Room with a view, Glenburn Tea Estate

A charming little English cottage tucked amid the jagged peaks of Kanchenjunga offers a slice of life from a time gone by

There’s a certain charm that you can’t explain; you can’t escape. Perched on a hillock above the banks of the River Rungeet, high in the Himalayas, the Glenburn Tea Estate has an air of nostalgia around it. Only if one could tell whether it owes this to its location or the legacy it comes with.

Founded by a Scottish tea company in 1859, it was later passed on to the hands of the ancestors of the current owners. In 2002, the Burra Bungalow was lovingly restored by one of our favourite design connoisseurs, Brownyn Latif. She started off by taking away layers and layers of paint and plywood that covered the beauty of the house. Antique furniture was sourced for all rooms, along with some old Burma teak for the flooring. Restored old cast iron window frames with arched skylights shape the nine feet high windows in each room. The small balconies outside each of these large windows are perfect for enjoying the views of the Kanchenjunga. It’s quite like how we would want our holiday homes to be, in the style of a colonial planters' bungalow with 1000 acres of private forest, and two rivers running through the estate. Oh, the dream.

Each of the rooms is named after an element of the mountains, whether it's the Rose Suite, Planter’s Suite, Kanchenjunga suite or the Simbong Butterfly room. Dark mahogany furniture, lots of light floral upholstery that borrow from the blooms outside paired with fresh handpicked flowers from the valley in delicate ceramic vases, panelled walls in pale hues; it’s as English as they come. We love the easy modern updates that the cane and rattan chairs get with striped cushions. It’s such a simple idea to create a cosy, inviting nook.

This could just as well be the 1800s. Think Chippendale furniture, sumptuous fabrics, nature-inspired motifs, and a generous sprinkling of pleasantries. What’s not to love?

THUMBNAIL VIEW

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