Thursday, 19 January 2017



As the first month of the new year is already in full swing - I do what I normally to best this time of year.... revisit my past travels and starting to plan the next big trip!  As you all may or may not know - I LOVE BALI - absolutely truly badly deeply - so join me on this trip down memory lane - my recent visit to Villa Kubu - my favourite luxury stay on that beautiful magical isle.... 

I can’t think of anything more soothing than falling sleep to the sound of the rain gently pouring from the skies outside - especially when its that tropical kind of rainfall that often follows a heavy electric lightning and thunder storm ….  you first hear the gentle pitter patter as the rain falls down onto the leaves of trees and branches, then you hear it falling on the ponds and swimming pool and then the soft little drops that hit the ground - you almost cannot hear those…. 
And then you wake up to bird song and a rooster crowing in the distance - and you wipe the sleep from your eyes and suddenly you remember you’re in Bali!
Waking up in Villa Kubu though is a whole different kind of waking up….

Photo:  Lindé Davies

After all - Kubu in Balinese means home away from home’ and that is exactly what creative Australian owner, Dee Mytton envisioned when she started designing and developing Villa Kubu some 16 years ago.   Prior to settling down in Bali in the late 90’s, Dee spent many years living in Asia - first HK, followed by Singapore, Jakarta, back to HK and then finally decided to set down roots in beautiful Bali.  I imagine at the time it was still perhaps a little bit undiscovered - she spotted the potential of this beautiful paradise isle and managed to secure a site for what is now Villa Kubu - a breathtaking tropical resort of 17 unique luxury private pool villas.  

Even though nestled somehow in the hart of hustling bustling Seminyak - driving down the lane as you make your way towards the entrance of this lush and tranquil resort - you somehow beautifully forget the rush and business where you have just come from and you enter a haven, a peaceful retreat, a tropical paradise…

Dee wanted to create something magical - an oasis where one can totally detox both mind, body and soul, from the weariness and stresses of everyday life - a serene and private hideaway.  Each villa is uniquely designed in a contemporary Balinese style - and an immense amount of time, effort and love and labour had gone into creating something this beautiful; lush tropical gardens that are perfectly landscaped surround each of the villas which are of asymmetrical design - koi ponds - and vast stepping stones - and the sounds of nature all round.  Each villa is entered through a private gate off the tree lined private lane that houses this boutique resort - and that gate will lead you to your beautiful home away from home… 

Photo:  Lindé Davies
Photo:  Lindé Davies
Photo:  Lindé Davies 
Photo:  Lindé Davies

Photo:  Lindé Davies

Photo:  Lindé Davies

Hard as it was to leave, I did step out into the hustle and bustle of Seminyak and this is what I found…. still not seen the beach by the way, but hey… there’s always a next time!

For the best eye brow and eye last tint in all of Bali (finding a spa that offers this treatment is few and very far between) - visit Rituals Salon Spa and Cafe and ask for Yanti
(You can also request her at the Spa at Villa Kubu, and they will arrange for her to come to Villa Kubu but this will be at an extra cost)
Rituals - JL Legian 476  Phone:  +62 361 755962

For beautiful ethical fashion made in Bali - Buddha Wear buddhawear is always top of my list and they’re only a quick 10 minute walk from your Villa
Buddha Wear - l. Raya Seminyak No.55, Seminyak  Phone:  +62 361 730530

For beautiful handmade homewares and gifts- I loved MUUBS IN THE ROUGH - 
muubsintherough about a 10 minute walk down the road from Buddha Wear
Jl. Raya Basangkasa No. 13,  Seminyak  Phone: +62 361 734243

And for some inspiring art - I can highly recommend the Nyaman Gallery nyamangallery Jalan Basangkasa No.88,  Phone:  +61 361 736226

All you need to do now is book yourself a lovely stay!

Here's a handy link to their current rates and specials - some tempting offers ending 31st of January!

Friday, 9 December 2016


an urban village original


What does it mean though to be you’
In a world where we are constantly being bombarded by having to behave this way or that way or looking like we have just stepped off a magazine cover or driving this car or that - what about just being you - to not be recognized as a matter of your belongings or what you have achieved - but to be recognised by your truth, by speaking your truth and by living your truth and by standing up for your truth

I believe the more of us stand together in our uniqueness, in our perfectly flawed humanness - that vibration of realness will start resonating with more and more people and soon we will be a whole collective of humanity - a mass of humankind - human kind - that in our tribes and droves will pull together and form a powerful movement of love and of light and of warmth 
I think its already started happening

