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…
Barefoot cafe has to be one of my favourite lunch spots – an oasis of calm amidst Colombo’s hustle and bustle, nestled between the shop and the carpark, in a shaded courtyard; the perfect place to hang out with friends or just sit and while away the time with an ice cold beer. They have a great menu plus an extensive daily specials board – be sure to get there early so you don’t miss out on your first choice! They cook up a fantastic Sri Lankan rice and curry meal, which is available from their standard menu and they always offer at least one curry option on their specials. Not to worry if you’re not in the mood for curry though, they also serve a selection of Western and fusion food including quiches, tarts, wraps and salads. The food is always freshly prepared and served beautifully – I’ve never been disappointed!
Due to their somewhat confusing licensing regulations, they are unable to serve alcohol between 2pm and 5pm but it doesn’t seem to cause too much of a problem as the staff always give plenty of warning and ensure you have all you need before the clock strikes two.
In peak seasons it does get busy and sometimes service can be slow but never enough to put me off. There’s a lovely ambiance and it’s hard to complain when sitting in such an idyllic haven.
Barefoot Gallery serves as a stage for a variety of artists, musicians, poets, and filmmakers. Live jazz performances are hosted on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons; check the Barefoot facebook page for an updated schedule of events, performances and exhibitions.
704, Galle Road, 00300 Colombo, Sri Lanka
Open daily – Monday – Saturday 10am to 7pm, Sunday and Poya Days 10am-5pm