Soul People – Raff
16th March 2017

For the next interview in our Soul People series we caught up with Raff, General Manager, Doer and Thinker of Soul & Surf India. Raff joined the company when it was still in it’s infancy and has seen it blossom and grow over the years. Here’s his story:

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What’s your name?

Raffael Kably aka Raff aka Uncle Raff

 

What do you do?

I run Soul & Surf India

 

Where’s Home?

Well, I was born and raised in Bombay city but I’d much rather call Varkala in Kerala my home.

 

Age: 27

 

How did you come to be at Soul & Surf?

I was working in Bombay for a film production house and living the city life. I was desperate for a change in lifestyle so I hooked up with Ed and asked if he needed any help in Soul & Surf in Kerala. I joined first as a manager and then just refused to leave so looks like E&S got fed up and decided they should make me partner and for that I’m ever grateful.

 

What does Soul mean to you?

To me Soul is an energy or a certain intensity that is a part all things around us. It can be seen in art, in music, in design, in spaces. It comes from everywhere and is something that lives on long after we’re gone. It’s a part of everyone you just need to be able to tap into it and bring it out in anything you do.

Oh, it’s also what I sold for Rock ‘n’ Roll.

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What inspires you about your work?

The chance to live a healthy fulfilling life, travel, surf and most of all meet and work with interesting and beautiful people from all around the world.

 

What’s next for you do you think?

I don’t tend to think too far ahead but whatever it is I know it will be soaked in Soul 🙂

 

Changing of the Seasons in Sri Lanka
14th March 2017


In 2016 we decided to stay open in Sri Lanka all year round. All the way through the traditional ‘off-season’ from May to October. Of course we didn’t just open and hope, we’d spent some time here to check it out and asked our local friends what the general weather and wind patterns were in the long term and concluded that we should still open.

But, having never done it before, we were still nervous. What if it rained non-stop for 6 months, what if all the beaches were washed away and there was nowhere to surf, what if it was cold and miserable, what if everything in Sri Lanka was shut, and many more of those crippling ‘what if?’ questions that our minds design to stop us. You never really know about something until you do it, so following the Soul & Surf way we took a leap, we opened our bookings, reduced our prices, reduced the size of our team, were very careful to be overly cautious about what to promise for our customers and we went for it. Here’s what we found out.

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What’s the off-season like in Sri Lanka?

‘It’s a not so bad’ as the wise sage Joe Dolce once said.

In fact it’s quite a different experience for our guests and our staff and one that the feedback and reviews from our guests, combined with the experience of our team, proved to be a really positive difference.

Yes it rains more, but in our tropical climate here we get crazy tropical rain all year round anyway. May to October does have more rainy days, but mixed with lovely sunny days, and cooler, more pleasant evenings. And we have lots of umbrellas.

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Yes, the waves are wilder and the wind stronger and the ocean less clear but most mornings and evenings are still windless, there are protected bays for beginners to surf safely and there are a few of spots for advanced surfers that work well year round. To be frank, though, we do struggle some weeks to find enough variety for the intermediate surfer so be warned… But a huge plus is that in general there are about 80% less crowds in the water!

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The real positives we drew from were twofold. The difference in the tourist population;

Sri Lanka has been booming these last few years and everywhere from the beaches, the waves, the sights, to the roads are getting more and more crowded. It’s kind of nice because it’s buzzing, but from May to October you get a different taste of Sri Lanka with quieter beaches, less lobster-red package tourists bumbling about, far less surfers in the water and a clearer view of the real Sri Lanka. And it’s beautiful.  Quiet, tranquil, beautiful.

And the interaction and benefits of smaller, more intimate groups at Soul & Surf; We tend to run at full capacity from October until the end of April yet from May to October we averaged around 12 guests a week which makes it a bit easier to get to know the whole group and for our team to give a little bit more attention in the surf, in the yoga classes and there was more chance for therapies. Kind of like the early days at Soul & Surf and the smaller Pop-Ups we run.

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So, are we going to close in Sri Lanka for the off-season? I’ll let the wisdom of Joe Dolce answer that one.  ‘Shaddap You Face’

Oh, and check here for our  availability and prices. And for cheap flights it is definately worth checking Sri Lankan at the weekends, they’ve been running regular off-season specials recently.

 

 

Life Lately
12th March 2017

A little snippet of life lately according to our wonderful new photographer in India Katie Rae. Dreamy hot days, sky blue seas, rooftop yoga and lovely little nuggets to surf on. This really might be paradise!

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Soul People – Chef Aruna
7th March 2017

Next in our Soul People series is Head Chef Aruna who helped us set up our new hotel in Sri Lanka. Chef makes the best seared tuna we’ve ever tasted and is always smiling. We caught up with him for a quick chat:

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What’s your name?  Aruna Ulu Waduge

What do you do?  Head Chef at Soul & Surf Sri Lanka

Where’s Home? Weligama, Sri Lanka

How did you come to be at Soul & Surf?
Before joining Soul & Surf, I was working as a Sous Chef at Mosvold Villa in Ahangama.  I was friends with the previous chef at Soul & Surf and heard that there was a job opening for a new Head Chef.  I applied for the job, and had to prepare a seared tuna steak as part of the interview. (it was the best one we tasted). I said that I wanted to do whatever needed to be done to make the guests happy, and the Soul & Surf team was sold.


What does Soul mean to you?
It’s like a dream.  It’s a long journey.

What inspires you about your work?
I want to find out the fusions of new things and new food combinations because in the cooking industry, chefs are becoming clever and coming up with new dishes for all people around the world.  And I am very proud and happy to be a chef – it is more than just a job, it is part of my whole life.

What’s next for you?
I want to create new dishes.  I want to be a good chef.  I want to continue to grow my skills and knowledge and share that with other people by helping to teach others and learn from other cooks as well.
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All Photos: www.dtlphotography.com

SoulFood – Arroz Doce
22nd February 2017

We are currently lucky enough to have Grant Lloyd staying with us in Kerala as our Guest Chef. Having trained and worked closely with Jamie Oliver he has a wealth of knowledge and skill and has been getting in the kitchen every day coming up with new, delicious dishes for us. Inspired by our forthcoming Portugal pop up Grant came up with this Portugese sweet rice dessert known as Arroz Doce but has added a Keralan twist. It’s an easy tasty treat with ingredients straight out of the store cupboard!

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Arroz Doce – Serves 3 – 4 people

INGREDIENTS

•150g Pudding Rice
•750ml Milk
•125ml Cream
•125ml Coconut Milk
•1 Vanilla Pod
•2 Cardamon Pods
•Small Stick Of Cinnamon
•Zest Of 1 Lemon
•3Tablespoons of Sugar

METHOD

1. Place the rice, liquids, sugar, cinnamon stick, lemon zest and cardamon pods in a pot. Score the vanilla pod lengthways, scrape the seeds out, adding both to the pot.

2. Stir well and gently bring to the boil, then simmer on a low heat for 25-35 minutes until the rice is cooked and creamy in texture.

3. Serve with a sprinkling of Cinnamon.

Easy as that! We can’t wait to serve this up in Portugal this May 🙂

 

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Guest Reviews

I got back from my holiday at Soul and Surf on Monday (still slightly in shock to be back in the cold and rain!).  I wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone there for making it such a brilliant week and to let you know how awesome all the staff are (I’m sure […]

Emma Peil