We had the pleasure of hosting travel blogger Rosie Birkett on her recent journey through Sri Lanka. Her blog ‘Postcard from Sri Lanka’ captures some of her enchanting experiences on our island, from breathtaking natural wonders to culinary delights and cultural immersions. Read the full blog below:
Am I a digital nomad yet? Travelling with a toddler has proven…tricky
Hello my friends. I’m sorry for the silence – I’ve not forgotten about you, in fact, I’ve – whisper it – been secretly longing to write to you, but travelling with a 16-month-old in tow is both wonderful and FULL ON, and so it’s been a bit tricky to carve out any sort of focused time at my laptop – hence the fact I’ve started this newsletter about seven times before being interrupted and having to scrap it. I’m not complaining though, because I’m on the actual trip of a lifetime: a hotel hopping tour of Sri Lanka with the excellent Teardrop Hotel Group – a luxury boutique group of properties who I’m delighted to confirm are bastions of positive, sustainable tourism.
Geoffrey Bawa’s Lunuganga: the raw plaster walls and chequerboard floor entrance
My highlight so far (apart from rice and curry, 3x a day) has undoubtedly been spending the night at Geoffrey Bawa’s enchanting and perfectly preserved weekend retreat Lunuganga in Bentota: a dream come true for this self-confessed design and architecture junkie. Bawa, Sri Lanka’s most famous architect and pioneer of the modernist eco-hotel, bought this sprawling, wild and whimsical former rubber and cinnamon estate when he was 29 and spent four decades working on making it what it is today, which is just epically inspiring to me. It’s still owned by the Bawa Trust, but, lucky for us – now managed by hospitality gurus Teardrop – meaning that you get the ultimate in personal service and discreet luxury here, as well as access to the amazing design of this place as Bawa left it, if you choose to stay.
Curry with a view to end all views
More on Teardrop, exact details of our itinerary and hopefully an exclusive discount (I’m working on it), as well as a recipe or two inspired by this visit – and watch out, I’ve been brushing up my skills – will be coming soon to my paid subscribers, but for now I just wanted to say ‘hi!’ and share some photos with you. This trip has been a really long time in the making. You could say that the kernels of it were sewn six years ago, in the fading moments of our honeymoon in Sri Lanka, when we vowed to come back some day, hopefully with our children. We had fallen hard for this gentle, tropical island where you wake to the inescapable noises of nature and are constantly over-awed by the scenery of lush green paddy fields, swaying coconut palms and tangled branches of fragrant frangipane. And so here we are. Currently high up in the hills of Sri Lanka’s tea country, just up the road from Ella, a popular tourist spot and somewhere we ourselves visited as honeymooners.
The view from our current digs
The years that followed that trip were somewhat fraught for us (global pandemic, fertility journey, house buying woes) and for the country itself (global pandemic, the Easter attack, devastating economic crisis from which it’s still reeling), but things are improving here, and one thing’s for sure, this place is crying out for the tourists, as so many of the Teardrop staff are keen to reiterate. This place is so beautifully set up for tourism, an industry which was rapidly developed over the past couple of booming decades and then promptly ground to a desecrating halt with covid, and it needs more people to come and experience the endless wonders it has to offer, so if you’re planning a big trip anytime soon, consider Sri Lanka – and if you possibly can, an operator like Teardrop who are doing great work within local communities and with their employees, something which is reassuring when you’re travelling in a place that’s down on its luck economically. I’ll be very happy to answer any questions you might have about our trip.
Monkeys on the road to Ella
I genuinely couldn’t be happier to be back here, in the land of coconut palms and water buffalo, and incredible, incredible food. The Sri Lankans we’ve met so far have all been utterly sweet with our daughter, and this is SUCH a perfect spot for family travel. Our girl, while only just toddling, has been so obviously delighted by the kindness and fun-spiritedness of the people she’s met here, and her mind has been and is perpetually being blown by the nature and wildlife we have encountered just in our daily hotel life – not a safari van in sight. Our current nature count stands as follows: bats the size of geese, birds of all shapes, sizes and colours, monkeys, tropical fish, frogs, fireflies, geckos, lizards and, just now, a mongoose casually strolled across the lawn.
Read the full blog and other fantastic travel stories from Rosie’s blog space here A Lot on her Plate