Wowsers. What a fortnight it has been. Here I am FINALLY writing a blog about my adventure, as I wade through the post Bali hangover this week. Nothing like a tropical work trip in paradise to make you realise just how relentless the witching hour grind is.
It's hard to know what to cover in this blog post because - holy guacamole - did I see some incredible restaurants, bars, wholesalers, makers, creators, retailers and products on my adventure - too many to cover here and many of them don't allow access to the general public. So, to make this blog post super useful to YOU, I'm going to only chat about some of the amazing bars, restaurants and retailers we visited, ALL with amazing interiors - a feast for the eyeballs (and quite often tastebuds too!) - to give you a cracking list of must see places for your next Bali trip...
Before I get too carried away it's worth noting that the places I cover are NOT particularly family friendly, so if you're after some hot tips and take outs from (failed!!) family holidays, I recommend heading over to my Phuket Adventure blog post to learn 'what not to do' on holiday with kids - hopefully someone can learn from our mistakes..
This post will be all about those fancy places reserved only for well behaved adults. The kind of place where if by chance you were brave enough to take the kids, you'd spend your visit shooting apologetic looks to the patrons, while chasing your ticking time bombs around, in a desperate flap to stop them from drowning, or knocking over someone's margarita.
So.... first off the list..
A treasure trove of homewares and furniture, styled to perfection in a remarkably beautiful Dutch Colonial style building, in the heart of bustling and ever trendy Seminyak. There are so many serene nooks and corners to explore in this gorgeous building, all adorned with well selected decor, lighting and homeware pieces to lust over. There is also a beautifully set Kim Soo cafe, to bring atmosphere to the space, allowing you to quench your caffeine craving after you've meandered your way through a balmy interior heaven.
HOLY GUACOMOLE. This place is off the charts. An incredibly blingy, energetic, playful and colour buzzing Mexican interior extravaganza. Crazy loud music, a super pumped party vibe, food that packs a serious flavour punch, dancing on tables, a bar manager who tips tequila down your throat and Happy Birthday serenades to set your world on fire. Put your party shoes on and prepare for a massive night because you'll be doing well to walk (rather than stumble or crawl) your way out of this party mecca.
OK, so after your crazy tequila fuelled night at Motel Mexicola, you could head to a laid back lounging pool side bar and restaurant for brunch, to cure your hangover the next day. Mrs Sippy is all about the 'cool vibe' with loud DJ beats, sun lounge zones set around a huge tropical style oasis pool, a fashion boutique with some very trendy pieces and a bar and cafe setting to launch you into some spectacular paradise holiday dreams. Order one of the 'Poke Bowls' for a delicious, healthy brunch option.
Another beautiful and unique homewares and furniture store with plenty of variety on offer from hand crafted textiles, pendant lighting, baskets, bags, artwork and lots of other gorgeous finds. You will no doubt also be lucky enough to meet Giovanna's (the owner's) resident and very obliging giant poodle 'BB King' who strolls his way around the shop, stopping for a nap now and again, between greeting visitors. This little interior haven - spread across two shops on opposite sides of the street - is full of interior character and refined homeliness.
THE LAWN CANGGU
Tropical oasis realised. Umbrellas, surrounded by Palm Trees, an infinity pool, cocktail deck and food to die for. Furniture, lighting and architectural features to propel you further into your idyllic tropical day dream. Do yourself a favour and order the Pomelo Margarita for an amazing flavour punch. Not only does it taste delicious, it will have you feeling giggly with the first sip, which is always a winner in my book.
EL KABRON SPANISH RESTAURANT & CLIFF CLUB
This incredible bar and restaurant, set on the cliffs of Ullawatu with sweeping views of the coastline (beyond the infinity pool), instantly makes you feel as though you've stepped into a movie set. And as it happens, they were filming a advert the day we were there, which meant there were scantly clad actual models bathing and sun baking by the pool, further confusing my sense of reality Vs movie scene. After you've tried a Moet in a gold goblet (not even kidding), order any one of the different Gins on offer - they are spectacularly presented and taste heavenly. This place feels like such a dream state, that when you leave, you will wonder if it ever happened.
And that rounds out my favourite - open to the public - Balinese hot spots, that pack a flavour and / or interior punch. Get amongst it beautiful people, adding them to your holiday schedule will definitely be worth your while. And PLEASE, if you have more spectacular Balinese locations to add to this list, please share the love and comment below with your recommendations.
Now back to the dreary winter weather, to dream of my next Bali adventure!