Heidi and I went to Bali earlier this year to discover new sustainable fabrics and work on our latest collection (coming soon!). Bali is full of places to explore, whether you are craving an adventure, needing to hit the reset button or just looking to have a good time with friends. Although we were here to spend time with our manufacturers, it’s safe to say we also managed to make the most of the island!
We based ourselves in Canggu, which is close to the upmarket party- town, Seminyak, but has a more relaxed atmosphere to it. It is full of surf shops, yoga studios and healthy breakfast spots and is a great place to learn to ride your first wave. While everything in Canggu is pretty low-key, we were spoilt for choice on where to watch the Bali sunset and it was always accompanied with cold drinks and great food.
Here is our guide to the places we loved in Canggu, Uluwatu and Nusa Penida
Nusa Penida Day Trip
Best for: Exotic beaches, natural infinity pools and cliff-top photo ops.
Drink: Fresh coconuts
Wear: Buccoo triangle in Papaya and a bucket hat (the sun is strong!)
Our tip: If you have time to stay on other islands (Gilli islands, Lombok etc.) we have heard their beaches trump Bali’s. However if, like us, you are short of time, Nusa Penida is a short day trip away. A tour (booked with local guides on the mainland) will take you to 3 of the island's famous spots. They do get busy though so if you have the luxury of staying even 1 night and hitting the beaches early, we would recommend it.
Best for: Chilling out in an exotic jungle
Drink: Watermelon and rum Bali Sunset
Wear: Castara Bandeau in Coral with High-waisted trousers in Cool Grey
Our tip: We came for evening drinks but this would be a great place to spend a whole afternoon- it is right on the beach and there is a pool. There is plenty of space here but if you do come later in the day be prepared to fight for a prime sunset spot.
*minimum spend (IDR 200,000 pp)
Best for: Embracing your sunset photo addiction
Eat/Drink: Lawn and Stormy and Crispy Chicken Wontons
Wear: Stine Goya’s Ashton dress
Our tip: Sunset is the busiest time of day but happy hour starts at 7pm so come just as the sun is going down and stay till after dark (the starters menu works perfectly well as bar snacks).
Best for: A post-surf hangout
Eat: Salt and Pepper Calamari and a cold Bintang
Wear: Castara bandeau in Azure with &Otherstories high-waisted denim shorts
Our tip: Good food, a lively crowd and reasonable prices. This is a ‘must’ if you are staying or surfing in Canggu. Happy Hour from 5-6pm.
Best for: Feeling like you are on a movie set.
Drink: Tropical Lagoon
Wear: A floaty dress and a Mar y Sol Fortaleza bag
Our tip: Part of the same family as La Favela and La Brisa, the owner’s bought this spot to house the families’ ever increasing pet collection, hence the lagoon. The restaurant was Inspired by the owner’s Spanish Gypsy heritage and is full of quirky nooks to discover.
Best for: A strong cocktail in a trendy hotel bar (you could be in NYC)
Drink: The Santeria packs a good punch or opt for The Harlequin off their ‘dope cocktail’ menu for something more subtle.
Wear: Sea Green High-waisted trousers with the Castara bandeau in Ochre
Our tip: The lobby bar is dimly lit with urban decor so it suits an after-dark drink.
Best for: Sustainable seafood that tastes exceptional
Drink/Eat: Fish Bone G&T (our favourite cocktail of the trip) and Black Cod cooked over coals
Wear: High-waisted trousers in Ochre with a Montunas’ Vanda bag
Our tip: Come hungry, this is a meal you won’t forget.
We also spent a couple of nights in Uluwatu on our trip. The surf is quite a bit more serious here but being even being a spectator is quite a treat. Most of the restaurants and bars are built into the cliffs, and while you may pay a bit extra for the privilege, the views make it totally worth it.
Our tip: we stayed at a hotel called Mule Malu which was very reasonable, eco- friendly and very picturesque. https://www.mulemalu.com/
Best for: A power-breakfast before you hit the waves
Eat: Smoothie bowl
Wear: Savannah Frill swimsuit
Our tip: The beach is pretty but not very comfortable so sit here instead and enjoy the view below.
Best for: One hell of an entrance. You access the beach via a steep funicular ride with a spectacular view.
Eat: Nasi Goreng to soak up their delicious daiquiris.
Wear: Castara Bandeau in Mango Yellow with High-waisted trousers in Ochre
Our tip: There is an entry fee to get access to the beach club but it is redeemable against food or drink. On the pricey side but the beach is stunning.
Best for: Clifftop views over one of the best breaks in Bali
Eat/Drink: Bintang beer
Wear: Valet’s pineapple hair clip
Our tip: To bag a coveted seat around the deck we recommend booking in advance. Live music on Wednesdays and Sundays.
Best for: Clifftop dining
Drink: Aperol Spritz and fresh ceviche
Wear: Wald's 'I'm a Slave for You' earring
Our tip: It is walkable from Single Fin so you can combine the two in one evening.