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A day in the life of…

We start the day right by indulging in pancakes and waffles at Rogue Bistro. This place never disappoints! Once we’ve overcome our food comas we make our way down to the city hopper (what tourist doesn’t like to save a buck, right?). We cruise down the river until we reach Eagle St, from there we walk to my favourite little book shop Archives Fine Books. Being one of the oldest second-hand book shops in Australia, this place is sure to impress! After an hour or two of book shopping, followed by two hours of window shopping on Queen St, we’ve worked up quite an appetite. West End for lunch it is. Whenever I’m in West End I always make the effort to visit The Gunshop Cafe for my salad fix. Now, Im not normally a ‘boring salad eater’ but I URGE you to try the Grilled Chicken & Quinoa salad…It will change your life!

After lunch we stroll down Melbourne St to South Bank Parklands. Following a slow spin on the Wheel of Brisbane and a quick dip at Streets Beach, we continue along Clem Jones Promenade and end up at River Quay. By this point we’ve worked up quite a thirst – cocktails at Popolo it is! We manage to score ourselves a cute little nook in the sun with a perfect view of the Brisbane River. Yup…This will do us for the next few hours!

As dusk approaches we decide it will be fun to hire CityCycles and ride to Riverbar in the city. Between laughing fits and near stacks we eventually make it over in one piece to continue our bar hopping. There we share pizza, sink a few more bevies and talk the night away..

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BALI

Before my recent trip to Bali I did a little bit of research on trending cafes that are a must see whilst over there. I soon discovered in all my Instagram creeping that Bali had stepped up its game over the years and now had so many hip cafes on offer!

In between all my cocktail sipping and adventures I managed to hunt down a few of these cafes to check out… and I was pretty impressed with what I saw! Hearing about a close by to where we were staying, my friend and I wandered into Seminyak to see if we could try suss out some of these places to potentially have breakfast in; and almost immediately we stumbled across Shelters Seminyak and Revolver Espresso.

SHELTERS SEMINYAK

Climb up the steep stairs to the top and you’ll soon find yourself in a little tropical retreat. No windows or doors, floor to ceiling bamboo beams and lots of hanging plants (which we all know by now that I’m obsessed with) it very much looked the part of island dining. The menu on the other hand was quite modern with a western twist. All our favourite dishes from Australia were accounted for including acai bowls, chia pudding, fresh juices, smashed avo – almost anything you can thing of. Now I know some of you might be thinking “Why eat somewhere that resembles home whilst on holidays in a foreign country?” These thoughts crossed my mind too BUT I definitely indulged in a lot of Bintangs and Indonesian food. So much so that my body was craving fresh food, food that I’am used to consuming on a daily basis. So I tracked down a few of these modern cafes out of curiosity and to treat myself – give my stomach abit of a break ha!

Shelters is situated up on the second level of the building its housed in which allows a beautiful breeze to blow right though the open plan cafe. It was soo nice to escape the sweltering heat that Bali produces! First things first, I was dying to have a GOOD cup of coffee (the instant coffee at the hotel just wasn’t cutting it). I went for an iced latte as even the thought of sipping on a hot coffee made me sweat alone! After all our morning strolling we didn’t quite make it for breakfast but we had the pleasure of giving the lunch menu a go instead. I ordered the Mexican Chicken Burger with Paprika fries. Very tasty and made with all fresh ingredients – you could say it was finger licking good! My iced coffee also hit the spot very nicely. Id have to say it was a very pleasing experience and I was pretty impressed in seeing this ‘modern’ side of Bali!

REVOLVER ESPRESSO

Whilst on our quest to find Shelters Seminyak we noticed a sign saying Revolver Espresso. Naturally, anytime I come across a cafe I haven’t seen or heard of before I have to check it out!  So two days later there we were, walking down an alley looking for Revolver. We followed behind a few people who came to a stop at a large wooden door. It was soon opened and we were shown in by the hostess. The minute I stepped foot inside I felt like we had just walked into some sort of members only club! Dark timber with low lighting chandeliers, vintage prints on the walls and secret rooms – it gave off a very old western saloon style, 1920’s vibe. I loved it! For a back alley hidden gem this cafe had a lot of hype about it. Packed to the brim, apparently Revolver Espresso was very well know, and for good reason!

Once we were seated we got to have a good look at the menu and what was on offer. They had a simple modern menu but added a slight twist to each dish. I ordered the Smith & Wesson, which was essentially smashed avo but with added basil leaves and cherry tomatoes. Throw in a few poached eggs and I had myself a tasty little breakfast dish! The coffee was again very enjoyable and I even noticed that they happened to use La Marzocco coffee machines, which is what I use at work back in Australia! Even though I thoroughly enjoyed my coffee and brekky my favourite part of Revolver Espresso would have to hands down be the interior design and decor. Cosy yet historic, you really did not feel like you were in Bali at all but more like you took a step back in time, back into the days of the wild wild west. Totally opposite vibes to Shelters but equally enjoyable!

