72 Hours on the south coast of Sri Lanka – Culture & Cuisine

Historic relics, spiritual solace.
Whispering palms, sandy beaches.
Sunny skies, rolling surf.
Vivid nature, vibrant culture.

Sri Lankan’s may think of it as the “low country” but it’s one of the highlights of a visit to the Emerald Isle. A gentle sea-breeze and the heady scent of jasmine and frangipani evoke a tropical vibe. The fortified city of Galle is quaint, full of old world charm and reminiscent of a bygone era. Colourful local markets, food traditions and exquisite cuisine. Iconic stilt fishermen perch atop their poles, silhouetted in the sunset.
Welcome to our world.

DAY 1:
1:00 PM:

Thali Tapas:
Once you’ve arrived and checked in, head to Botanik. For your first bite of Sri Lanka we recommend the Sri Lankan thali, a tasting platter of local delights.

3:00 PM:
Relax & Unwind:
Enjoy a relaxing traditional massage at the spa pavilion or cool off with a dip in the pool.

4:00 PM:
Take a walk or a short tuk-tuk ride to one of the nearby beaches – Unawatuna is just a kilometer away. Enjoy an evening stroll on the soft, white sand. If you feel like it, take a dip in the warm surf of Indian Ocean.

6:30 PM:
Return to Owl and the Pussycat Hotel and freshen up. Head down to watch a spectacular sunset, while sipping on Colombo Gin or an Arrack Sour on the deck.

8:00 PM:
Fresh & Flavourful:
Enjoy a fabulous dinner of fresh, local seafood and seasonal produce, delicately prepared to evoke their natural flavour.

A  traditional meal at Sri Lanka
beach near our hotel n Galle
fresh seafood at Botanik Restaurant

DAY 2:
7:00 AM:

Wellbeing & Vitality:
Wake up and stretch those limbs with a spot of yoga in our tropical garden, while overlooking the Indian Ocean.

8:30 AM:
Breakfast bites:
Enjoy a health, nutritious breakfast at Botanik. Tender coconut water, breakfast hoppers, fresh fruit, start the day on a healthy high!

10:00 AM:
History & Architecture:
A short drive along the coast brings you to the ancient fortified city of Galle. If you’re a history buff, you’ll love the vestiges of Sri Lanka’s colonial past. Galle is one of the oldest cities in South Asia and historians have found relics from as far as Ancient Rome and Babylon here! Stroll through the tiny by-lanes and explore art galleries, boutiques and the iconic lighthouse.

12:30 PM:
Light Lunch:
Enjoy a light lunch at a local café in the fortified city, before heading back to Owl and the Pussycat Hotel for a short nap!

4:30 PM:
Art & Culture:
This afternoon, a member of the OTP team will take you on a guided art walk through the hotel. Our hand-picked, personally curated art collection features both established and upcoming local Sri Lankan artists. Bold designs and vivid tones lend an air of ebullience. You can also head out and visit a couple of local art galleries in and around Thalpe and Unawatuna.

Active & Outdoors:
Re-energised? Are you pedal-worthy? This afternoon, head out on a gorgeous bike ride along the coast. Pass through lush paddy fields, coconut groves and wayside villages as you head towards Matara. The town of Matara has a laid-back vibe and relaxed ambience. Explore the old Star Fort and the old Dutch Trade Center renown for it’s distinctive architecture.

If you’re so inclined, you can also make a brief stop at the Weherahena Buddhist temple, embellished with over 200 cartoon-like paintings of various scenes from the Buddha’s life.
(Cultural Note: During the late-November or early December poya (full moon), a colourful perahera procession of dancers and elephants is held at the temple to celebrate the anniversary of it’s founding).

6:30 PM:
Evening Elegance:
Enjoy a cocktail and a light snack from the antipasti table that is laid out in our elegant drawing room.

8:00 PM:
Wine & Dine:
Head down to Botanik for a delicious dinner, under starry skies with the sound of the waves in the background.

a view of palm trees near our hotel in Galle
A tuk-tuk in Galle
seating area in Drawing Room

DAY 3:
7:00 AM
Enjoy a delightful cup of Ceylon tea, freshly brewed from Sri Lanka’s finest tea-estates, and a healthy and nutritious breakfast. Then head out for a short drive with our chefs for a fabulous market walk through the local fish markets and green markets. Pile up a variety of fresh seafood and fresh fruit and vegetables before heading back to the hotel.

10:30 AM
After a refreshing glass of tender coconut water, roll up your sleeves and prepare to get your hands dirty as our chefs lead you into a hands-on cooking workshop. Whip up a range of delightful dishes using local ingredients. From herbs like Gotukolla to baby Jackfruit, coconut to cashewnut, spend a super morning cooking up a storm.

1:00 PM
After all that hard work, sit down and enjoy a hearty lunch of all the fabulous food which you have prepared!

3:30 PM
Culinary Culture:
This afternoon, we continue our exploration of Sri Lanka’s culinary traditions. We will take a walk through the tea factory in Koggala before heading onwards to a cardamom plantation nearby. Learn more about the history of the tea-trade and the spice route in this region of Sri Lanka before returning to the hotel.

7:00 PM
Bottoms Up!
Enjoy a fun evening as our bar-tender demonstrates a few fun cocktail recipes for you to take home with you! Tender coconut water with rum, Colombo Gin and Sri Lankan Arrack make for a fun and heady evening!

8:30 PM
Classic & Contemporary:
This evening, enjoy a feast of classic Sri Lankan recipes – with that special OTP twist.

sri Lankan dishes at  Botanik Restaurant in Galle
deck with view of ocean
chef curating meals at at Botanik Restaurant in Galle

DAY 4:
Sit Back & Relax:
Enjoy a lazy breakfast. Spend a relaxed morning on the terrace of your suite overlooking the Indian Ocean, enjoy a leisurely morning swim or take a walk down to the beaches of Unawatuna. After packing up your bags, head back to Colombo for your flight home.