Archive for November 25th, 2009

Break your fast at the best gathering place at Mount Lavinia Hotel

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Considered one of the five pillars of Islam, Ramadan is regarded the holiest month for Muslims. Ifthar being the evening meal when Muslims break their fast during the Islamic month of Ramadan, is usually done as a gathering with the community. Therefore, Mount Lavinia Hotel endorses that the best gathering place is open to break fast.

Mr Anura Dewapura, General Manager of Mount Lavinia Hotel proffers, “One of the best athering places with rustic surroundings whilst you gaze into the Indian Ocean is ideal to all who plan to break fast.”

Mount Lavinia Hotel extends all Muslims to break fast at the Governor’s Restaurant daily from 7pm to 10.30pm, until 20th September 2009.  The Ifthar Buffet at the Governors Restaurant for Dinner is priced at LKR2000/-nett. Mr Dewapura states, “The Usual theme night menu will still be on however with a special Ifthar and Biriyani corner with all condiments.”
And that’s not all there is a special Biriyani Takeaway offer Mutton or Chicken Biriyani  Takeaways or the traditional Savan

will be available on this month of Ramadan. Priced at LKR4444/-nett which includes portion quantity for 6 and the ingredients for one takeway or savan will be Chicken or Mutton, Whole Roasted Chicken, Maldive Fish sambol, Green peas with Carrot, Onion Achcharu( Pickle), Pineapple slices, Traditional Islamic dessert – made up of Coconut Milk, Jaggery and spices named Wattalappan

Cuban Fare at its best at 2nd Slow Food Night at Mount Lavinia Hotel

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Combining elements of traditional Spain with foods original to the region, Cuban food provides a powerful link to island memories and traditions. Cuban dinners receive more time and care as there will be a place for family and friends to congregate at the end of the day. Domino playing, dancing and indeed the congas are a usual sight at a Family Dinner. The special dishes begin with a flavorful mix of onions, green peppers, garlic, oregano and bay leaves which are sautéed together. From this blend, dishes such as Pork Picadillo, a ground meat and olive dish to, an oxtail soup, are begun. Many dishes are accompanied by the Cuban classic combination of black beans and rice as well as plantains. The plantain, a relative of the more familiar banana, can be prepared in a variety of ways, from the sweet maduros to the twice-fried tostones. Due to Cuba’s abundance of sugarcane, it is not surprising that sweet dishes are popular on the tropical island. A rich egg custard dripping in caramelized sugar, called flan, is arguably Cuba’s most famous dessert though it is by no means alone.

For example, those with a sweet tooth can choose from treats such as trés leche. Another popular dish is Cuban Rice pudding, In fact, many Cuban sweet and savory dishes are based on using what was readily available in the most appetizing way. That is why the style has translated so well across cultures – the desire to share good food and good times with family and friends is a universal one. 28th August, the Tropical Hut at the Mount Lavinia Hotel was transformed to a typical Family Style Dinner with one rectangular table seating 51 guests. Chef Leonel Velazquez, President of the Slow Food Movement in Sri Lanka, was the creator of the 2nd Slow Food evening dedicated to his Cuban background. He stated, “All ingredients used were from local growers within Sri Lanka and that is the essence of Slow Food.”

Chef Leo states, “Most people who haven’t tasted Cuban cuisine think our food is spicy. Wrong! We sure are spicy – as a culture – sniff the air and it smells exquisite, the wonderful beverages and other activities synonymous to Cuba is also very visible at a Cuban dinner”. And indeed it was the 2nd Slow Food event at the Mount Lavinia Hotel was Cuba in all its glory. A dominos playing corner, Congas being played, and other synonymous products that typify Cuba was very significant at the event.

The menu consisted of Western Cuban cuisine significantly forms the basis of criollo (“creole“) cooking. Criollo or Creole, basically meaning from European peoples and styles, born or created in the new world; The Prawn Creole in fact. Others in the menu were a Whole suckling Pig, Oxtail braised in red wine, Fricasse de pollo, Black beans, White rice, Yuca with pickled onion, Fufu plantain and pork rind mash, Maduros fried sweet plantains and the delicious Cuban Rice Pudding.

