After my short August-blog-hibernation, I’m back with my first of two food blogs about South Devon and they’re not to be missed.

The Beachhouse is a shabby-chic, cosy and inviting restaurant located in South Milton in Devon. The converted beachhouse may look like nothing more than a shack from afar, but step inside on a chilly evening or sit outside on a sunny Summer afternoon and you’ll be knocked off your wooden bench by the food served here.

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Beautifully battered calamari with a rich garlic aioli

It’s a guaranteed thing that there will always be fresh, delicious seafood on offer here. A classic Beachhouse dish (which has been there the last three years I have visited), is garlic & chilli king prawns – just make sure you ask for a spoon to mop up the delicious and super spicy sauce.

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Garlic & Chili Prawns

Seafood haters don’t fret, the Beachhouse offers an eclectic menu that changes fairly often and there are always plenty of other options available. I had beautiful arancini balls for my main which reminded me slightly of the stuffing balls I have at Christmas, but that’s never a bad thing. Wherever you sit in the Beachhouse for dinner you will be able to see the sun setting over the ocean, which always adds some romanticism to the venue.

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Arancini Balls

The Beachhouse have a slightly unique dining experience, especially for an area usually frequented by families or couples. The wooden tables that fill the dining area seat around six people comfortably and eight at a push, so unless you come here in a group of five or more you will probably end up sharing your table with others and end up talking. This has always been great fun for me as we have met some lovely people in the Beachhouse. For all of you dog owners out there, dogs are warmly welcomed.

So in the unlikely event that you haven’t heard of The Beachhouse and you either live in Devon or you’re going to South Devon next Summer, then this is the place to visit for a memorable dining experience.

If you want to visit: TQ7 3JY

If you want to book: 01548 561144

First of all, before starting my post, I must address the devastating news of the attacks last night in France. Once again, another traumatic terrorist attack has rocked the world and I send my love to anyone who has been affected by these atrocities.

In 2002, Bali itself was the victim of multiple bombings that resulted in the death of 202 people and on my recent visit I realised that the memories still resonate. I hope that amongst such terrible news prior to the weekend, I can bring a moment of joy and light reading for you all on this Friday.

My recent trip to Indonesia with my boyfriend George was abundant with culinary experiences. It’s no secret that Indonesian food is my favourite, but the exchange rate also means that for many people, you can get incredibly fancy food for a fraction of the price you would be used to.

Kuta

Kuta is renowned for its party lifestyle and cheap food. Even though Westernised restaurants and bars can be found all around Kuta (Hard Rock, Starbucks, Tony Roma’s), it’s also where you’ll find some great cheap nasi-gorengs and gado gados.

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Nasi Goreng found at a restaurant on the first day – £3.50!

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Delicious coffee and juices at Kopi & Kue

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Another nasi goreng, we went slightly crazy with these on the first few days.

Gili Trawangan

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The Gili Islands are technically in Lombok, but because they’re only a short boat ride away from Bali, many travellers visit Gili T too. Gili Trawangan has become a diver’s and backpacker’s mecca in recent years and every time I visit, there are more and more businesses popping up over the island.

The night market is one of the most popular spots on the island for authentic and cheap Indonesian food. Various stalls fill the square at 6pm, which is completely empty in the day time. Much like a “pick and mix”, you can fill up your bowl with the different foods you want and one bowl will cost on average 30,000-60,000 rupiah. In other words, it’s around £1.50-£3 to have a foodie experience that you won’t forget.

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The seating in the night market comprises of long tables and benches, perfect for socialising and meeting other travellers. My favourite stall is the barbequed corn, beware, it’s spicy stuff!

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My £2 bowl of yumminess

If you’re a sandwich fiend like myself and fancying something more simple, then go to Bale Sampan, which is just past the Turtle Conservation Hut.

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Kayak over to the serene Gili Meno to burn off some of that Bale Sampan baguette

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Catch a cocktail at Pearl Beach Lounge, which has recently been featured on the Bali Bible. You can chill on the beach or by the pool (they do awesome quesadillas).

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Grab a light lunch at Villa Ombak Sunset, then spend a lazy afternoon by the pool bar

Ko Ko Mo is renowned for being one of the best restaurants on the island. The quiet area and the beachfront setting make it a popular destination for couples and honeymooners. The dishes are on the pricier side but you’re still only paying around £6-7 for a main meal involving quality ingredients.

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Prawns, scallops and a seafood risotto 

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Chocolate souffle

Ubud

Ubud was my favourite part of the trip. I’d recommend going to Gunung Kawi temple and the rice fields if you visit. The scenery is like no other.

