“You can’t buy happiness but you can buy tea, and that’s kind of the same thing” goes a popular quote which seems so true when you visit Tea nest, a quaint resort in the idyllic hill station of Coonoor.
Set amidst sprawling tea gardens, the resort is a result of restoration of a majestic mansion that was built in the 1800s. It is a perfect place to experience the beauty of the picturesque Nilgiris and unwind from the hustle bustle while watching the Indian gaurs graze on the tea gardens. Revolving around the concept of tea, each of the six rooms are also named lemon, green, silver tips, golden tips, chamomile, jasmine all of which are names of different teas.
In line with the ‘tea concept’, the resort has some unique offerings like the “tea tasting” session as well as the distinctive “tea menu” meal. The tea tasting is an exclusive activity which helps you understand the different kinds of tea with a focus on the specialty teas of the Nilgiris. It takes you through the entire journey of brewing the perfect cup right from leaf harvest to the final boil coupled with sampling of some of the finest teas.
The best part about our stay was definitely the tea menu we had for dinner one day which I think deserves full marks for creativity. Right from the appetizer to dessert all the dishes had the element of tea that blended wonderfully either as an ingredient or a flavor that was not only indigenous but equally delicious.
Some of the exclusive creations included slices of slow tea smoked paneer (cottage cheese) and garden fresh veggies with organic pickled tea leaves with a hint of mayonnaise and honey as a salad and Orange Pekoe tea kettle broth soup.
The starter consisted of tea braised homemade cottage cheese marinated with garden fresh herbs, grilled and served in a tea skewer. This was paired with their signature organic rosemary tea. The Spaghetti cooked with tea and served with a special tea tomato sauce topped with mozzarella and chopped parsley was truly delectable. The tea flavored custard coupled with Nilgiri chamomile tea compote was the perfect finish to the well curated meal.