Right along with the Cargills branch in Colombo's Fort area, the Nuwara Eliya Food City is one of the oldest functioning stores on the island. The Cargills Ceylon name dates way back to William Miller and David Sime Cargill's foray into Sri Lanka in 1844.
From the brass Cargills Ceylon Limited sign, to the heavy wooden doors with a submarine window, you're welcomed in style.
You're then welcomed in plastic pink tablecloths and polysterene flowers, which is equally stylish if you ask me.
I usually poke my nose in there just for the beautiful old woodwork and the quaint embossed signage outside, lovely colonial relics of things that were once ordinary store items.
They were out of fishing tackle stock when I popped in, but oh well.
No gramophones or electroplate ironmongery either, I mean, come on. This is basic supermarket fare, guys.
What they did have though, was a fully-stocked pharmacy (that's "Chemists & Druggists" to you, good sir), replete with its own wooden signage and charming old wooden cabinets to house all the eyedrops your heart and retina desires.
There was an even better-stocked alcohol section, which appeared to be the main draw of the supermarket. I guess liquor stores just aren't that popular in Nuwara Eliya Town, or else all the sweet ancient be-saronged uncles were also drawn to the old-timey colonial charm. To be fair, some of them looked wizened enough to have been uncles even during rule Britannia, but the arrack has preserved them well.
The liquor area also boasted a few pre-packed, pre-fried, pre-spiced bothal snacks, which I think is incredibly clever. I mean who wants to take a break in between a bottle of Old Mendis to source hendalo? Not me.
Apart from the arraku (gal, Mendis, old, mango, etc), it's also a reasonably stocked supermarket. You won't be finding your fancypants Colombo stuff here like camembert or bottled coconut water, but you will get plenty of fresh produce and grain.
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