The menu consisted of Western Cuban cuisine significantly forms the basis of criollo (“creole“) cooking. Criollo or Creole, basically meaning from European peoples and styles, born or created in the new world; The Prawn Creole in fact. Others in the menu were a Whole suckling Pig, Oxtail braised in red wine, Fricasse de pollo, Black beans, White rice, Yuca with pickled onion, Fufu plantain and pork rind mash, Maduros fried sweet plantains and the delicious Cuban Rice Pudding.

One of the key tenets of Slow Food is the belief in the right to pleasure.  The Slow Food Movement manifesto declares that: Quiet material pleasure is the only way to oppose the universal folly of Fast Life therefore Slow Food is dedicated to preserving and promoting traditional foods, recipes and the pleasures of eating well. And indeed it was at the Mount Lavinia Hotel when Cuban culture was laid out in the open for all to feast on and indulge in.

Slow Food Colombo began in July 2009 at the Tropical Hut with Chef Leo being the President of the Sri Lanka Movement, and the objective of the movement is to create a unique experience for people to enjoy and indeed just how good genuine global cuisine can be, especially when it’s locally sourced, creatively presented, and enjoyed in a casual ambiance.

Mount Lavinia Hotel ‘Going Green’ for Green Globe in 2010

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Going Green

Mount Lavinia Hotel has announced today that it is paving its path to be the first hotel in Colombo to achieve the prestigious Green Globe Certified status.  The world’s renowned distinction recognises hotels that are committed to operating at the highest environmental standards. Mr Anura Dewapura, General Manager avers, “we are not only looking at the environment but also the food we present to our guests in the hotel hence bringing together pleasure and responsibility and indeed making them inseparable.”

Mount Lavinia Hotel chose to demonstrate their commitment to the environment by undertaking five aspects that will be assessed towards Certification in the future. The hotel will be assessed according to performance criteria that will guarantee, among other things, better waste management, less air pollution, noise control, energy and water consumption control.

After an initial benchmarking phase in 2010, the Mount Lavinia Hotel will be audited in order to obtain Green Globe certification, and will undergo the same process annually in order to guarantee that the criteria are maintained.  The successful completion of the Certification process will demonstrate strong commitment to the principles of environmental sustainability and in conjunction with endorsing that eco-gastronomy is the best way to move forward in the culinary world.

Mount Lavinia Hotel has taken the going green further by establishing a movement known as Slow Food that totally endorses that eco gastronomy is also a link between plate and planet and the way forward. So what is Slow Food? It is a non-profit, eco-gastronomic member-supported organization that was founded in 1989 to counteract fast food and fast life, the vanishing of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat where it originates from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world.

Chef Leonel Velazquez, Executive Sous Chef at Mount Lavinia Hotel the founder of Slow Food in Sri Lanka clarifies that, “Slow Food works to defend biodiversity in our food supply, spread taste education and connect producers of excellent foods with co-producers through events and initiatives.” He avers, “We’re proud of our new cooking initiative established at the Mount Lavinia Hotel and the fact that we’re leaving a smaller environmental footprint while working closely with our own local growers endorses our commitment to the planet and the going green initiatives that we have pledged to live by.”

By 2010 the hotel plans to utilize the certification to promote their hotel as a responsible hotel. This stance with regards to sustainable development as well as to raise awareness towards the environment in the tourism sector among hotel guests especially in South Asia where tourism plays such a vital role in economic growth. With this commitment, Mount Lavinia Hotel reaffirms its primary goal: to be – and to remain – the benchmark in terms of trendsetters in hotel innovation but with ‘green’ in mind.

Green Globe International, an affiliate member of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), has endorsed the efforts of the United Nations Foundation, Rainforest Alliance, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UNWTO in launching the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC). The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) is a shareholder in Green Globe International.

