Where to eat in Hobart

Agrarian Kitchen – restaurant

Acclaimed restaurant, only a 20 minute journey from Hobart to New Norfolk to reach it, and it will see you dining in a modernised ex-mental asylum. The food has an emphasis on fresh, seasonal and local ingredients, prepared beautifully. Great for couples or small groups and the dining experience is excellent. For more details, see our blog here:

https://thewhereto.com/2019/02/18/agrarian-kitchen-tasmania/

Franklin – restaurant

Another highly praised restaurant with buzzing atmosphere, open kitchen and bar provide the ability to watch what is going on. Extensive drink list ad amazing food options; from scotch quail eggs to octopus and salt bush dumplings, oyster mushrooms, potato galettes and to wood roasted little wood lamb. For more details, see our blog here:

https://thewhereto.com/2019/02/23/franklin-restaurant-hobart/

Bear with me – café

Trendy little café in South Hobart featuring inspired breakfast, brunch and lunch choicest that could be described as creative twists to dishes you know, with lovely flavour combinations. Ona coffee is also served up here and we thoroughly enjoyed this café. For more details, see our blog here:

https://thewhereto.com/2019/01/31/bear-with-me/

Farm Gate Markets

The farmgate markets on bathurst st are an ideal place to grab a bite to eat. Primarily focusing on local seasonal produce with plenty of fresh fruit and veg on offer. There is also a bit of seafood to sample. Artisans are there with truffles, olive oil, seasonings, honey, mustards and preserves. For more details, see our blog here:

https://thewhereto.com/2019/02/05/what-to-do-in-hobart/

Salamanca Markets

There are all sorts of markets around Hobart where you can grab a bite to eat every Saturday at the marina. The Salamanca markets are hands down the best to visit with some of the best places to sample fresh local produce. Be sure to try one of the famous Smith’s Scallop Pies. For more details, see our blog here:

https://thewhereto.com/2019/02/05/what-to-do-in-hobart/

Street Eats @ Franko

Street Eats @Franko are held every Friday from 4:30-9:30 from November to April at Franklin Square Hobart and it is a busy night food market with plenty of stalls offering food, beers, wines and local spirits. Music gives it a good vibe and it’s a great Friday activity.

Other

Although we were only in Hobart for a weekend, we made a big list of other places to visit

Templo – small place serving up quality Italian fare

Small fry – small café with interesting brunch options and even crème brulee donuts,

Frank – Argentinian restaurant

Landscape – modern Australian food and they also cook asado

Urban Greek – trendy place with amazing Greek food

Aloft – on the pier

Pigeon hole bakers – amazing bread and baked goods

Fico – Italian/Japanese

Born In Brunswick – notorious as a top café

Room for a pony – café and bar

 

Franklin Restaurant, Hobart

Another highly praised restaurant which we checked out in Tasmania was Franklin restaurant in Hobart. We had booked for a late meal at the end of a busy day seeing the sights. The restaurants has large glass windows which are very visible from the street. The restaurant interior is paired back with concrete and industrial fittings, providing clean visual features. The open kitchen and bar provide the ability to watch what is going on. It is a busy restaurant but the staff are attentive. The ambience is buzzing and this makes for a great dining atmosphere.

The drinks list includes craft beer, interesting wine options, including natural wine and there’s also a mix of cocktails and craft spirits.

The menu has a number of inviting options and was headed up with some exciting small bites. A must eat item is the scotch quail eggs. This tasty morsel has a crisp outer crust, a tasty mid layer of sobrasada and the yolk of the quail egg oozing out once cut into.

The octopus and salt bush dumplings may not be the most appealing looking bite, however this was made up for by the texture and flavour. We were also provided some amazing complimentary bread.

The mushroom dish was full of umami from the braised wakame and egg yolk sabayan. This was the tasiest dish of the evening. With the oyster mushrooms providing a meaty texture.

Potatoes are certainly abundant in Hobart and were well put to use in the potato galette with an emulsion of huacatay, a Peruvian herb sourced locally on the Tasman coast.

This accompanied the main source of protein we ordered, the woodroasted littlewood lamb, served with braised almonds and pickled kohlrabi.

This dish was very simple looking on the plate, however the flavour of the lamb was incredible and the almonds provided texture and the pickled kohlrabi cut through the richness of the lamb.

