Chocolate filled Advent Calendar this Christmas for the first time in SL

Prasad Abu BAKR

CHRISTMAS: Cinnamon Grand Colombo is gearing up to celebrate the season that leads up to Christmas day and also celebrate its first year anniversary in an imitable style known to them alone. General Manager Rohan Karr takes into consideration the 'little' message that has found its place in a big way when it comes to celebrating this annual event, which the whole world awaits.

Together with his Cinnamon Grand team Karr is making a kind gesture to keep the 'little' ones happy, which also carries that 'little' message to a focal point, meaning 'Christmas is for little ones'. Keeping this in mind The Cinnamon Grand is bringing out an Advent Christmas Calendar filled with twenty five exclusive handmade chocolates, one for each day leading up to Christmas day.

According to records the idea of the Christmas Advent calendar can be traced back to the 19th Century but the first handmade Advent Calendar did not appear until 1851.

Most of the gestures and style that appeared in the form of an Advent calendar always came in as a method of a countdown leading to the day of celebrating the grand day on December 25.

On Christmas Eve the hotel plans to announce the lucky winner who will be entitled for four air tickets sponsored by Cathay Pacific Airlines which will enable them to fly to Disneyland in Hong Kong on a two day package with accommodation at the Disneyland Hotel on a bed and breakfast basis.

So you can also wake up to the fact that this box is on offer in the form of an Advent Calendar, all filled with chocolates; one for each day in twenty five little 'pigeon holes', which the little ones will have to open on each day and help themselves to 'the chocolate of the day' and await the surprise as they near the grand day.

In the past Advent Calendars appeared taking different forms and shapes. But it was in the earlier part of the twentieth century Gerhard Lang, who is known to have made the first printed specimen in 1908, as the participator of the printing office Reichhold and Lang produced little coloured pictures that could be affixed to a cardboard for each day leading up to Christmas Day.

That Calender was named the 'Munich Christmas Calendar'. Later this same man was instrumental in bringing out the first calender with little windows to open, as the one that The Cinnamon Grand will make available at Keels Supermarket outlets and at the Cinnamon Grand itself from this week onwards.

It's a colourful package that comes in an equally interesting bag. An ideal gift for children, who beside enjoying the handmade chocolates can also look forward to winning that all time gift of their lives, which has never gone on offer before in Sri Lanka.

Though it is an all new concept here the Advent Calendar is an attractive gift that goes around amongst children every christmas in UK and many other European countries.

Started as a grand Christmas event around the globe at one time by Lang who decided to close his printing company in the late thirties; by which time he had produced over thirty different designs to his credit.

The tradition of the Advent Christmas Calendar, which was taking great shape; specially in Germany, came to a halt with the breakout of the second World War and immediately after cardboard was rationed and the printing industry too collapsed.

But it is to the joy of all children that Cinnamon Grand Colombo is bringing back perennial Christmas traditions of this nature to be enjoyed by people who have either forgotten them or never experienced such traditions because they were never brought into the seasonal events calendar here in the past.

Rohan Karr said that they are keeping production to a limited number of one thousand boxes as the chocolates are all handmade and even the packaging is being done at the hotel by his enthusiastic staff that have always been supportive of projects which boost the image of their hotel.

It is advised that the box which contains the chocolates be retained after consuming its contents because it is the serial number that is marked on the rear of the box that will go into the lucky draw competition this Christmas eve.

On the 25th, Christmas day the lucky number that will take you to Hong Kong and Disneyland will appear on a banner outside Cinnamon Grand Colombo.

'Industry still alive'

Prasad Abu BAKR

"Some who are involved in the tourism industry have the minimal knowledge of its competitors" says Anandaraj, new President elect of Ceylon Hotel School Graduates Association (CHSGA).

OBSERVATION: At the 53rd AGM of the CHSGA held at Grand Hotel Nuwara Eliya S. Anandaraj, a senior and experienced hotelier of the industry was elected President.

Trevine Gomes, (CEO - Kothmale Holdings) immediate past President Tikiri Kobbekaduwa (Governor, Central Province) chief guest of the evening, Kamal Hapuwatte, Principal of Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management, S. Anandaraj President elect 2006/2007 and Director Operations of Serendib Leisure.

In his speech Anandaraj made some interesting and novel observations that perhaps have escaped the view of many in the industry, which has always been the most affected by the ongoing ethnic conflict since twenty five years ago.

He commented that with fluctuating occupancy levels in the midst of conflicts and calamities that befell the country, people involved in this industry have managed to forge ahead to keep the industry alive.

"We should look at ourselves along with other countries, at least in the region, that have suffered similar setbacks and has pulled themselves together at a quick pace", said Anandaraj emphasising on the rich culture and the heritage of the country that plays a focal point in tourism here.

"Sadly, Sri Lankans do not create a positive impression in the minds of visitors on that aspect", he said.

He further emphasised that enlightening tourists on such matters can not be done by only people involved in this industry. It has to be inculcated within the minds of the people of this nation as a whole.

School children should be led to be aware of such matters from their schooling days which will make them realise that begging for goodies from a foreigner is not within the accepted norms.

In his rather well worded speech the new President made a point by saying that most people involved in tourism today are not aware of certain values and have the minimal knowledge of who our competitors are and how they have generated an edge over our country in tourism promotion.

China Market Food Fest at Great Wall

FOOD FESTIVAL: A great way to dine - savour some of the most delicious and authentic Chinese food will be the 'China Market' Food Festival at Great Wall Restaurant, Bambalapitiya from November 24-30.

The only ISO certified Chinese restaurant in Sri Lanka, Great Wall Restaurant will present the 'China Market' Food Festival with a host of discounts, surprises and prizes.

