Archive for December, 2012

ROYSTON’S REPORT, Number 141

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

 

TROPICAL TOPICS, Sunday 23 December 2012

 

Season’s greetings from Sri Lanka to readers around the world.

 

Made in Sri Lanka: Savoury Nuts

Just right for a Christmas snack – some savoury nuts that aren’t actually hazel nuts, Brazil nuts or walnuts; made in Sri Lanka these are exotically spicy imitation cashew nuts. Guests at Horizon Cottage love them with sundowners as they satisfy hunger pangs while titillating the palate to taste another tipple.

 

Sri Lankan speciality: savoury nuts

Sri Lankan speciality: savoury nuts

 

Although I can’t eat them now that I’m on a gluten-free regime (they’re made of wheat flour) I remember how much I enjoyed them in the past. They come beautifully packed in boxes of 170g net and are manufactured by the Sri Lankan company, CBL Munchee, and are exported worldwide (www.muncheelk.com). A box costs Rs115 [.54p; .88cents]

 

Napkin Clips

It’s not just old age; it’s a matter of dining etiquette. For years I was embarrassed whenever I went out for dinner and laid the napkin across my lap, or tucked it in between two buttons on my shirt, and then minutes later felt it slip to the floor. What to do? To pick it up from the floor and start again seems unhygienic.

 

Quite by chance in Paris I discovered Napkin Clips. These are clips designed specifically to attach a table napkin to one’s shirt. I bought one with a clip and a dangling gold painted metal butterfly that looked rather fetching and became a dinner conversation piece. Then I lost it.

 

I googled Napkin Clips and discovered there are hundreds out there, but these are mostly two clips on a lanyard to use as a necklace around one’s neck and secure the napkin like a bib. Or they look like electrician’s crocodile clips. Actually the napkin clip was familiar in Victorian & Edwardian days with antique clips from that era selling on eBay for anything from £40 to £200.

 

An Edwardian silver napkin clip made in Birmingham.

An Edwardian silver napkin clip made in Birmingham.


 

Flying last year in Business Class on Iberia I discovered that, instead of having a buttonhole in the napkin so you can attach the napkin to a shirt button (as some airlines, like Sri Lankan, provide), Iberia issued miniature plastic pegs for the purpose. So I bought a small wooden clothes peg and decorated it with feathers to make my own napkin clip to prevent further embarrassment while dining.

 

Napkin clip: a clothes peg and feathers secure it to the shirt

Napkin clip: a clothes peg and feathers secure it to the shirt

 

In the meantime, I saw this enquiry on a cruise accessories website: Does anyone know of where I can get a napkin clip for my husband?

 

To which someone had replied: Is that a fair exchange?????

 

 

The Most Romantic Resort in the World.

Baros Maldives, where I stayed last week, has recently won the travel industry’s Oscar as the World’s Most Romantic Resort in the annual World Travel Awards (http://www.worldtravelawards.com). To celebrate, I had dinner on a sand bank.

 

Baros Maldives: romantic dinner on a sandbank

Baros Maldives: romantic dinner on a sandbank

 

My companion for this incredible experience was the resort’s popular Executive Assistant Manager, Ahmed Shuhan, a Maldivian of beaming personality and romantic soul. Our conversation centred on the marvel of dining under a starlit sky on an isolated island-in-formation, that wasn’t even there seven years ago.

 

Attended by a sarong clad steward and a dedicated chef, we enjoyed a dinner in this pop up restaurant that would put gourmet establishments to shame. How could they compete with the romance of the sun setting as we sipped champagne, the shy rising of the moon, the gentle splash of surf lapping the sand at our feet, the flickering glow of candlelight, the perfect table setting, and a memorable meal prepared with panache and served with patient charm?

 

Baros Maldives: Ocean & Earth BBQ menu

Baros Maldives: Ocean & Earth BBQ menu

 

Shuhan told me the sandbank dinner is the highlight of a stay at Baros for couples. The price is not expensive for what is included: the transfer to and from the sandbank by motorboat, the gourmet menu (shown above) of generous portions, a bottle of champagne, the exclusive use of the sandbank for the evening, and an experience to treasure, just US$475 – and that’s for two!

 

Sign of the times

A couple of weeks ago (Newsletter 139) I featured a restaurant sign that got me annoyed because it stated “No pork, no beef” which is like saying “no tourists.” Perhaps someone told the restaurant owner because the sign has been replaced with this much more positive one.

