Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
I recently went to Charleston to meet with The Urban Electric Co. I am designing a custom fixture with them for a new project. I had the pleasure of touring their facilities and taking a sneak peak at the new fixtures they are producing. I have been using their products for many years and was truly amazed to see their operation in action. Everything from the design & engineering to the production & finishing is all done under one roof. They can customize their fixtures by having all of these teams working in such close proximity. I was able to review the engineering of my fixture with one team and then watch as the finish team made up samples for me right there on the spot.
I also had the opportunity to sample some low country cuisine. The Ordinary, Leon's Oyster Shop, and Butcher and Bee were definitely highlights. The rum inspired cocktail list at The Ordinary was worth the trip. The special rum drink the bartender made was a hit and perfect with oysters.
1 and 1/2 ounce Flor De Cana rum (12 year)
1 ounce Sherry Olorusso
1 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
Mix all ingredients in a shaker. Add ice and shake. Strain into coupe and serve with a lemon twist.
The light fixtures at the Ordinary are seen in the photo below. They are one of my favorites and are made by The Urban Electric Co.
Leon's Oyster Shop is also must destination. The restaurant is located in an old gas station on King Street. The hush puppies and were phenomenal. Make sure to save room for the soft-serve vanilla ice cream.
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
I have had a long standing affinity for India, but Sri Lanka may have taken it's place as my favorite destination in the region. I just returned home from a fabulous trip to Sri Lanka. The country has incredible biodiversity and charm. I was able to visit many regions, cities, and villages in this island nation formerly called Ceylon. Each of them had their own personality and special flair.
Galle is a port city developed during the Portuguese and Dutch colonial periods. It is still owned by the Dutch government which maintains the architectural integrity of the original buildings. I stayed at Amangalla, pictured below. It is located in the Galle fort, a world heritage site and the largest remaining fortress in Asia built by European occupiers.
The furniture at the hotel was the perfect combination of European colonial antiques and new reproductions. I had the opportunity to tour the workshop where the pieces were fabricated and met the gracious owner, Deeven Beruwalage. His fabrication technique utilizes hundred year old reclaimed wood so there is no splitting as the pieces age.
Tangalle is a town located in the Southern Province. I stayed at the seaside resort of Amanwella. Built by acclaimed Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa, the hotel juxtapostes sleak contemporary structures with the natural beauty of its surroundings. From here you can easy visit the buddhist Mulkirigala Rock Monastery and the wild elephants in Udawalawe National Park.
Mulkirigala Rock Monastery
Udawalawe National Park
Ceylon Tea Trails- Hatton
Located 4,000 above sea level, Ceylon Tea Trails was the hardest destination to reach but one of the most picturesque. The hotel consists of 4 beautifully restored bungalows originally built for British tea managers during the Raj. The bungalow where I stayed was surrounded by lovely walking trails through the tea plantations. The views along the trails at dawn were breathtaking.