After a luxurious three weeks of Bali bliss, I’m back to the reality of Canberra winter and finally kicking off my travel posts with a little slice of Ubud.
Bali was never at the top of my travel wish list, but after three weeks, I’m sufficiently in love, and Ubud is most to blame. Ubud was our first destination – we were there for 10 days and we arrived ready to bliss out.
The real catalyst for this whole Bali trip was the Authentic Feminine retreat – seven days of nurture and nourishment for our mind, body and spirit. My mum, Suzy Cherub (an international psychic medium for those who don’t know that somewhat quirky fact about me), was one of the three facilitators. The other two women that make up the Authentic Feminine are Antoniette Gomez, chakra expert and mindset coach, and Kelly Henderson, Tigress Yoga instructor and sensuality coach.
With that killer trio in charge of things, not only was there absolutely no way I was going to miss out on the opportunity for some serious “me time” in beautiful Bali, I certainly wasn’t going to miss the chance to take it all in while hanging out with my mum, my aunty and a group of inspirational women.
It’s hard to capture the magic and inspiration of the retreat. It was a week spent learning, growing and sharing alongside 28 beautiful and like-hearted women. We laughed, we cried, we danced. We went within and discovered things about ourselves. We found comfort and inspiration in each other’s journeys. It was a week of reflection, of dreaming, of deep gratitude.
Outside of the retreat, we ate everything we could, had more than our fair share of massages and went salsa dancing at least twice. Despite all that, I feel like we only just scratched the surface of what Ubud has to offer – but the good news is the retreat is on again next year. I’m already looking forward to unveiling more of Ubud’s secrets.
Ananda Cottages Jalan Campuhan
We stayed just outside the centre of Ubud at the Ananda Cottages, a traditional Balinese-owned resort. The resort grounds at Ananda are beautiful, the rooms are traditional and comfortable but not flashy, and the staff are just the best.
Ananda is in the Sanggingan area close to some of Ubud’s best restaurants and cafes. It costs around 50,000 rupiah for a taxi into town, otherwise it’s a 25 minute walk which is worth it just for the shops, street art and glimpses of rice fields on the way.
You can find good coffee in Bali, you just have to do your research. But to be honest, it was so hot and humid that I spent most of my time drinking iced coffee which tends to be a little more forgiving when it comes to quality.
Unfortunately for soy drinkers, I’ve got some bad news – soy milk in Bali is sickly sweet. If you’re a soy drinker (and not into sweet coffee) either learn to love it or learn to take your coffee black. Milk preferences aside, here are two places that I can confidently recommend for a guaranteed good coffee in Ubud.
Freak Coffee Jalan Hanuman No. 17
Anomali Jalan Raya Ubud No. 88
Everyone loves Ubud for its arts and culture, yoga haven vibes (which are great don’t get me wrong), but what I fell in love with most was the food.
Ubud’s food scene is totally underrated. From the Western style cafes through to the traditional-meets-modern Balinese restaurants, the produce was always fresh and almost always locally grown. It was a hard task keeping this list brief, but here are just a few of my top Ubud eats.
Tukies Jalan Raya Ubud No. 14
Two words. Coconut icecream.
Hajun Locale Jalan Sri Wedari No. 5
A trendy little dinner spot with the best coconut mojitos you’ll ever try. We went twice – first for the modern Balinese food, second for the pizza.
The Elephant Cafe Jalan Raya Sanggingan
A cute little vegetarian cafe with great views over the Tjampuhan Ridge. A great spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner, but they do a two or three course set brunch on weekends. Yes, please.
Oops Jalan Raya Ubud
The best Jamu Kunyit we had in Bali, hands down. ‘Jamu’ is a traditional Balinese health drink and ‘Kunyit’ is tumeric, known for its healing and anti-inflammatory properties. If you’re going to try Jamu Kunyit while in Bali, try it here.
Bridges Jalan Campuhan
Go here for a fancy dinner or enjoy a few cocktails looking out over the Campuhan River. You won’t regret it. It was some of the best food we had in Bali.
Clear Cafe Jalan Campuhan
A relaxed, laid back cafe with the best smoothie list I’ve ever come across. Try the ‘One Love’ or the ‘Coconut Kiss’.
Nalu Bowls Jalan Raya Ubud
With four locations across Bali, this place rules the humble smoothie bowl. You choose your base smoothie and then select your toppings. I can recommend the ‘Pipeline’ – banana, pineapple, mango and coconut.
Indus Restaurant Jalan Raya Sanggingan
You’ll want to start with cocktails at sunset to get the most out of the panoramic views over the Tjampuhan River. The food is modern Balinese at its best. Try the sate, it’s amazing. And if you go on Monday or Friday, be prepared to salsa.
– Bec x