One of the hardest things about getting married is returning from honeymoon. But, as they say, every cloud has a silver lining, and at least you can then spend a good month or so telling anyone who'll listen about your big day and honeymoon adventures. Or spending whole weekends creating albums of your wedding photos on Photo Box…
But back to the honeymoon. We decided to leave on the Monday - which gave us a blissful summers day with our friends in Oxford still on the bubble of 'it's our wedding!' having a big brunch and then drifting on the river in the sunshine in a flotilla of punts.
However, long haul flights are never fun, even on your honeymoon and the 'We're on honeymoon!'-automatic-upgrade is a myth; they're rare. So we came prepared: oysters and champagne at the airport before we boarded gave the luxe-factor for less, and my over-stuffed hand luggage contained cashmere socks and shawl, noise-cancelling headphones, eye-mask and neck pillow and LOTS of moisturiser. Then don't forget you can buy champagne on board - a mini bottle of Moet on Emirates is only just over £5.
About five films later, we touch down in Sri Lanka - first stop: Amanwella around the south coast near a small fishing town called Tangalle. We were at the end of the monsoon season so the beautiful sweep of 'Silent' Beach, which the hotel shares only with the odd fishing boat, was still pounded with waves giving a moody, rugged appeal to its otherwise peaceful setting. Rooms were typical Aman-minimal style and it was only a shame that the private plunge pools were surrounded by walls and room rather than looking out over the palms and beach below. But there was plenty to make up for that: the near-deserted infinity pool where you're served a variety of treats throughout the afternoon (from scoops of coconut ice cream to a shot of watermelon juice), the delicious but no-doubt lethal Arak (local spirit) cocktails at the bar, and the food: Pete had Sri Lankan curry breakfast everyday and I gorged myself on as much of the incredible grilled fresh seafood as I could possibly consume in the four days we were there. And especially when the lovely people at Scott Dunn who organised our trip, surprised us with a private seafood BBQ on the beach.
Next up: the Dutch colonial port town of Galle, where we were staying at the peaceful five-bedroom retreat Kahanda Kanda high in the jungle by Koggala Lake - 30 minutes by tuk tuk from the town. It was as chic and zen as you'd expect given its interior designer owner (don't miss his interiors shop in Galle - KK The Collection - the perfect place to spend some of that wedding money! I was lusting after the industrial looking hammered stainless steel serving cutlery…). Whether you do nothing but watch the peacocks in the trees while reading a book on your terrace or head into shabby around the edges but charming Galle (we did one day each), it was the perfect place to recharge before our Indian adventure.