Cooking by Colour
Meet your host at home in Colombo’s suburbs, to join a hands-on cooking class, creating a collection of dishes rich in the taste, aroma and of course colour. With her help, craft an array of elements key to a typical Sri Lankan meal whose flavours are a nod to not only her Sinhalese and Tamil friends and neighbours but also her own Malay heritage. Savour the morning’s efforts together as you all tuck into lunch on the terrace. Her expert yet logical teaching will easily leave you able to replicate recipes back home, especially as you return to your kitchen armed with her recipe leaflet and a sample of her very own freshly ground spices!
Colombo life took a dramatic turn in the 16th century when the sleepy sea port was invaded by the Portuguese and developments began. As a new century came, so the Dutch prevailed, constructing decadent churches, hospitals, official buildings and famously, Forts. Colombo’s fort was developed into an administrative base by the British when they arrived in the 18th century. In recent years, many of the city’s most striking buildings have been given government-lead restoration and previously closed-off areas, opened up once more. Explore the city by car, you might even be lucky enough to ride in the same vintage model the Queen had when here!
Tea Tasting Experience
Sri Lanka is recognized as one of the best tea producers in the world. You will visit one of the oldest tea producers in the country and get exclusive insights into the production process, and technology used in the different stages of refining, blending and packaging of tea as well as the unique grading process. Expand your knowledge of Ceylon tea by understanding subtle differences in grain, texture, colour, strength and flavour across high, mid and low grown teas. You will also gain an understanding of how different teas can be blended to cater to the demand of global tea markets, with unique preference stemming from different regions.
Enter through an inconspicuous doorway in Cinnamon Gardens into a secret
garden and pavilion gallery set within a home which seamlessly blends antique
and contemporary style. The space which has been in the family since 1872; with a library, which is a mosaic of precious publications, for inspiration and contemplation, is a joy to explore with your host. Her multimedia trilingual exhibitions on sustainability, climate change, diversity and peace building are themes she continues to push boundaries on, and her works are in collections across the globe.
Bawa in Colombo
Your tour of Bawa’s Colombo begins at Number 11, the hub of Geoffrey’s city life.
Your host is very knowledgeable on Bawa but also his notable friends on the art, architecture and textile scene, such as Barbara (Barefoot), Minette (1st female architect) and Ena (batik). You will discover those that worked for him still look after the house and some of the countless stories to be told. Continue to Gallery Café and appreciate another of Bawa’s triumphs over a drink. Finally visit Seema Malaka Temple on Beira Lake, which he redesigned in the 1970s and end your tour with either an exhibition (if there is one on) or a trip to Barefoot.
Meet at the floating Gangarama Buddhist temple, Seema Malaka on Beira Lake. Travel by tuk tuk to Sri Ponnambalam Vanesar Kovil, an intricately carved granite Hindu temple, a short walk from St. Anthony’s Shrine, a national Catholic monument where you can hear the story of Anthony of Padua. Follow a chain of flower garland kades (shops) into the cacophony of Pettah life and the smell of Indian short eats sold from local stalls. Pass by the old town hall, an eye-catching neo-gothic building and Kayman’s Gate, a more inconspicuous Dutch bell tower, before finishing your walk outside Jami Ul-Afar Mosque whose exterior resembles a pomegranate.
Colombo’s Street Food
Wander through Colombo as evening draws in, where food, often in unusual
guises, is everywhere. Begin with a shot of local Arrack in a well-worn local bar and wander past enticing higgledy-piggledy streets peeking between buildings. On thriving Hulfsdorp Street indulge in traditional sweet treats and pots of bubbling curry with packed dinner-time crowds. Grab a tuk tuk to the evening buzz of Galle Face to join families, friends and your final food vendors for a main meal. You will never be pressured to try food or drink and we cannot guarantee hygiene standards but this is the perfect opportunity to learn about the city’s sights and aromas.
After Dark by Bike
At night, the monuments of Colombo are illuminated and a warm breeze makes exploring the city more comfortable. Wending your way from one part to another by bike means you can cover a large area and evade traffic via carefully orchestrated routes. Begin your journey in Independence Square with a couple of test rounds on your bicycle before cycling to the Race Course, Cinnamon Gardens, Slave Island and Pettah. A great introduction to the city including landmarks such as Gangaramaya and Seema Malakaya Temples, Dutch Hospital and Fort Lighthouse.
Tuk Tuk Safari
Pick up from your hotel and you will be taken to the following places in the Tuk Tuk,
- Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple.
- Independence memorial Hall
- Manning Market
- Petthah Market streets.
- Sri Lankan spiced fruit stop
- Dutch Hospital
- Sambodhi Chaithya – Panoramic view of old city and future city
- Short walk at Galleface Green ocean side and tasting some local bites
- Ceylon tea tasting experience
- Authentic Sri Lankan Lunch at Curry Pot
- Authentic Sri Lankan dinner at Awanhala
- Drop off at hotel.