Monday, 29 February 2016

Dining @ Maison Wat Kor.

After our visit to the traditional house we headed along to Maison Wat Kor, a boutique hotel set amongst beautiful gardens and grounds.   We took an aperitif by the lotus pond prior to dining and were delighted with the accompanying snack of tempura battered and fried Frangipani flowers.
Then we opted for the Khmer set menu at a budget breaking $12.00 each.  This consisted of pork spring rolls, a delicate green leaf soup with chicken, stirred beef with hot basil and lemongrass and finishing with a tasty little dessert of sweet green bean in coconut milk.  superb.


Wat Kor traditional house

Wat Kor, is a village area about 2 Km south of Battambang's main city area, along winding dusty tracks are an assorted collection of Khmer homes range from early last century to current times.  We stopped by to visit this home built in the 1920's.  The current owner, the  elderly granddaughter of the original owner no longer lives there and the property is managed by her nephew.  The most interesting point was all of the larger pieces on furniture had been made from differing beautiful woods, which alas are no longer available as the forests have all been pillaged.  Our host relayed that at the start of the 1900's Cambodia was 75% wooded, and by now there is only 15% coverage, it has all been corruptly mismanaged and has gone.  And as another another somber tale, the owner was the only surviving child of seven siblings after the Khmer Rouge era.  Sad tales.


Out and about in Battambang.

We ventured to Battambang to visit a business with a very similar moniker to our own.  The gentlemen of Bric-a Brac, Robert & Morrison, have opened an all encompassing atelier which hosts cooking classes, provides B & B accomodation, has a little evening curbside bar and produces and sells passementerie along side a curated collection of objet.

We then happen upon the delightful artist Marine Ky, a wonderful woman of Cambodian heritage, who worked in textiles and prints, both dear to our nicknack sensibilities.  We spent an evening with her and viewed many of her works and then chatted into the night.

On the footpath outside Bric a Brac with Marine and Luci, in Battambang.


Thursday, 25 February 2016

La Villa in Battambang.

Battambang is a large rural city to the west of Siem Reap which is about a three hour private taxi ride.  With little to offer in the way of tourist attractions, this also means not a huge array of choice in accommodation.  However we manage to find a fabulous period hotel that was in total contrast to the uber slick and cool Viroth.  La Villa is a fine old colonial building that had a bit of a nip and tuck back in to 2004 when it became a hotel and is now under the care of the lovely manageress, Corinne. If you sat in the foyer long enough you could sweat that Miss Marples was about to totter in and solve a mystery.  Our charming egg shaped doorway gave way to a canopied bed and many pieces of furniture in heavy sensible dark wood that were constructed to last forever.

A truly unique hotel and one of the best in Battambang, with the added essential of a fabulous pool.  It was a pleasure to spend an evening or two with the charming Corinne at her first best exotic La Villa Hotel in Battambang.