Post Published: 6th February 2018
In January I had the pleasure of inviting two guests to stay at the house with me whilst putting in the finishing touches and signing off the build.
We have landscaped the gardens to work with the existing, extensive natural plantlife. One of the wonderful things about this spot is the enormous variety of trees and the absolutely stunning 15m high rock face that is our back wall. A few trees were cut down in order to create space into the rear gardens and the cliff wall has been cleared so you can see it’s incredible textured composition and beautiful climbing plants.
Friend and guest Dylan Ayaloo was invited to come and check the house out to see how it could work for a yoga retreat. Dylan is an incredible, international teacher and yogi whose classes I used to follow in London. Sadly he has moved away from the London scene but he IS now planning and running international retreats. We will be planning a few yoga retreats with Dylan at the house (watch this space for future retreat information)!
Dylan took Janie and I through an early morning practice – working out beneath the palms and in the midst of all that dappled light was something else; I would encourage anybody who comes here to do just that! Yoga mats are available at the house ready for anybody wanting to practice.
Dylan setting up to take Janie and I through our yoga paces.
Posing for my camera. Dylan is an incredible teacher and yogi – he teaches all levels, so don’t worry if you can’t do this!
The garden is visited by some wonderful local wildlife – and you will spot small families of shy monkeys coming through during the cooler parts of the day. We have coconut Palm trees, Jack fruit and Frangipanee – recent landscaping has also incorporated Heliconea, Bouganvillea, Ginger Lily and more.
There is plenty of opportunity to learn how to surf along the coastline – just minutes from the house. Whether you want a few lessons from a pro, or to just grab a board and go, the water is warm and clear and the waves wonderful for all ages..
Surfing with friends and family..
Lessons on nearby beaches
Some nice spots to hang out for lunch and play are just a stone’s throw away…with lovely food and a glass of something cold for grown ups too
The local fishermen are just amazing! Many go out through the night and come back with their haul early morning. Kalukanda House has a kitchen where you can ask our chef to take you through a few tips on how to make the perfect Sri Lankan fish curry, along with vegetables and other local dishes.
If you can set your alarm for an early wake up call – it is really worth heading to Mirissa Harbour when the boats come in with their catch – an enormous variety of fish can be bought there and taken to the villa ready to be cooked by you and our chef for dinner…
Mirissa Harbour at 7am – a misty and lively start to the day
A cheeky fisherman..
Weighing in a haul..
Annual Events – Galle Literary Festival
This annual event held every January is hugely popular. Time for us was pretty short as we had plenty of “work” to do finishing the house for the photoshoot, but we took a break one day and watched Sebastian Faulks and Shabrani Basu in conversation – fantastic! Two really live wires talking about the inspiration behind their recent fictional books set in WW1. There were plenty of other interesting talks and events to view over the 5 day festival – worth keeping an eye open for 2019 and beyond if you feel like mixing a little sun and culture..
Sri Lankans LOVE cricket!! It is played on every spare patch of grass. Galle Cricket ground is a breezy tuk tuk ride away and is an international ground where many an exciting match has taken place. This year England are coming to play in October and November – so the Barmy Army and Co will be out in full swing. GCC is a truly stunning ground, set just outside the walls of Galle Fort – a World Heritage site.
(photo by others)
World Heritage Site – Galle Fort
Historic Galle Fort is a beautiful Dutch fort that is teaming with a cosmopolitan crowd, locals and stunning architecture to boot. Bijoux shops selling jewellery, antiques, art and more abound…definately worth a wander along the ramparts and through the lanes where you can stop off for a cup of tea at the Galle Fort Hotel or a delicious ice cream at the Pedlars Inn Cafe..here’s a teensy snippet to give you a flavour for it..
Excursions and other experiences across Sri Lanka
We have a man in Havanna! (well Colombo) who is a Sri Lankan and not only knows the island inside out, but can create an amazing holiday for you if you would like to weave a stay at Kalukanda House in with a further extended stay – details to follow.
And more ! I could go on but will save it for next time..
There are plenty more things I will write about in the next newsletter….there is so much more you can do from the villa – including visiting a tea plantation and having a tea tasting experience, taking a guided tour of Galle Fort itself and even taking a trip on safari to see elephants, buffalo, crocodiles, leopards (if you are lucky) and a whole host of beautiful birds…
After all that, you can also make like us…after our photoshoot day capturing the house in various moments …
…….We celebrated with a couple of beers on the sand! Dylan had posed for me like a trooper, Janie had taken gazillions of photos of the house and we were good and ready to have a few sundowners on the beach at sunset, just 100m from the house. This photo really does not do it justice and I apologise for that….but the sand is literally golden….and that sunset!…this is “our” beach – ok so we have to share it with others but it’s really quiet and feels like ours…
…and SO!….. our doors are open!…