This eclectic warung/bar opened by Putu last year is set amongst the rice paddies in Ubud. You need to know the secret walk way beside Starbucks.
The secret rice paddy walks connects lots of hotels up the road… It’s a leisurely walk and once you are on it, it’s easy to find Sweet Orange Warung. Just follow the rubbish bins…
The beers are cold, the atmosphere relaxed and there’s plenty to see or not see.
I am interested in Putu’s gardening efforts – she is trying to grow lettuce at the moment in piping. Her other crops look fantastic and include eggplant, chilli, spinach, paw paw, corn.
I am going to make this a regular check in when I go to Ubud. Mainly to get out of the hustle and bustle of Ubud and also to support an entrepreneurial female in a third world country who has managed to create an awesome venue!
I did go back to visit Putu last week.
After the first visit I thought I would paint the hanging coconut heads.
My crazy idea is that I would paint the coconut heads, and ask Putu to hang the painting with the aim to sell the painting. I have been giving money to a local Balinese man, Wayan, and his family, for a few years. He was struck by bamboo six years ago and has been a quadriplegic since.
Unable to walk, move and being bed bound, has made life very difficult for Wayan and his family.
To my surprise last week, when I returned with my painting, Putu and her husband, Nyoman said they would buy the painting. They told me how they support local causes and believed this was a good cause.
So gratefully I accepted their money, and for now, the painting of that fantastic warung, Sweet Orange Warung, will remain hanging above the welcome sign.
When my sister sent me a text from the UK saying “Fifteen booked for Sunday” I assumed 15 people were coming for lunch. Little did I know that it was the name of a Jamie Oliver restaurant.
Based a little north of Newquay in a pretty cove called Watergate Bay is Fifteen.
The winds whirl along the Atlantic Sea and hit the coast of Cornwall making for some dramatic coastal beaches and even some surfing spots. Today is a mild but very unswimmable day. As stick figures clad in thick wetsuits drag their foamies out into the wild surf we settle into Fifteen. Nice and warm and with wonderful views of the Ocean.
James is to be our waiter and after the usual courtesies I really want to see what James has in him as a waiter.
A waiter is after all, an liaison for us, the dinner and the kitchen.
I believe their role is to help us decide.
In doing this a good dinner will pry gently into your day… is it going well, are you celebrating something, what sorts of appetite and digestion do you have. From there, like a tour guide showing off the secrets of an ancient relic, he/she can navigate you around the menu. Which after all is just a guide.
James gets the idea and throws himself into a full explanation of the menu. I am very grateful. Because after reading it twice it still had no meaning. It was just words. But after James had read and explained a few things, it became an adventure and an excitement. That or the wine had time to kick in.
The restaurant has been set up by the famous English chef Jamie Oliver. It is a charity where people with “rough starts” as he puts it, can acquire some training and a new skill in the food industry.
I had already met three of the apprentice chefs at the festival in the morning so I felt great joy at supporting the restaurant. Jamie Oliver has a gift of connecting people and rubbing out the lines between dreams and opportunities.
The food was excellent
I had two starters to begin with – the zucchini flower and liver and rosemary.
The liver was absolutely devine and was like self cured pate. I will dream about it for a long time. Lightly grilled after being marinated (I am assuming) the little livers melted in your mouth. The simple butter sauce complimented it perfectly and the livers were served speared on rosemary stalks which gave them enough flavour.
Main course was fantastic!
I had a big pork chop cooked to perfection. Pork can be over cooked and dried out but this was perfect to eat. The polenta and wilted spinach that accompanied it suited the dish perfectly.
All this washed down with a light Italian wine.
The food was of a high restaurant standard, but I found the atmosphere weird. It was a very large place, kept warm but lacking warmth if you know what I mean. I felt the music needed to be different to bring it all together. Maybe some Avenders playing. The decor was funky and fun yet the staff didn’t seem to be having as much fun as they could.
Maybe the music and a few more cheeky interactions would rate this restaurant higher in my opinion. All in all, great and I will definitely be returning one day.
