Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Lavender Cottage 薰衣草森林 (Taiwan)

We wanted to do a day trip out of the main area in Taichung and went to Zhongshe Flower Market in the morning by public transport. We hadn't included Lavender Cottage in our itinerary because it would take too long by public transport and we simply didn't have sufficient time. We flagged down a taxi at the train station, directing him to drive us to Carton King. However, instead of driving us to Carton King, he managed to convince us to go to Lavender Cottage instead (of course paying much more) because it would be a waste not to visit the cottage. 

The entrance fee was 150 NT per person and you would get a coin each. You can use the coin at their stores and get 100 NT off.

Lavender Cottage was started by two girls who love coffee and travelling. One worked 6 years in a Taipei bank and the other was a piano teacher in Kaoshiung. They bought a hill and started to grow lavender.

As it was already late afternoon, we decided to grab lunch first before visiting the attractions. Lunch at 森林咖啡馆 was a very relaxing affair and it felt as though time just stopped. We were surrounded by forests and mountains as we enjoyed our lunch. You can have a look at the menu here.

We ordered a Lavender & Pomelo Tea 薰衣草香桔茶 (NT$170). It was a refreshing citrus drink with a hint of lavender.

As I was feeling unhealthy from the previous night of snacking in the night market, I ordered the Mushroom Hotpot (NT$360). The soup was light and the guilt of eating all the deep fried food instantly fell away (who am I kidding). There were different kinds of mushrooms in this healthy hotpot, which was served with a bowl of purple rice.

To end the meal, we ordered an Orange Upside-down Cake with Rosemary (NT$100). I was hoping that it might taste like the magical Orange Pie we tried in Greece but alas, it was not meant to be. This was a butter cake with orange rind in the cake. It was decent but nothing to rave about. 

After lunch, we started to explore the Lavender Cottage.

This has to be my favourite place of the attractions. At 年轮邮局, there is a wide selection of whimsical postcards.

You can purchase the postcards and the staff will help you send the postcards (no additional charge, for international addresses as well) in whichever way you want it. It could be today, a month later, 2 years later or 5 years later. You could send it to yourself, your family or if you want, not send it out at all and keep your inner thoughts a secret forever. There is a table with colour pencils, pens and colourful tapes for you to write your postcards. 

We then proceeded to have our ice cream fix. There was a selection of ice cream, including lavender, berry yoghurt, mint chocolate, lemon grass and rose. My husband opted for the lavender flavour and said that it was pretty ordinary.

You can also redeem a free drink (with a marble in it) per ticket.

One should not come here with the expectation of seeing beautiful lavender flowers because they will be disappointed. I'm glad I read reviews and had moderated my expectations. To begin with, this board states that lavender likes cool weather but is afraid of the rain. However, as Taiwan's summer is hot and rains often, they have purple flowers to replace the lavender between May and September. The lavender is supposed to be in full bloom between January and February.

That said, I think one should not expect much even in the peak blooming season. The lavender patch is rather small and will cause minimal excitement, if any. That said, it was nice to just breathe in the cool air at the higher altitude.

Our last stop was the souvenir shop, which of course sold lavender products.

I felt that my trip here was worthwhile not because of the lavender, but because how this place makes me feel like life can be slower and that we can take our time to be one with nature.

Lavender Cottage 薰衣草森林
No. 20 Zhongxing St
Xinshe District
Taichung City


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