I imagine a beautiful spiderweb with soft sparkly threads with each strand connecting at very specific points to form the most perfect web
Imagine each one of us - are those connecting points on that beautiful and perfectly formed web - our place just perfect and within that we form a perfect whole.
Now imagine I want to be you - so I start mirroring you, your behaviour - what you say and what you do, how you do your hair …. and soon my connecting point disappears and your connecting point becomes thicker - if more and more of us want to become someone else - the more and more gaps there will be forming in this once perfectly formed web - and it will start being off balance

When the web has too many holes - too many copies of copies of copies of people - the web will become too week to stay strong enough to stick together….. and we will start picking holes in each other because of the holes in our web
It feels like we need to almost forget everything we think we now and learn anew how to be me and you how to be you - spend some time hanging with your soul - and really feel how does it feel to just be you
You are enough, you are perfect - you are exactly where you need to be
The more true we become to our selves - the more space we make for our soul to shine, and the less space there is for our ego to want to change us into something we are not.  When we are in this state of accepting our true self - just purely by the act of acceptance, we are allowing ourselves the space to grow into the most perfect version of ourselves - and therefore move back to our original space, our original connecting point in that perfectly formed web - imagine it so thin and so beautiful yet so delicate with sunlight and dewdrops now being caught by this web - and suddenly the most beautiful rainbow colours are reflecting and shining out from each and every connecting point on this web - and this web is starting to rotate and move and with each rotation each connecting point are getting stronger and stronger and truer and truer to themselves - yet it all happens collectively because of the connectivity between each of us, between each point - until it reaches a point where the force of the rotation causes the web the disintegrate in the most beautiful of explosion allowing each one of those tiny little connecting points to go off into the atmosphere and slowly growing new connections and forming a new webs until the whole is connected as one big beautiful rainbow of magnificence

Imagine recognising each other from a place of truth- and moving in our lives from that place of realness and rawness - but also imagine once we start accepting ourselves and our place - by accepting it - we are actively standing in our place - and therefore we are allowing ourselves the space to grow into where we need to be…… its all about the ebbing and the flowing like the phases of the moon and tides - neither are fighting the other - a perfect unison in movement creating an energy field that will draw in what is needed and release what no longer serves us
Making space to draw in more of what is needed and releasing each time that which no longer serves us ….. nothing is permanent, we are forever changing - but only by accepting our truth we are allowing the changing to happen - when we are fighting our truth - that is when we become stuck, we become stagnant - we feel stuck
And because we think from a place of self and not from a place of truth -the place of self wants to be seen
The place of truth is just being

Thursday, 24 November 2016


Photo:  Lindé Davies
I am almost 2 weeks back from my trip to Bali.  I took my laptop so I could write and blog each day - but my mind had me none of that.  I wanted to share my trip as the days go by - but no
I felt empty of words - and not in a bad way - in a good way - almost like I was empty so I can be filled right up again by the experiences of my trip
Almost like just being there was enough - it felt like there was no need to write about it while I was there - and I did not try

I guess a part of me, just wanted to just be there, enjoy being there and soak it all - and then one day when I am ready to share, it will hopefully find the right words out - to do just that.

So today I will start sharing bits and pieces from my trip - sometimes it may be lots of images and sometimes it may just be a single one photo.  I may have lots to say or I may just have no words at all and let the images and photos and memories I capture - stir your senses and create your own stories from looking at them

I took this while we were wondering the sandy island paths and roads of Gili Air in Lombok

'Kids with a Kite'

I hope you like it too

Friday, 30 September 2016


Sometimes we stumble upon a website or in my case a beautiful stay - and you just feel like you have arrived - and you are home

That's how I felt when I found Calma Ubud - and yes .... the feeling of calm, and peacefulness and tranquility all springs to mind.  A gentle structure nestled amongst the ricefields in a traditional Balinese village just outside Ubud - surrounded by nature - and magical sunsets at night

I love the lightness and the brightness and the vast open plan lounge and breakfast area that overlooks the soothing turquoise waters of the swimming pool - pool view, ricefield view - nature all around
What more can one want?

This a small luxury resort with only 10 beautifully designed individual guest rooms and suites - the emphasis here is definitely the simplicity of the design, the traditional Balinese craftsmanship enhanced by the contemporary tropical architecture - I'd like to call this rustic eco chic - however I do believe this is rather less rustic, and lots more luxury

Definitely one for the list ..... 

Images via calma ubud

Monday, 26 September 2016


Today I had the pleasure to stumble upon another exquisite boutique resort called Dea Villas ... and I quote:

'Welcome to Dea Villas - four tropical garden villas in rural Berawa close to Canggu.  A sense of space sets this exclusive enclave apart; each villa comprises living and bedroom pavilions set in its own private gardens with swimming pool, sun deck, lotus ponds and myriad quiet corners.'

