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Ondy Sweeting - page 2

Ondy Sweeting has 9 articles published.

Ondy Sweeting
Ondy Sweeting is an international gipsy journalist who wines, dines, reads and writes relentlessly while looking after her clan of chickens, Bali dogs and herd of local cats.

Bali Highs

in Recreation by
Bali Thrilling Things to Do

Bali delivers equally extraordinary experiences to seekers of chic elegance as it does to those pursuing adrenaline, education or picture perfect mountain scapes. Here are just a few of the enriching experiences to seek out on your next visit to Bali.

 

WICKED APERITIFS

Those who appreciate a well-curated cocktail will love Akademi, a hub for Bali’s growing mixology scene. Not only can you sample amazing cocktails here, but Akademi also offers regular master classes led by the internationally celebrated British mixologist Dre Masso.

Bali cocktails Akademi bar

AKADEMI COCKTAILS
JL. PETITENGET NO. 51B, SEMINYAK, BALI
IMAGE CREDIT: www.akademi-bar.com

Delve into the mysteries of Bali’s tropical produce with cocktail ingredients like mangosteen, jackfruit and salak, plus a range of unique spices and roots. Get up close and personal with luscious infused dark rums, inspired gins and araks saturated with rare botanicals from the Indonesian archipelago.

Dre brings the knowledge accumulated from trips to more than 40 countries and includes the history of flavours in his classes. Cocktail-making skills will be honed while learning about indigenous ingredients and how to balance flavours with every integral part of the recipe. A recent master class explored the two cocktails that were presented by Akademi at the Southeast Asian Finals of the Diageo World Class Mixology competition.

Other master classes have included the analysis of nutmeg and cascara (coffee fruit skin), where spices are dissected and the bar-made tincture, liqueurs and jams are tasted. Cascara was first used in Yemen, where it was infused into hot water with a powerful selection of spices to make a drink called ‘Qishr’, and has now become the star ingredient in one of Akademi’s cocktails.

The Akademi daily cocktail menu is seriously worth a visit. Check out the artisanal ceramic, copper and wooden cocktail vessels that make a clear statement about this exclusive destination.

 

WINE TIPS-Y

Head into the verdant hills of Ubud and the beautiful Bridges restaurant where the Divine Wine & Cocktail Bar is located below the Riverside dining room and is the exclusive haunt of Bridges’ sommelier Rahul Mehra. Participate in an outstanding master class, listen to the river flow and enjoy the privileged view.

Bridges Wine and Cocktail Bar

DIVINE WINE &

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Bali with Kids

in Families by

Not many work–weary mums and dads would dispute the attractions of spending a holiday in a luxury Bali villa where they can indulge in the pleasures afforded by a personal chef, private pool, in-villa massages or yoga sessions, sunset cocktails and stunning tropical surroundings.

But what about the rest of the family?  Keeping the kids as happily entertained as their parents is key to every holiday’s success. Ondy Sweeting finds that Bali is an epic destination for families, with a great choice of exciting attractions and fun surprises to engage kids of all ages.

Mud, mud, glorious mud!

Mepantigan is a martial art that has a strong spiritual and emotional component and is performed in the luscious Bali mud.

Mud play is a time-honoured tradition where a person becomes one with the mud of the rice paddy and its eternal companion, the duck! Kids can join these amazing Mepantigan sessions that focus on fitness, agility and stress release while developing camaraderie and sportsmanship.

After a sip of some holy water from a bamboo cup, it’s off for warm-ups under the coconut trees then into the mud for training in balance and playing traditional mud games such a frog catching, eel trapping, body painting and having an all-around blast while rolling in the mud.

When you’re done, all the grime is washed away in the river or under a Balinese shower with a banana-leaf roof. The fun and games are followed by an organic lunch to the sounds of the gamelan.  Parents can join in too, or opt for some peaceful mud yoga followed by a massage in the river.

More information here.

Monkey around in Ubud

Ubud’s famous Monkey Forest is the perfect spot for some monkey madness. More than 600 Balinese long-tailed macaques star in this tropical forest that comes complete with ancient mossy temples dedicated to the revered monkey god, Hanuman.

These well-fed rascals have no fear and can be more than a little cheeky, so some safety tips are in order:

  • Don’t dangle anything! Little hands are quick to snatch sunglasses, spectacles, cameras, or anything else they can grab, and swing straight up into a tree with it.
  • If you buy monkey food from a local vendor – or have a snack in your bag – hand it over quickly as they will sniff it out and make demands that can be a little scary.