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Kopi Luwak coffee is a special type of coffee in Indonesia which is produced from a digested coffee bean that has passed through the body of a civet. The whole process itself is based on the belief that the civets choose the best coffee cherries to eat and upon being digested, the bean is fermented.

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Only upon visiting the plantation (after little to no research), did I realise that the civets are not roaming free as I would have hoped, but instead they are kept in cages. Due to Luwak coffee being one of the most expensive in the world, farmers have latched onto this lucrative business and in turn, intensive farming methods have been introduced.

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However, the plantation does produce a variety of coffee, spices and fruit. I would just implore that if the price tag doesn’t scare you off first, remind yourself of the ethical issues at hand and don’t buy the Luwak coffee.

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After looking around the plantation, we were given samples of various different coffees – whoever knew that “ginger coffee” existed (it’s delicious, by the way).

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The views from the plantation

Ibu Rai is one of the most popular in Ubud, we arrived before 7pm and just managed to get a seat. It was originally recommended to us by our Indonesian driver, the food is around £5 for a main and there’s a great atmosphere.

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Uma Cucina is a modern Italian restaurant in Ubud and slightly pricier than Ibu Rai, but less expensive than Ku De Ta in Seminyak (for reference). There is also an indoor bar with a comfortable seating area, perfect for a pre or post-dinner drink.

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Seminyak

Seminyak is a short taxi or 40-minute walk from Kuta, but evidence shows that Seminyak is taking over from Kuta to become the new hotspot of Bali – many would argue that it already has. If you haven’t read my last post on Ku De Ta and you’re interested in Seminyak, then check that out after this one.

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Grain is a popular coffee shop by day and an organic modern restaurant by night. We forgot to pop back the next day to try the coffee but there’s a lot of positive words that indicate it’s worth heading to Grain for.

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Sweet chilli corn fritters

We grabbed lunch at Chandi Restaurant on a very hot afternoon, arriving in quite casual wear and flip-flops with sand still stuck to our legs, I felt slightly underdressed compared to some others there, but we had great service nonetheless! This seemed more like the venue for a fancy long lunch, rather than a quick bite to eat whilst covered in sweat and sand.

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So, that rounds up some of my best food experiences in Indonesia. One final recommendation is Moonlite Kitchen & Bar, which has perfect views for sunset. It also has one of the best desserts I have ever had in my life – Bali Chocolate & Chili Brownie, Cashew Brittle, Caramelized Banana, Almond Custard Ice Cream – all for approx. £4.50.

I hope everyone is having an amazing summer. What foodie experiences have you wanted to blog about? Comment below!

Bali has always been a hot vacation spot in South-East Asia, but in recent years, websites such as “The Bali Bible” have highlighted some of the most alluring and charismatic places to visit.

With over half a milli0n followers on their Instagram account, they’ve gained themselves quite a reputation, so it’s no wonder that the iconic Ku De Ta made it to “best rated” for bars & restaurants in Bali.

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Kicking off our one-year anniversary celebrations, George and I headed to Ku De Ta for dinner just after sunset, George’s treat!

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We were overly-excited to discover that Ku De Ta served one of our favourite brand of wine back in the UK (Kaiken).

One of the most popular reasons for visiting Ku De Ta for many is to unwind with a cocktail as you admire the unrivalled ‘Bali sunset’, so try and incorporate sunset to make the evening as magical as possible.

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The mood lighting is set to low at Ku De Ta, so my flash will definitely take away some of the loveliness of the food, but it will have to do! This was just one Iberian cured meats pre-starter dish, we chose the chorizo and expected it to be on the modest side, but on the contrary, the portions were very generous (and delicious).

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The prawn & snapper ‘chao shou’ dumplings were the highlight of the evening for me. Dim-sum with spicy chilli sauce has always been my favourite style of the dish, so this had me satisfied from the first mouthful. When we visited, the accompaniment to the dumplings was baked ricotta (which didn’t work so well in my opinion), but just a week later they seemed to have changed this to tofu instead!

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George opted for the suckling pig ‘urutan’ (sounds slightly odd but urutan is a type of dry fermented Balinese sausage), once again the description for this item on the Ku De Ta menu has changed, but the most important thing to know is that the meat was incredibly delicious and I would thoroughly recommend if you’re a pulled pork lover.

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My main was the parmesan & sumac crusted pork roasted apple with potato puree and red cabbage. The pork was less tender and more about the flavour, and when it’s parmesan crusted you aren’t really going to complain. However, this dish didn’t wow me, but by this point I was slightly full and still reminiscing about the dim-sum (oops).

