Guide to Bali

Bali with it’s distinctive style of architecture built out of volcanic rock, black sand beaches and lush jungles, is a tropical paradise like none other.

Here are some of the things you must do while in Bali –

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Stay in an eco-friendly resort – Travel responsibly; It is entirely possible to experience the beauty of Bali while supporting businesses that take steps to preserve Bali’s natural resources for perpetuity.

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Watch the sunset at Ayana, Jimbaran – Perched on a cliff atop Jimbaran bay, Ayana boasts a spectacular sunset, the likes of which one has never seen.

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Explore Bali’s Wildlife – Bali’s lush jungles are a veritable treat for wildlife lovers, plan a trip to West Bali National park or explore underwater sea life at the islands of Lembogan, Menjangan and Lovina.

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Buy Balinese Furniture – Bali produces some of the best furniture in the world owing to an abundance of locally-grown, high quality wood. The many shops around Kerobokan stock beautiful furniture and are an aesthete’s delight.

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Stay at an Airbnb in Canggu – Choose one with enormous French windows that open up to Canggu’s endless paddy fields and is a short drive from Canggu’s popular organic cafe – The Shady Shack.

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Visit Tanah Lot – Tanah Lot is the most enchanting of the seven sea temples built on the Balinese coast. At low tide one can walk up the trail of rocks leading to the ancient temple.

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Unwind at the Sunset Lounge at Pan Pacific Resort – A great way to enjoy the breathtaking sunset over Tanah Lot is from the aptly named Sunset Lounge at the Pan Pacific Resort. The resort in itself is beautifully landscaped and a treat for golf aficionados.

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Surf Bali’s black sand beaches – Bali’s rolling waves and quiet, beautiful beaches are a surfer’s delight. So much so, that several classic surf movies such as ‘Morning of the Earth’ and ‘Endless Summer’ were shot here.

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Green Thumb – How to grow Orchids

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Orchids are flowering plants belonging to the family Orchidaceae, with close to 30,000 recognised species, Vanilla being one of them. While most orchids are tropical, there are 30 species of orchids native to Alaska, 10 times more than Hawaii, which has just 3 species of orchids to call it’s own.

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Orchids thrive in soft, diffused morning light and high humidity. They must at all times be protected from harsh, direct sunlight and excess watering. Orchids grown at home do well in a potting medium of pine bark or coconut husk. Do take care to protect Orchids from soil borne infections by placing them at a height from the ground.

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Happy Gardening! Please write to me should you have any questions.

Stonehenge

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On a bright sunny afternoon in September, I set out to visit one of the great wonders of the ancient world, the Stonehenge. Stonehenge was built in the period of 3000 BC to 2000 BC on the axis of the midsummer sunrise. Since Stonehenge was built by a culture that left no written records, its purpose and even the method in which it was built is still a mystery adding an aura of mysticism to the ancient monument.

The bluestones in the inner circle of the Stonehenge, considered by many to have healing properties, was brought to Wiltshire from the Preseli mountains in Wales and was considered a great feat of engineering feat at that time.

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The Sun-stone found north east of the Sarsen circle, was amongst the first monuments at the site of the Stonehenge. On the day of summer solstice standing within the inner circle of stones one can see the sun rise over the stone.

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How to get there – Take a train from London to the charming town of Salisbury, from Salisbury take a shuttle to the site of the Stonehenge. Be sure to explore Salisbury’s winding walkways and outdoor markets!

Miss Sloane

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Miss Sloane is one of the best movies of 2017. It is a gripping thriller in which Jessica Chastain plays the namesake and portrays a ruthless lobbyist working the machinations of Washington DC. This role was undoubtedly tailor-made for Chastain, who always gives her very best to every character she has ever portrayed.

Miss Sloane begins with a speech by Chastain, in which she tries to explain to the committee eviscerating her, the merits of lobbying. A speech that will ring true again in the end of the film when the twists and turns of the tightly scripted plot take shape.

Movies are meant to be larger than life and fantastical in their ideas, leaving you guessing till the very end. You are meant to empathise with the character, feeling dejected when they fall short and elated when they triumph. Miss Sloane is such a movie and a must watch for everyone.

Guerlain Eyeliner – Brun Cendre

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Guerlain Eyeliner in Brun Cendre is my absolute favourite makeup item. The brush is designed to be an easy applicator that glides on your eyes seamlessly, giving them a wonderful highlight. The gorgeous rich chocolate colour is such a great alternative to the standard noir. The packaging too is luxurious and elegant; It’s a joy to have it out on my dresser.

 

Guide to Ceylon

Ceylon is a beautiful country made more beautiful by the kind and genteel people who call it home. Being a small country, one can traverse the hills and the beaches on a short scenic drive.

Here is my guide to Ceylon –

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Colombo 11 – was the home of famous Ceylon-born architect, Geoffrey Bawa. Tours through the home are now conducted 4 times a day and is a treat for those who love art and architecture.

Noritake – is a world renowned Japanese company that creates fine porcelain tea and dinner sets. A visit to their store in Colombo is a must to stock up on wonderful cutlery, that also make for great souvenirs.

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Independence Arcade – The mall adjacent to the Independence Square and the lovely gardens is a beautifully restored dutch heritage building. It has the wonderful T-lounge by Dilmah, a great place to curl up with a book whilst relishing on delicious matcha ice-cream. It also has two beautiful spas and even a multiplex, should you fancy watching the latest blockbuster whilst on a holiday.

Barefoot Cafe – is a bookstore, art gallery and cafe serving lip-smacking food; Of particular note is the ‘Srilankan thali’ consisting of rice, poppadum, salad, lentils and oh-so delicious fish curry.

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Borella Kanate Cemetery – Arthur C Clarke made Ceylon his home from 1956 till his death in 2008. He was deeply attached to the country, drawn at first with the promises of wondrous underwater adventures along its clear coastline. His final resting place is the Borella Kanate cemetery where his tombstone reads – “He never grew up, but he never stopped growing”.

Paradise Road Gallery Cafe – is one of the chicest places to dine in Colombo. The building was designed by renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa; The walls are filled with beautiful art, the food is wonderful and the entire experience is a delight to the senses.

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Lunuganga, Bentota – Lunuganga was architect Geoffrey Bawa’s country estate and is now a beautiful hotel. The expansive, rolling hills skirting a lake, the roman statues and delightful nooks are reminiscent of an Italian villa. If you are merely visiting the gardens, partaking in a traditional Srilankan lunch spread is a wonderful idea. The table is laid out in the impeccably decorated main house facing the placid waters of the Dedduwa lake and is an experience one simply cannot miss.

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Fort Galle – The historic Fort Galle is a world heritage site, owing to the beautiful Dutch & Portuguese architecture within it’s walls. One can spend an entire day walking the ramparts and discovering beautiful villas at every turn.

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Church Street Social – is beautifully decorated in soothing shades of grey and serves the most delicious food in all of Galle. The delectable desserts deserve a special mention, my favourite being the exquisite orange chocolate fondant served with delicious vanilla ice-cream.

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Ahangama Beach – holds a special place in my heart, for it spun many memories that I will always hold dear. It is a pristine beach ideal for surfing and snorkelling. It is also a short tuk-tuk ride away from whale and dolphin watching at Mirissa.

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