Nestled in the corner of Kirulapona (right opposite the Kandy Store), you would be surprised how easily you can escape the busy world and the noisy city just by going inside the Grove. The garden and verandah setting with huge shady trees all around means that you get a cool relaxing environment at night or even at high noon. I was genuinely surprised when I walked in on a Sunday afternoon and found out firsthand how breezy and chilled it was sitting just near the entrance without even needing a fan. The smooth music and the sound of wind chimes magically cut out the noise of rushing traffic just outside on the High-level road.
The Grove is run by the lovely couple, Sanjaya and Nayani Senarath, who have converted an old family home into one of the best chillout places in Colombo. With a large garden space and a private lounge area, it is the ideal place to bring over some friends and hangout on a Friday night or spend a relaxing Saturday evening with your partner. The pavilion, which can host special events like art exhibitions or mini markets, is also an ideal location for small party of about 40 to 45 people.
Coming in on a weekend you also get to enjoy some live music which really ties the place together and sets the tone for you to sit back and truly relax. It also seems to be the perfect place for someone who has been stuck working at home who wants a little change of pace. Grove is happy to entertain you so that you can sit down and peacefully do your office work. There is no WiFi on offer, but you can easily bring you own set up and be on your way.
Grove does not have just one restaurant but is teamed up with 4 partner outlets to offer you a variety of meals to pick from, with a possible 5th partner to come in soon. You get a variety of meals such as Indian and Thai cuisine from the Mango Tree and Jack Tree kitchen or if you are in the mood for meaty BBQs, you can try out the smoked BBQ from the Whistling Hog. You can also try out the Italian based delights from Michelangelo’s kitchen. Of course, for the sweet tooth enthusiast, Bibo’s Cafe has a variety of deserts, shakes and smoothies and even some great sandwiches and waffles to help satisfy any carvings that may come up. This great culinary mashup makes this a great place for a dinner, lunch or even a late morning breakfast.
Grove has an additional secret to tempt you in. Grove offers free BYOB for private events and it also offers free corkage for bills over Rs. 1500 per person. Of course if you are bringing in some friends, this limit will be no problem as you can order some of their food items as meals or even use it as bites (especially the food from the Whistling Hog). This would be a perfect set up on their rooftop private lounge area which can host small groups of about 10 to 15 people.
Of course coming in for meals is not always needed, if you are too busy to come visit or just want to stay snuggled up in bed watching a movie, the restaurants offer pick up options and deliveries so you can easily have your favorite dishes at home.
For special events or if you want to book a private area, Grove offers some great and reasonable packages that include meals, seating, and the deco. The food isn’t limited to what is available at the in-house restaurants, but you can also request for something special which the Grove will happily organize and provide for you.
One big worry with outdoor places are the mosquitoes and pests, and these days the COVID-19 safety. Here Grove management is one step ahead of the problem with daily fogging using natural mosquito repellents and stringent safety and hygiene measures. On top of all that, being an open area with plenty of space means that it is one of the safer options during this pandemic times.
Grove really has proven to be a great place for a friend’s night out or a place to come and relax after long hard days at work. With their perfect location, their great variety of food, and soothing ambiance, The Grove is the place to relax, kick back and enjoy life with few other places offering much of a competition to it.