< BARTENDER'S TALES / CANNONBALL RUN
South Asia’s leading Grande Dame, The Galle Face Hotel, started out as a Dutch villa called Galle Face House. Borrowing its name from the the Galle Face Green, charming expanse of ground which stretches for a kilometer by the side of the Hotel, this meeting place for gentlemen of the colonial era was converted into a hotel in 1864.
Back in the days when the British used the Galle Face Green for artillery practice, during one practice session in 1845, a 30-pound cannonball was misfired from the southern ramparts of the Colombo Fort and crashed into the Galle Face House. It crashed through the roof and ceiling and fell into a drawing room before coming to rest under a chair, luckily failing to explode. The Cannonball is now preserved in the museum in the South Wing of the hotel.
To celebrate this moment in history, an annual competition is held between two well noted personalities, generally members of the diplomatic community. The competitors have to run from the position of the cannon to the Hotel, with the first to lay his/her hands on the cannonball crowned the winner of the Galle Face Hotel - Cannonball Run!