3/5

Casa Serena

122 Havelock Road, Colombo 5


Casa Serena is an affordable arts and handicrafts shop, gallery and bookstore.


Note: of late Casa has been open quite sporadically, we've had to downgrade it.

Sri Lanka has many arts and handicrafts shops with lovely goods, but most are priced at tourist levels. Casa Serena is a new shop (hidden in plain sight on Havelock Road) that's priced to own. They have a lovely array of cloth, paper and handmade goods plus a unique book collection, all at locally affordable prices.

For example, here are some examples, to take you on a walk around the store. Note that prices are only relevant as of this publishing date and are not binding.

Wrapping Paper - Rs. 65

Unique gift wrapping paper, priced at Rs. 65This unique gift wrapping paper was the first thing that caught my eye, walking into the store. It is non-offensive, not-textured or glittered into uselessness and costs only Rs. 65. Yes it's simply wrapping paper, but nothing costs less than Rs. 100 these days, and very few things of beauty.

Notebook - Rs. 240

priced at Rs. 240This notebook caught my eye for it's faux speckled leather pattern. Is this faux crocodile? I dunno, I found it attractive. And it costs only Rs. 240. The construction looked high qual and it's an elegant piece of writing material. That rare gift which looks more expensive than it is.

Set Of Cards - Rs. 1,200

Priced at Rs. 1,200 for a setHere is a more expensive item, a set of greeting cards priced at Rs. 1,200. In this case, however, the price seems to be for the beautiful art that adorns the paper products, and the artists. In this case the product is boxed well and each card is thoughtfully produced. There are sets of original art and also of traditional designs.

 

The Shop

This is not to say that Casa Serena is a budget boutique. It is just that, as the owner says, they want people to have things, to see that people are using these things. As such you can get lovely shawls and textiles for under Rs. 2,000, and exquisite table cloths for Rs. 5,000. Upstairs there is what seems to be a personally curate book collection with books ranging from a Gandhi biography to Edgar Allen Poe poetry to the new Peter Kuruvita cookbook. Most items in the store seem to be sourced from local artisans, though there are items from Laos, India, Thailand, etc.

The shop itself has little branding and we wouldn't have noticed it were we not walking down the street. It's on Havelock Road across from Police Park, near the Nations Trust Bank and La Passion Salon. The shop area is downstairs and upstairs is the bookshop and gallery space. Look out for the mosaic tiles on the floor. Apparently this was original and had been shockingly covered by later owners. The current owners laboriously scraped back the corruption and revealed a lovely and unique place. While it may be new to these reviewers, Casa Serena has been operating for over a year via word of mouth. There was also a glowing and detailed review in the Nation that's worth a read.

TIP

Check out the gift wrapping and shawls. They're unique and surprisingly affordable. The classic over-achieving girl gift.

Address

122 Havelock Road, Colombo 5

Directions

Heading down (south) on Havelock Road past La Passion you'll find Casa Serena after Gower Street. It's set back a ways, keep an eye out. Coming the other way it's past Vajira and Amrith's, across from Police Park.

Contacts

E-Mail Facebook Website

This place has closed down

Price Range

Between Rs. 500 - Rs. 1000

Ratings Breakdown

Overall Rating
3
Quality Rating
4
Service Rating
3
Ambience Rating
4


Latest