When the British voyaged to exotic and distant lands in the colonial era, they desired all the comforts of home on the high seas as well as in their new residence abroad. This led them to commission the finest craftsmen to make impressive pieces of furniture by equipping themselves with portable desks, chairs, sofas, bedroom suites and punkah fans.
Furniture pieces folded down ready for travel; shining teak and brass desks, mahogany almirahs, and magnificently carved four-poster beds could all be disassembled, packed up and carried on the backs of elephants.
But regardless of whether the officers were sent to the jungles of India or the tea plantations of Ceylon, the mahogany dining table and chairs had to come along, not to mention the beds, bookcases, desks and gaming tables. Those items had to be relatively easy to break down and move since the grand pianos, harps and cases of sherry and port certainly weren't.
Today, long after the sun has finally set on the British Empire, the romance and elegance continues and flourishes at Reef, where we transport you back, reminiscent of the days of the East India Company and the British Raj, where antique ceiling fans stir lazily in the heat, wicker chairs nestle among palm trees and striped shadows of light made by louvred doors lie gently on shaded verandas.