Colombo, Jaffna and Galle captivate readers, as do Sri Lanka’s national parks (with leopards), beautiful B&Bs, street food (with a real kick) and tea. Lots of tea
Have tea, dinner or cocktails in Helga’s Folly, a fabulously spooky gothic mansion in the midst of jungle flora with to-die-for views of the historic city of Kandy. Every inch is covered in paintings, photographs, mirrors and dripping candles. This is where Vivien Leigh, Laurence Olivier and Zandra Rhodes stayed and where the Stereophonics wrote an ode to its owner, Madame Helga. The eccentric proprietor, former model Helga de Silva Blow Perera, moves in circles of artists, politicians and intrigue, lives in the Folly and introduces herself personally to guests. Rooms may be a bit run-down and pricey, but the Alice-in-Wonderland-kitsch-meets-avant-garde gesamtkunstwerk style is not to be missed.
• Doubles from $120 B&B, special rates for writers and artists, helgasfolly.com