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!

Sunday is always my favourite day of the week for exploring London. There’s an abundance of things to do and places to see, plus it’s often a little quieter than on a Saturday. My Sunday cost just £30 for three wonderful little meals and some eye-opening sights along the way.

There’s nowhere better to admire the beautiful architecture that London has to offer other than the borough of Kensington & Chelsea. The Boltons and Launceston Place are just a few of my favourite areas for walkabouts in London.

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Lexham Gardens

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Launceston Place

A late breakfast happened at Sweet Things in Notting Hill. I walked from Kensington and it was around a 45 minute walk. The onion marmalade & cheese toastie (£4.85) was perfect for an indulgent Sunday breakfast. You can choose your own fillings and mix & match.

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Next, I got the Piccadilly line down to Leicester Square and walked to Covent Garden. Neal’s Yard is a beautiful little hideaway full of colour and cafes.

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After this I stopped for lunch at Wildwood Cafe, minutes away from Neal’s Yard. Sundays are never very healthy days in my opinion so if a roast isn’t on the cards…something else equally as naughty probably will be!

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The cheesiest Americana for under £10

After this I walked on up to the British Museum. Like many of the museums in London it’s free, so instead of splashing the cash on the Cinema or even vegging out in front of the TV like any other day, why not experience some cultural history at no expense to your wallet.

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The British Museum offer scones (£8.50) and an lovely selection of cakes…in my opinion there is no better day of the week for scones and prosecco (£7.50). After all of this, I caught the tube home and curled up on the sofa with a glass of Malbec…Perfect!

I hope you all had a lovely Sunday! Comment on what you guys got up to 🙂

I have had the pleasure of being nominated for a “Liebster” award

liebsteraward-roses-tag1 by http://freespiritedfashionista.com/ and a “One Lovely Blog” award 03-one-lovely-blog-award-badgeby http://akinderway.com/.

Both of these blogs are awesome and run by lovely people so go and check them out 🙂

These awards are great ways of networking and meeting other bloggers. The blogging community is a wonderful place to be and although I’m very new to it I am certainly having a fabby time!

If you are nominated for a “One Lovely Blog” award by me, these are the rules:

  1. Thank the person that nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. List the rules.
  3. Display the award on your post.
  4. List seven facts about yourself.
  5. Nominate (up to) 15 bloggers for this award and comment on one of their posts to let them know you have nominated them.

So, I’m going to follow the rules of the “One Lovely Blog” award and list seven facts about myself.

  1. I can’t wear heels – not because I don’t like them but because I physically can’t walk in them. It’s a curse!
  2. My favourite country is Indonesia & my favourite cuisine is Indonesian.
  3. I’m obsessed with my dog Roley, he’s my best bud, here is is on his b’day.IMG_8454
  4. I’m a Divemaster and I love Scuba Diving.
  5. I have a boyfriend called George who attends many of my “blog purpose” meals and trips out with me.
  6. My favourite drink is red wine – especially Malbec.
  7. I played the violin for seven years.

Now here are my top 10 bloggers at the moment. These aren’t all food related, it’s a mix but they’re all great and worth checking out!

  1. http://shannonsage.blogspot.co.uk/
  2. https://joyofspanishcooking.com/
  3. http://madeinromeblog.com/
  4. http://www.thesparklingdarling.com/
  5. http://tworedbowls.com/
  6. http://petersfoodadventures.com/
  7. http://passioncook.net/
  8. http://nevertoomuchfood.com/
  9. http://myculinarysaga.com/
  10. http://youthfoodblog.com/
  11. http://theroadtripcowgirl.com/

 

It’s not compulsory to participate but it’s a lot of fun and a great way to meet new bloggers. Have fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Punchbowl in Mayfair is hidden away on a side street off of Berkeley Square. It is one of London’s oldest pubs and the beautiful Grade II listen building makes a wonderful setting for a drink or dinner out. Having opened in 1729 and being formerly owned by Guy Ritchie means that the pub has both old and new history.

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The Dining Room 

Sometimes all you’re in the mood for on a Friday night is traditional pub food, but with so many chain pubs cluttering the streets nowadays, it can sometimes be hard to find freshly made pub food that is worth your money.

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We ate in the dining room on the first floor which offers modern pub food. The ground floor is the main pub level and this offers the same menu except you are seated in the heart of the pub, this seemed incredibly busy and bustling but a little too warm and loud for a quiet Friday night dinner.

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The decor in the dining room was modernised and fresh whilst still offering a cosy feel. Classics such as “fish and chips” and “pie of the day” are on the menu but everything is made freshly made and the vegetables are sourced from the New Covent Garden market. The dishes aren’t overpriced for a pub in Mayfair and the service we received was outstanding.

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A gorgeous Malbec

For starters we had hummus and flatbread (£3.50) sourdough (£1) and ham hock with piccalilli (£8)

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For mains George had pie of the day (£16.50) which was steak and ale, mash and kale. The kale was cooked with salt which made it so much more delicious. I had the pumpkin risotto (£12.50) which was a very hearty portion and incredibly rich and delicious. Cooked to perfection!

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We had to fit in a pudding..Bailey’s cheesecake and raspberry sorbet, delicious!

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The 18th Century building has been renovated and jazzed up using artistic paintings covering the walls, making it a very interesting place to be indeed.

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The Punchbowl is perfect for a quiet dining experience in Mayfair where after your meal you can stroll downstairs and enjoy the buzzing atmosphere of the pub. If that doesn’t impress you, then the amazing customer service and delicious food certainly will!

If you want to visit: 41 Farm Street, London, W1J 5RP

Take a peak at the website: www.punchbowllondon.com