Bali’s Seminyak area is a tiny metropolis packed with shops, spas, restaurants and nightclubs, but if you spend a few days there, it can start to get a bit repetitive. World-class fashion brands in Seminyak Do you feel there must be places you are missing out on just because you don't know they are there? Here is a selection of gems that stretch from the scene stealer Seminyak and its surroundings, up to the new center of cool - Canggu. Secret Shopping Bali is paradise in many people’s eyes but especially shoppers. There is an overwhelming choice of furniture, home décor and clothes. There are plenty of designer boutiques but with prices going up in line with Bond Street, it is nice to escape to more chaotic bargain hunting. There are two perfect roads in the area – Jalan 66 for clothes and accessories and Jalan Mertanadi for furniture. There is a lot of choice on Jalan 66 and yes there is a lot of cheap, bad quality clothing but search about and there is plenty of treasure to be found. Best bargains are the sarong wholesalers where you can pick one up from Rp 10,000, and Wiri Coco, the hat shop that has cowrie shell decorated straw hats and multi coloured panamas. There are lots of silk dresses made from sarongs but also silk bikinis -the perfect beach kit for lounging when you hit Pantai 66 at the end of the road. If it is your house that needs a sprucing then head up to Mertanadi, infamously known as Jail Road. Six Brothers has some carefully restored and painted antique Javanese pieces, from subtle to sublime on the color spectrum. There are lots of shops with customized antiques. Further up is D2 Décor, which has an amazing collection of luxuriant bird cages from sparrow to ostrich size. Lots of bargains can still be found in Seminyak with some exploration, just remember to haggle! Bathe Jalan Petitenget is quickly establishing itself as the new Jalan Laksmana (Oberoi). Here you will find Bathe, a classically quirky shop dedicated to the simple art of having good cleaning fun. Annie Pham Ahman, the owner, wanted to go back to the traditions of bath time with frivolity fun thrown in, starting with the basic bar of soap. The establishment prides itself in reintroducing beautiful handmade scented and shaped bars rather than liquids that seem to now dominate the market. Annie says of the products ‘I am not claiming to make anyone twenty years younger, but I want to deliver a quality product with a bit of fun thrown in’. They are all almost completely natural and paraben and paraffin free. The cleansers and body products come in the sensuous ‘Custom Blend’ or are fragrance-free for sensitive skins. There is a range for kids and men, custom blended oils, candles and home ware on top of the face and body concoctions. Read the labels carefully for the twist. Bathe itself is classic and eclectic at the same time. There is an honest elegance in the décor and packaging that sets it apart. It is like stepping out of Seminyak’s dusty pavements into an era when eccentric good taste prevailed. Think Pink Nails Think Pink’s trademark is that it is a New York style nail parlor in Bali. It very much is - even though it is quite well hidden down Jalan Batu Belig. Apart from the incredibly professional manicure and pedicure chairs and stations, the products are outstanding for an island that has limited availability. Arvy, the owner, spent most of her adult life in New York. Her ‘thing’ is nail polish and has been since she was young. This is vey much reflected in the choice of nail varnishes. On top of the standard O.P.I, there is Chanel, Dior, the full range of Tom Ford, Nars, Butter and gel colors. The treatment is relaxing and professional. There are extras you can add on to the Signature Manicure and Pedicure including the soothing warm stones, paraffin dip or silk wrap. Acrylic and Gel nails are also on offer. It is not all about nails however as there is a range of massages on offer as well as waxing. There is also a small retail section that is the first place in Bali to offer Kiehl’s products, limited edition nail colors and even a limited edition Karl Largerfeld doll. The Signature Manicure and Pedicure is Rp 250,000 (US$ 26) and massages start from Rp. 180,000. There is also a complimentary driver service within the Seminyak area upon request. Deus Deus Ex Machina, Temple of Enthusiasm in Canggu is the complete antithesis of partying in Seminyak. This is a temple of laid-back cool. Whether you’re into their customized motorbikes, specialized shaped surfboards or just after a coffee, cocktail and a live gig then this is the place for all your adrenaline vices. Part shop, art gallery, workshop and café, there is always something