Franklin is great place to enjoy a meal in Tasmania to savour some local produce and wash ot down with a quality drinks list.

Franklin

30 Argyle St, Hobart TAS 7000

Franklin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Alexandra Hotel – Leura

Fancy a getaway only 1.5 hours away from the Sydney CBD in the picturesque town of Leura? Look no further as we have the tips for you!

It’s hard to visit Leura without spending a small fortune, as there’s a number of extremely expensive lodgings and restaurants in the town and surrounds. However, we will point you to somewhere that is extremely good value for money at high quality.

The Alexandra hotel, established 1903 is the only licensed hotel in Leura and a short stroll from the mall. It is an old quaint boutique building with ornate trims and stained glass windows.

The hotel is sectioned off into a number of areas, with a sports bar and lounge bar (with floor to ceiling bookshelf). There’s also plenty of space for a party or function.

There is also plenty of outdoor space to enjoy.

The hotel is right beside Leura train station, but the noise isn’t obvious at all. The hotel aptly has has a railway theme to it, with the outdoor bar in the beer garden called “platform 3”, and a Leura Rail sign featuring in the dining room.

We also stayed in the hotel. It was a comfortable heritage room with vintage furniture, double bed and modern bathroom. The rooms have old world charm with some modern convenience including the addition of a/c and tv. The room opens onto a balcony with a nice outlook of the hotel’s backyard beer garden and out to the valley below.

The hotel is a great spot to dine, whether it be lunch or dinner, pull up a stump at either of the two beer gardens for a causal vibe or for proper sit down meal book a table in the dining room, named “Redfern Bistro”.

There’s something for everyone, casual food including burgers and pizzas, with the pizzas made in the wood fired oven in a traditional manner by Marco Marano.

The summer menu, prepared by chef Anna Borna features modern Australian gastro pub food, beautifully cooked and presented.

We were seated in the dining room and ordered a glass of bubbles.

Their Garlic bread made on a house baked baguette and is topped with melted garlic and parsley butter an ideal start to the meal.

This came out with the confit mushrooms dish, a tasty vegetarian opttion. Pan fried portobello and button mushrooms cooked in olive oil with rosemary and lemon with feta, almond and coriander dukkah (gf).

Other entrees on offer include oysters, pate, calamari and baked haloumi.

For the mains, the Pan roasted duck breast instantly piqued our interest. The meat was cooked to perfection, skin nicely seasoned, served with duck fat potatoes and rustic heirloom carrots. It’s accompanying home made Peking duck citrus sauce was brilliant and kept us searching the plate for more of it.

From specials board, we couldn’t go past the pan fried and seared ocean trout. This was a splendid fish dish, the skin salted, nicely rendered and crisp. The flesh was perfect; a lovely pink orange hue, flakey and melt in the mouth followed by the beautiful flavour of the fish. The sauce was a delicious combination of smoked paprika dill and grapefruit veloute, served with roasted potatoes, charred leeks, broad beans, peas and cherry tomatoes. Perfect Bistro fare and one of the better fish dishes that come to mind, highly recommended.

Whilst we were extremely satisfied at this point, we had to go with the dessert option on the specials menu, the banana spilt. Here it is the classic dessert that has been pimped up with two bananas, deep fried in a Moreish crisp salty batter. This has been placed atop a butterscotch sauce and served with vanilla bean ice cream. So tasty, it was irresistible .

It is worth driving up to the Blue Mountains for the charm of this beautiful old pub alone and the scenery in the area is an added bonus.

The Alexandra Hotel is well located a short stroll from the boutique town of Leura and a short drive to the tourist sights in the area. Book a room and make for a short getaway.

We would like to thank the Alexandra hotel and staff for their hospitality and Spooning Australia for the invitation to dine.

https://www.alexandrahotel.com.au

Alexandra Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

How to pack for three months travelling

Unless you’re a fashion blogger that needs some quality fashion pics for the gram, read this advice before your departure.

When we first set off, I’d been planning what to take for weeks. 1 month into the trip, I realised I didn’t need many of the things I’d brought. 2 months in, I realised I also didn’t need much more of the stuff I packed and proceed to get rid of things as we went. Pack light is the key. Most long term travellers like to carry a pack, however I found it much easier and safer with a suitcase, particularly in South America where we went. The Samsonite ones have an awesome lock and also have a warranty for 10 years. Selecting white also made it easy to find on the luggage carousel. Remember it is about the experiences, not the stuff.

