If like me, post – COVID you are craving once more for that daily coffee and breakout from home or office, here is a summary of my experience pre the virus and lockdown. Having had coffee-loving visitors from Australia staying with me for a couple of weeks I decided that I should have a coffee stop every morning. This would be after a ninety minute walk about in Colombo with croissants also being offered.
The colourful and historic walking tours covered Fort, Beira Lake, Marine Drive, Lotus tower, Pettah, Slave Island and the (not so) floating market.
The coffee and the croissants summary:
- Kingsbury Hotel: Great coffee. Big cup but the worst Croissant ever (probably a day old, not fresh). Friendly service and a view of the pool.
- Whight and co. Marine drive: The best Coffee and the best Croissant of the tour. Sadly toilets and maintenance not so good. Sat outside and watched the rolling sea and the trains go by.
- The Nippon Hotel, Slave Island: No croissants so we didn’t stay, but nice chat with the receptionist. First time I’ve visited the place. Used by the English military back in the day, nicely renovated.
- Cinnamon Grand Hotel Coffee Stop: Nice Coffee, Friendly staff, good toilets. More a pastry place than croissants.
- Bread Talk near Park Street Mews: Fresh open plan cafe, plenty of friendly staff. Good Coffee but the croissants were a bit small. However, lots of other food choices.
- Cinnamon Lakeside, Basement: Went to the bar on the ground floor and was directed downstairs to the coffee shop. Its been the same for twenty years, no views, bit of a dungeon. Friendly staff and nice strong Coffee. Croissants not memorable.
- Grand Oriental Hotel, in front of the port: Limited selection, dark lobby so didn’t stay. I do like the open deck (holds six people) on the top floor for a beer and the best view of the port.
- Hotel Marino Beach: Staff not very inviting. Confusing which floor to go to. Saw a hectic restaurant and decided it was not the place for a morning coffee.
- Dutch Hospital Coffee Shop: Staff was a little arrogant. No skimmed milk. Coffee strong and tasted good but pricy compared to other locations. No croissants that day but great-looking cakes.
In summary, the best Coffee/Croissant combination was in Whight and Co, though they need to upgrade the place a bit – not the best place to walk to. No pavement, on one side, it’s the busy Marine Drive and on the other side a narrow useless pavement needing repair and too close to the railway. The company has now opened in a prime location up in the downstairs of One Gall Face Shopping Mall. Only issue is that they do not take American Express. I didn’t get to go to ‘Coffee Bean’ this time but my airport experience with them it is always rip off prices. When I asked the manager why he said “because our rent is so high”
During the curfew, I would like to thank The Barista Truck for visits to our apartment, Sugar Bistro (best croissant at a great price and good coffee), the Ramada Hotel for their 24-hour coffee service.
So join me the Whinging Pome on tour in Colombo, historic walkabouts, dirty bar crawls, waterfront walks, wine whinges and wonders.