going on at Deus. Deus makes customized bikes and that is what makes them recognizable internationally. There are workshops at the back of The Temple where they will build you your own Deus custom bike or a surfboard shaped by some of the best in the business. They have also established themselves as a local legend for their live music Sunday Sessions and Taco and Tattoo Tuesdays. Live local and international rock and blues bands have graced the temple and provided an escape from dull Sundays. On Tuesdays you can get a free tattoo with your tacos if you have always wanted to get one or just had a couple too many. Popular amongst the local community, but also attracting a crowd from all over, there is an intimate feel to evenings here. It may be an unlikely combination of sunsets over the rice fields in the café, cocktails, music, tattoos and motorbikes, but it feels just right. Bungalow Living Bali The Bungalow in Berawa is the sort of place you dream of stumbling across when you are exploring the areas outside of Seminyak. Only open for nine weeks, it is brand new in relation to its neighbors, but is already full of the local community and visitors soaking up the relaxed, homely atmosphere. The Bungalow is inspired by bungalows of days gone by in India and colonial Jakarta, and also the Bali of days gone by. It is such a wonderfully pretty place in comparison to the homogenous cafes that have sprung up that you cannot help but be enchanted before you even enter. Giovanna and Dona, the owners, are constantly inspired by their travels, especially Rajasthan, as well as Dona’s native Bali. They say they wanted to create ‘an oasis that was homely and inviting, but also the whole package in terms of food and lifestyle ’. It certainly has lived up to its ethos. This is a café-cum concept store that sells all the furniture that you can see or are sitting on, jewelry and it is the sole stockist of Compendium Books in Bali. They also custom blend their own candles, fragrances and sell amazing joss sticks from India that burn for 36 hours! The coffee is custom blended and the juices and smoothies freshly whipped up on the spot. The incredibly tasty Green Smoothie (Rp 35,000) is fresh and great for hiding some fresh vegetables for kids. Their best seller is the organic chickpea and tofu burger complimented with homemade mayonnaise and chutney. It is easy to see how Bungalow Living contains all the elements of relaxed Bali stylish living that has been sadly lacking for some time. Warung Sulawesi Strangely enough, authentic Indonesian food is one of the hardest things to find in Seminyak. French, Italian, Greek and Japanese are everywhere. If you are in need of some home cooking from the islands this is the place to go. Down a small gang in Petitenget, this open air warung, owned by one of Bali’s more flamboyant characters named Bonita, is set in a little garden and has plenty of character and good tastes. The cooking leans towards Sulawesi cuisine but there are elements of all the islands. The beef rendang is legendary. The ayam rica-rica is also recommended, but be warned it comes pedas so if you are not a big chili lover it is best to ask for the milder dishes. Make sure you leave room for the dadar gulung, served pink, also one of the best on the island. This is a laid-back establishment that is only open for lunch. It is a place where locals and those passing through pack it out every day so it is best to get there early to select the best dishes. Gusto Gelateria Umalas is five minutes from Seminyak and also a short cut on the way to Deus and here on Jalan Umalas 2 lies a hidden treasure. If you love ice-cream this is the place to come. Here it feels like you have been transported to Italy and some of the great gelaterias there. The choice of flavors is vast for both ice cream and sorbets. There are classics such as vanilla and chocolate, but the chili chocolate and caramel, which are unbelievably good, are becoming classics in this small establishment. For chocolate bar fans there is Snickers and Bounty or Nutella to remind the bigger kids of childhood (Rp20,000 for a cup). The sorbets also come in normal Strawberry and Lime but it is the Dragon Fruit that really draws the eye with its vivid hue. Try it with the Lemongrass ice cream for a more local flavor. All the ice cream and sorbet is made on the premises by Regis, the owner, and are completely natural with no added preservatives. For non ice cream lovers, if there is such a thing, there are great coffee and pastries, served by Manuela, Regis’ wife, who is always ready for a chat and a bit of advice on flavors at the front. They are open from 7am-7pm from Monday – Saturday.