Green Hotel Certification is a leading third party certification based on internationally accepted documentation. The seal is an independent recognition of sustainability efforts. Environmental and cultural levels as well as Corporate Social Responsibilities are benchmarked against the highest worldwide principles. Its object is to introduce and strengthen sustainability and social practices at all levels of management in the hospitality industry. The Green Hotel Certification seal also provides a distinguished promotional tool to reach a growing environmentally-aware global consumer market. Green Hotel Certification offers a completely paperless certification process which guarantees an efficient process. Through this system, properties are updated on a constant basis to ensure highest international standards. Its dedicated auditors work on-site, performing evaluation, implementation, solution-finding and training throughout. More information on Green Hotel Certification can be found at www.greenhotelcertification.com.

Mount Lavinia Hotel: Official Hotel for Badminton Asia 2009

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009
Official Hotel for Badminton Asia 2009

Asian Under-16 Junior Badminton Continental Championships 03 – 09 August 2009 - awarded to Sri Lanka

“This is the first occasion in the 50-year history of the Sri Lanka Badminton Association that a Continental championships has been awarded to Sri Lanka.”, avers Prof Ranjith De Silva – President of the Sri Lanka Badminton Association

Asia contains the leading countries in the world of badminton all of which traditionally participate in this event showcasing the future champions of the world in both men and ladies. It is also a wonderful opportunity for the badminton playing youth of any country to see and learn how badminton is played at the highest level.

Countries participating in this event include the badminton powerhouses of China, Malaysia, and Thailand together with rivals who have produced recent junior champions such as India, Iran, Nepal and Hongkong-China. Other keen competitors in the recent past include the Philippines, Chinese Taipei Bhutan, Iraq and Singapore.

Mr Anura Dewapura, General Manager Mount Lavinia Hotel states, “We are proud and honoured to be the official hotel for Badminton Asia 2009. With 13 countries participating in this event and indeed bringing recognition as a sports tourism hot spot, Sri Lanka indeed will be marked as “must visit” destination.”

Mr Sam Chandrasena, Chairman of the Selection Committee from the Sri Lanka Badminton Association announced, “the National team for the event will be 6 boys and 6 girls and they are: Mr O Dharmawardena, Mr L Abeygoda, Mr D Yatawara, Mr C Karunaratne, Mr V Madusha, and Mr P Hettiarachchi. Ms A Rathnasiri, Ms U Weerasinghe, Ms S Illangakoon, Ms O Kuruppu, Ms K Ishadike and Ms T Hendahewa, respectively.

At the Asian Under-16 Championships in August 2008 the Sri Lankan girls team did very creditably by progressing up to the final 8 countries, a feat unparalleled by any senior team. Two members of this junior team, Achini Ratnasiri and Upuli Samanthika are eligible to play in August 2009. With specialised training in China and locally as well as exposure at the Youth Commonwealth Games and the World Junior Championships, Achini Ratnasiri has now improved tremendously to reach a senior national joint Ranked No.1 position in singles and Ranked No.1 in ladies’ doubles and mixed doubles. The pair of Upuli Samanthika and Achini Rathnasiri became the senior national doubles runners-up. Thus Sri Lanka has the potential to upset some of the top junior teams and make a mark in world badminton at these Championships.

The Sri Lanka Badminton Association’s main objective of the Championships is to make it a touristic event and are working together with representatives from the Ministry of Tourism mainly from Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and Sri Lanka Convention Bureau. The matches will be played at St Thomas’ College, Mt Lavinia badminton courts while the Mount Lavinia Hotel will be the official hotel for the visiting teams and officials.

The General Manager of the Mount Lavinia Hotel continues to state, “As the event is committed to unite, develop and nurture the youth of Sri Lanka with bonds and indeed friendship through the sports arena Mount Lavinia Hotel too endorses our commitment to the goodwill of our nation by supporting sports event as such and indeed being on par with Tharunyata Hetak.”

