There are so many shops here in ever-expanding Seminyak that it’s slightly mind boggling. Most sell over priced beach dresses; best accessorised by a compulsory tan and bed-head bleached blonde tresses (I can do the hair but fail badly on the tan front). Armed with a few recommendations, we hit the shops yesterday.
Here’s my edit of the Seminyak Strip – the ‘Paris’ end of Seminyak – and beyond:
For kids stuff (for anyone under 10) you can’t go wrong in Kids A Go Go. Beautiful quality cotton dresses, all locally made, PJs, shirts and more. Oh…and great, hair-saving headbands that even fit my coconut. They save the day when teamed with some big Jackie O style pearl earrings – mine are from Mustafa – and sunglasses.
Next up is a new shop that hasn’t been around long; this store opened just three months ago and has French designs that are cut and made in Bali. Price points are good at around S$50 for a dress which I don’t call too bad. They also make beautiful leather belts too.
The shop is called Daun & Co and I loved it; it was my hands down favourite (at the time of writing their website wasn’t yet live but they are found opposite and across from Kids A Go Go).
Other goodies were statement jewellery at Bona (no apparent website but its just down the road from Daun & Co) which had some great one off pieces. For really cool jewellery and flawless designs though, grab a cab and head to Tulola’s little boutique on the corner of Jalan Petenget – not too far up from the W Hotel. The recipient of a glut of favourable, international press coverage, they are creators of beautiful designs at relatively inexpensive prices (also available online here).
Retro sunnies can be yours from Prisoner of St Petersburg (love the name; again no website):
Christmas decorations were handmade and wooden at The Shang (AGAIN no blinking website):
…and I loved their pretty (but useless) baskets:
French style + a serene, well-edited shopping experience = Magali Pascal…but think Paris prices and don’t come here looking for a bargain. Some lovely pieces though and good quality fabrics. Also worth more than a glance is Lulu Yasmine, a few doors down, for same, same but different and at a much better price point. Think lacy white day dresses and short jumpsuits with gaping backs and lacy shoulders (ever practical, I went for one of these – I’m still convinced I will get lots of wear out of it. Picture to follow).
We stocked up on roadside ceramic frog-topped mosquito coil pots at S$3 a throw which were great value (good, because there’s every chance they will break in our luggage on the way home).
R&R was sought at the sanctuary that is Sea Circus, a restaurant I have loved ever since we stumbled across their riotous fancy dress launch party when they opened some four or so years ago. I come back whenever I’m in Bali. The English co-owner, Charlie, is lovely and is mad about good coffee and good food. Do check out their loo if you make it here, which is very cool and packed with pictures and quotes:
Other foodie gems: Naughty Nuris for Frank-Underwood-good pork ribs and brutal martinis (here is ours being mixed, with much singing and dancing. Literally)
Technically, Nuris is in Batu Belig which is an up and coming area just north of Seminyak – about five minutes by taxi – and developing as the “new Seminyak”. Nuris is super casual and has a great atmosphere; a winner.
Ditto the Argentinian restaurant Barbacoa (below) which is in a fabulous, triple storey barn with a beautiful mosaic floor, backing on to rice fields in the heart of Seminyak.
It has been open for about a year and most importantly of all, serves up great, great food. A must do. (Try their fried cauliflower rolled in hummus, chickpeas and pinenuts and don’t miss their Aussie aged beef.)
Bali isn’t Bali without some form of beautification, whether it’s a traditional crème bath for your hair or a massage. I love Amo Spa, just opposite the W Hotel and owned by ex-model Navia who is from New York.
Navia is a great source of local intel on what’s hot and what’s not and her spa is reasonably priced with some great treatments. Try their Rejuvenate body massage designed to ease out the kinks from a day’s surfing. It has been devised by an orthopedic surgeon (I keep, wrongly, saying paediatric surgeon which doesn’t have quite the same ring to it). I am not a surfer, but shopping, surfing, whatever, it’s a great way to unwind. (I have written about Navia and her spa before here.)
Foot massage mecca worth, at least, one visit: Chill Reflexology.
If Apple owned a reflexology shop, this would be it. Everything was super slick and beautifully executed, I couldn’t get enough of this place.
For the duration of our holiday we stayed in Paadi Villa, about ten minutes from Seminyak and overlooking paddy fields.
The villa was faultless and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it (but just watch out for the noisy cockerel that took up residence right next to my bedroom…and right ear).
Next stop: Singapore.
Chill and Barbacoa images via Tripadvisor