Black & White Stripes Redux

wicker basket with towel

Poolside, the Tintagel Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka

It seemed everywhere we turned in Sri Lanka, black & white stripes beckoned.

Slim Paley photo

The Tintagel Hotel

Slim Paley photo

Lobby of the Tintagel Hotel

We were so inspired!

Of course I had to answer the call.

Now as shopping meccas go, Sri Lanka’s not, well, Mecca, but I did manage to purchase a few things.

I found a great woven cotton black & white striped tablecloth and napkins (which didn’t make the post due to laundering concerns, having been packed with the black rubber coasters I bought that turned my bag into a tire factory for the rest of the trip ( picked up in our first port of call too. A lot of them.)

Well, honestly, who knew they would smell so pong-y?!

(have you read “King Leopold’s Ghost”?  A startling book about the history of the rubber trade in the Congo).

cold soupsSlim Paley photo

Gazpacho & stripes.  (Note rubber charger :))

Galle, Sri LankaSlim Paley photo

We loved the black & white striping at The Kahanda Kanda Hotel, Galle, Sri Lanka

 apparently somebody else was also digging the combo 

and didn’t attend his “Lizards #101 Blending In” class.

 Ralph Lauren does it beautifully

Going to be pulling out my black & white shirt with the itchy collar and soaking it in Downy til it cooperates.

I even ordered these straws. Probably won’t use them with the tablecloth, but…

Never say never.

I did buy coasters made out of tires.

PS. Straws can be ordered here

Paradise Road, Colombo, Sri LankaSlim Paley photo

Paradise Road, The Gallery Cafe, Colombo

19th century Swedish corner bench via Balsamo Antiques NY.

Amelia Handegan

Great little pop of blue from the bedside lamps!

black stair railings

My beach house stair railings from the second floor

Love this mix in AD

.Cute idea for a tea towel bar.

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Slim Paley photo

Tea towels from “Bed Bath & Beyond” $9.99

via

travel, Sri LankaSlim Paley photo

Gourdon, France

credit unknown

black & white stripes with wicker always works

photo of Miranda Kerr

been there.

Natasha Poly. Isabel Marant jeans

if memory serves I had a few of these little crocheted numbers growing up.

A far cry from last week’s Costco porno dummy suit (still sitting in my car)

Growing up,  my mom  used to say with a sigh; “Every Dog Has His Day”

( my mom’s from Dublin, she has 50 million of these expressions)

I never really liked that one because I never understood it,

 and now that I do , I still don’t like it :(

but it did come to mind when I saw these

swimsuits hand crocheted in Australia and  available on Couture Lab .

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black & white stripes

Slim Paley photo

.D Will Black & White stripes inspire you, or are you all about COLOUR for Spring & Summer?

How about combining colour & stripes and having it ALL and we’ll just thumb our noses at those “Dog Days”?!

S.P. photo

If you’re so inclined, you can find last year’s Black & White Stripes post  here

Stay tuned for more travel and “Springing into Summer” posts soon!

xx

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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