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Image – Pandotrip.com

Here’s what I learnt.

1 – you can wash cheaply
2 – no one cares what you’re wearing, really.
3 – all the hotels give you beauty products and toiletries are cheap overseas anyway

So what do you really need? Not a lot. This is despite the fact we were in a range of temperatures: humidity in Thailand, hot and humid and rainy in Hong Kong, 30 degree heat in Mexico, freezing in Peru and high altitude in many places.

Backpack

3 pairs of Shoes – comfortable walking shoes (I brought joggers/sand shoes/runners x 1) and since we were hiking, I also brought waterproof hiking boots. But wear these (they make your suitcase heavy), 1 x havianas/birkenstocks/ or sandals.

Underwear – x 5 pairs as you can wash.

Socks, take a mix of thick and regular socks.

T shirts – think plain with no branding: grey/black/stripe. They don’t look dirty and you look inconspicuous in shady areas.

1 x long sleeve shirt/thermal etc to layer of cold

1 x jumper – if you get one a high neck and hood, you reduce the need for a scarf!

1 x down jacket (Kathmandu or similar). These stay warm in cold areas and cool in hot areas. Expensive but totally worth it. They also fold up small.

1 x RIFD money belt

1 x International adapter that changes, changing plug, cords, spare battery pack for when you’re out and about (though keep in mind these have to be taken on board).

Reading material – I prefer books. But, we finished books quickly, and you can’t always buy good English ones overseas. Plus they’re heavy. I’d recommend a kindle.

1 x umbrella – we did use it!

1 x rain jacket

1 x beanie

1 x cap – the trendy panama I brought was unnecessary. No need for a fashion icon overseas.

1 x head torch / torch for those countries with poor electricity

Shorts x 2: tailored plus gym type

Tights x 1: can double as your exercise wear/ under your trousers if you’re cold

Pants x 3: jeans for day to day or day into night, hiking pants plain can double as those to wear out. Casual cargo/Jeanie/other for day to day. You can probably even limit this to two.

Towel: you don’t really need it that often unless you’re staying at hostels or plan to swim. Buy a small micro fibre one.

Toiletries

Lock: you’ll need a small one if staying in hostels.

Camera, phone, money belt, photocopies of bookings/passports etc.

Tip – wear your heavy shoes and bulky clothes on the plane if you’re worried about luggage weight.

Hopefully you’ll find this an easy guide to get ready for that trip.

Kurt and Sarah

 

Australia’s Convict Past in Tasmania

There’s 11 convict sites around Australia that are heritage listed and 5 of these are in Tasmania. In Tasmania they include Port Arthur, Coal Mines Historic site, Woolmers Estate and Brickendon, Cascades female factory and Darlington Probation station. Visiting a few of these will give you great insight into the nations past. If you can’t visit them all, certainly consider at the very least Port Arthur, as it is well worth the visit.

Convict history is certainly interesting and often difficult to understand that people were transported from Britain to the colony (Australia prior to it being Federated) for something as small as stealing a loaf of bread, handkerchief for example. But England was poor, people were struggling to get by and stealing was rife. Gaols (or Jails as they’re often known today) were overcrowded and the decision was made at the time to transport criminals to Britain’s colonies around the world, one of which was the land now known as Australia.

Port Arthur

A scenic 1.5 hours drive from Hobart you will find Port Arthur, which is a famous site in Australia’s history and also identified as a world heritage site. Tasmania originally began as a penal settlement and Port Arthur was one of the largest sites in Tasmania where the convict prisoners lived and worked. It is one of 11 convict sites around Australia.

It was originally used for convicts to gather timber and later became a punishment station for convicts from around Australia who repeatedly committed crimes. It became an industrial area, producing a range of goods for the colony.

The site also housed the military personnel and officers, as well as their families and free settlers. There was also a church for the families who lived there and also designed to reform convicts. A school was there to teach the children of the settlers and also some of the convicts.

Although it as a penal colony in 1877, shortly after it became a museum and settlement. One of the largest buildings is the penitentiary.

The site today is amazing, not only for its historical significance, but how it has been transformed and reconstructed into an open air museum with over 30 historic buildings, reconstructed interiors and buildings, as well as beautiful grounds and gardens.

