Ceylon, Shaken Not Stirred
Henri arrived in Sri Lanka in May 2002 after 18 years in the exhausting world of public relations. Having been given the opportunity to try her fortune in the travel industry, Henri embraced the management of the Taprobane Collection, which she ran with great passion and flair for nearly a decade.
Henri lives in Galle and now runs Kikili Enterprises with her partner Kokila Harindra. Together, they’ve been offering everything from beautiful accommodation in Sri Lanka to hosting and arranging your wedding ceremony, to fine shirts and professional party decorating. Go meet her for a coffee at Kikili House, an innovative creative, colorful, calm, homestay in the Heritage town of Galle in southern Sri Lanka.
An Interview with Henri
Why did you come to Sri Lanka?
I got a call out of the blue and couldn’t resist the challenge of coming somewhere new. I had visited before and loved it. Sri Lanka just feels right.
By the sea or in the hills?
The sea for me, although escaping to the cooler climes of the hills to get away from the sea is always a welcome change and a treat.
Three absolute Sri Lankan musts?
A Sun House Sri Lankan curry; a sea bath followed by a prawn curry at Wijaya Beach Restaurant in Dalawella; and a moped to get around.
The mysterious Horton Plains.
The dive centre in Unawatuna when the local band (‘Riddim’) is drumming. Fabulous!
Freshly made roti from The House of Roti Restaurant in Hikkaduwa – it has an amazing menu that features every possible roti combination!
The Sun House Arrack Sour. Very refreshing!
Jumping into the lake at Ulpotha or cycling downhill from Samakanda, inland from Galle. I feel alive and invigorated!
Top chill spot?
Kikili Beach – my gorgeous beach house in Dalawella
Kahanda Kanda. The views from here over Koggala Lake are amazing and the food is excellent too.
Choose three celebrities to accompany you on a Sri Lankan road trip?
Gordon Ramsay or Rick Stein to cook delicious food; Dawn French for entertainment; and Duncan Bridgeman from One Giant Leap to provide the music.
Essential items for a Sri Lankan journey?
Sunglasses, an iPod to block out the bus horns, a feather pillow and a travel hammock.
Is there a soundtrack to your Sri Lankan journey?
It has to be Promised Land by Jo Smooth
Don’t try too hard or use too many words when trying to get a point across. Do explore.
Vital word or phrase?
Oya naraka lamayek de ( are you a naughty boy)? It opens doors, believe me. It was the first phrase I learnt and its been invaluable for laughter and acceptance.