Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Bali High!

better known as the
Island Of The Gods 
has charmed many visitors to her shores.
From the painter
Don Antonio Blanco
to designer 
John Hardy
 to writer
Elizabeth Gilbert.
This mystical island 
5633 square kilometres
is indeed a special place on
Planet Earth.
Balinese culture is perpetuated
through daily rituals
colourful ceremonies
that are both unique and beautiful.
This spiritual island
is located between
Nusa Tenggara.
The Balinese are 
the island is blessed
with a tropical climate.
My very first visit was way back in the early
Already populated with
 eager tourists
intrepid backpackers
searching for 
the island was and still is,
thriving with 
enterprise in every form.
Skillfully hand-crafted souvenirs
 decor objects made a strong 
Over the years,
I've returned many, many times
to observe changes that come along with
Some good,
others questionable.
five star hotels and equally 
glossy restaurants,
have mushroomed across the island
as if a 
tropical torrential storm
of foreign currency has rained
upon this
 island paradise.
As we all know,
there is a huge difference between
good and great,
passable and ridiculous,
 mediocre is found everywhere.
Eat, Pray & Love
On Bali,
the dining scene is as varied
as the
 geography of the land.
Local & regional
free-standing food stalls,
are found everywhere,
while international cuisine
has migrated here in full force.
One such restaurant named
opened this year,
in a quiet corner,
far removed from the
Let me present
Melanie Baylis.
Originally from France.
One part French & the other,
Transplanted to the island via
Arrived 12 months ago.
Restaurant Manager
rolled into one.
I've met Melanie several times at the restaurant.
She's totally charming.
Always smiling.
Really pleasant.
A fake personality you could tell straight away.
But Melanie comes across
as genuine as the pearls harvested
on the archipelago of 
Not only is she picture-perfect,
she's also very competent
from my observation of her
in action.
Her language is exacting,
while her demeanour is very French.
This girl has verve!
Black or white?
What's missing in your life?
Horse riding & snow.
Fish or meat?
What is your passion?
My job.
High heels or flats?
Your hobby?
Being with friends over a good dinner.
Favourite film?
Je t'aime Moi Non Plus.
What is underrated now?

Favourite cuisine?
Biggest daily challenge?
To build up this restaurant.
Can you cook?
My favourite dish to prepare is
What motivates you?
My job!

Most favourite wine?
Rosè Cotes de Provence- Saint Marguerite.
Next holiday destination?
Japan...for skiing!
If I say Orange, what would you say?
Banana !!!
What irritates you?
Favourite restaurant in the world?
Joel Robuchon in London.
Favourite perfume?
Touch of Pink
What keeps you awake at night?
My guests!!!

Bali's ultimate high 
has certainly captivated  
The ancient temples are like
sirens, drawing us in with
their mystical energy.
After a stint in Dubai,
Melanie was enchanted by this island
which exudes ideal exoticism
"she needed a place which is green 
and has fresh air."
Bali has a great many lofty
Spa is BIG here.
From the most luxurious
to the
genuinely humble,
one could get pampered easily.
Our conversation over
 good coffee
in the late afternoon was almost over.
The restaurant had a few customers in
for a quick bite 
to relax away the afternoon heat.
Holidays does that to you...you let yourself
immerse in the 
local rhythm.
Abundance of artistic expression 
well as a 
strong cultural bond,
Bali is certainly captivating.
Melanie comes across as a lass
who is
 cool & comfortable 
in her own skin.
Her tone is gentle...
her manner amiable.
She believes that good food has to be "simple".
Flavours must not be too complex,
 French food will never be passé.
Happy Hour
was upon us
as we wrapped up our
easy-flow chatter.
As the Balinese
return home after 
another day of
work & prayer,
brilliant orange sun
hovers over the
Indian Ocean,
we bid each other
"au revoir".
Just as the bright ball of light
a glowing nod to another day in paradise,
I thought it was fortunate to have met someone
who certainly will have
her own restaurant one day.
The locals believe in the
alignment of the
stars & planets...
and so
time will come.
It's written all over her.
She has the energy 
that compels us to be taken in...
to be
What's next?
"...to change for dinner service
to make myself pretty!"

You already are my dear!

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Nice of you to write!