Your entrance ticket gives you entry to the site, a guided tour and a short ferry ride around the bay, by the Isle of the Dead cemetery and Point Puer Boys Prison. There’s an interactive museum and living history demonstration. It’s an enormous site and if you do all the activities and visit each of the buildings, it could easily occupy a whole day. But your ticket is useful for three days so you can come and return as you please. At dusk you can also do a ghost tour.

Whilst on the site you can also eat at the cafe with fresh food and coffee or in the restaurant.

There’s good access for those with mobility concerns, including lift, flat areas and ramps, as well as courtesy buggies with a pick up and drop off service.

The drive to Port Arthur is picturesque and you can stop at wineries, distilleries, the Tasmanian Unzoo and plenty of beautiful stops along the way.

The Historic site management authority should be highly congratulated for such a fabulous display of the nations history. It’s been done very well.

www.portarthur.org.au

Open 9:30-6:30pm daily.

Cascades Female Factory (or prison as they are known now)

This site is where numerous female convicts were transported in the 18th-19th century. Three of the five original factories remain.

It is a much smaller site than Port Arthur and only ten minutes from Hobart. It is more of an interpretive site, as the site is basically empty and lacking signage. You can read through the brochure, or it would be recommended to have a guide. There is a tall stone wall surrounding the site and is a museum in the old cottage or Matron’s quarters.

What was once a house with a bedroom and kitchen, is now is the only remaining building with replicas, artefacts and information about the site.

There’s some interesting signage about women who were on site, as well as some bonnets they wore whilst there.

Some parts of the site were used to send women into solitary confinement for disrespectful behaviour.

The factory was made a goal in 1856 (when the penal colony ended and it was sold off in parts in 1905. Between the 1970’s and 2008, it was repurchased by various groups and made into the historic site.

www.femalefactory.org

These are the two sites we visited and if you’re interested in the nations history, these are worth checking out.

Raku dining @ Canberra, ACT

Raku is what we’d describe as contemporary fine dining Japanese. We were in Canberra for the weekend between Christmas and new year and had heard good words about this restaurant. We are so glad to have visited and it ended up making our best of list for 2018.

The restaurant is located in the main CBD precinct near the shopping centre and thus was easy to locate.

The space is large with table seating or right up at the chefs kitchen as well private dining spaces. It is dimly lit and has a romantic feel to it.

We learn that Raku is named after a Japanese style of pottery (fired in open flames), which is apt for a Robata style restaurant. Secondly, the ceramics here were absolutely beautiful and demonstrated different designs and techniques.

The robata method enables the flavour of the flame to shine through the meat, seafood and vegetables and the blue eyed cod has to be one of the best things we’ve ever ordered. You can watch the chefs prepare the meats on the grill over the flame and it is mesmerising.

Given our seats in front of the chef, we could watch the masters at action, preparing beautiful plates of sashimi and nigiri as well as maki rolls. The chefs were precise, fast and seemed to be so calm and thoroughly enjoying their job.

The menu is extensive, so much so we found it an extremely difficult task to decide what to get. The tasting menu sounded brilliant, and the price is appropriate for what it includes. However we thought that ordering ala Carte would allow us to spend the same, whilst enabling us to try more of a variety of the menu offerings.

We started with some miso followed by the loved the Bresaola with kingfish sashimi and a light but lovely truffle dressing $22.

The sashimi looked great and you can order this in the 3, 5 or 7 varieties. We opted for the 5 varieties, which included bluefin tuna, scallops, snapper, kingfish and salmon. It was lovely sashimi and sliced to a nice size, served with wasabi and soy $47.

The absolute winner on the night was the Alaskan black cod $38 with Saikyo miso and picked cauliflower. The Smokey flavour was beautiful and it was so soft and melted in your mouth. We added a side of Asparagus with a miso butter.

We were still little hungry and so added on a maki roll and we were glad we did, as this was another favourite. A South Australian Kingfish with yuzu, truffle, chives and fresh chilli.

We ended with a whiskey ice cream which was also superb.

Drinks wise, they have some solid cocktails with Japanese flavours, sake, beers and wines and ask for the waiters suggestion to match your meal.

It was an all round fantastic experience, with a clean and sophisticated aesthetic, prompt service and incredible food. Whilst it is quite upper end for the budget, it’s worth every dollar.