 

Restaurant sign with everything

Restaurant sign with everything

 

 

Head note

As a head (instead of a foot) note to my recent report of cute signs outside hairdressing salons, I spotted this one on the road to the airport in Sri Lanka:  Hair Springs.

 

From the publisher of my epic The Big Beat Scene, I learn that  Curl Up & Dye is the name of the hair/beauty salon featured in The Blues Brothers. He adds: “Many years ago, I used to go to a hairdresser called Short & Curlies… and the most inspired name I’ve seen is that of a hairdresser located on Swain House Road, Bradford, West Yorks: Swainy Todd.”

 

My publisher points out that the correct address of the website to purchase the book for that ageing rocker (or rockette) in your life to roll in the New Year is:

http://musicmentor0.tripod.com/book_big_beat_scene.html.

 

 

Christmas shopping

For the first time since we began publishing this newsletter 140 weeks ago, we’re having a break (actually I’m in Bangkok right now – for Christmas shopping, of course; what else?), so no newsletter on Sunday 30 December. However, to keep in touch with Sri Lanka, don’t forget my Bradt Guide Book, available through http://www.amazon.co.uk or direct from the publisher: http://www.bradtguides.com/Book/552/Sri-Lanka.html

 

Bradt Guide to Sri Lanka: all you need to know.

Bradt Guide to Sri Lanka: all you need to know.

 

 

Happy holidays

Royston

 

 

 

 

 

ROYSTON’S REPORT, Number 141

 

TROPICAL TOPICS, Sunday 23 December 2013

 

Season’s greetings from Sri Lanka to readers around the world.

 

Made in Sri Lanka: Savoury Nuts

Just right for a Christmas snack – some savoury nuts that aren’t actually hazel nuts, Brazil nuts or walnuts; made in Sri Lanka these are exotically spicy imitation cashew nuts. Guests at Horizon Cottage love them with sundowners as they satisfy hunger pangs while titillating the palate to taste another tipple.

 

141/1 Sri Lankan speciality: savoury nuts

 

Although I can’t eat them now that I’m on a gluten-free regime (they’re made of wheat flour) I remember how much I enjoyed them in the past. They come beautifully packed in boxes of 170g net and are manufactured by the Sri Lankan company, CBL Munchee, and are exported worldwide (www.muncheelk.com). A box costs Rs115 [.54p; .88cents]

 

Napkin Clips

It’s not just old age; it’s a matter of dining etiquette. For years I was embarrassed whenever I went out for dinner and laid the napkin across my lap, or tucked it in between two buttons on my shirt, and then minutes later felt it slip to the floor. What to do? To pick it up from the floor and start again seems unhygienic.

 

Quite by chance in Paris I discovered Napkin Clips. These are clips designed specifically to attach a table napkin to one’s shirt. I bought one with a clip and a dangling gold painted metal butterfly that looked rather fetching and became a dinner conversation piece. Then I lost it.

 

I googled Napkin Clips and discovered there are hundreds out there, but these are mostly two clips on a lanyard to use as a necklace around one’s neck and secure the napkin like a bib. Or they look like electrician’s crocodile clips. Actually the napkin clip was familiar in Victorian & Edwardian days with antique clips from that era selling on eBay for anything from £40 to £200.

 

141/2 An Edwardian silver napkin clip made in Birmingham.

 

Flying last year in Business Class on Iberia I discovered that, instead of having a buttonhole in the napkin so you can attach the napkin to a shirt button (as some airlines, like Sri Lankan, provide), Iberia issued miniature plastic pegs for the purpose. So I bought a small wooden clothes peg and decorated it with feathers to make my own napkin clip to prevent further embarrassment while dining.

 

141/3 Napkin clip: a clothes peg and feathers secure it to the shirt

 

In the meantime, I saw this enquiry on a cruise accessories website: Does anyone know of where I can get a napkin clip for my husband?

 

To which someone had replied: Is that a fair exchange?????

 

 

The Most Romantic Resort in the World.

Baros Maldives, where I stayed last week, has recently won the travel industry’s Oscar as the World’s Most Romantic Resort in the annual World Travel Awards (http://www.worldtravelawards.com). To celebrate, I had dinner on a sand bank.

 

141/4 Baros Maldives: romantic dinner on a sandbank

 

My companion for this incredible experience was the resort’s popular Executive Assistant Manager, Ahmed Shuhan, a Maldivian of beaming personality and romantic soul. Our conversation centred on the marvel of dining under a starlit sky on an isolated island-in-formation, that wasn’t even there seven years ago.

