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Image supplied by Bloomfield Bali Hotel & Spa

If you’re currently planning a honeymoon, or next holiday, you may be considering Bali. It’s a short hop skip and jump from Australia and a favoured destination of many. Today, Sally Bloomfield shares her tips to make the most of your holiday and find the best spots to hang out, drink cocktails and eat until they have to roll you out!

The former Melbourne editor of Harpers Bazaar, Sally, started her love affair with Bali over 3 decades ago. Having travelled back many times, Sally and her late husband Ian Robertson put down roots and purchased the beautiful land in the Umalas in 2012 – which makes her a pretty good expert in all things Bali. Since then, their home has become the realisation of Sally’s dream to open a wellness-style, boutique, holistic lifestyle hotel. Her recommendations are certainly not to be missed!

Image via The Westin Hotel

Your Favourite Place That Only Locals Knows About 

Sunday’s are most expats day off and family day and we often head to Geger beach between The Westin and Mulia Hotel’s in Nusa Dua. It’s a little stretch of beach with cute little local restaurants and massage girls. You feel like you are a million miles away..

Image via Ulu Cliffhouse

Your Favourite Popular Place that is a Crowd Pleaser for a Reason 

I love Ulu Cliffhouse. It’s a fabulous beach club perched on the cliffs at – you guessed it – Uluwatu!!! It’s a fun and cool place to hang out. They have fabulous international DJ’s and it’s a great place to go and book the lounges that have amazing views of the coast.

Image via Mason

Your Favourite Restaurant 

My great friend Jane Lindsay has just launched Botanica in Seminyak with a beautiful garden oasis vibe and a modern Australian menu. They also have a wine bar called Rose Social, dedicated to all things Rose! I also love Mason and Fishbone in Canggu, both have a super cool relaxed vibe and great food and drinks. There are just so many to choose from but I also love La Lucciola in Seminyak, it is a bit of an institution and they also have a sister restaurant called Bambu around the corner and I love it there as well, they have more upmarket Indonesian food.

Image via Mano

Your Favourite Bar 

I love the cocktails (and the view) at Ji in Canggu. Da Maria (the guys from Icebergs in Sydney) also do fab drinks and it has a cool scene there. I also love Mano on the beach in Seminyak. Perfect for afternoon cocktails!

Your Favourite Store 

My favourite homewares stores are Souq and Kimsoo in Seminyak and Jungle Trader in Berawa. For fashion I always pop into Magali Pascal and Uma & Leopold, I also love Daun located at the top of Jalan Oberoi. My new favourite shopping retail space is The Find in Uluwatu!

Image Supplied by Bloomfield Hotel and Spa

Your Favourite Hotel 

Well obviously my own hotel Bloomfield!! It is a truly special piece of land in the heart of Umalas with breathtaking views. It was our home for six years before we turned it into a hotel, so it really feels warm and inviting and like being in someone’s home. It is also a great venue for weddings or for honeymooners! We have a beautiful Bale Bale in the rice field in front of the hotel which is a perfect place to get married. We can accommodate up to 60 people for sit down dinner or up to 80 guests for a stand up event.

The Best Way to Spend Time Outdoors 

By a beach, by a pool, by a waterfall.. basically anywhere near water!

The Most Interesting Person You’ve Met in Bali 

Bali is one of those incredible places that brings the most interesting people from the most interesting places all thrown together. You can be at a dinner with a 17 year old skater from LA on one side and a 60 year old business mogul on the other and it all just works!  I have made lifelong friends here from all around the world..

Ideal date night in Bali ? 

It’s been a long time between dates for me but I would love to climb Mt Butur and have a beautiful picnic breakfast at dawn! I think that would be an amazing date and more interesting than dinner!!!

Anything else that a honeymooner needs to know about Bali?

