It's taken me a while longer than I'd have liked to write this post but I'm still being asked where to eat, where to stay and what to see in Ubud so I thought I'd share my experiences in the hope you are inspired too!!!
WHERE TO STAY
Although we only stayed in Ubud on this trip, I can tell you that Bisma Eight is THE place to stay. From the car and driver that greeted us at the airport with cold towels and ice cold water, to the rosella tea and bite sized cookies that met us on arrival at Bisma Eight; no detail was overlooked. Bisma Eight is a modern boutique hotel set in the heart of Ubud, surrounded by lush green jungle yet just a stones throw from the bustling markets and the stunning temples and Ubud Palace. It's a suite only hotel, and with only 38 suites it never feels too busy or commercial and you truly feel like you're the only people in the world. Arriving in the dark, I had no idea of the stunning beauty of my surroundings until sunrise. The view that greeted me was like no other I've woken to before. Lush green trees and birdsong, the 6am clouds parting to reveal blue skies.
And then the breakfast...Copper Kitchen & Bar has it's home at Bisma Eight and this is where the inclusive breakfast is served. From fresh fruit platters, home baked sourdough and pastries from Folk Ubud for starters, followed by a choice of wonderful dishes from smashed avocado and eggs on sourdough, to banana pancakes topped with maple and coconut cream or you can even opt for a traditional Balinese Nasi Goreng. With a choice of freshly squeezed juices (think watermelon, honeydew melon, papaya), teas, coffees and iced beverages breakfasting like a King (or Queen!) was the only option! My personal favourite was the pancakes with a side of granola (full review of our Bisma Eight stay to follow soon!)
WHERE TO EAT
Folk Kitchen and Espresso
For amazing brunches and light bites Folk Kitchen & Espresso is a must. Located on Jalan Monkey Forest, you could miss it's unassuming frontage. But step inside and the menu is packed with tasty dishes to suit any palette. I opted for the Quinoa, pumpkin, fennel and ricotta salad with sambal dressing and it was 10/10. With ice cold water on tap, great prices and super friendly staff it's one not to miss!- as an added bonus if you are a guest at Bisma Eight you get a 15% discount at Folk! Seniman Coffee
For the coffee lovers Seniman Coffee serves the best cup in town. With a coffee menu so vast it suits every taste from the espresso to the latte not only is it ground in house you can also buy a bag of your favourite blend to take home with you! They also serve a mean smoothie bowl, try the dragonfruit bowl topped with cacao, chia and fruit! Burger Shop Ubud For the best burger in town head to Burger Shop on Jalan Bisma. It's not the cheapest in town but by jove the food is good! Little more than a hole in the wall, you could easily pass it without stopping but if you venture in you won't be disappointed.
Cantina You'd be hard pushed to beat Cantina for a banging taco! From the outside you may think canteen or roadside cafe, but I had it on good authority that when you step inside and take a seat at the counter you should prepare for your tastebuds to be tantalized. I ordered the pork tacos everything is cooked freshly as you order and the ingredients are top notch. Prime cuts of meat, freshly cooked taco shells, plenty of banter and a mean margarita, make sure you stop here! Copper Kitchen and Bar Last but not least, head to Copper Kitchen and Bar at Bisma Eight. Contemporary earth friendly dining at it's best. With the fruits and vegetables picked fresh from the Bisma gardens 100 yards down the road, you are truly eating the freshest most authentic Balinese cuisine. With an International/Asian influenced menu the dishes are tasty and expertly crafted. The bar staff will also pair your meal with a wine or beer if you wish! For a sweet treat try the Tres Leches cake - it's truly divine!
WHERE TO EXPLORE
Tegalalang Rice Fields
Every turn of the head in Ubud sees another rice field but make the trip to Tegalalang and you won't be disappointed! Standing on the roadside just taking in the views was absolutely breathtaking. Not only are there dramatic views of the rice paddies but you may also spot the farmers at work. I didn't take the tour but they are readily available if you wanted to venture down and walk through the fields or maybe stop for a drink at the cafe.
Tampak Siring Temple- Holy Spring Water Temple
Tampak Siring (also known as Tirta Empul Temple) is a must see! Take a car and a driver as a guide and soak up the history and sheer magic of the temple. The Holy Water Temple is a place to purify your body from the bad influences in life. The water that comes from the shower is believed to eliminate all kinds of diseases aswell as reversing adverse effects in human life. You can enter the springs, join the line and take part in the ritual or just stand back and admire. Scores of locals troop to the temple daily to worship. Regardless of your spiritual beliefs you will leave the temple with a sense of inner peace
For a morning of fun head to Ubud Market. From the colourful stalls crammed full of scarves and vests to art and homewares it's a hustle and bustle of activity at all times. Locals bring their wares for the tourists. Although the majority of the stalls are very samey there are a few gems hidden tucked away if you keep your eyes peeled! Bring your cash and make sure you barter! The locals love to barter and also love to show off their crafts.