viharamahadevi park east
If you’re continuing from the Viharamahadevi Park North shopping itinerary, just continue down Ward Place from Odel. Otherwise, head straight to Buddhi Batiks, where the Sri Lankan pioneer of batik has elevated that traditional art into an abstract form inspired by nature and applied it to silks, chiffons, denims and other non-traditional fabrics. There are saris, dresses and tops made from these fabrics including one-of-a-kind, silk batik clutch purses (look out for collaborations between Buddhi Batiks and other Sri Lankan designers for truly exciting pieces).
Continue right along Ward Place and turn right onto Wijerama Mawatha where you’ll find bright and 100% linen and cotton clothing for men and women at the Tropic of Linen on your left with clothes designed to be cool and easy to wear but stylish in the climate. As you travel south down Wijerama Mawatha, Black Cat Cafe and B&B is a relaxed and airy café serving good coffee otherwise try the sumptuous cakes at the original Butter Boutique at the corner of Rosmead Place. This complex conveniently also houses the men’s boutique Stripes and Checks and another excellent Sri Lankan batik design house, Batiks by Salt who are manufacturing batik designs using innovative technology to produce contemporary Sri Lankan fashion. They also stock an interesting ceramics range.
If you’re in the area between 10am and 1pm it is worth detouring right into Barnes Place and walking approximately 100 metres to the Sapumal Foundation located in the former residence of art collector Harry Pieris and houses an excellent collection of 20th century Sri Lankan art. Otherwise, continue along Wijerama Mawatha and turn right at Horton Place.
Across the road on your left is Café Kumbuk where you can treat yourself to a fresh, healthy and delicious lunch. They also stock selections of postcards from local photographers and illustrators, products from local makers as well as bottled take-home versions of their coveted foods. Next to Café Kumbuk travelling west on Horton Place get your hand-made chocolate fix at Gerard Mendis Chocolatier.
Another 100 metres down and across the road in the same building is the pioneering concept store PR Sri Lanka and the contemporary Sri Lankan art gallery of Saskia Fernando, both the next generation of creatives in the Paradise Road design dynasty. Stocking contemporary and stylish Sri Lankan (and some Indian) fashion design brands for men and women, jewellery (including re-purposed antique items) and accessories, PR (as it’s known) epitomises effortless chic and cutting edge, modern Sri Lankan design. Brands include ANUK, KUR New York, Sonali Dharmawardena, Papillon du Thé, La Pard and Cher by Chevonne amongst others. Upstairs in the monochromatically white space of the Saskia Fernando Gallery you’ll find regular exhibitions of avant garde Sri Lankan art and available for purchase if one takes your fancy. This is a truly unique space for modern Sri Lankan artists and art lovers.
Where Horton St ends at the large roundabout and you are at the Viharamahadevi Park for an afternoon stroll – grab soft serve or yoghurt ice cream beforehand from the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf on the corner of Maitland Crescent. And if you’re there late enough, try Upali’s by Nawaloka for your evening meal – it’s often jam packed with locals who come for tasty home-style Sri Lankan food.
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