Pamper yourself!!! We have world rate spa’s here, so now is the time to indulge! Have massages and facials as it is so affordable here in Bali – so why not spend a whole day dedicated to making yourself feel fabulous?! At Bloomfield we have partnered with Glo Day Spas and have our own mini version called Glo at Bloomfield. Our menu has beautiful treatments, such as our Bloomfield Signature Massage, which is a four handed experience that truly transports you to another level of relaxation. We also offer Hot stone therapy and the Ancient warm bamboo massage along with facial treatments and other packages.

 

About the author Sally Bloomfield: Sally and her late husband, Ian Robertson, owned and operated the 85-room hotel, The Albany and Bloomfield, in Melbourne, Australia. More recently, Sally starred in the latest season of The Real Housewives of Melbourne. Bloomfield Hotel and Spa is the beautiful former private residence of Sally and Ian and provides boutique accommodation and spa to discover physical and spiritual wellbeing in the heart of picturesque Umalas, Bali.

Polka Dot Honeymoons Directory Mid Banner

Image by The Editorialist via Rock My Wedding

Have you ever wondered what your engagement party might look like if you lived in another country? Or how you could incorporate international trends into your upcoming event?

This month we are looking at engagement party trends and traditions across the globe stretching from Europe, America, Asia and of course Australia.

Europe:

In France an engagement party follows a different format. Traditionally the proposal would not involve a ring and instead the couple would purchase the ring together. After the rings have been purchased the couple will arrange a gathering, similar to an engagement party, with families from both sides and some close friends. Here the bride will be presented with the ring and they celebrate together.

Antipasto platters will always be a favourite for an Italian engagement party and it’s an easy trend to incorporate into your own. Pair olives with cheese, prosciutto and breads, it’s a simple crowd pleaser!

Image by Psalm27Creative via Glamour and Grace

America:

The honey-fund is fastly replacing gifts at engagement parties and even at weddings. The idea is the couple provide their bank details on the invitation or at the event and guests would provide a gift in the form of a bank transfer allowing the couple to spend the money on whatever they would like. Alternatively, sign up for an online registry through a website like Honeyfund.

Gone are the days of pretty papered invitations for an engagement, we are all going online and your engagement party invitations can too! Paper invitations are notoriously difficult with people losing them or forgetting to RSVP. Whilst online invitations have been a thing for a long time now it seems that in 2019 their popularity will grow.

Asia:

If you’re looking for a sweet tradition to incorporate into your engagement party, then look to India where it is tradition for the families to exchange sweet foods and gifts at the engagement party. At the party it is also common for the bride and groom to exchange rings.

Image via Venue Look

Like most countries around the world, family is an important part of an engagement party in Thailand. The tradition is called Thong Mun where a bride would be presented gold jewellery (which doesn’t have to be a ring) at a ceremony surrounded by friends and family. The couple are not considered to be engaged until after the engagement party has finished.

Australia:

In the last year or so we have seen engagement parties shift from something quite formal to a more relaxed outdoor party with your closest friends and families. This year we expect to see more outdoor games, floral decorations and our personal favourite new trend, upside down balloons which help add some colour and a whimsical feel.

Anything with Prosecco will continue to be a hit next year with many people creating a ‘pimp your Prosecco’ stand giving people the opportunity to personalise their drinks.

Image by  Les Amis Photo via Wedding Chicks 

Ms Zebra Says: If we know anything, it’s that Australia is a true melting pot – so why not bring traditions from around the globe into your own celebration?! Great tips from our writer Bec Lawrence!

Image by Lukas Kloeppel

Start spreading the news, I’m dishing out honeymoon travel tips today! Opening up a blank canvas for your honeymoon destination is truly one of life’s feel-good moments, but there is some truth in the phrase: ‘spoiled for choice’.

I’ve taken it upon myself to shed some light on some amazing cities around the world to help would-be honeymooners make some informed decisions. And I know, New York isn’t exactly a hidden gem, but like any good honeymoon or even holiday, it helps to get a bit of knowledge about a place before you visit. I’ve hit up the Big Apple twice and each time it presents new and exciting places to visit.

