IT started as an experiment, but now it is a permanent fixture.

Six months ago the Salih family from Chandler’s Ford started holding Sri Lankan cuisine evenings at the Forte Tea Rooms in Winchester.

The events are held once a month, and proved an instant hit, with diners flocking to the venue in Parchment Street.

The latest one was held on Saturday, March 19 and was busy again, and the family plans to return in April.

The evenings include popadoms and chutney followed by a buffet of around half a dozen home made dishes.

Sri Lankan food is similar to Indian, if slightly less spicy, and is prepared at the family’s home in Chandler’s Ford.

The meal is completed with one of the desserts provided by the tea rooms, such as chocolate fudge cake.

Along with making the Sri Lankan cuisine evenings a permanent fixture, the family also hopes to raise money for charity.

They have already raffled off a table for 10 people for Wessex Heartbeat, which raised £650.

They now hope to team up with Naomi House children’s hospice in Sutton Scotney to do something similar.

Some belated fund-raising for Comic Relief is also being considered.

Along with the dining nights in Winchester, the family also runs a delivery service from their home in Chandler’s Ford.

The next dining evening is on Saturday, April 30 from 7 to 9pm. Call the tea rooms on 01962 856840 to book.

For more details about the delivery service, which runs from Tuesdays to Saturdays, call 023 80260397.