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Today we’re going to discuss taking a tour of the tea route on the island of Mauritius. It’s basically like taking a trip through time and consists of three distinct stops which are Domaine des Aubineaux, Bois Cheri and finally Saint Aubin. It was something out of the ordinary for me and I couldn’t get enough of hanging out in the old colonial houses, drinking absurd amounts of tea and some rum in the mix for good measure. I had the pleasure of being joined on this tour by the fine people behind the blog “Food and the Fabulous” and believe it’s fair to say we all had a great time…
The first stop was a magnificent old colonial mansion called Domaine des Aubineaux which was built in 1817 and situated on a picturesque estate. It was home to several generations of the Guimbeau family who were instrumental in the beginning of the tea trade and today is a museum. I really liked this spot as it’s still setup the way it used to be lived in with lots of furniture dating back to the 17th century. My mind couldn’t help but wander as I strolled through the estate learning how life was in those days.
After touring the house it was time to check out the stables and gardens. We got an idea of how things were done and what life was like for those at the top of the tea trade. The finale was having some tea and scones on the front porch and if you were in for it, tasting several types of rum which naturally, we accepted. This all took place in Curepipe and afterwards it was off to Bois Cheri which is a tea manufacturing plant and now restaurant for a tour of how things are done.
Bois Cheri was interesting and it is the largest tea production plant on the island which was built in 1892. I enjoyed taking another trip through time learning about how this plant has transformed from its humble beginnings to where it is today. It covered countless areas of the tea trade down to the original types of ships used for transporting the tea as well as how the methods of manufacturing have changed over the years. I love how they incorporated old locomotives into the production process as boilers; pretty ingenious.
M favorite part was at the end when they took us to this picturesque patio with views of the coast, the lake laying below and an absurd assortment of teas. I was a huge fan of the lemon grass and the ginger lemongrass teas and there were easily a dozen to try. I’m not a huge caffeine drinker but I definitely dove in head first on this day and truth be told, had we more time I could have spent an entire day tasting teas on that patio. Think of it as a wine tasting of sorts but for the tea connoisseur.
The finale involved a trip over to Saint Aubin to learn more about the trade and dine inside another classic colonial home. This mansion was built in 1819 and home to several managers of the sugar estates over time before being renovated to its current state in the 90’s and preserved as part of Mauritian heritage. We had a lovely three course meal while also learning about the manufacturing of several other exports including a favorite of mine; vanilla.
I’m not joking around when I say that I could have spent an entire day tasting teas on the patio of Bois Cheri, it was solid times and that tea drinking session sent me into orbit for the rest of the day. Following the tour it was time to roll back to the Intercontinental Balaclava Fort for dinner and drinks on their island before heading out to explore the local nightlife, good times.
In closing, this #MyMauritius blog trip was created and managed by the fine people at iambassador and AHRIM in association with the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority and Air Mauritius. I’d like to thank them for the invitation to partake in this campaign; I had an incredible time.
P.S: Photo credit for shot of me drinking tea goes to Food and the Fabulous.