Raku

148 Bunda St, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia

RAKU Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Urban Pantry @ Manuka, ACT

We were in Canberra for a weekend and looked up cafes to visit via google & Instagram. This café caught our eye and we are glad it did. We headed down to Mankua area, which is thriving with cafes, which we were pleasantly surprised about given it was between Christmas and New Year’s.

The Urban Pantry occupies a corner location just by a small open arcade. Its big swinging doors greet you from the front and it’s interior styling has a white cottage chic vibe going on, very pretty, with plenty of greenery. You can also sit alfresco.

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It wasn’t too busy and we were seated quickly. The food being served to other diners looked fabulous and the menu is very approachable so we had a very difficult time deciding what to order. Breakfast is until 11:30 or all day dining on weekends – we were brunch visitors but the lunch meals also looked very appealing, in particular the house made gnocchi or meat skewers. This will be for another time!

For the breakfast choices, their sweet dishes include Brioche French Toast and buttermilk pancakes. There’s also plenty of amazing choices to make that are savoury. Whether it be the chef’s pan or urban avocado, mushroom bruschetta or an omelette, you will find something to suit. We decided on their spring onion crumpets, topped with campari cured gravlax, creme fraiche and a toasted grain panagratto. The crumpets were light and fluffy and the topping was a lovely flavour combination. We really enjoyed this dish.

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I had the summer fruits – a plate of mango, dragonfruit, kiwi fruit, watermelon, pineapple and a coconut yoghurt pancaotta with macadamia granola. It was lovely and refreshing for summer. Could have done with a more generous serve of the granola for the crunch factor, but that said it was a good dish.

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To be honest I’m slightly regretting not ordering an open toast; the option that had oven roasted maple pear, basket ricotta and Majura Valley Vanilla honey is still calling my name. At least, it gives me a want to return!

The coffees are good too – we enjoyed an iced coffee, on what was a scorcher of a weekend.

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We really like that this café is not one of the typical cafes we often see in Sydney with their run of the mill bacon and egg rolls or over the top sweet colourful insta worthy dishes. We like that they are inventive and creative, making delicious dishes with beautiful fresh ingredients in an interesting way. Everything was stunning and we are super keen to revisit when in the area.

Urban Pantry

https://urbanpantrymanuka.com.au/

5 Bougainville St, Griffith, ACT

Urban Pantry Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

International Eats – Best of 2018

This year, we were fortunate enough to have a few months off travelling the world. Whilst we primarily tried to do this on budget, we feel that travel is also about the whole experience, tasting local cuisine and restaurants. Thus we budgeted and kept some money aside for some top dining memories. We’ve arranged our highlights below in their respective countries.

Peru

Lima

The top of our dining experiences to date (ever) comes from none other than Centrale Restaurant, one of the top 10 restaurants in the world. It is a Gastronomy standout in South America, offering a 12 or 17 course dining experience. This place amazingly reflects Peru’s altitudes and microclimates on a plate. The entire menu was creative and flawless.

Astrid y Gaston made the list for the World’s Top 50 restaurants. Offering a tasting menu and ala carte menu, we chose the latter. We loved all the dishes, in particular, the chocolate dessert ball. A thin tempered chocolate ball, which, when cracked reveals a dessert full of beer ice cream, caramel and more surprises. You must pay this place a visit if in Peru.

Ollantaytambo

The highlight of our visit to Ollantaytambo was our visit to El Albergue and experiencing the Pacahamanca lunch. This was a farm to table experience, learning from the ground up, cooking the meats underground under heated rocks, producing a simple yet exquisite meal. Served with potatoes, salad and breads and we ate in the surrounds of the Andean snow covered mountains, it was fabulous all round.

Argentina

Buenos Aires

Argentina is known for a few things: futball, wine, steak and Dulce De Leche. We certainly experienced these things in spades.

La Cabrera is a steakhouse with a range of amazing meats at superb quality. Massive servings at inexpensive prices kept us going back for more. Accompanied by plenty of sides and red wine, it was easily one of our favourite places in Argentina.

Don Julio is another winner on the steak front. An upmarket steakhouse with the best steak we had in South America, maybe ever. The beef ribs were a tasty option, but the rib eye was out of this world. We could eat here everyday.

You absolutely have to visit the cafe Pani for their phenomenal dulce de leche desserts. The dulce de Leche cheesecake with Oreos is an absolute winner.