Here are a few of my tips for New York if you’re heading there with your significant other. Happy honeymoon!

Where to stay

Hotels are expensive and Airbnb in good locations are rare, but if you’re placing a big emphasis on location, i.e., near the centre of the tourist action, otherwise known as Times Square, you can’t go past The Edison. It’s steps away from the famous Palace Theatre and a couple of minutes’ walk from Broadway, Times Square and Rockefeller Centre. The room we stayed in was… well, it was small, but it was worth it for the location! If you’re thinking about going down the Airbnb route, definitely consider Chelsea as an area to stay. It’s an awesome location with a very trendy vibe. Plus it’s easy to get to Times Square, the Chelsea Market, Soho and Brooklyn from there!

What to eat

So many options, but if you’re looking for something that satisfies your tastebuds and will give you a cool talking point when you get back home, you can’t go past Buddakan. “Buddakan presents the vivid flavours of the Far East in a surreal atmosphere that marries the serenity of Asia with the flamboyance of 16th-century Paris,” the owners say.

Expect epic art, sparkling chandeliers and “shareable pan-Asian fare”. Get your hands on the dim sum and noodle soups. And if you need another reason why Buddakan is a New York must do, it featured in the Sex and the City movie. Of course, Buddakan will hit you pretty hard in the hip pocket (Carrie doesn’t just dine anywhere, don’t you know?), so if you’re looking for something just as delicious but a bit more budget friendly, you have to check out the Los Tacos No.1 at Chelsea Market. Authentic Mexican tacos with simple but oh-so-tasty ingredients.

Note: You must also grab a slice of pizza in Brooklyn at some point.

 

Where to drink

The other amazing thing about staying at The Edison, is that an amazing bar is not too far away. In fact, The Rum House is literally downstairs. I know what you’re thinking: ‘hotel bar? No thanks.’ This isn’t your standard hotel bar. Expect nightly live piano and jazz music, crafty cocktails, and “old world copper and wood décor”. It’s got that New York vibe which you crave when you visit a city with this much history. Still not convinced? This bar was immortalized in the award-winning film Birdman starring Michael Keaton.

How to be romantic

This is definitely weather dependent, but the ice skating rink in Central Park is all kinds of romantic. It’s the perfect way to spend a day of your honeymoon, if you don’t mind the cold outdoors. But if you’ve chosen New York in the winter, then you knew what you were in for. The best part? There are three rinks and they’re open from November through to March.

Bring some gloves, rent some skates, and make a honeymoon memory you’ll remember forever. Oh, and if you’re hitting up NYC in the summertime, you can’t go past The High Line. It’s a beautiful 1.45 mile long elevated linear park created on an old rail track. It has beautiful sights of the city, heaps of seats to sit down and chill and lots of greenery to enjoy.

Just for fun

Picture this: It’s a cold winter’s afternoon in New York City. You and your partner are strolling through snow covered Central Park, almost shaking your heads in disbelief at the beauty of it all. Then, almost out of nowhere, you spot a carousel. It’s empty, so you assume it’s not running due to the cold weather. But as you get closer, you notice a lone worker in the booth who says they are in fact open, so you and your partner have a romantic carousel ride all to yourselves as the white trees of Central Park whiz by around you. Yes, this actually happened to me. Yes, it was probably one of the most romantic things ever. No, I didn’t realise the carousel has been there for more than 100 years. I recommend combining a day of ice skating and a carousel ride before heading to the nearest bar to warm up with a whisky and an open fire. Obviously, the carousel isn’t always empty, and sometimes the weather can shut it down but if you head down in late February, you never know your luck.

Ms Zebra Says: New York is one of my favourite cities – I’ve been more than 8 times now – and can agree that each time brings new things to do, see and is NEVER boring. An absolute must with your partner!

About the author Mr Houndstooth: I am a happily married man. I enjoy a fine whisky, a new suit and swashbuckling around town with my beautiful bride. Looking back on my wedding day always makes me smile, even though it began to rain just as I said ‘I do’.