Home-made Hot Dog Sausages launched for Hot Dog Promotion at the Mount Lavinia Hotel

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

“Like cookies and milk go together, Mount Lavinia Hotel and home-made hot dogs are a combination that is indeed synonymous to Mount Lavinia Hotel’s idea of food for thought. Whether you call them hot dogs, red hots, wieners, franks or frankfurters, a variety of home made sausages with a an assortment of condiments that suits the Sri Lankan and global palette are yours to tuck into, “avers Mr Anura Dewapura, General Manager Mount Lavinia Hotel

Although the history of sausage goes back a long way, hot dogs are as American as apple pie. Hot dogs are among America’s favorite foods. Every year, Americans consume on average 60 hot dogs! Hot dogs are primarily regarded as a fun, summertime food, and most are eaten between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Director Food and Beverage, states “I am sure you would have heard about the ever famous “Coney Island hot dog” which includes the “coney sauce”, and the many variations of the Coney Island hot dog with chili, onions and shredded cheese which nearly hides the sausage. Its popularity makes New York synonymous. Well the Mount Lavinia Hot Dogs are as popular as the Coney Island Hot Dogs served on a variety of breads including Oatmeal and Olive Pannini, Roasted Cashew Nut and Chili, Garlic and Herb Bread and condiments of your choice and indeed the many flavours of sausages to choose from.”

Ironically, Mount Lavinia Hotel has created a variety of home-made sausages including Chicken with Marjoram, Beef with Chili Flakes, Seer Fish with Capers, Pork with Roast Onion and even Lamb with Herbs served plain or with toppings of your choice including Sri Lankan Style with Tempered Green Chili, Cummin and Onion, American Chili with Cheddar Cheese, Venezuelan style with Garlic Mayonnaise, Ketch-up, Mustard and Parmesan Cheese, Italian style – smothered with onion, garlic, peppers, tomato and fresh herbs, and Greek style with Tzatziki with Garlic Yoghurt and Tomato, Onion, Cummin, Salsa, Feta Cheese Crumble. The dates to jot down are 5th to 15th August 2009 from 1000hrs to 1700hrs the Terrace.

Baharain Prime Minister’s visit to Mount Lavinia Hotel

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Baharain Prime Minister’s visit

On the invitation of Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain was in Sri Lanka from 28-30 July 2009. The visiting Prime Minister of Bahrain held bilateral talks with the Sri Lankan President. The talks expected to cover a wide range of issues including expanding the economic cooperation between the two countries.

Picture shows: H E Sheikh Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain, being presented a memento synonymous to the Hotel on the occasion of his visit to the Mount Lavinia Hotel by the General Manager of the hotel Mr Anura Dewapura flanked by Ratnasiri Wickremanayake, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka on 30th July 2009.

What Is Slow Food ?

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Slow Food

Slow food is an idea, a way of living and a way of eating. It is a global, grassroots movement with thousands of members around the world that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and and the enviroment.

The World’s Best Gathering Places

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

For many people the romance of the East is inseparable from the Old World charm of its colonial era buildings – and none is more romantic than Colombo’s Mount Lavinia Hotel. An enduring monument to illicit tropical passion, the early 19th century house was intended to be a country residence for British governors of what was then the Crown Colony Ceylon. It’s widely believed, however, that the second governor, Sir Thomas Maitland actually built it as a love nest to share with his dancing girl mistress, Lavinia, who gave her name to the rock on which it stands. A lasting reminder of their trysts runs beneath the Mount Lavinia Hotel: a secret tunnel that, legend has it, was intended to provide a discreet route for the lady to visit the plenipotentiary. Today the hotel’s Terrace Bar offers much more than just a romantic history. Connoisseurs of gracious living come for the heart stoppingly beautiful panorama of the Indian Ocean. But equally potent attractions are the ice cold beers, gin and tonics, and whisky and sodas that slip down so smoothly with the setting of the sun.

The Terrace
Mount Lavinia Hotel
Colombo, Sri Lanka