Expert Chinese Chef, Mong Gua, and his Sri Lankan Chinese food maestros, Executive Chef, Sirisoma Ekanayaka and Chef Bertie Seneviratne will present some of the most delicious and authentic Chinese dishes while you enter the 'Chinese Market' at the Great Wall restaurant.

From authentic Chinese starters, to signature dishes like the 'Steam Boat', 'Tom Yam', Sizzling Beef, spicy beef, fried mutton with ginger and spring onions, Beef Pepper. Lamb Chops, Western style Lamb Chops, Sizzling Chicken, Fried Chicken with black bean sauce, Sweet and Sour Chicken, Fried Chicken with Ginger and Spring Onions, Fried Crispy Duck, Peking Duck, the list is endless.

For seafood lovers, a variety of seafood dishes, Chilli Prawns, Butter Prawns, Grilled Prawns in Garlic sauce, Chinese steamed fish with lime and chilly, Clay Pot Pepper Fish, Steamed fish with black bean sauce, Sweet and sour fish fillet, Sizzling fish fillet, Indonesian Prawns and many more.

The festival will also cater to vegetarians with salt and pepper mushroom, Chinese Cabbage in bean curd sauce, Fried 'Kankun' with garlic, fried vegetables and many more. Don't miss the China Market food festival at the Great Wall Restaurant, Bambalapitiya from November 24-30. \


Fabulous Flames at Holiday Inn

COOKING: The Holiday Inn Colombo, renown for presenting authentic theme nights to discerning gourmets, will delight its patrons once again with a splendid Flambe Night at the Gardenia Coffee Shop.

This form of cooking which requires absolute skill was originally introduced by the Master Chefs of France during the 18th century.

When using this method of Flambe the cook should have both the portion of food and liqueur warmed, where later on the liqueur is ignited in a heavy pan made of stainless steel or copper, at the table side of a guest.

The food when served will release the captivating aroma of the liqueur. Following this French tradition the Holiday Inn Chefs will personally take your order at your table and keep you mesmerized with their culinary showmanship.

The Flambe Night will showcase some of the choicest meat, poultry and Seafood which will no doubt keep you coming back for more.

The individual dishes include Porter house steak, Club steak, Entrecotes, Rib Eye, Chateaubriand, Lamb chop, Chicken drum, Seafood kebab, Shish kebab, Shishtouk, Calamari, Crabs, King fish, Shoe lobster and juicy Jumbo prawns.

Also on offer is a handpicked selection of garden fresh Salads accompanied with flavoursome soups. To further enhance your dining experience the desserts too will be Flambed at your table side. This promotion will continue till December 11, every Saturday evening.

BBQ and grill promotion at Deli Market

PROMOTION: Put a zing to your life with the all-time favourites - BBQ'd and grilled to your taste, at the BBQ and grill promotion at Deli Market, located at World Trade Centre, Colombo, beginning Monday November 20.

Burgers - served on a bun with French Fries, "Chicken on the Barbie" with mayo, gherkins, lettuce and tomato. Health Vege Burger with cheese and basted with Raita, mad max double beef burger served with bacon, cheese and accompaniments.

From the grill-grilled pork chips, marinated and served with grilled onions, pineapple sauce and mash or fries, grilled prawns on a skewer served with Tomato provencal, Roast chicken with salad, accompanied with Naan and Raita and Monterey chicken grilled and topped with cheese.

Sizzling BBQ - well marinated Baby Ribs, BBQ Buffalo wings, sizzling sliced Tenderloin steak seasoned, Pork Tenderloin, Colombo Deep Fried Calamari lightly battered and fried, and Blackened Seerfish with Bistro mix.

Hot Digiti... your favourite garlic chicken sausage with mustard sauce and farmers' sausage served with 'sauerkraut' - the list is endless.

It's a treat for BBQ and grilled food lovers at the BBQ and grill promotion at Deli Market beginning Monday November 20.

Stephen Gaborieau at Spoons

CHEF: Stephane Gaborieau who has been recognized for his creativity and knowledge of food is ready to fly back to Colombo for the third time as a special guest chef at Spoons - Hilton Colombo from November 26 to December 4, 2006.

Michelin stars are awarded for the standard of meals served. "Chef Gaborieau also has been awarded the Milleur Ouvrier de France award - Best workman of France on the grounds of professional experience and is an honour to have him with us", said the hotel's Marketing Communications Manager, Gigi De Silva. Stephane used to be the Chef at Villa Florentine in Lenon and currently running Le Pergolese Restaurant in Paris and is a cuisenaire consultant.

Christmas cake mixing ceremony at Queen's Hotel

Executive Chef Patrick Phillips (Centre) directs the traditional Christmas Cake mixing ceremony with the Food and Beverage Manager Rohana de Silva, Accountant Lal Kumaraperuma, The Pastry Chef Edandupola, The Front Office Manager Priyantha Liyanage and VIP Guests of the Hotel Mr and Mrs. Reins from Canada and Welfare Manager M.B. Pussella and the Kitchen Brigades.

CHRISTMAS: The traditional Christmas Cake was mixed at the Pastry Kitchen in Queen's Hotel with a colourful atmosphere. The theme for Christmas at Queen's would be "White Christmas", said the Chef.

The Hotel will be well decorated and the music for Christmas will begin from December, The Food and Beverage Manager and the Executive Chef have made many plans for guests who arrive during this Festive Season.

The year ending bash will be at the Royal Ball Room and the best band will provide music for every need to all guests to dust their feet in tempo until dawn.

This would be "The Best Night of the Year" and "The Last Night of the Year" at Queen's Hotel, Kandy.


<< Spice Main Page


Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
Sri Lanka


Produced by Lake House Copyright © 2006 The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.

Comments and suggestions to : Web Editor