Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tintagel, Colombo


Tintagel (Tin-ta-jel) is one of my favourite places to be in Colombo. If it is any coincidence, this historical mansion turned boutique hotel is also associated with my favourite gallery/ art brand 'Paradise Road' and (again, my favourite) The Gallery Cafe. If you can have 3 favourites in one sentence, I think hell yeah this deserves a little bit more photos than the usual posting!

Dining at The Courtyard; Paradise Road Hot Chocolate- Rs. 450 (RM12)

Located at Rosmead Place within the Cinnamon Gardens postcode which is regarded as the elite neighbourhood where embassies, government offices, and big colonial mansions scatters around, Tintagel stands tall and beautiful among all. With a history dating back to 1930 where it was the residence of Dr. Lucien de Zilwa, an eminent Sri Lankan physician, gynaecologist and writer. In the following decade, it was made the British military quarters, and later sold to Sir Solomon Dias Bandaranaike for his son Solomon West Ridgeway (S.W.R.D.). It is this point that the mansion became known as the Bandaranaike's Residence where S.W.R.D. became Prime Minister in 1956 and assassinated at the verandah of the mansion. His widow, Srimavo Bandaranaike became the world's first female Prime Minister and longest serving PM in Sri Lanka. She lived in the mansion till her demise in 2000. Subsequently, the following generations of Bandaranaike also became political leaders in the island.

A touch of 'dark' luxury in private dining

In 2005, Tintagel is leased to Udashanth Fernando, designer and proprietor of the Paradise Road group and it has since been turned into a luxurious, unique historical boutique hotel. Every little item put into Tintagel can be traceable to the items sold at the Paradise Road galleries but in a very subtle way... you will almost think that it is a coincidence. The mansion is huge, housing a beautiful courtyard for dining, a dark luxurious 'The Private Dining Room', a flawless glass-like swimming pool, a tastefully decorated library, the distinct Red Bar, the lobby which smells of fresh beautiful small white flowers, and above all 10 exclusive suites.

The scent of fresh flowers everywhere!

A room for the bookworms, The Library

Beautiful glass-like flawless long narrow pool

My favourite part of the house would be the swimming pool. It was love at first sight when I saw it during my maiden visit and I knew I have to show this to my visitors from Malaysia! It is too beautiful to even dip your foot in, just so that the glass-like illusion is not spoilt!

Tintagel Executive and Superior Suites from USD200+ onwards

I had the privilege to be shown some rooms and they are amazing- tastefully decorated with a special view for every room. I was told that rates starts at USD200 onwards and you can do the reservation here. If you're willing to splurge USD200 for a room, I would strongly suggest Tintagel as it is more private yet warm than the big hotel chains.

Inside 'The Red Bar'

Unfortunately, Tintagel does not have a lliquor license due to historical importance and status of the building, however you can BYOB and pay for the corkage. A friend of mine asked me, "I wonder what they serve in the bar if they don't have alcohol?" Virgin pina colada, virgin bloody mary, virgin cosmopolitan, virgin margarita, virgin mojito.... maybe??!

Fresh strawberries and cream- Rs. 625 (RM17); Roast pork on a bed of potato mash with sauteed vegetables, apple mousse and mustard sauce- Rs. 995 (RM27); King Coconut- Rs. 90 (RM2)

I was actually pretty happy with the food on my first visit as I wasn't expecting much (hotel food usually looks better than taste). I did not hesitate to bring my family here for our CNY reunion dinner + Eiling's birthday, I'm sure they will love it too!

Complimentary bread; Spicy Sri Lankan crab soup- Rs. 645 (RM18); Avocado, Prawn and Lobster salad- Rs. 835 (RM23); Fettuccine with lobster, prawns, crabs and spicy sauce- Rs. 1,485 (RM41)

Sri Lankan pork curry and rice; Pan fried red snapper with rocket pesto risotto and roasted cashew nut- Rs. 1,795 (RM49); Crispy duck with apricot and plum sauce, stir fried beans and roasted pistachios- Rs. 2,145 (RM59); Steamed fish; Braised pork belly topped with poached egg- Rs. 1,585 (RM44)

That said, we had a very different and western dinner this year and perhaps also very memorable as we have not sat together as a family for a meal at least in the past year!

The Tintagel High Tea- Rs. 1,750/person (RM48): Finger sandwiches; Selection of savoury and sweet pastries; Plain and fruit scones with strawberry preserve and fresh cream; Slice of 'cake of the day'; Tea/Coffee

Ceylon Tea- Have your cup and drink it too

When my friend came down for a week-long visit, this warrants a 3rd visit to Tintagel in a month! We had the high tea menu where it came in 3-tiers of pastries, cakes and sandwiches. I like the scones but felt slightly below average for the finger sandwiches and just so-so for the cakes. But I suppose the ambiance more than makes up for it if not for the super annoying and deadly mosquitoes in the evening!

Happy Chinese New Year from the Lims!

I hope everyone had a very good Chinese New Year, I'm finally coming home this Friday. But before that, I will be flying to Maldives tonight to enjoy my well deserved ho-ho-holiday (the beginning of ticking off my 2011 Travel Resolutions).

* Prices are excluding 10% service charge and 13% VAT.

If you like this, you may also be interested in:
Yiling - The Gallery Cafe
Eiling - The Gallery Cafe
Eiling - Tintagel

65, Rosmead Place,
Colombo 07,
Sri Lanka.
Tel: +944602121 or +944602060
Website: www.paradiseroadhotels.com/tintagel/index.php

[Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are based on my personal views, tastebuds and preference and may vary for others. Please don't sue me, I don't have money. Kthxbye.]
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