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USA

New York

New York probably has some of the best restaurants and cafes going around. However, since we were only there for 2 nights, it’s a bit hard to see much at all. Milk bar is always a must visit for their birthday cake ice cream, but their alcoholic shakes (found at the Brooklyn store) are superb, in particular the “Russian” – cereal milk ice cream and vodka.

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Dominique Ansel is also high on our list. A patisserie where people line our the doors all morning for their Cronuts, we preferred their frozen s’mores on a stick and chocolate chip cookie shot with milk.

You also can’t visit NYC without getting a Reuben sandwich on rye at Katz deli – loaded and filled to the brim. You’ll struggle to eat it size wise, but you will because it’s so damn tasty.

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Ecuador

Galápagos Islands

Whilst you might not visit the Galápagos Islands for food, but being on the water, good food, in particular, the seafood is in abundance. On San Cristóbal, the Kioskito puerto lobo is a great local joint set up in a small hut and here you can try some tasty seafood including lobster. The langosta (lobster) is well priced between $15 and $20, for a whole lobster, depending on the flavours and toppings of the dish. The Langosta del marisco, which is lobster served in its shell with a seafood sauce containg fish, octopus and prawns is delicious.

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Chile

Santiago

99 Restaurante – “I got 99 problems but this restaurant ain’t one”, especially if you’re dining here for lunch. Their three course lunch, which will set you back roughly AUD $25 is extraordinarily good value. The lunch menu consists of 6 items, you have the 6 item tasting menu or a half serve. We had the three dishes; a potato and yam foam, served with an egg yolk and crisps as well as the beef tongue and cheese sandwich/slider. For the main, we both opted for the papada de Cerdo y lentejas. This was essentially Jamon and lentils. The desserts were a standout including the peanut butter brownie nicely presented with a chocolate mouse and a sorbet and the Bavaroise frambuesa y marscapjone.

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Hong Kong

Michelin star restaurants are all over Hong Kong, and many of them are at next to nothing prices. Try Yat Lok for their famous roasted duck, Tsim Tai Chi for their wonton noodle soup and Lee Kum Kee for snake soup with duck liver sausage and rice.

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A Michelin star was also awarded to I love you dessert bar for their incredible Soufflé pancake. One of the most incredible pancakes we’ve ever had.

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Whilst our Hong Kong experience was mostly on the inexpensive side, we also tried the other end of the spectrum. Whilst Mizunara the library has cocktails that will set you back over $50 a glass and almost every whiskey under the sun at similar prices, it’s definitely worth a visit. Winner of the World Championship Cocktail competition at the all world Open Cup of 2015, this cocktail was super impressive and thus making our best of list.

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Six Senses Resort Uluwatu

When it comes to holidays, we love finding brilliant places to stay with great facilities, beautiful views and lovely staff to make it an all-round enjoyable experience. Thus, we spend hours researching to find that place that really pops out. Whilst scrolling Instagram, I saw that Six Senses, a luxury resort chain, had opened up in the destination of our holiday, Bali, and knew this was the place to go. This particular resort is located on the southern-most tip of Bali in Uluwatu, about 3o – 45 minutes (pending traffic) from Ngurah Rai International Airport. Set on a cliff top of Uluwatu, offering uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean.

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Upon arriving, we are greeted by the lovely General Manager, shown to a lounge and offered fresh towels, a welcome drink, snacks of home-made cookies and granola to enjoy as we took in the breathtaking outlook of the site and ocean beyond the resort. Whilst it has been open only 6 months, it is making waves as not only as a beautiful luxury hotel, but also encouraging purposeful travel with its many sustainability features.

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We are met by a GEM, or Guest Experience Maker who will look after you during your stay. He (or she) shows you around the site and can help to book restaurants, arrange activities around the island (like windsurfing or island hopping to name a few). They also can arrange your golf buggy to transport you around site.

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The site has 2 restaurants (to be discussed in more detail here) with ingredients sourced from their own organic garden, there is a cliff top bar, cinema under the stars, boutique shop with local crafts, gelato cart, fully equipped fitness centre and spa. They offer signature therapies and wellness programs, adapted to suit the individual. Onsite are two large pools, including one super infinity pool looking out into the wide ocean, complete with lounges and day beds for you to sun tan or enjoy a book with a beautiful outlook.