 

Attended by a sarong clad steward and a dedicated chef, we enjoyed a dinner in this pop up restaurant that would put gourmet establishments to shame. How could they compete with the romance of the sun setting as we sipped champagne, the shy rising of the moon, the gentle splash of surf lapping the sand at our feet, the flickering glow of candlelight, the perfect table setting, and a memorable meal prepared with panache and served with patient charm?

 

141/5 Baros Maldives: Ocean & Earth BBQ menu

 

Shuhan told me the sandbank dinner is the highlight of a stay at Baros for couples. The price is not expensive for what is included: the transfer to and from the sandbank by motorboat, the gourmet menu (shown above) of generous portions, a bottle of champagne, the exclusive use of the sandbank for the evening, and an experience to treasure, just US$475 – and that’s for two!

 

Sign of the times

A couple of weeks ago (Newsletter 139) I featured a restaurant sign that got me annoyed because it stated “No pork, no beef” which is like saying “no tourists.” Perhaps someone told the restaurant owner because the sign has been replaced with this much more positive one.

 

141/6 Restaurant sign with everything

 

 

Head note

As a head (instead of a foot) note to my recent report of cute signs outside hairdressing salons, I spotted this one on the road to the airport in Sri Lanka:  Hair Springs.

 

From the publisher of my epic The Big Beat Scene, I learn that  Curl Up & Dye is the name of the hair/beauty salon featured in The Blues Brothers. He adds: “Many years ago, I used to go to a hairdresser called Short & Curlies… and the most inspired name I’ve seen is that of a hairdresser located on Swain House Road, Bradford, West Yorks: Swainy Todd.”

 

My publisher points out that the correct address of the website to purchase the book for that ageing rocker (or rockette) in your life to roll in the New Year is:

http://musicmentor0.tripod.com/book_big_beat_scene.html.

 

 

Christmas shopping

For the first time since we began publishing this newsletter 140 weeks ago, we’re having a break (actually I’m in Bangkok right now – for Christmas shopping, of course; what else?), so no newsletter on Sunday 30 December. However, to keep in touch with Sri Lanka, don’t forget my Bradt Guide Book, available through http://www.amazon.co.uk or direct from the publisher: http://www.bradtguides.com/Book/552/Sri-Lanka.html

 

141/7 Bradt Guide to Sri Lanka: all you need to know.

 

Happy holidays

Royston

 

 

 

 

 

ROYSTON’S REPORT, Number 141

 

TROPICAL TOPICS, Sunday 23 December 2013

 

Season’s greetings from Sri Lanka to readers around the world.

 

Made in Sri Lanka: Savoury Nuts

Just right for a Christmas snack – some savoury nuts that aren’t actually hazel nuts, Brazil nuts or walnuts; made in Sri Lanka these are exotically spicy imitation cashew nuts. Guests at Horizon Cottage love them with sundowners as they satisfy hunger pangs while titillating the palate to taste another tipple.

 

141/1 Sri Lankan speciality: savoury nuts

 

Although I can’t eat them now that I’m on a gluten-free regime (they’re made of wheat flour) I remember how much I enjoyed them in the past. They come beautifully packed in boxes of 170g net and are manufactured by the Sri Lankan company, CBL Munchee, and are exported worldwide (www.muncheelk.com). A box costs Rs115 [.54p; .88cents]

 

Napkin Clips

It’s not just old age; it’s a matter of dining etiquette. For years I was embarrassed whenever I went out for dinner and laid the napkin across my lap, or tucked it in between two buttons on my shirt, and then minutes later felt it slip to the floor. What to do? To pick it up from the floor and start again seems unhygienic.

 

Quite by chance in Paris I discovered Napkin Clips. These are clips designed specifically to attach a table napkin to one’s shirt. I bought one with a clip and a dangling gold painted metal butterfly that looked rather fetching and became a dinner conversation piece. Then I lost it.

 

I googled Napkin Clips and discovered there are hundreds out there, but these are mostly two clips on a lanyard to use as a necklace around one’s neck and secure the napkin like a bib. Or they look like electrician’s crocodile clips. Actually the napkin clip was familiar in Victorian & Edwardian days with antique clips from that era selling on eBay for anything from £40 to £200.

 

141/2 An Edwardian silver napkin clip made in Birmingham.

