Heritage Resorts - Stories 2018 - Issue 2 - Page 44



9 AM. A grey sky prevails and
the rain threatens. Nevertheless,
the atmosphere is all the more
perfect for an excursion on La
Route du Thé, du Rhum et de
la Vanille.
SATURDAY
LA ROUTE DU THÉ, DU RHUM ET
DE LA VANILLE.
First stop: The Domaine des
Aubineaux. The estate’s colonial
house dates back to the 19th
century. We admire the furniture
of the East India Company and
the portraits of the families who
have succeeded one another,
before taking a walk in the garden,
surrounded by endemic plants
and trees. What used to be a
stable has now been transformed
into a distillery from which a sweet
scent of essential oils stems. After
an incursion that revealed its
manufacturing secrets, we head to
the boutique to shamelessly give
in to our fancies.
Second stop: The Domaine de
Bois Chéri. Two hundred and fifty
hectares of tea plantation. Three
hundred pickers who choose the
best leaves by hand. Thirty to
forty tons are sent to the factory
each day. Azad, who joined the
company 42 years ago, is our
guide. Our visit begins in the fields
where we chat with Rouqmaya
and her husband Sadaseeven who
start work there every morning
at 5 am.
L’Usine de Thé de Bois Chéri was
the first tea factory to open in
1892. It remains the largest in
the country. After the tour, we
let ourselves be tempted by a
tasting at the cottage. Its terrace
offers a breathtaking view of
the south of the island and a
peaceful lake, perfect for fishing
or kayaking. The estate’s teas –
classic black, vanilla, cardamom,
bergamot, green tea with jasmine,
and white tea – have enchanted
foreign markets. Lately, derivative
products, such as tea chutney and
42
| HERITAGE RESORTS STORIES

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