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The site and rooms

With 103 suites and villas on an enormous property, you often feel like you’re holidaying in isolation as it is so peaceful and quiet, fitting with its vision of tranquillity and wellness. Select your room of choice, whether it be a one bedroom suite (with or without a pool) or the one bedroom villa. We were lucky enough to stay in the one bedroom villa, complete with its own outdoor swimming pool, deck, outdoor shower and cabana lounges.

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Inspired by Balinese architecture, it’s like you’re in a luxurious version of a traditional hut, with its interior wicker roofs. The rooms brought into the modern day with their design features. As you enter the villa there’s stepping stones to your room, and each villa complete with traditional offerings. Our room was in a twin configuration, as I was staying with a friend. The room was set with two beautifully arranged beds that were super comfortable, complete with a mosquito net. We also had a lounge, study area, fridge, use of a kettle, pod coffee machine and a welcome chocolate fondue set.

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Rooms have European standard sockets and USB ports with plenty of outlets, as well as a portable speaker for you to listen to music in your room. The rooms also feature an electronic safe to store your personal items. Plenty of products are also available in the room for use such as hairdryers, toothbrushes, toothpaste, vanity kits, razors, nail files and more. In the bathroom, there’s a dual vanity, internal and outdoor shower, there’s a deep soak bathtub and high tech toilet, you are staying in absolute luxury. Rooms have air conditioning, ceiling vans and remote operated technologies.

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If you need more, you can always call their guest services. The hotel also has baby-sitting services, laundry services, and in house doctor.

The rooms are serviced twice each day and there’s also an evening clean and turn down service. You are certainly well looked after.

Sustainability focus

The hotel has a strong vision with a series of initiatives and a commitment to sustainability and supporting the local community. This is at the core of their vision and brand, and something that really aligns with our personal vision.

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Some of the sustainability features including the removal of plastics. There are no plastics on sale for purchase, including straws. They even have their own on site water bottling plant, where water is purified and mineralised for drinking. You will find numerous bottles of this in your room and if you purchase any on site, 50% of water sales go towards local projects. There are also some products available for sale, focusing on community crafts, and sales going towards local artists.

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In the rooms you will find all your products in refillable ceramic containers, recyclable coffee capsules and an encouragement to save water. Products such as sandal, hairdryer and washing bags are all made from linen rather than plastic and the site also uses compost for their organic waste.

Six Senses has a strong focus on the community and social equity, with a commitment to employing local Balinese staff, work experience students and internships. They aim to raise awareness amongst staff and guests of being environmentally responsible.

These aspects of the hotel are wonderful and it is great to see that a resort is doing what they can to reduce our carbon footprint.

Spa and Wellness

It is important to focus of your own wellness, to find a clear sense of purpose, relax and find where you’re at your best. Six Senses have a set of practitioners, offering a range of therapies to support improving your personal wellness. From personal training to yoga, and sleep experts, nutritionists and beauty therapists, they can craft an experience for you and you can certainly leave feeling your best.

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Wellness – they offer wellness screening to build you a personalised program for your stay. You can sign up to 3,5,7 night wellness programs that include yoga, meditation, massage, personalised food and exercise programs. Price wise, for a wellness screening, 3 spa treatments, 3 fitness sessions and nutritional guidance, it is approx. 9, 700 000 IRD pp. Their fitness centre is also top notch!

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Sleep – Six Senses offer personalised programs that begins with a sleep questionnaire and then your bedroom is prepared to ensure positive sleeping conditions, combined with a sleep tracker so that the experts can determine the best set of arrangements to enable you to have quality sleep.

Nutrition – Six Senses offer a nutritional plan that suits each person and when dining at the restaurants, the menu highlights appropriate offerings for those on each program, whether it be for a cleanse and detox to improve your digestive system and mind, or the trim and fit to aid toning the body, sleep and resilience to gain energy and rejuvenate.

Yoga – Six senses offers a range of yoga in an air-conditioned yoga pavilion. There’s daily complimentary meditation and intro to yoga (30 minutes each), pilates and Pranayama Yoga. If you’d prefer more intensive yoga for 45-60 minutes, such as Yogic intestinal cleanse, Yoga Nidra (lying down, or sleep with awareness) or a longer Traditional Yoga session, you can request this at an extra cost to yourself. Meditation, combined with a yoga session aims to help improve flexibility, relax, release stress and improve your overall wellbeing.

