An Aladdin’s cave of bright and colourful hand-loomed fabrics and textiles, Barefoot is relatively expensive for Sri Lanka but offers a charming selection of high-quality arts and crafts, produced by local artisans, including clothes, toys, jewellery, fashion accessories, stationery and homeware – pretty much everything you could think of! There is also an eclectic book department, including fiction, cookery, art, design, travel and children’s books. It’s a great place to pick up some unique and authentic gifts and definitely worth a leisurely browse if nothing else. Oh and perhaps some light refreshments…
The age old question – ‘how do you like your eggs?’ I can never decide! I was actually asked this question on my hen do as part of my ‘Mr and Mrs’ quiz. I initially said omelette, changed my mind to scrambled eggs, then to eggs benedict, but finally settled on eggs royale as my final answer! Mmm… I do love eggs royale – drenched in hollandaise! Yum! However, that’s not what this post is about.
Parippu or dhal curry has to be one of Sri Lanka’s favourite dishes, served at pretty much every meal – breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is a running joke in my family that every time my dad eats dhal, no matter where it’s from, he always says it’s the best he’s ever had. Every single time! He even likes to advocate that he could live off dhal alone because he loves it so much, although we’re still yet to see that happen!
My perfect evening in Sri Lanka always begins watching the sunset, with a G&T in one hand, and some hot nuts in the other!
You may not always be able to find coconuts in your local supermarket but you can always find them in Indian and other Asian grocers.
Picking your coconut
A coconut should be hard, with no soft spots. Ensure that there isn’t any mould on the outside where the eyes are. It should be brown all over, without any grey overtone; just like us, coconuts go grey with age! It should feel relatively heavy for its size and when you shake it, there should be plenty of liquid inside so you hear a sloshing sound. Don’t forget to check the fruit for any signs of cracks or fractures, which would allow moisture to ooze out.