Ideas flow at Kalukanda House. As we count down to Summer 2019, our future guests are finalising their excursions and thinking about what to pack for their Sri Lankan holiday.
Kalukanda House is a magical place that inspires creativity. Previous guests include Dan Sefton who is writer and author of The Good Karma Hospital and stayed with us last Summer while they were filming series 3. Yogi Dylan Ayaloo stayed with us for the second time in December with his family and created online yoga challenges for his following while keeping up his own yoga practice in the garden. You can read about both of them in previous blog posts.
We love the creative inspiration received by guests at Kalukanda House, it energises and spurs us on to keep creating a special place for all of you to do your own special thing.
Lisa Andrews spent some of her time at the villa putting final touches to her new swimwear brand. She is the Founder of “About The Girl” – a beautiful boutique that sells gorgeous Sea Folly swimwear, lingerie and accessories for post mastectomy women via an online shop. You can find links to her site at the end of this post – she is clearly a very stylish lady and knows how to throw an outfit together.
Lisa took her family to stay at Kalukanda House during October half term whilst she was setting up her business. Here she talks a little bit about their holiday and how “About The Girl” has taken a little piece of Sri Lanka back home.
A little slice of heaven!
So we’ve always wanted to go to Sri Lanka but with one thing or another it hadn’t happened. Then when our friends were building their villa, I watched it’s development avidly and we thought now is the time to go.
We have kids that are getting to that stage where holidays need to be an adventure, to keep them coming with us! They’re 15, 14 and 10 and we want to show them more of the world before they want to holiday with their mates. So we thought the combination of being based at Kalukanda House with the day trips on offer and the limited time we had accommodating all 3 kids school holidays, and me in the process of setting up a business, was perfect.
Arriving at Kalukanda House, it far outweighed our expectations, it was absolutely stunning. Suppose, no surprise there, with Dee being an interior designer. It’s beautifully decorated, but not likein a show home where you daren’t touch anything, but like a gorgeous home. And all very in keeping with the surroundings.
One of my favourite spots was first thing in the morning, kids all still sleeping and I’d sit outside with my morning pot of tea and listen to the morning chorus birdsong, now and again added in with the sound effects of these gorgeous children singing at the local nursery!
I am in the process of setting up a company, it’s a beachwear business with a speciality in bikinis for post-mastectomy ladies. The setting at Weligama was perfect for me to wear a number of my bikinis and get the kids to take some photos of me ready for the website. Maybe it was the incredible setting, the glorious sunsets or the mojitos that gave me the confidence to get these photostaken!
Completely fed up with the bolster holders and granny pants on offer to me after my mastectomy, I went on a mission to try and source the best bikinis and lingerie for post-mastectomy ladies. I want them to feel like a sexy, chic woman again, and have the confidence to hit the beach in style.
About the Girl is the only UK retailer allowed to alter the Australian brand of swimwear, Seafolly, to sew pockets into them for post mastectomy ladies. Their styles are amazing, so well structured, colouful and vibrant.
The tranquillity of these early mornings gave me the chance to sit and work on my website, in these incredible surroundings with house Wi-Fi! I was uploading stock and learning how to use the website, so the surroundings at Kalukanda House were the perfect setting for me to work. I also used some of the house as a back drop to photograph some of my products and the beach sunsets were just incredible and I use those photos all the time for my social media.
I found the vibrancy of Sri Lanka very inspiring for my website. I use a lot of colour and the colours all around me here, were incredible, It was also so exciting to go to the local shops and markets to source new products or look around to get ideas.
The staff were incredible, nothing was too much trouble, we adored them and still get texts from them! The food was amazing. Our breakfasts were great with a different fresh juice each day. On our first night we had a traditional Sri Lankan meal of prawn curry, aubergine curry, dhal, coconut sambal to name a few of the dishes. I can’t tell you how much we all loved it, we really could have eaten it every night, we almost did! I loved it so much that the cook and Jeewan started teaching me the dishes. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a day to do the cookery course, next time I will, so they gave me recipes and tips! And I cooked a Sri Lankan meal the first weekend we got home! And it was all thanks to them it tasted so good.
The days trips were a perfect way to get a taste for the rest of Sri Lanka. One day we went into the rain forest, our guide was brilliant pointing our various insects and animals that I have no idea how he could spot them!
We walked all the way to a beautiful waterfall which they all swam in (my hatred of cold water got the better of me!). On the way back we stopped at a local house, it was where the tuk tuk has been parked while on our trek, and we had our lunch there. It literally felt like we were eating in these lovely people’s home. They were so kind. And I loved the fact my daughters were very conscious that their lives were very different from them, and they were very conscious of being respectful and thankful.
Olivia even insisted that her 10-year-old brother finish the ice cream they had been offered, even though it wasn’t Ben and Jerry’s! I was very proud to see them behave so respectfully.
I think a part of me fell in love with Sri Lanka, I look back on that family holiday with such fondness. We all had the most amazing time. The kids’ eyes were opened to a different culture and way of life. They loved zooming around with the staff, who bonded with my husband big time! Probably over a lot of cricket chat.
We were all so impressed with Sri Lanka. It was such a beautiful place full of beautiful people. We will definitely be going back!
Lisa and Family
About the Girl
Founded by Lisa Andrews
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/AboutTheGirlUK/
About the Girl has two departments, “normal” ladies swimwear and “postmastectomy swimwear’, along with a range of accessories.