Arriving at Pascoal Spice Village makes you feel pretty special. Walk along a pathway dappled with light, before having some petals scattered over you and a bindi dabbed on your forehead, before watching a welcome dance.
We settled into the restaurant and received glasses of lemongrass tea and feni while we waited for the buffet lunch to be prepared. The meal itself was probably the least inspiring of our entire trip, but the drinks were a nice surprise, and the food hadn’t been the main purpose of our trip, so that was ok.
After lunch we received a tour of the spice farm, which was very relaxing – there were shade trees overhead, which really made a difference on what was becoming an unbearably hot day. There were eight of us in our group – my family of six, plus a French couple who arrived at the same time as us. It was a really nice number as everyone got involved, but we were there at the same time as a massive German tour group who may have had a slightly different experience.
Our guide would give us information on the various herbs while we stopped to smell the leaves and ask questions. I was particularly interested in Lemongrass, which will apparently cure my spots, saucer-pores and dark circles! I ended up buying some lemongrass and almond oils to try this miracle cure, so fingers crossed!
Other highlights of the tour included watching as a man demonstrated how he would climb a tree to harvest betel, an explanation of how feni is made, and having cups of water poured down our backs as a refreshing end to our walk.
400 rupees (£4) per person for lunch and a tour