The hint of freshly brewed tea and the tantalising aroma of toasted bread lingered in the air… I was at the Heladiv Tea Club at the Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct where young and old alike find delight in the assortment of mouthwatering choices available.
Words Krishani Peiris Photographs Indika De Silva
Situated in a heritage building site, a remnant of the Dutch legacy in Sri Lanka, Heladiv Tea Club (HTC) blends the old with the new to offer a unique space that allow any to enjoy a time of calm and leisure. The name Heladiv is derived from the word Heladiva, a name that was originally used to identify Sri Lanka in the ancient past. Thus, HTC draws inspiration from the native culture in Sri Lanka while moving on with the times to encompass selections from other countries to provide novelty as well as variety to people.
The interior of HTC offers a cozy setting with blue hued cushy sofas to sink into while a gleaming counter top with stools situated in the midst offers more seating space. The tastefully designed work area next to the entrance houses all necessities needed to prepare beverages as well as sandwiches while stylised paintings, mirrors and delicate glass ornaments decorate the premises adding to the charm of HTC.
During day time HTC presents a bright atmosphere with sunlight streaming in from the wooden windows, but as evening approaches lights of varied colours are illuminated softly to create a soothing ambiance ideal for a snug gathering. These lights heightens the dark wooden tones in the ceiling and the floor, which contrasts with the light coloured wall papers, that are adorned with intricate designs portraying a backdrop that is both elegant and modern.
The menu of HTC comprise of a variety of beverages that include an array of teas, coffees, desserts, fresh juices, sandwiches and much more to indulge the cravings of all who walk into the premises. Teas such as Dimbula Delux from the Western High-lands of Sri Lanka, Daarjeeling and Assam from India, Green Tea Sencha and Genmaicha from Japan as well as a mixture of flavoured teas such as Rose, Earl Grey and Peach – to name a few – make up the extensive tea collection available at the Club. A variety of coffee selections such as cappuccino, espresso as well as different types of lattes made from coffee beans and ground coffee imported from Australia are also available allowing guests to enjoy and appreciate a good cup of coffee while immersing in the calming environs of HTC. When it comes to desserts, Death by Chocolate Cake with three layers of chocolate is a favourite amongst customers while desserts such as chocolate brownies, strawberry meringue cake and much more presents more choices for dessert lovers.
For those who seek to obtain Heladiv teas for gift purposes, there is a sizable corner dedicated towards showcasing the various teas available under the Heladiv brand. These include choices from their high end tea range named Infini-T to Fruit teas to the Paradise range, the most recent creation by HTC, to name a few Highlighted with a white background, the gift area draws the attention of all while teasing tea lovers with the extensive choices at hand.
As the day advanced towards evening, HTC filled up with people and the soothing ambiance of daytime gave way to an exuberant setting filled with laughter and soft murmurs. As I sat at HTC, I was again tugged into the wonderful aromas encircling the shop making me appreciate and enjoy every minute of this wonderful atmosphere.
Dutch Hospital, Fort, Colombo 1
Tel: (+94 11) 575 3377