The Retreat is the 150-year-old estate bungalow of what was once a tea estate, established in 1853. The British owners planted Orange Pekoe, hired a Chinese family to run the tea factory and got to work – but tea failed as a business, mainly because they could not find enough workers among the local Pahari populace.
Hello and welcome to The Retreat’s blog, where you’ll find short tales of life here; things that happened today – or long, long ago.
Fred Smetacek, an ethnic-German Czech, escaped the Nazis after attempting to assassinate Hitler and arrived on Indian shores just before the outbreak of World War II. He lived and worked in Calcutta during the War, where he wooed and won Shaheda Ahad, a descendant of Tipu Sultan and of the Mughals. More on that later.