Sri Lanka is the home of cinnamon – discover its spicy story on Pepper’s South Coast Cinnamon tour. We caught up with the local host – and cinnamon boffin – to find out what he loves about his job and his island…
What made you decide to become a Pepper host?
Pepper is one of the best operators in the Sri Lankan market. We are happy to work with them to promote Gradely Estate; they are one of our closest partners in achieving this.
What were you doing before this?
I was an investment banker based in Singapore.
What do you love most about your job?
I have a passion for cinnamon specifically, and for Sri Lanka generally. It’s enjoyable to show people the realities and beauty of a working cinnamon estate.
What qualities do you think you need to be a good host?
Authenticity and passion for the project.
Can you tell us about one or two of your favourite moments on the job?
It’s always when guests leave satisfied: they have had a great experience, and learnt something of this unique industry.
What advice do you have for people visiting your Estate?
Wear covered shoes, bring a hat and enjoy the Sri Lankan countryside. It’s an easy, informative tour.
What are the challenges of being a host?
None that I can identify. The vast majority of our guests are charming and it’s very gratifying to do these tours.
Where is your favourite place in Sri Lanka and why?
Galle Fort: it’s the historical epicentre of the Sri Lankan spice trade and is quite unlike anywhere else in Asia. It’s an amazing place, full of stories and characters.
What is your favourite thing to eat and drink in Sri Lanka?
A traditional Sri Lankan prawn curry with a chilled thambili (king coconut) juice.
Tell us something about Sri Lanka we don’t know…
This island is a paradise; take your time and enjoy it!