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    October 10th 2014, by Cara G Mcilroy in Family & Food

    27.4.14 - TAI HANG 1 27.4.14 - TAI HANG P2 27.4.14 - TAIN HANG P3

    Recently I decided to take my family to visit Tai Hang.  I had heard so much about this little quaint little neighborhood near Happy Valley but had never visited.  If I’m to be perfectly honestly I mainly wanted to go because I had heard of this revolutionary ice cream joint there and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about for myself.

    I think we may have chosen maybe the hottest day of the year to visit.  My poor dog Roxy was dying in the heat as we ducked in and out of the tightly grouped together streets that make up this little village. Lucky for Roxy the locals in the area were so lovely and offered their hoses to cool her down. For us we headed to LAB.

    LAB MADE – Lab Made is not just any old ice-cream place and was for sure worth the drive over to Tai Hang for.  It was lip-smacking deliciousness.  Lab uses liquid nitrogen to quickly freeze their ingredients, which they say, enables them to use less cream, which I say means healthier.  In that saying I found their ice creams far creamier than other brands.  They also work together with different brands to create quirky flavors.  I tried a Sunkist choc flavor, which had pop-rocks in it.  Took me back to my childhood.  In addition to the great taste Lab Made insures you have entertainment too by mixing your tasty treat right there in front of your eyes, well if you can see through the clouds of icy cold nitrogen that is.

    We also dropped by Bat Kut King.  We were with my mother and she was born in Singapore so anytime there is a restaurant that dishes up Malaysian or Singaporean we almost never just walk by without trying.

    BAT KUT KING- a cute little place with extremely friendly and dog loving staff.  For me a place that is puppy friendly immediately gets thumbs up, as it is a rare find in Hong Kong. They even let Roxy sit just inside the door to escape the heat.  We tried the laksa and although it wasn’t the best laksa I have had it was still yummy.  I would go back simply because the staff were so lovely.

    Just before leaving we noticed this super cool little coffee joint called UNAR. Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to try it as we were stuffed from the ice cream and laksa but as I huge coffee addict I plan to go back to Tai Hang soon just to try this place.  It had so much charm with its street side seating and service through a hole in the wall that I almost couldn’t resist, but I did this time.



    December 4th 2014, by Cara G Mcilroy in Family & Travel

    Recently I took a family vacation to Bali, magical Bali. I have travelled to Bali many times since I was 16 years old and every time I return I’m still swept away buy its beauty and charm. I have done the backpacker thing which pretty much meant sleeping on the beach, I have done it the cheap way paying 800 rupee per night for some tiny dirty room down a back alley in Kuta but this trip I splurged and booked through The Luxe Nomad and gave myself and my family a real treat.

    First stop was Ubud.

    My mother actually booked the hotel in Ubud, it was called Ananda Cottage Hotel and it was lovely and very affordable. The hotel was nestled amongst the rice fields with the swimming pool looking directly over them.  At sunset it was divine to have a dip in the pool and watch as the sky and sun cast a rainbow of ever changing colors over the fields.

    While in Ubud I tried almost every Raw Food restaurant there. My favorite one being Sari Organiks. The place has many mixed reviews online but our experience there was delightful. The staff were more then happy to snuggle India while we enjoyed our vegetarian Nasi Cumper and green juice.

    Another top attraction was the Holly Water Temple; although very touristy the place had a calm and beauty that I can’t explain.

    After Ubud we heading towards the beaches of Seminyak.

    In Seminyak we stayed at The Santai and then The L Hotel. Both places were really lovely. The Santai was a villa so it was really private. We literally spent 2 days in the pool just swimming and relaxing on the big comfy floating bean bags they provided and riding bikes around the near by streets.

    The L hotel was very different. It was right smack bang in the middle of the action in Seminyak, which meant I could do some shopping, yay. The hotel had some really quirky services. One in which they provided each guest with a mobile phone so that you could contact your own personal butler to pick you up or drop you off where ever you needed to go, 24 hours a day, umm amazing. They also had a pillow menu and provided you with a little bedtime story, which was cute. The beds were the most comfortable beds I have ever slept in. Best sleep I have had in since India my daughter came along. Again I also visited all the vegetarian and raw restaurants in the hood my favorite being Desa Seni. It was kind of a bitter sweet visit because once arriving I didn’t want to leave I just wanted to stay there do yoga and eat their yummy food for a week haha. Next time.

    Our last stop was possibly my favorite. Karma Kandara was the perfect setting for a family or anyone for that matter.  The staff loved our little girl and were so accommodating.  In the villa we had our own pool that was frequently visited by some cheeky monkeys which we loved.  The resort is built into a cliff by the sea and the views are breathtaking, mouth dropping  even. Breakfast at the Di Mari was my favorite time of the day.  The view from this restaurant forced you to stop in your tracks, breath and relax.  I believe some mornings we would take 2 hours to eat breakfast as we simply didn’t want to leave. The spa was a special treat, set within the cliffs over looking nothing but ocean as far as your eyes can see.  There was a gentle breeze blowing into the room as I was pampered to perfection.  I truly felt like a Balinese princess. The beach unlike many other beaches in Bali was crystal clear although quite rocky.

    I would happily stay at any of the above places again.

    Bali, until next time.