General description: The gentle coastal hills of southern Sri Lanka are especially suited to the growth of cinnamon. The Portuguese were led to this part of world in search of cinnamon, cutting out the Arab middlemen. In those days it was gathered from wild trees, but, as the Dutch succeeded them, the first plantations were attempted, which then flourished. Cinnamon remains a major export of Sri Lanka, and its use in both cooking and medicine are being increasingly appreciated. Eulogized in poetry from the Song of Solomon to Michael Ondaatje, more than any spice it has become subject of romance. Even now the aroma of cinnamon being peeled to create the “quills” induces a feeling of well-being tinged with sensuality.
Experience description: A local cinnamon planter will greet you at the border of a vast cinnamon plantation surrounding Villa Mayurana. From here he will take you on a walking tour through a working cinnamon plantation where you will learn how Sri Lanka’s Southern Province produces the best cinnamon in the world. Heading back to the villa you will then get to see cinnamon peeling in action and will have the chance to try the peeling yourself if you wish.
• The talk is conducted by a Cinnamon Planter who’s native language is Sinhalese. He conducts the talk in English – his accent may make it a little challenging for some to follow. If you are having difficulties understanding him feel free to ask him to slow down and he will.
Includes: A Cinnamon Infused Lunch and the tour.
Duration: Approximately 2 hours including lunch.
Suitable for children: Small children won’t follow, but they can play in the garden which is very safe and the local staff will keep an eye on them.
Meeting time: Meeting times are flexible and can be adapted to suit you, but we recommend starting at around 11.30 at Kurundu Villas, as a guideline.
Dietary: If you have any specific dietary requirements please let us know in advance. The meal is set and not gluten free.
What to wear or bring along: Cool, light clothing, hat, sun cream.
Private or not?: The experience is almost always private, however, they may be other guests in the restaurant or at the villa.