 

Flying last year in Business Class on Iberia I discovered that, instead of having a buttonhole in the napkin so you can attach the napkin to a shirt button (as some airlines, like Sri Lankan, provide), Iberia issued miniature plastic pegs for the purpose. So I bought a small wooden clothes peg and decorated it with feathers to make my own napkin clip to prevent further embarrassment while dining.

 

141/3 Napkin clip: a clothes peg and feathers secure it to the shirt

 

In the meantime, I saw this enquiry on a cruise accessories website: Does anyone know of where I can get a napkin clip for my husband?

 

To which someone had replied: Is that a fair exchange?????

 

 

The Most Romantic Resort in the World.

Baros Maldives, where I stayed last week, has recently won the travel industry’s Oscar as the World’s Most Romantic Resort in the annual World Travel Awards (http://www.worldtravelawards.com). To celebrate, I had dinner on a sand bank.

 

141/4 Baros Maldives: romantic dinner on a sandbank

 

My companion for this incredible experience was the resort’s popular Executive Assistant Manager, Ahmed Shuhan, a Maldivian of beaming personality and romantic soul. Our conversation centred on the marvel of dining under a starlit sky on an isolated island-in-formation, that wasn’t even there seven years ago.

 

Attended by a sarong clad steward and a dedicated chef, we enjoyed a dinner in this pop up restaurant that would put gourmet establishments to shame. How could they compete with the romance of the sun setting as we sipped champagne, the shy rising of the moon, the gentle splash of surf lapping the sand at our feet, the flickering glow of candlelight, the perfect table setting, and a memorable meal prepared with panache and served with patient charm?

 

141/5 Baros Maldives: Ocean & Earth BBQ menu

 

Shuhan told me the sandbank dinner is the highlight of a stay at Baros for couples. The price is not expensive for what is included: the transfer to and from the sandbank by motorboat, the gourmet menu (shown above) of generous portions, a bottle of champagne, the exclusive use of the sandbank for the evening, and an experience to treasure, just US$475 – and that’s for two!

 

Sign of the times

A couple of weeks ago (Newsletter 139) I featured a restaurant sign that got me annoyed because it stated “No pork, no beef” which is like saying “no tourists.” Perhaps someone told the restaurant owner because the sign has been replaced with this much more positive one.

 

141/6 Restaurant sign with everything

 

 

Head note

As a head (instead of a foot) note to my recent report of cute signs outside hairdressing salons, I spotted this one on the road to the airport in Sri Lanka:  Hair Springs.

 

From the publisher of my epic The Big Beat Scene, I learn that  Curl Up & Dye is the name of the hair/beauty salon featured in The Blues Brothers. He adds: “Many years ago, I used to go to a hairdresser called Short & Curlies… and the most inspired name I’ve seen is that of a hairdresser located on Swain House Road, Bradford, West Yorks: Swainy Todd.”

 

My publisher points out that the correct address of the website to purchase the book for that ageing rocker (or rockette) in your life to roll in the New Year is:

http://musicmentor0.tripod.com/book_big_beat_scene.html.

 

 

Christmas shopping

For the first time since we began publishing this newsletter 140 weeks ago, we’re having a break (actually I’m in Bangkok right now – for Christmas shopping, of course; what else?), so no newsletter on Sunday 30 December. However, to keep in touch with Sri Lanka, don’t forget my Bradt Guide Book, available through http://www.amazon.co.uk or direct from the publisher: http://www.bradtguides.com/Book/552/Sri-Lanka.html

 

141/7 Bradt Guide to Sri Lanka: all you need to know.

 

Happy holidays

Royston

 

 

 

 

 

ROYSTON’S REPORT, Number 141

 

TROPICAL TOPICS, Sunday 23 December 2013

 

Season’s greetings from Sri Lanka to readers around the world.

 

Made in Sri Lanka: Savoury Nuts

Just right for a Christmas snack – some savoury nuts that aren’t actually hazel nuts, Brazil nuts or walnuts; made in Sri Lanka these are exotically spicy imitation cashew nuts. Guests at Horizon Cottage love them with sundowners as they satisfy hunger pangs while titillating the palate to taste another tipple.

 

141/1 Sri Lankan speciality: savoury nuts

 

Although I can’t eat them now that I’m on a gluten-free regime (they’re made of wheat flour) I remember how much I enjoyed them in the past. They come beautifully packed in boxes of 170g net and are manufactured by the Sri Lankan company, CBL Munchee, and are exported worldwide (www.muncheelk.com). A box costs Rs115 [.54p; .88cents]

 

Napkin Clips

It’s not just old age; it’s a matter of dining etiquette. For years I was embarrassed whenever I went out for dinner and laid the napkin across my lap, or tucked it in between two buttons on my shirt, and then minutes later felt it slip to the floor. What to do? To pick it up from the floor and start again seems unhygienic.