BALI PULINA

My final cafe hop lead me to a place in Uluwatu called Bali Pulina. Having not heard of it before, our local Balinese guide that we had for the day recommended he take us there as the view was unbeatable. Boy am I glad we agreed to go because it was by far my favourite coffee/ cafe experience to date!

Greeted at the enterance by a guide, we then got lead down the path and into what felt somewhat like a zoo. Hearing about the different trees, plants and even caged animals along the way we quickly realised this was no ordinary ‘cafe’. Listening on we soon learnt about they type of coffee they used and how it was made. Heard of Kopi Luwak coffee? I can put it into two simple words for you ‘animal poop’ ha! Do yourself a favour and look it up! We were shown the Luwak animals (which is a relation to the cat species) and even got to feed them coffee cherries. We went from section to section, learning about how its dried, roasted and ground before moving down into the cafe.  The process for making the coffee bean is quite simple but does take some time to produce as it is all done by hand – NO MACHINES! As we walked down the stairs my jaw dropped and I had to pinch myself. This place was unbelievable!! The open Bali hut was one thing but the view of the rice terrace was another. I literally felt like we were in a treehouse in the middle of the jungle! As we were shown to our table we were told that we would be given a tastings tray along with a cup of their Luwak coffee. Handmade teas and flavoured coffee were all on offer to taste but the real surprise for me was how much I enjoyed the Luwak coffee. Initially it was quite thick/full bodied but as it settled it was smooth and not at all acidic. No milk or sugar needed! I was totally in my element here!! A view to die for and amazing coffee – what more could you want?! I strongly recommend getting out to Uluwatu and checking this place out if you appreciate coffee and scenic views just as much as me!

Happy Travelling 🙂

Author

Christie Smith xx

 

+ Shelters Seminyak

Jl. Drupadi 1 n. 2B (little alley off Jl. Seminyak – take turn next to Queens Tandoor)

+ Revolver Espresso

Jl kayu aya / Gang 51 Seminyak

+ Bali Pulina

Banjar Pujung Kelod, Tegallalang, Kec. Gianyar

A little about me…

I guess my journey leading to the coffee world started back when I was just a moody teenage girl of seventeen. My parents were sick of me mooching off them and their money so they lent a helping hand in landing me a job! This happened to be at my local cafe – otherwise known as Zarraffa’s Coffee.

At the time I didn’t appreciate the taste of a good ‘cuppa joe’. I actually despised coffee back then, and continued to turn my nose up at it for several years to come. I was a young naive teenager who didn’t really want learn anything – or work at all for that matter! After two and a half years of sticking it out at Zarraffa’s, one child care diploma under my belt and itchy feet, the time had come for me to move onto a different career path.

Fast forward three years of nappy changing and block tower building I found myself at yet another crossroad. What is life!!! After re-evaluating my situation and the encouragement of my friends I made the enormous decision to pack my life up on the GC and move to foggy town a.k.a London, UK! To this day moving abroad has been the hardest, biggest life changing experience I have ever had.. and the best! I learnt a lot about myself; both big and small things, but mostly, I discovered what I really had a passion for – photography! I always enjoyed taking pictures as a child… You know, capturing trees, rocks, weird things on family trips but over the years I guess I’d forgotten how much I loved taking snaps and just focused on being a drunk rebellious teenager who just wanted to hit the clubs every weekend! London makes it very hard to not want to pull out your camera… the buildings, landscapes, quirky bars and cafes – its just so captivating! Thus leading me to dusting off the camera cob webs and becoming snap happy again.

The coffee addiction soon kicked in as I found myself sitting endlessly in quaint cafes to escape the infamous cold, soggy weather conditions that London has to offer. Brunch date after brunch date and I was hooked! The atmosphere, the buzz, the smell of coffee, the different breakfast menus and the creative cafe decor – I couldn’t get enough! Listening to the barista’s steam up brought back memories of when I worked at Zarraffa’s and it gave me the urge to purge (milk) again.

So now, here we are, eighteen months later, back in Australia and back behind the coffee machine. Although now, I’am working with speciality coffee which is a whole other ball game to the fast food coffee chains. Its funny how sometimes you have to go backwards in order to move forwards in life. I’am forever on the hunt for new and improved cafes/restaurants and will NEVER turn down a brekky date! Just remember; People who love to eat are always the best people!

Author

Christie Smith xx

Check out my Instagram page: @cafeology__