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George opted for a steak based main, my flash is not doing the dish any favours here but it was beautiful. I’m a big fan of establishments that actually serve steak “medium rare” or even “rare”, the way it should be (in my opinion), so Ku De Ta wins there! The service was friendly from start to finish and the restaurant is big enough that we weren’t cramped next to any other tables.

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No meal is ever complete without one last indulgent pudding that you’ve somehow made extra stomach space for. After our meal, we went for a wonder by the front of the restaurant which overlooks the beach – stopping here for an after-dinner cocktail is a great idea for anyone who has the stomach room 🙂

 

Thank-you, Ku De Ta, you lived up to your many accolades.

It’s that time of year again.

The time of year when fad diets are plastered across media outlets across the nation for that one week holiday. The time of year when sunny weekends are spent in pub gardens or reuniting over a BBQ with the friends you see twice a year at New Year or in summer. The time of year that many people spend most of their year longing for, including me!

After finally finishing University, I headed to Croatia for a well-deserved break with my best friends.

In one week we packed in so many experiences. However, there is only one place to start;

The Old Town

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Dubrovnik has gained popularity by being one of the filming locations for the popular HBO series, Game of Thrones. It’s easy to see why the producers chose Dubrovnik’s Old Town. The gothic and romanesque architecture combined with the quaint side streets that are littered with lanterns, restaurants and galleries exude romance and mystery.

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Bars

Just a note on Buza Bar – the “bar on the rocks” that everyone will recommend to you if you go. For us, Buza Bar really wasn’t anything special. Its location was ideal, in The Old Town and just off of the Ancient City Walls overlooking the ocean. However, they weren’t serving any cocktails, any rose wine or any champagne, we only had a choice of beer or red or white wine which some may find quite limited. The wine was pricey and served in individual mini bottles with a plastic cup instead of straight from a normal bottle in a wine glass. I understand the safety of having glass near a cliff, but seeing as half of the seating isn’t even directly next to the view, it seemed like a rip off. Just a heads up!

However, there IS a bar with a sea view that I would highly recommend. The Cave Bar in Lapad was the highlight of my trip.IMG_5166

The drinks were the same price as Buza Bar (around £6-7) for a cocktail. However, the drinks were stunningly made and the views were incredible, additionally, the seating isn’t cramped together. The Cave Bar earns its name from the interior design of the bar, which is built inside a cave.

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There aren’t many seats inside, but to be honest, we found it more rewarding to sit outside and just visit the interior to take photos.

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Food

One of our lovely meals out in the Old Town was in a square that we stumbled upon (a short walk from Buza Bar). There are many restaurants in Dubrovnik, I’d say 80% of the establishments in The Old Town were restaurants and bars, most offering seafood and pasta dishes. You’ll be able to find lobster and other delicasies in Dubrovnik if you do your research!

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Calamari HAD to be done at least once on this trip (okay, it happened twice), nothing beats fresh seafood on holiday.

Beaches

Top Beach Tip – Take waterproof shoes for the beach. I noticed sea urchins in shallow water often and most of Dubrovnik’s beaches are either pebbly or rocky, so beach shoes are definitely useful.

We managed to squeeze in a boat trip to the Elaphiti Islands, which many companies will advertise as the “three-island boat trip”.

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In all honesty, if you are in a group or if you have the money to spend on a private boat, I would do that instead! We had a blast, but I feel like I have to warn people about cheap boat trips in case they feel disappointed. We visited Sipan, Lopud and Kolocep. Lopud is famous for its sandy beach, which is a rare find in Croatia. There isn’t much to do on Lopud apart from lounge around on the beach or visit the botanical gardens, but it’s definitely worth a day trip.

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Lopud Beach

Copacabana Beach in Babin Kuk is a beautiful beach with views of the mountains, the scenery was by far my favourite. We also passed some tourist shops on the way to the beach with prices slightly cheaper than in The Old Town.

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Copacabana Beach

Lapad Beach was on the doorstep of our accommodation. Next to the water, Lopud is lined with high-quality restaurants and rock platforms to lie on if you don’t fancy the pebbles. Moving away from the beach, you will find an extensive range of restaurants and bars – many of which are much cheaper than The Old Town.IMG_5035

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Banje Beach is probably the most famous in Dubrovnik as it’s the closest to The Old Town. We enjoyed cocktails and food service to our sunbeds. As the day starts to end, the beach-goers head home as the bar turns into a popular nightclub.

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Banje Beach

 

I hope I’ve inspired you all to visit Dubrovnik some day, it’s even a great place for a long weekend break. My next stop is Bali…Stay Tuned!

Where is everyone going on holiday this summer?