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Beauty– we all love a good massage and there’s certainly plenty on offer here. Whether it be detox, holistic, tension soother, deep tissue or simply a head or foot massage, there’ll be one that suits your needs. A few more specialised choices are also on the menu. There’s a number of facials including a special crystal healing face therapy, body scrubs and wraps. If you’re prone to getting sunburn, there’s a natural sunburn soother.

Weekly Activity Schedule

The room highlights their weekly activity schedule and during our visit, they offered daily complimentary meditation and intro to yoga (30 minutes each), pilates and Pranayama Yoga. For a small price, there were TRX suspension classes, Aerial Yoga, stretch and mobility.

For families, kids were able to participate in cooking, learning Balinese dance, making tie-dye shirts, basket painting, making soap, dreamcatcher making and more.

This changes weekly, so keep an eye out for the timetable in your room.

Dining at Six Senses

Six Senses have a number of options for your dining selection. In keeping with their sustainable vision, ingredients are mostly sourced from their own private garden or local producers if needed. Thus, menus change seasonally according to what is available.

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In terms of dining choices there is Rocka Restaurant which is open all day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is primarily an Indonesian restaurant for dinner, showcasing the authentic flavours of the Indonesian Archipelego. It has amazing views and you can sit inside or out. Rocka also can host a ‘chef’s table’ on their small terrace, called ‘Rocka Edge’, where you can dine in a more intimate setting by the wine cellar and up close with the chef and special menu.

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Crudo is a fusion of South America and Japan, with chefs following the Robatayaki philosophy, simply grilling the ingredients and adding light flavour of sea salt or sauce to enhance the natural flavours. Cliff Bar is as it sounds, set at the cliff, offerings panoramic views of Uluwatu, its beaches and the incredible sunset. The menu here runs until 7pm, serving sushi, salads, burgers and sandwiches and oven baked pizzas. Plenty of cocktails on offer at each of the bars too. Cliff Bar will be even more perfect when their open air cinema comes to fruition.

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If you’re keen to stay in for the night, then Rocka serves breakfast from 6:30 -10am in the Villa, Ala carte daily food ( a smaller selection of meals from a few of the restaurants) for the rest of the day and all night 11pm-6am.

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You’ll also be pleased to note that free gelato and sorbet is on offer just outside Crudo restaurant and the boutique from 12 noon – 6pm. We are good authority on this being outstanding, with us trying guava, yoghurt and berries, coconut and you’ll be pleased to see salted caramel and rocky road making an appearance. Flavours change daily.

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If you’ve got kids, there’s kids menus at each restaurant and in the villas as well.

Really, you are not starved for choice.

Summary

We would like to comment that the Six Senses hotel is outstanding in every way. We absolutlely loved our stay. The staff are delightful and do everything they can to make your stay the most luxurious, comfortable and relaxing trip. The sunset is also incredible. You will never forget it! We hope to visit again sometime.

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Six Senses Uluwatu

https://www.sixsenses.com/resorts/uluwatu-bali/destination

Address: Jl. Goa Lempeh, Uluwatu, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

Sudio Headphones – wireless, compact and tangle free! Perfect for a Christmas gift too!

We’ve been using the Sudio headphones for a while now, specifically the Bluetooth wireless model. They are light, stylish and come in a variety of colours. Swedish design and handmade details. Our first purchase was the white pair and we used these whilst travelling all across North and South America. They are super small and pack down into their case for each transporting and tangle free. They charge quickly and have 3.5 hours battery life. I often use these for the gym too, and having no wires means I can’t get caught up in the cord like I’ve been known to do.

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We’ve updated our pair with the new release of the Vasa Bla. Wow! We’ve tested them out recently and whilst we loved our first pair, these are even better. We have black/gold style but there’s a variety of colours to select from from white to green and even baby pink.

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They also have a new product – Nivå. As the name probably highlights, Sudio are of Swedish origin. These are noise cancelling and with a microphone and Siri voice control!

If you prefer larger models, they also sell regent headphones with designer caps, colours of which can be changed. Check out their website for further details.

Throughout the Christmas period you can get a free gift box with every purchase + free fast delivery + Use our code for 15% off: AROUNDTHECLOCK15

https://www.sudio.com/au/