The Best Brunch in Bali – Starfish Bloo

The Best Brunch in Bali – Starfish Bloo

Sometimes you have such a great experience when traveling, that you do your very best to recreate it. I knew it was a tall order when returning for brunch at the W Seminyak. But, we tried our very best to enjoy the best brunch in Bali, just one more time. Our First Visit to Brunch at W Seminyak While living in Ubud, we had a strange message from a long lost friend. Someone we knew many moons ago, when living in D.C. and in Chicago. Through his moves, and our travels, we had sort of lost touch with Tyler. Then, suddenly, he was visiting Bali, with his partner, Luigi. We made our way down to the beach for a night, staying our very first time at our Bali home away from home, Courtyard Seminyak. We planned our visit around brunch. What better way to break the ice after many years apart than attending what we heard was the best brunch in Bali. It was a memorable experience. Over glasses of sparkling wine, mimosas, bellinis, and who knows what else. Over plate upon plate of seafood and luxury treats. With a view over the blue seas of Seminyak, we caught up with Tyler. In a lot of ways, it was like we had never been apart. The four of us enjoyed our brunch. Immensely. Maybe a bit too much. We were the very last table to leave, and in true W Hotels fashion, they just cleaned up the party around us. Monday was a rough morning to say the least. Our Return to The Best Brunch in Bali After a...
Dining at Locavore – Coming Home and Eating Local

Dining at Locavore – Coming Home and Eating Local

When we left Ubud 2 years ago, anyone who read the last of my Ubud blog posts would assume I would never return. In fact, when I left, I too assumed I would never return. But, when the chef at Locavore Bali invited us for lunch, I suddenly found an excuse to return to Ubud. I’m glad I did. Why We Returned to Ubud During our last week living in Bangkok, we attended an award ceremony for Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, hosted by The World’s 50 Best. I’m still not entirely sure how we ended up on the invite list. I will assume it is because we met Joan Roca of El Celler de Can Roca, the 2015 best restaurant in the world. Or, that I am a budding culinary author with my recent publication of the Food Traveler’s Guide to Emilia Romagna, home to the 2016 best restaurant in the world. Sometimes, it’s just luck. We showed up at the W Hotel in Bangkok, where the top echelon of the Asian culinary world rubbed shoulders. We were fancy for one night. We tried to fit in. We drank Champagne. We sat in the large ball room and awaited the announcement of the top 50 restaurants in Asia. Only one of which we’ve actually eaten at. But, we met the chef during that visit, so I felt a little more fancy. At one point they announced the top restaurant in Indonesia, and without knowing anything more, one word crossed my lips: Locavore. In fact, Locavore also won the Highest Climber Award. Of the top 50 restaurants in Asia, Locavore rose from 49,...
Luxury Dining in Ubud – The Sayan House

Luxury Dining in Ubud – The Sayan House

Ubud, Bali, has a decent food scene, and not just for vegetarians.  There are good options for western food at reasonable prices.  And, there are a few restaurants I would consider for luxury dining in Ubud. Generally, though, when we ate at those fancy places I was often left thinking “that was good . . . for Ubud.”  It just seemed there was always something missing, a hard to find ingredient perhaps that would have brought the whole meal together. The Sayan House was perfect luxury dining in Ubud, and never once left me thinking “that was good . . . for Ubud.”  Instead, everything we ate was just plain good, and easily the best meal we had while living in Ubud. The Sayan House was perfect luxury dining in Ubud http://ctt.ec/G8T_2+Click To Tweet First off, I enjoyed the calm and quiet of this far corner of Ubud, while admiring just how pretty our invitation for dinner was.  This was part of the soft opening at The Sayan House, so we had a VIP invitation, which was so classy.  It really set the scene for the attention to detail this luxury dining in Ubud experience would provide. The Sayan House – Luxury Dining in Ubud The views over the hills at Sayan were spectacular, with a sunset that offered the perfect luxury dining in Ubud experience.  We enjoyed a little romantic quiet time, while waiting for our dinner companions, Joe and Emerald.  Once they arrived, we began our feast. I started with one of the best cocktails I have had in Ubud, a Machu Matilda, . I say this...
Courtyard Bali Nusa Dua – A Bali Beach Escape

