Amba Estate, Ambadandegama near Ella, Sri Lanka

In a word:  Refreshing
Food:  A delicious healthy change
Service:  Fantastic
Presentation:   Simple, elegant, no frills
Ambience:   Colonial calm
Location:  A little tea plantation house on the top of a hill overlooking the vibrant green Sri Lankan hills as far as the eye can see
Value for money:  Absolutely
Worth a visit?:  Yes, please go a visit these guys, buy as much tea and jam as you can carry in support of the Amba Estate, their business model and the initiatives they support.

We visited Amba Estate Tea Plantation near Ella in the Uva Central Provence of Sri Lanka on the back of a recommendation from a couple we’d met during our stay at Polwatte House in Kandy.  The couple talked about the estate’s ethos for sustainability, organics and community initiatives.  I was sold.  Amba Estate sounded right up my street so we booked ourselves in for lunch and a tour of the estate.

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Peacock Homestay & Restaurant, Marakolliya Beach near Tangalle, Sri Lanka

In a word:  Special
Food:  Sri Lankan favourites freshly prepared for you in the family home
Service:  Saman is wonderful, his smile & laugh will keep you going for weeks!
Presentation:  Rustic look, food served on the family’s best china
Ambience:  Chill to the sounds of nature, just remember the mosquito repellant
Location:  Set back behind the beach on the family’s property amid lush green foliage
Value for money:  The whole experience is worth every penny and a feast of rice and curry is less than £3
Worth a visit?:  What could be better than eating authentic, freshly prepared Sri Lankan cuisine in the knowledge that you’re directly helping a family and supporting a young entrepreneur?
Welcoming sign to the homestay and restaurant

Welcoming sign to the homestay and restaurant

I met Saman on Marakolliya Beach near Tangalle in Sri Lanka, he was searching for shells along the tide line as I walked down the beach before breakfast.  He was collecting shells to make bracelets and necklaces to sell to tourists like me that he meets on the beach.  It turns out he also runs the sweetest little homestay guesthouse and tiny restaurant from his family home.  Being desperate to find authentic Sri Lankan cuisine, I wasn’t going to pass up on the opportunity to eat at his little restaurant.

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Baker & Spice’s World Environment Day Harvest party, Souk al Bahar, Dubai

You won’t know this, as I’ve never published a review, but Baker & Spice is my favourite place to eat.  The Dubai Marina branch is a regular haunt of mine, I love their ethos, ethics, food and pretty much everything they do.  I was therefore delighted to receive an invite from Baker & Spice lovely PR lady, Angela, to the World Environment Day party hosted at their Souk al Bahar branch.

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