Manuscript help, book reviews and author interviews
Give me a good book, a rich luscious coffee and a corner where I can sink into and I am in blissful heaven. So, started my quest for “ Paradise Found”.
Colombo seems to be bursting at the seams with restaurants and cafes. Food unites the diverse inhabitants of this bustling city. This city is growing rapidly, albeit maintaining its old-world colonial charm.
From roadside “Kade” to epicurean and chic bars and cafes, there is something for everyone.
My quest however was not to satisfy my tickling taste buds, but to find “ My Good Book Corner”, a place I could take a book, a magazine, a newspaper and be treated to a cup of divine coffee. I am a bibliophile and though nothing can keep me away from books, the reading experience needs to be of a set standard- comfortable seater and a good jolting cup of coffee. The journey took me exploring Colombo for that one perfect place.
At 8:00 am , if you find yourself on Stafford Avenue, Kirulapone, none of the chic stores will be open. The only place that beckons with its aromas is the Barista Lavazza Cafe. The tinkling of the bell as you push open the door, the warm greeting and exquisite aroma of freshly brewed coffee, already boosts the mood. Its large comfy seaters are ideal to sink into and enjoy a good book while being served.
Coco Verandah on Ward Place, is centrally located and offers an array of bevies to choose from. The relaxing ambience lets one read undisturbed. For the hungry readers, you can quickly order their sumptuous wraps or healthy salads, followed by a creamy chocolate eclair as a pick-me-up.
In 1963 Herbert B. Hyman started The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. The outlet of this international chain at Maitland Crescent, honours his commitment in serving gourmet coffee and tea along with a large selection of sweets and savouries. The casual area gives a safe feel, so you can easily curl up and lose yourself in the world of your book.
What better place than under the quiet shade of one of the old trees that dots the sprawling Vihara Mahadevi Park on Dharmapala Mawatha. Earlier, known as Victoria Park, the oldest and largest park in the city of Colombo is always open. Pick up a coffee from one of the shops or a simple Nescafe in a paper cup from a vendor close by and you have the perfect setting for your reading escapade.
Fairy lights and good music, the chatter of people and the clinking of glassware under the starry Colombo sky! Morning comes and it takes the look of a quaint, quiet corner with freshly brewed coffee, hot breads, heavenly English breakfast and mouth-watering Srilankan specials, warmly ushering in all who come. Park Street Mews Restaurant’s cobbled avenue is one of Harpo Gooneratne’s offerings to Colombo’s food crazy people. The fusion menu offers a limited but good array of fresh beverages, snappy savouries and delectable dolce delights. Its Mediterranean cafe style theme has a very relaxing ambience. Large comfy seaters are on offer and excellent service with a smile. The stables at Mews also play host to most literary events in Colombo.
The Good Book Corner interviewed Harpo about his dream project…..
TGBC: What inspired Park Street Mews?
HG: The location inspired me to look in to a restaurant – the warehouses with
their old world charm in the midst of the business district.
TGBC: What makes it stand out in comparison with so many other cafe/
restaurants in Colombo?
HG: Set in the Park Street Mews complex, originally horse stables and old
warehouse complex, its location is unique, as all my
restaurants are set in heritage sites. The concept is a
contemporary cool setting with an eclectic fusion menu giving the guest an
absolutely comfortable and relaxed dining experience. There is also an option to
dine – in or alfresco – on the street .
“ Where the mind is without a care and I can quietly sit and read my book……………………….
into that heaven, my Father, thank you for taking me!”
This is my version of Nobel Laurette, Rabindranath Tagore’s famous poem.
I found mine! Come and find your Good Book Corner!!!