Courtyard Bali Nusa Dua – A Bali Beach Escape

I have been known to be the Goldilocks of the beaches, and in Bali this was certainly the case. I am not a surfer, or even a strong swimmer, so the hard core, strong wave beaches on the southwest of Bali just don’t do it for me.  I am all about lounging around in the water, bobbing along like an apple on Halloween.  And, it took us over one and a half years until we found me the perfect Bali beach escape, at the Courtyard Bali Nusa Dua. Nusa Dua is not the real Bali, and is world’s away from Ubud.  But, that was what I liked about it.  The Courtyard Bali Nusa Dua is set in a resort zone, on the west side of the tiny peninsula that juts off the south end of Bali, an area called the Bukit.  It was an escape, from the rainy season in Bali, from the traffic of Ubud, and our life living in Bali.  I think it is a similar escape for folks from Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur and certainly all over Australia.  A perfectly manicured resort community, with hotels, and relaxation, as far as the eye can see. Escaping to the Courtyard Bali Nusa Dua I could tell we were in a different place as soon as we walked in and saw the large open air lobby, decked out for a Balinese style Christmas and the lagoon style pool that meandered through the resort.  I knew right away that I would be enjoying a cocktail while sitting pool side.  After a week of crazy eating and traipsing all over Bangkok,...
The Last 5 Things I Have Learned Living in Bali

The Last 5 Things I Have Learned Living in Bali

I just woke to my final day in Ubud.  I am so ready to leave.  I am thoroughly done with living in Bali. I just woke to my final day in Ubud. I am thoroughly done with living in Bali. http://ctt.ec/fhtaY+Click To Tweet We arrived in Ubud in March of 2013, which seems like almost a lifetime ago.  We had been here once before and were skeptical, but open minded, about whether we fit in.  When I initially wrote about the 5 things I learned about living in Bali, I had a hard time saying I even lived here. This is what I learned from my first few months living in Bali: I needed to slow down, I needed to detox, I need access to a large city, I don’t know if I fit in here, and I don’t know if I could live in Ubud long term. A wise woman I was in June 2013.  Our first few months in Ubud we met no new friends.  We became friendly with some expats, but we ate dinner alone every night, and it was an isolating experience.  We came with no friends, and really left with no friends. We did return to Ubud, though, for me to attend my yoga teacher training, which was an amazing experience, and at the time I thought life changing.  During this time living in Bali, we met some friends, and settled in more.  After analyzing and analyzing where we wanted to settle down in Asia, in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Hanoi, or even Yangon, with loads of pros and cons lists, we went with our...
Reflections on a New Year

Reflections on a New Year

People often assume that our lives are easy.  It is likely that they are easier than others, for sure, but this year has been anything but easy.  Our life overseas is not all rainbows and unicorns. People also often assume that life in Bali is “obviously paradise.”  But, life in Bali this last year has been anything but paradise. Sure, we have had good times this year, mostly involving our travels away from Bali.  We had food porn filled weeks in Taiwan and Bangkok, a month of traversing across Spain, Italy, and Athens, with the highlight being our two weeks in the food capital of Emilia Romagna.  We saw family in the US and met new traveling and blogging friends.  We launched a new business, and have forged ahead on the blog.  All good things. At this time of year, many writers tend to reflect on the prior year, and their hope for the future. Reflections on a new year.  I told myself I would not write such a post.  I was not about to write the best foods we have eaten, or the best destinations we traveled to.  Mostly because, as I reflect on this last year, I realized it was a tough one for us.  And, because of the life we have decided to lead, I was not expecting a year in this new life to be this tough. As the year wraps to a close, though, I am struggling more and more with putting our time living in Ubud into perspective.  Early on, I wondered whether we fit into Ubud, then, it seemed we did, and...
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