It’s The Homies, homeys…

890a1791Guess what. It’s that time of year again

I have the flu, just found two more grey hairs in my left eyebrow

(OK, 3 if we’re really splitting hairs)

and “The Homies” are back!

(actually, they started 5 days ago so I’m kinda getting creamed)

For readers new to my blog in the past year, The Homies are like the blogging world’s “Oscars” and “Slim Paley” is nominated in the “Best Home Design & Inspiration” category. Of course there’s no money or statue involved but it’s really nice to receive recognition for all the time we bloggers invest in writing our blogs.

Now, just because I’m under the weather and getting old and grey, don’t think I’m looking for sympathy votes. Simply hoping that if you DO enjoy reading “Slim Paley” you will please take a minute to register your support by voting for me.

 The 6 blogs with the most nominations move on to the finals. We can do this!!  Voting closes at 11:59EST Feb. 8th.

I Pinky Swear  you will not receive any unwanted emails from Apartment Therapy.

 Could the 3rd year be a charm for me?? That’s up to you!

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HOMIES LINK

I’ll be back with a post very shortly.

Thank you!!

~

Memories, Old & New

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Flowers in the garden of the Gallery Cafe, Colombo, Sri Lanka

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A small, almost tear drop shaped country  dangling off the coast of India like a gorgeous emerald earring, Sri Lanka has always held a special place in my heart.  As I mentioned previously, I’ve been here twice before and though I hate to admit how far back that was, the fact that the rupee note I’d saved from my last visit was now in the Colombo Historical Museum (no joke) did give me a moment to reflect upon the swift passage of time (as well as sensation of slight indigestion)

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Don’t look at my manicure. I’m on my hols.

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I have never forgotten the omnipresent scent of woodsmoke drifting in the still, moist air, the beauty of the trees,the wildly exotic birds, the spectacular sunsets, and most of all, the sweetness of the people.

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and don’t even get me started on the children.

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The beach side of the Galle Face Hotel, Colombo

We started our adventure in the port city of Colombo where, I must admit, there isn’t a huge amount of things to see, however it’s where international flights land, so after a long journey, in my case from L.A., it’s nice to rest one night here, perhaps visit a museum or two and do a little shopping before you head off for more scenic destinations around the country. We’d asked our travel agent to book us into The Galle Face Hotel, where I had stayed before and adored it. Built right on the beach in Colombo in 1865, this huge Colonial Grand Dame is positively steeped (aptly, in this land so famous for their tea ) in the memories and ghosts of  all the interesting people, events and history of Ceylon that have passed through it’s colonnaded entrance.  Anybody who was anybody, from Kings to movie stars stayed at The Galle Face when they arrived in Colombo.

 So imagine my disappointment when our reservations fell through just a week or so before our trip?!

No. It could not be! Did they not remember me?! :)

Alas, it was true, and with high season in full swing, we had to choose another place to lay our weary heads.  A chance (very lucky) Twitter exchange with a writer from Australian Vogue Living magazine resulted in us booking  “The Tintagel” instead.

 Score!!

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The Tintagel, Colombo, Sri Lanka
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The lounge at The Tintagel Hotel
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Every bit as chic as promised by Australian Vogue, this 1920′s mansion in a fashionable part of town was home to the first female Prime Minister and is now being run as a very cool boutique hotel. And what’s better than a cool hotel with staff that is simply brilliant instead of being busy trying to out-cool the guests?
 My friend and I were happy as half-baked clams our first night, tucked under the eaves of our adjoining terrace (the one you see on the second floor) with a chilled bottle of wine, while thunder & lightning split open the pewter grey skies and rain lashed upon the steaming hot terrace and cobblestones below.
Happiness!
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Lashings and lashings of rain on the terrace of The Tintagel, Colombo
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Almost dry and beautiful again the following morning
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Mosquito netting, a great night’s sleep and a good(ish) cup of coffee – more happiness!
Up bright and early the next morning to visit the historical and the Dutch Heritage museums, before doing a little shopping and taking lunch at the Paradise Road /Gallery Cafe ( former residence of famed Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa-but more on G.B. later)
The building now houses a shop, gallery and restaurant, also owned by Shanth Fernando, the proprietor of The Tintagel Hotel, although we didn’t even realize that when we stumbled in for lunch.
 
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The courtyard features a pond of giant black Koi fish, fabulously patinaed walls, and revolving art installations.
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Would have loved to see these gas torches lit in the evening, it must look fantastic.
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and what’s an afternoon break from shopping without the requisite Chili & Tamarind Martini
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To go with black pork curry, dhal and poppadums?!
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The indoor/outdoor Gallery Cafe.
If you’re ever in Colombo it’s a must experience.
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Lastly, as I’m like a dog with a bone sometimes, I had to drag my friend to The Galle Face hotel to watch the sunset on the beach terrace but  my Galle Face luck continued and we got there too late. The hotel was still beautiful but absolutely teeming with tourists (harumph) Just crazy busy. We sat outside in the exquisite balmy night and waited for over 1/2 an hour for our drinks while some German men smoked away beside us (it’s illegal to smoke in public places in Sri Lanka, btw)
Nobody else noticed the large rat that scurried by, stopped and looked at me for just a moment as if to say
“You can’t go back. You can never go back” and then continued into the dark night.
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Slim Paley photo
The promenade at The Galle Face Hotel
So that’s it for now, please stayed tuned as that was just our first day on Sri Lankan soil.
Lots more to come including beautiful gardens, gorgeous homes & hotels, tea plantations, mountain climbing,  more changed plans and a giant tooth.
You heard me.
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Overnout from The Galle Fort, Sri Lanka
xx