Sri Lanka: a whistlestop guide to a paradise island

Having visited Sri Lanka in February 2020, I can confirm that Sri Lanka is totally deserving of its title as “pearl of the Indian Ocean”.  But as the victim of a 20-year civil war, a tsunami, terrorist attacks and now, of course, the coronavirus pandemic, the island has suffered from a drop in tourism.  Since … Continue reading Sri Lanka: a whistlestop guide to a paradise island

Colombo

Tourists rarely spend time proper in the capital, instead hopping to the south coast or heading straight up to the Cultural Triangle.  Yet Colombo has a lot to offer: new cafés, fusion restaurants, hip hotels and independent boutiques are sprouting up all over its 15 districts.  With its palm trees, restored colonial buildings, action-packed markets … Continue reading Colombo

Cultural Triangle

Ulagalla:  Though guests only tend to spend two or three nights at Ulagalla by Uga Escapes, using the hotel as a base for exploring the Cultural Triangle (Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya), it’s worthy of a week-long stay in its own right.  A stay here feels like a total retreat.  Set in 58 acres of lush … Continue reading Cultural Triangle

Kandy and Tea Country

Santani: Located high up in totally remote mountains around Werapitiya, Santani is around an hour’s drive from Kandy and so a good base for seeing this beautiful city and its impressive Temple of Tooth.  The windey drive up to Sanatani is totally worth it and you won’t regret the detour. Occupying 48 acres of tea … Continue reading Kandy and Tea Country

Galle

Why House: Located outside of Galle Fort and a short tuk-tuk ride away from Wijaya Beach, Why House feels very bijou chic.  Minutes away from the Sri Lankan town of Unawatuna, you’re immediately transported as soon as the gates open into a world of colonial elegance, set in three-acre tropical gardens.  Welcomed with a glass … Continue reading Galle

kin + deum

London Bridge seems to be a hidden corner of Thailand.  One of its most well-known Thai haunts is Suchard on Tooley Street, founded by Suchard Inngern.  He arrived in London in 1975 with £20 in his pocket.  Having grown up in an orphanage in Bangkok, he enrolled in a restaurant kitchen, before opening his popular … Continue reading kin + deum

Wild by Tart

From the fantastic duo behind the beautiful Tart column in the Evening Standard comes Wild by Tart, a restaurant set in the attractive Eccleston Yard.  Jemima Jones and Lucy Carr-Ellison’s recipes are always seasonal, produce-led and full of wonderful spices – an eclectic interplay of Middle Eastern, South American and European flavours – and now … Continue reading Wild by Tart

Kolamba

Finally, London seems to have clocked on to the joys of Sri Lankan cooking. Though rustled up in restaurants across Tooting, Wembley and Ealing for decades, “trendy” spots have now sprung up across the capital: Weligama supper clubs @ Italo, Paradise on Rupert Street, Hoppers (of course) and Kolamba on Kingly Street.  Named after the … Continue reading Kolamba

To eat: Glyfada

Yi: Vegan eateries are springing up in Athens, in particular along the road towards beachside Vougliameni where you’ll find vegan and raw-food mecca Yi.  Greek for ‘Earth’, Yi is a plant-and-light-filled raw food café in Glyfada.  At brunch, come for chia bowls, Greek salad served with cashew "feta", or an almond mylk latte with a … Continue reading To eat: Glyfada

To eat: Marousi

Nargile Express: Conveniently located near to offices if you’re working here, this Lebanese mecca has one of the best DIY mezze salad bars I’ve ever tried.  With a daily-changing line-up of dishes, highlights include a vibrantly green, lemony tabbouleh, an incredibly creamy hummus, a pomegranate-studded babaghanoush, freshly made falafel, Greek salad (of course) and tahini-marinated … Continue reading To eat: Marousi