While Mauritius is renowned for being a tropical tourist destination, there is a lot more to the island than just its beaches and its lagoons. Granted, the sandy white beaches and shimmering azure lagoons are what draws tourists to the island, but if you’re one of those travellers who like knowing more about the history and culture of the place you’re visiting, then Mauritius is just the right pick for you too. With a long colonial history, there are plenty of locations in Mauritius that stand as a throwback to the old-world charm of the era gone by. One such famous tourist attraction is St Aubin.
History of St Aubin
Mauritius is famed for its tea route, and one of the most important stops on the tea route is the St. Aubin House. Located on the southern coast of Mauritius, the St. Aubin House is an old colonial sugar plantation estate. Dating back to when it was built in the 1800s, the St. Aubin House was used as a residential building by the managers of the former sugar estate, which used to be right next to the mansion, before it was shifted a short distance away because of noise and pollution issues. The estate was in regular use till the late 1900s, following which it was renovated and then preserved as a part of the country’s national heritage. Today, the estate is a stark difference from how it used to be when it was at the peak of its production, and even though the ambience is serene and tranquil today, you can imagine the hustle and bustle that used to be the everyday story at the mansion as you take a stroll through the rooms. The St. Aubin House is renowned for its construction from wood that was dismantled from wrecked and old ships, and you can see ship poles and masts and other such carpentry at every step of the way as you tour the estate.
Apart from being a museum that houses details and information about the entire sugar manufacturing process that used to happen back during the colonial reign, the St. Aubin House is now home to a rum distillery, where you can watch the entire process of rum being manufactured – right from start to finish, following which you can opt for a rum tasting session as well! Once you are done touring the estate, you can go out to take a stroll through the lush green gardens, which houses a nursery dedicated to growing vanilla and anthurium. You can make a tour of the greenhouse as well, where you will get to know everything about how vanilla is produced, extracted and then exported.
While all of this does sound exciting, no trip is complete without a delicious gastronomic experience and St. Aubin makes sure you don’t leave the place without feasting on some of the best authentic Mauritian cuisines you will taste across the entire island. The restaurant, which is housed inside the chief manor, is stunningly reminiscent of the colonial era – starting from its sophisticated décor to its muted colour scheme to its antique furniture. You can savour a delicious 5-course authentic Mauritian meal at the restaurant as you gaze out over the beautifully manicured lush green gardens.
If you wish to stay the night, you can make reservations at the St. Aubin Inn, which is a guesthouse located adjacent to the St. Aubin House. Sporting a traditional Creole architecture, the inn promises a charming old-world ambience that will make your stay at the St. Aubin an incredibly memorable one!