We have a new destination for wood fired Italian style food. Say hello to DUMBO, the new sister to The Elephant restaurant, famous for clean, fresh, vegetarian fare.
Split over two levels, there’s a modern vibe, with a personal touch every step of the way. Downstairs is casual, kinda all day brunch food that you’re more likely to eat with your hands (under construction on my visit). Upstairs, there’s a breezy relaxed elegance. More knife and fork like.
I love grazing on small plates of food so I ordered the arancini alla dumbo – crunchy risotto balls with chilli jam & aioli, along with a chilled glass of white. Artfully yet simply presented, delicious, and that chilli jam… I nearly asked for a jar to take home.
What I loved most….. the friendly happy vibe.
A ginger coriander martini and a Giallo pizza – roasted pumpkin, zucchini flowers, nasturtium, pine nuts, dried chilli are top of list for my next visit.
Next up…. my fave place for heavenly, organic, affordable spa/body products.
Getting your glow on in Bali is easy. Being massaged, scrubbed with delicious herbal pastes and wrapped in banana leaves will do that for you.
When in Ubud you must allow time every day to work your way through the myriad of spa menus on offer. Your body, mind and soul will love you forever for the kindness.
But how to keep up the glow at home?
Pack a stash of spa goodies from Nadis Herbal into your bag and a promise to yourself to keep up the self care. My current “can’t live without” product list looks like this……
Coconut Oil, Lemongrass Bodywash, Sacred Scent Body Cream, Face Oil, Balinese Flowers Hair Tonic, Frangipani Shampoo and a citrus lip balm.
They also make wonderfully affordable gifts. Unless you’re buying bulk size, most products are under $5 and available in an airplane friendly 100ml size.
If you’re not keen on packing bottles of liquids stock up on the small packets of dried products. My faves are the seaweed facial mask, harmony salt body scrub, traditional boreh mix. The tins of body cream are hard to resist.
They are perfect gifts to appease anyone back home who may have glow envy.
The main store is on Jalan Suweta, 5 minutes walk from the palace. If nothing else stock up on the Mosquito spray. You’ll never spray yourself with chemicals again.
Nadis Herbal have their own organic gardens based on zero waste principles. The gardens are also a source of plants for medicinal treatments or ceremonies, which the give for free when needed. They also have a daily program of really interesting workshops and herbal walks. Its a really lovely local business.
Next up…. step into the Authorpreneur world.
There’s no doubt that Ubud is a hub in the Digital Nomad world. You can all but hear the hum of laptops being tapped away at poolside or in cool co-working spaces. There’s a constant calendar of workshops, meet-ups and retreats that are equal amounts of work and play.
If you’re keen to become an Authorpreneur, get yourself along to the Bestseller Mentorship Bali with literary agent Jacq Burns & bestselling author John Williams. They are two of the best and together they can help you start your journey to be a bestselling author.
‘If you start with the right strategy your book can not only become a bestseller but can also serve as a 24-hour marketing tool for you and your ideas. This is life-changing if you work for yourself, run a business or you’re currently in a job and would like to build your personal brand.’
Expect two fun but intensive days plus one-to-one mentoring on your book idea, proposal and marketing strategy once you get home. Its at a fab resort location, so you get to dip your toes in the pool whilst working on the bestseller that could change your life. Happening Aug 17/18.
Jacq was commissioning editor at Random House & Editorial Director at Harper Collins. Jacq is co-founder of the The London Writers Club, author of several successful books and has ghostwritten a number of well-known titles.
My connection….. Jacq and I have had wonderfully rich experiences co-hosting Writers’ Retreats at Sharing Bali.
If you’d like to be considered for the Bestseller Mentorship Bali, your first step is to send a quick email and tell them a little about your book idea. Don’t overthink it. Send the email! firstname.lastname@example.org
Next up…. Where to stay in Ubud?
My most asked and most difficult to answer question. Everyone has a different idea on style, budget and location. There’s hundreds of choices from simple homestay to luxe resort. So with that disclaimer, here’s some of my faves:
Narasoma is one of those places you don’t expect to find at the end of a narrow lane. Expect ornate Balinese interiors, delicious organic spa treatments, pool, and friendly vibe. There’s a yoga retreat centre here as well. The website is really confusing and you have to email to get prices, but it’s worth it. Starts at $AUD60.
KajaNe Mua. Think modern Balinese style, everything looks effortless. Walking distance to everything you need in Ubud. Put this on the treat list. Prices vary from $AUD150 for a room to $270+ for private villa with pool.
If you love Kajane style but prefer to get 15 mins out of town, they have a new place that looks amazing. (I’m yet to visit) Kajane Yangloni
More homestay than villa vibe, I could stay at Nur Guest House just for the bathrooms! Family owned by the lovely Ibu Nur, the rooms, gardens, ponds and pool are meticulously kept. WiFi is ok, and food is homestay style. It’s a 15 min walk to the centre of town, so you’re away from the hustle. TIP: take the torch provided if you’re heading out at night. You need it just for a few minutes on the path close to the guest house. Around $AUD70 including breakfast.
My advice is to hit agoda.com and look for a deal on something special that maybe you wouldn’t normally treat yourself to. You’re on holiday after all.
BIG TIP: watch out for hotels listing themselves as Ubud location but in reality they’re nowhere near the centre of town. Check their map. If they say 10mins walk expect 20mins. If they are 10 mins or more drive away, budget time and $ for transport into town unless they have a shuttle service.
Finally…. get out of town for a sunrise adventure.
It’s worth getting up at 2am to see the sunrise from the summit of a volcano. I’ve done the climb 165+ times with Sharing Bali guests and every climb was memorable and worth the effort. Nothing beats the sense of achievement and the fresh perspectives on life enjoyed at the top. Soaking in the hot springs is your reward for the early wake up call.
Minimum group size: 2 Price per person: $USD 75 per Person
If you have places you’d like me to check out or recommend, drop me an email (email@example.com) or a message on FB.
FYI. I do have limits… I’m a mountain and village gal so I don’t go south of Ubud unless I’m going to the airport or Nusa Lembongan and I don’t really do resorts.
Watch this space for the next monthly round up…..
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Many thanks in advance!