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

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

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

To eat: Kifissia

Artisanal Lounge & Gardens: Set in beautiful gardens, this tastefully decorated bar/restaurant has a sophisticated French vibe that makes it a perfect hangout for a long, relaxed evening.  Their seasonal menu is influenced by the South of France and features a vegan celeriac ravioli with a truffle caviar, as well as a very popular Greek … Continue reading To eat: Kifissia

To eat: Psirri

To Lokali: A neo-retro bar-restaurant, this spot is hidden in a plant-filled, softly lit backyard in Psirri.  To Lokali is an all-day hangout. Its founders explain that the concept was to create a “local” home away from home.  The place comes alive in the evening, though, when Athenians kick back with G&Ts in the lush … Continue reading To eat: Psirri