'Villa Sati comprises a series of individual pavilions, well screened in delightfully established gardens. The largest of these is the open-sided living pavilion, which looks over an amphitheatre style performance space near the large free-form swimming pool. Encircling the pool are four joglopavilions, each housing a bedroom with garden bathroom and sun terrace. Among these is the sixth and smallest building – an antique lumbung(traditional rice barn) which doubles as a playhouse.'

Spacious - luxurious - traditional Javanese vernacular - yet translated beautifully in a contemporary manner.  The lush tropical gardens are landscaped to perfection - and the layout of the villa's allows enough privacy to retreat to - and again, enough openness to engage and interact with your fellow family members or friends also staying at Dea Villas

I can only imagine how tranquil it must be to awake here - in the midst of a beautiful paradise - life cant get much better than this!

'we travel not to escape life - but for life not to escape us'

Images via Dea Villas

Wednesday, 31 August 2016


I'm not going to try and write something about this place, as it's just too perfect to try and spoil with a few measly sentences - swooning over the hammocks and the pool and the plush cushions - love the tribal designs by the way - all the little details - all so well designed, even the menu's are on theme - and well aimed at a very specific market

I've not even included the rooms, that will need to follow in a separate post as I'd hate for anyone to overdose on all this beautiful 'bohemianness' ..... I can't stop staring at my screen - imagining what a holiday at this place would feel like

I imagine bliss times 100 for sure

Images via Casa Cook

Sunday, 7 August 2016


Tropical co-living at its best at this beautiful airy and plant filled complex called Roam;  in Ubud, Bali.  Roam is a new brand that offers occupants the opportunity to move between co-living complexes around the world. You will find a beautiful movie clip on their landing page from which I quote

'We’ve converted a contemporary boutique hotel into a co-living space in Ubud, the artistic and cultural heart of the island. Two dozen rooms encircle a pool, and a co-working space sits on the rooftop across from an open space for events like nightly talks, yoga and capoeira.'
Designed by Alexis Dornier this space reminds me of the Eco Hotel Kandalama Heritance in Sri Lanka - design by Geoffrey Bawa.  I had the opportunity to stay at the Kandalama I think it was in 2004 and it was a remarkable experience - I could feel the design - it made me feel well.

Back to Roam -  And I'm quoting from Alexis Dornier's website:

'the vision of this place was to create community. A model of a micro society where people find their own space for privacy as well as places of gathering, exchange, movement and education, the structure we had found prior to it's make over already had a great deal of that desired spatial configuration we find today.
The inner court yard, surrounded by 3 run down apartment buildings, formed the starting point for surgical and effective alteration of floor plans by adding more components, knocking down walls, opening solid concrete walls, adding bathrooms and placing large windows that would allow for enough light, fresh air and exciting views towards its surroundings.
Roam is an urban place, and its density one of the key drivers to bring people together closely. We gave these places of gathering a new Roof on top of the buildings, connected them with a bridge, extensive deck space, cafe, bar, restaurant, lounge and other recreational areas. Also the central pool, the recently completed community kitchen and downstairs garden bar offer active areas for guests and visitors.
Balinese life around built structure is that of community through density. Taking the model of a traditional Balinese compound to another level, the feeling of family as an organism of exchange and life was always a key driver in the design for Roam. 'All under one roof' was another key design driver. The efficient canopy structure spans across all shared spaces. Different opacities through a range of materials such as bamboo, tin and poly carbonate turn the place into a light, yet protected outpost high up, overlooking its surrounding."

I'm keen to check this out on my travels - and hope to take a few photos and movie clips to share with you at a later stage.  This kind of development is really inspiring and definitely key in creating more sustainable co-working co-living spaces for a generation of explorers and nomads and just those keen to live more meaningful lives, not to be bound by convention, not living by the 9 - 5 rule book.  I'm keen to get breaking some rules - and living life to the full!  And seeing creative spaces like this one, really gives me some motivation to step up and step into life with fresh vigour and 'gogetfulness' 

Photography:  Alexis Dornier
Stumbled upon via random Google search for Architects in Ubud

More here:  archdaily and dezeen

Wednesday, 3 August 2016


Today I'm happy to share with you a new found restaurant, and this one is on my list for a visit when I'll be back in Bali in a few months time -  I've been meaning to go head back to that blissful Isle for some time now - and having this to look forward to is perhaps just what was needed to get me focused and back on track and into this thing called life again!

So back to Balique Restaurant - you will find this Vintage Cafe/ Restaurant in Jimbaran, along Jalan Raya Uluwatu.  I love the colourful vintage feel - perfectly combined with slightly paired down wall and floor finishes;  lanterns and lampshades a plenty - and authentic perhaps oldie worldy take - and don't we all love spaces that can transport us to another age or era even.

One for the list - this one is for sure!

Images via balique-restaurant

First spotted via ladyironchef