Tales of afternoon tea and a host of other British traditions at Cameron Highlands Resort
From homemade strawberry jam to afternoon tea, Cameron Highlands Resort takes guests on a step back in time with all the modern comforts of the present.
Though only a few hours’ drive from Kuala Lumpur, Cameron Highlands might as well be in another world. Here, 1,500 metres above sea level, the cooler all- year- round climate was what first drew British colonialists, who were reminded of refined English countryside escapes. They left behind a landscape spotted with rose gardens, quaint cottages, and rolling tea plantations. The region’s strawberries, as luscious and sweet as any in the world, are so renowned that families come from all over just to pluck them. The colonial legacy runs deeper than mere aesthetic shifts in scenery, however, and tall tales of the hill station have enthralled generations of historians.
Nestled among the verdant hills lies Cameron Highlands Resort, a rustic- chic lodge built out of a 1930s English- style cottage. With its handsome French doors, timberbeamed ceilings, and furnishings covered in richly patterned textiles and silks, the place marries classic colonial grandeur with modernday comforts. Opulently outfitted rooms with canopied beds and luxe amenities would be reason enough to pay a visit, but what sets the place apart is its connection with the surrounding area’s storied past.
More than a few traditions from the British upper crust live on through the hotel. During the afternoon, guests gather in the Jim Thompson Tea Room, named after the legendary silk merchant and man of mystery, for a proper afternoon tea. Served on bone china and tiered platters, the sumptuous spread includes a decadent array of pastries, sandwiches, and, of course, warm, buttery scones served with clotted cream and the resort’s own jam made from local strawberries.
As cosy as it is to curl up in the
THE REGION’S STRAWBERRIES, AS LUSCIOUS AND SWEET AS ANY IN THE WORLD, ARE SO RENOWNED THAT FAMILIES COME FROM ALL OVER JUST TO PLUCK THEM.
grand room, some guests prefer to venture outdoors. In such cases, a private butler prepares a lavish picnic right in the heart of a tea plantation. Since the resort has exclusive access to the location, there is nothing to intrude upon the natural serenity. It is ideal for couples who can bask in the surroundings while being served course after course of bite-sized nibbles while reclining on cushions.
Back at the resort, guests continue to be spoiled for choice when it comes to fine dining. Though entirely different, both of the primary restaurants at Cameron Highlands Resort turn to regional traditions for culinary inspiration. Gonbei celebrates the local love of hot pot, also known as steamboat, a Chinese speciality that pairs perfectly with the crisp evening air. In this stylish, casual eatery, guests gather around steaming pots filled with broths ranging from Japanesestyle seafood to spicy tom yum to beef-bone with Chinese herbs. Farm-fresh vegetables, springy noodles, beef, chicken, shellfish, and tofu all simmer right at the table, making for a wholesome, restorative meal that diners of all ages can enjoy.
Meanwhile, the Dining Room channels the apex of British colonial refinement. In the morning, a breakfast spread adorns the space and waiters offer guests their first cup of coffee or made-to-order brunch favourites such as omelettes and waffles. In the evening, candles cast an ethereal glow as guests savour contemporary renditions of Continental fare such as soup made with local tomatoes crowned with golden puff pastry or meltingly tender braised lamb shank.
The recipes may have evolved over the years, but the enchanting atmosphere is the same one that has lured generations of travellers to this escape.
WITH ITS HANDSOME FRENCH DOORS, TIMBERBEAMED CEILINGS, AND FURNISHINGS COVERED IN RICHLY PATTERNED TEXTILES AND SILKS, THE PLACE MARRIES CLASSIC COLONIAL GRANDEUR WITH MODERN-DAY COMFORTS.
Dining at Cameron Highlands Resort sees traditional English cuisine meeting the many tastes of Asia in a mouth-watering symphony of flavours and experiences.