogra airport and NJP and Siliguri Railway Stations.
Is Goomtee Tea Estate & Resort your kind of stay?
Note: I was hosted by Goomtee Tea Estate & Resort. However, the views and opinions are my own.
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