Our driver suggested this place en-route from Habarana to Kandy and, though we were dubious (anticipating some kind of hard sell), we were getting bored and sleepy with the long drive so we figured we would just treat it as a rest break.
Once out of the car, we were offered the use of the restrooms and then a guide was assigned to us and he then spent the next hour taking us around the garden showing us some of the spices and other plants growing in the grounds. There was plenty of te usual stuff you;d expect - cinnamon, nutmeg, aloe vera etc and it was actually kind of interesting. At two points in the tour, we were offered tea which had various spices in it (e.g. cinnamon tea) which was nice and the guide obviously knew his plants.
At the end of the tour, they tried selling us a head and shoulders massage using some of their home-made ointments to which we declined (was thinking about lunch and heading onwards to Kandy) so we were then directed to the shop which was obviously always going to happen. However, to my surprise, once in the store, there was no hard sell - the guide did point a few things out and hovered around but there didn;t feel like any real pressure to buy (although we bought a spice box as a gift for family).
After exiting the shop, we had lunch with our driver who recommended the fish curry (not a huge surprise as that seems to be the staple in Sri Lanka) but I was up for it so agreed and out came a multitude of dishes including curries, rice and other accompaniments. The food was a really good and we all enjoyed it although I wasn;t massive happy about all the damned flies crawling over everything - at one stage the bowl of rice looked like a dessert with currants.. but anyway, there's probably not an awful lot they can do about it in the open. we are also surprised to see the total food bill which worked out at around £12.. which, for so much food that three of us couldn't eat it all, plus drinks, was a steal.
So in the end, it was actually a decent stop. There's approximately two million and forty spice gardens in Sri Lanka (made-up number obviously) so I daresay there's some good ones and some bad ones but this one seemed pretty good.
+ Interesting collection
+ Knowledable guide
+ Nice food and good value
- Bit of a soft sell
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.