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The Bali Culinary Collective

in Dining by

Bali’s is Southeast Asia’s enfant terrible of the culinary scene, with destination dining luring fabulous chefs from across the globe to cook up a monsoon on the island.

Top chefs such as New York’s dessert genius Will Goldfarb, Melbourne’s Frank Camorra and Geoff Lindsay, Caribbean-born London-raised Miles Belfield and Singapore-based-UK-born Ryan Clift are flocking to Bali. They join long-time giants of the culinary scene; Franco-American Chris Salans and Englishman James Efraim of Mozaic, Australian Will Meyrick and French dining trailblazers Nicholas ‘Dou Dou’ Tourneville and Said Alem who created Warisan and then Metis.

A visit to Bali demands that dwellers of exquisite villas drag themselves away from the delights of a private chef for a night or two of culinary exploration.

Prepare to be impressed.

Foremost in the savoury fray is the internationally renowned team at Ku De Ta, lead by executive chef Ben Cross. KDT’s fine dining restaurant, Mejekawi, is the host venue for The Culinary Collective Supper Club, a high cuisine extravaganza where imported talent collaborates with Chef Ben and KDT’s head chef Stephen Moore to create rare delights.

Recently, the award-winning chef Blaine Wetzel of The Willows Inn in Seattle – which is widely considered to be one of the best restaurants in the USA – produced a series of outstanding dishes that merged American traditions and style with Balinese ingredients to great success. Five hours of fine food and matched wine was a singular sensation. Think lushly juicy whole barramundi and crispy suckling pig cooked over coffee wood and paired with an Italian Marchesi de Frescobaldi Niozzano Riserva.

Serious foodie travellers and expat gourmands are the staple supporters of this supper club where networks are grown and friendships forged over a feast of fun and familiarity.

The next Culinary Collective is slated for March 9, when Chef Monty Koludrovic from Sydney’s legendary Icebergs will be in town. Chef Monty’s early cooking influence came from his Russian Nona and her traditional feasts, and was later refined at important kitchens throughout Europe.

On May 4, Executive Chef Federico Zanellato of Sydney’s award-winning fine diner LuMi will hit the pans, followed by the amazing barbeque king

Dave Pynt, of Burnt Ends in Singapore, on June 24. In September Hong Kong’s Matt Abergele from Yard Bird will headline, while October will feature the many talents of Chef James Lowe of Lyles,

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Five of the Best

in Recreation by

We present you the best five (extraordinary) activities you can only experience in Bali.

Be a Rascal

Take a day trip on Rascal – a handcrafted 31-metre phinisi cruiser that launched at the end of 2016.  Hewn from ironwood and teak, Rascal is a luxuriously modern yacht with chic interiors that give a nod the beach house style of The Hampton’s.

Life is a lot more beautiful on Rascal. Image credit: Ultimate Indonesian Yachts

Rascal’s pared back style delivers hospitality of the highest order: among the crew of nine is a talented young chef working the kitchen, which was designed by Bali’s famous Watercress Café’s executive chef Josh Job, and the award-winning mixologist outfit Proof & Company inspired the cocktail list. Onboard, for your leisure and pleasure, is fishing gear, diving equipment and a personal dive manager, two tenders, kayaks, waterskis, a biscuit and a banana boat.

Visit the beguiling island and deserted beaches of Nusa Penida, the hot surf spots of Nusa Lembongan or sip cocktails during a private and romantic sunset cruise. 

More information here.

Flying High

Soaring high above the lush, jungle-carpeted mountains, sparkling crater lakes, dazzling Kuta coastline and active volcanoes that leak steaming sulphur into the atmosphere are just some of the highlights of a helicopter tour in Bali.

Life is better at the top. Image credit: Bali Adventure Sky Tours

This island of the gods is an awe-inspiring visual package, with verdant rice terraces that are so exquisite that UNESCO has marked the region for all-time preservation, set alongside ancient sea temples such a Tanah Lot – perched high on top of a rocky outcrop that’s inaccessible at high tide.

Image credit: Bali Adventure Sky Tours.

More information here.

Mesmerising Sunset Trance Dance of Fire

The Kecak dance is an extraordinary display by 100 or more bare-chested men clad in checkered cloth, sitting in concentric circles, swaying, standing up, lying prone as the story of the Hindu epic – the Ramayana unfolds around a raging fire.

Kecak dance at Uluwatu Temple. Image credit: ewigbalitour

Voices chant in a trance-like rapture while the gamelan beats. A woman is stolen by a demon from her princely husband and the story tells of the challenges the young prince and his brother must overcome to rescue her.

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