Dutch Burgher Union Bar.

Perhaps the best place to get a drink anywhere in the city

A wonderful old colonial building with a sprawling lawn, a low-lit chandeliered ball room, amazing wood floored balconies and a high ceilinged bar replete with an ancient snooker table. Half a dozen devoted staff serving home-made ginger beer, keeping track of your billiard balls, retrieving errant darts and making gin and tonics. All this, absolutely to yourself. Sounds like the sort of boutique hotel fantasy people pay hundreds of dollars for, but actually this is the DBU clubhouse at the Thunmulla junction and access can be yours for the Rs. 20,000 joining fee. Finding a Burgher (or associate member) friend who can just sign you in works well too.

Despite it’s really stunning location and status as the stronghold of one of the world’s most distinguished Eurasian communities, the DBU is rarely packed. While they still make Colombo’s best lamprais, and hold the keys to the books of paternal lineage that determine who is, and who is not, a Dutch Burgher, decades of emigration means that on your average weekday and even on Saturdays the wonderful clubhouse is pitifully empty.

The member base is down to a die-hard coterie of geriatric Burgher aunties with too few old Burgher uncles left to even support regular games of snooker. This is a real shame as it’s difficult to describe what a beautiful and atmospheric space it is. The whole place seems to have frozen at some point shortly after independence when the majority of its members began to contemplate the great trek to the anonymous, antipodean suburbs of Melbourne.

Old world nostalgia aside though, the drinks are cheap (Rocklands Gin 50ml Rs 130), the food – beef smore, pork badun (Rs. 450) excellent, the place is gorgeous and due to a dearth of members you’ll have it all to yourself. For the few members who do go (seems to be about five people) it serves as an enormous private living room with attentive staff.

This is one of Colombo’s real hidden gems so do make the time for a visit. Evenings are best and though the upstairs is for members only you can either recruit a member friend or just wander up and hope the bar staff are sufficiently desperate for something to do that they serve you anyway (this often happens).

For those without Dutch East India company affiliated European paternal ancestry affiliate membership is also a good option as you really have all the privileges real membership bar some voting rights – and it’s the cheapest way, I can think of, of vastly expanding your living room.

Note- If your a bonafide Dutch Burgher with Rs 20,000 to spare and not yet a member you’re an idiot. If you’ve lived in Colombo for years and haven’t made the trip to sip an old reserve and ginger ale on a sultry weekday evening you’ve also really been missing out.

Photo here are from the DBU website

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp




A flavorful journey to the North East by Paadum Meen

An ecstatically beautiful place located down Frankfort place, Bambalapitiya has caught a significant eye for

Highlights Kamu

Hummus Festival 2022 – Graze Kitchen by Hilton

By Shamrina Carim The stunning atmosphere Walking into this masterpiece designed by an excellent interior


A Luxury European Dining experience at 1864 Limited Edition

Ambience Intimate dining area for couples and friends Comfy lounge areas to sit and catch

Highlights Kamu

Pizza Hut – My Box Birizza Fever- review

By Sumaiya Jaleel Hurrah! Welcome back to your scrumptious feast. Pizza Hut has brought back

Highlights Kamu

The Hottest Food Fest of the Year: Eat Street Colombo

By Janani Vithanage After a 2 year (Covid induced break), Sri Lanka’s biggest, best food

Highlights Kamu

A Chocolate fantasy with Zeez Treatz

By MI The Yamu team was in for a massive sugar rush and sweet indulgence



Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo’s ColomBar moves to newly refurbished location

04 May2022, Colombo: Colombo’s iconic and stylish destination bar, ColomBar, has been re-located to its


Spreading Mother’s Day Love with Ramada Colombo

Treat your Mother to lavish lunch, and high tea buffets, sweet treats, and plush stays. 


Eid Staycation at Sheraton Kosgoda TurtleBeach Resort

By Janani Vithanage Heralded by the first sighting of the crescent moon, Eid-al-fitr, which translates


Eid Staycation at Weligama Bay Marriott Resort & Spa

By Janani Vithanage Heralded by the first sighting of the crescent moon, Eid-al-fitr, which translates


Order your Ifthar Dinner via PickMe Food

By Hiruni Herath As Ramadan is a time of introspection and prayer, you can devote


7 Things you Should Know about Gotagogama

By Janani Vithanage Sri Lanka, internationally known as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, is

Highlights Trending

Yamu Guide.

The Embazzy – a relaxing luncheon spot

By Hiruni Herath Service and Ambience Stepping into The Embazzy, it’s clear that the restaurant

Highlights Yamu Guide

What to expect at a Yala National Park Safari

Covering an extensive area of Southern and Uva Provinces, Yala is the second largest national

Yamu Guide

Everything you need at Online Kade

Located in the heart of Rajagiriya Online Kade also has a branch in Colombo 04

Yamu Guide

5 Co-working spaces in Colombo

By Tashia Ranasinghe Here are some more interesting places for all the digital nomads out

Highlights Yamu Guide

7 Buffets to Indulge In this Easter 2022

By Janani Vithanage As the youth of our nation make their voices heard, the birth

Yamu Guide

5 occasions to celebrate with Shirohana

By Rahma Rifkhar Okay, so, first question: Are you the colour-coordinated bullet journaling typa person

Highlights Yamu Guide