 

Quite by chance in Paris I discovered Napkin Clips. These are clips designed specifically to attach a table napkin to one’s shirt. I bought one with a clip and a dangling gold painted metal butterfly that looked rather fetching and became a dinner conversation piece. Then I lost it.

 

I googled Napkin Clips and discovered there are hundreds out there, but these are mostly two clips on a lanyard to use as a necklace around one’s neck and secure the napkin like a bib. Or they look like electrician’s crocodile clips. Actually the napkin clip was familiar in Victorian & Edwardian days with antique clips from that era selling on eBay for anything from £40 to £200.

 

141/2 An Edwardian silver napkin clip made in Birmingham.

 

Flying last year in Business Class on Iberia I discovered that, instead of having a buttonhole in the napkin so you can attach the napkin to a shirt button (as some airlines, like Sri Lankan, provide), Iberia issued miniature plastic pegs for the purpose. So I bought a small wooden clothes peg and decorated it with feathers to make my own napkin clip to prevent further embarrassment while dining.

 

141/3 Napkin clip: a clothes peg and feathers secure it to the shirt

 

In the meantime, I saw this enquiry on a cruise accessories website: Does anyone know of where I can get a napkin clip for my husband?

 

To which someone had replied: Is that a fair exchange?????

 

 

The Most Romantic Resort in the World.

Baros Maldives, where I stayed last week, has recently won the travel industry’s Oscar as the World’s Most Romantic Resort in the annual World Travel Awards (http://www.worldtravelawards.com). To celebrate, I had dinner on a sand bank.

 

141/4 Baros Maldives: romantic dinner on a sandbank

 

My companion for this incredible experience was the resort’s popular Executive Assistant Manager, Ahmed Shuhan, a Maldivian of beaming personality and romantic soul. Our conversation centred on the marvel of dining under a starlit sky on an isolated island-in-formation, that wasn’t even there seven years ago.

 

Attended by a sarong clad steward and a dedicated chef, we enjoyed a dinner in this pop up restaurant that would put gourmet establishments to shame. How could they compete with the romance of the sun setting as we sipped champagne, the shy rising of the moon, the gentle splash of surf lapping the sand at our feet, the flickering glow of candlelight, the perfect table setting, and a memorable meal prepared with panache and served with patient charm?

 

141/5 Baros Maldives: Ocean & Earth BBQ menu

 

Shuhan told me the sandbank dinner is the highlight of a stay at Baros for couples. The price is not expensive for what is included: the transfer to and from the sandbank by motorboat, the gourmet menu (shown above) of generous portions, a bottle of champagne, the exclusive use of the sandbank for the evening, and an experience to treasure, just US$475 – and that’s for two!

 

Sign of the times

A couple of weeks ago (Newsletter 139) I featured a restaurant sign that got me annoyed because it stated “No pork, no beef” which is like saying “no tourists.” Perhaps someone told the restaurant owner because the sign has been replaced with this much more positive one.

 

141/6 Restaurant sign with everything

 

 

Head note

As a head (instead of a foot) note to my recent report of cute signs outside hairdressing salons, I spotted this one on the road to the airport in Sri Lanka:  Hair Springs.

 

From the publisher of my epic The Big Beat Scene, I learn that  Curl Up & Dye is the name of the hair/beauty salon featured in The Blues Brothers. He adds: “Many years ago, I used to go to a hairdresser called Short & Curlies… and the most inspired name I’ve seen is that of a hairdresser located on Swain House Road, Bradford, West Yorks: Swainy Todd.”

 

My publisher points out that the correct address of the website to purchase the book for that ageing rocker (or rockette) in your life to roll in the New Year is:

http://musicmentor0.tripod.com/book_big_beat_scene.html.

 

 

Christmas shopping

For the first time since we began publishing this newsletter 140 weeks ago, we’re having a break (actually I’m in Bangkok right now – for Christmas shopping, of course; what else?), so no newsletter on Sunday 30 December. However, to keep in touch with Sri Lanka, don’t forget my Bradt Guide Book, available through http://www.amazon.co.uk or direct from the publisher: http://www.bradtguides.com/Book/552/Sri-Lanka.html

 

141/7 Bradt Guide to Sri Lanka: all you need to know.

 

Happy holidays

Royston