Over the years, I came across newspaper articles (before the explosion that is the Age of Digital that is) which tells of places of interest located within the district of Cameron Highlands.
All of them were written by they who have had the good luck to have travelled to Cameron Highlands and enjoyed what Cameron Highlands has to offer.
A few of them articles remained stuck in my mind. One of them, should ever I find myself in Cameron Highlands, or at Tanah Rata to be exact, was to dine at Ye Olde Smokehouse.
The articles that I read described Ye Olde Smokehouse as an old house, built sometime in the colonial era, with a fantastic ambience, a place to sleep and good food to boot.
For me, the good food is of course an attraction. That and the ambience but a stay at an old house built-in the colonial era? Mmmmm.
The reviews, over the years since the day I chance upon that article, had been consistently good, and since I am, at present, in Cameron Highlands, so to Ye Olde Smoke House it is then.
We found Ye Olde Smokehouse in good time. This, despite it being off the main road and hidden from view behind some hedges.
I mean, given the proper landmarks and a bit of old school navigation, you‘ll get there. That plus a signboard or two.
And ‘good time’ means just before the drumbeats in the bellies gets any louder, to the point that dining anywhere will do. Just to quieten them drumbeats.
As we had spent some time visiting the MARDI Agrotechnology Park and Cameron Valley (for the second time) earlier, we had built up quite an appetite, with the thought of having them satisfied at Ye Olde Smokehouse.
Ye Olde Smokehouse has its own car park, separated from the establishment by a small and narrow road. Although the word ‘lane’ would be more apt. But then again, it’s all semantics.
Lane or road, it’s quite convenient that, the car park that is. As we made our way from the car park into Ye Olde Smokehouse, its like being walking into one of those taverns usually found in the countryside of the United Kingdom or even mainland Europe.
No prior reservation to dine here is required, as told to us by the member of the staff.
Very convenient that, especially when you are one of them who likes to do things spontaneously.
Of course, there is some waiting time but when you are getting comfortable in the lounge and taking in the atmosphere that is the Ye Olde Smokehouse, it does not seem like waiting at all.
Attended to by one of the waiters, we placed our order and waited the lounge, whilst availing ourselves to the comfort that it offered.
There is always the garden, should you feel like stretching them legs. Especially when you have been driving for quite a bit.
As for me, I am always partial to a well laid and well maintained garden and I must admit, the garden at Ye Olde Smokehouse is a garden that I would be partial to.
Nestled in the garden were also few tables to cater to those who would prefer to do their dining there instead of the dining area.
On a sunny day, as today was, that would be very inviting. Especially up here in the highlands, a sunny day does not necessarily mean it’s a hot day.
It was not long before we were led into the dining area and yes, definitely, its like dining in a tavern. Led to our table, our orders were brought over by the waiter who happens to be a matured gentleman.
It was noticeable that almost all the staff that we met were matured, in their fifties and sixties.
The way they handled the guests, with quiet dignity and polite deference, tells you that these are a cultured lot with loads of experience, wise to the ways of its guests and I’ll bet you, lots of interesting stories to tell.
Dining at Ye Olde Smokehouse is an experience. A delightful experience at that, and one to enjoy and savour.
It has to be said, as it’s not often that we get to travel to Cameron Highlands, what more to dine at Ye Olde Smokehouse.
After a delightful Western meal complemented with coffee and desserts, we made our way to the gardens to relax and enjoy what it, in turn, has to offer.
If I were a cigar aficionado, I’ll most probably have a cigar and coffee at one of the tables found in the gardens. It’s that inviting and relaxing.
That I’d imagine would be another delightful experience, one more to add to the growing list of delightful experiences gathered during this trip to Cameron Highlands.
Next trip to Tanah Rata, most likely than not, its Ye Olde Smokehouse again for us. Maybe this time, we’ll have scones, homemade jam and butter with tea in the gardens.
Now that would be another delightful experience, would it not?