You can also donate to help keep this grand project ticking over but probably the best thing to do, if you can, is to dine there.
My first trip to Nepal was in 2013 and it is the first time coming back since the earthquake.
Visible, painful devastation everywhere.
And then to get a deeper understanding, an earthquake of 4.5 occurred while camping on the ground in Fulkharka. I woke to the earth grumbling and moaning and SHAKING! at 1.08am. I knew after the first (very long) second, what was going on. An earthquake.
I was gripped with awe, fear, excitement, confusion.
Was it real? Did I imagine it.
Then in the distance I heard some birds fly off and other animals break out in their tongues. I knew it was a quake.
Fortunately I was in a tent. No real harm could come to me, unless there was a land slide. And I rationally thought if that was to occur then my number was up and that was that.
Back off to sleep I finally went with a new appreciation of what really must have happened last April when the big earthquake of 8.5 hit.
People say the earthquake shook the ground up and down by a foot and side to side, so much so that they were brought to their knees. It lasted 55 seconds.
Buildings would have been tumbling around them and surely they must have thought the end of the planet was nigh?
This visit I am here to help people after the devastating earthquake that hit here on 25th April 2015. While 8800 people were documented to have died (many wouldn’t have been documented in the villages), three times as many were injured. And with the hospitals pushed to limits anyway, many died in the fields.
For months people lived on the streets of Kathmandu, too scared to go back into their homes. No electricity, no warmth and still today they are suffering.
In 2013, I came along with a charity organisation called Journey Nepal. A not-for-profit headed up by now close friend Anne and her Nepalese off-sider Shree.
When I describe both of these people I simply say, “they are the closest I have meet to living angels.” Both people are remarkable souls and very dedicated to helping the women of this magnificent land.
The first time I came I visited orphanages and hospitals and have made a post on this here:
India has put an embargo on the boarder so no fuel for cars can come out of India. The black market is thriving and fuel is now three times more than it used to be. This is crippling the country.
Nepal has to import most of it’s goods – and need trucks to distribute water – despite having the rivers of the himalayas. Electricity is limited and power black outs are a daily occurrence.
Cooking is limited as there is no gas coming into the country and people are relying on butan bottles.
It is cruel, bizarre and heart breaking to know we share the same planet but with different avenues to resources.
I wish to reshuffle just a few of those resources and help a few people.
If you wish to make a donation you can do so here.
Come to Nepal, meet the people and change your life! Something magic happens in this land of smiles and acceptance. My friend Shree has the best tour and guide company in Nepal and you can find out more here.
What a great question my friend and client asked me three days ago.
What’s your passion?
With out pausing, I recited my dream as a ten year old to give every orphan in the world a hug and someone to love them. To offer them hope and opportunity and to make sure they have somewhere to sleep at night. How I would split my time?
It would be split between charity work, raising my children and traveling doing art, writing blogs, making documentaries and doing interviews. To educate, empower and inspire women. That is my passion.
Next thing I know he has arranged for us both to go to Nepal. It feels like a miracle!
The not-for-profit organisation that I am involved with, Journey Nepal, is doing some work there at the moment and I had wanted to be there with them.
Unfortunately with my toes broken in Bali, parting with a significant amount of money to fix them (as my insurance didn’t cover hospital costs), I had doubted my ability to get to Nepal. I was there in 2013 and have been wanting to go back to help more.
And now we are off.
We will be arranging supplies to a school village via a helicopter where we will stay for a few days and help build the school and village. Then back into town to check out the women’s refuge centre that Anne has set up. I am taking a suitcase full of children’s clothes to the kids in the orphanages, some beanies for village children and health bars and more!
Why I like charity and volunteering.
I really love the energy positive charity creates. I can’t exactly put it into words but if you have ever given someone something spontaneously, just because you had something they didn’t… you will know what I mean. It is an energy like no other.
So for me, this is something I have recognised from a young age… or maybe it’s a calling. I don’t exactly know but if it’s been a while since you have done something for some one WITHOUT expecting any return give it a go. See if you experience what I experience … a flood of love and gratitude.
In my rapid preparation for Nepal, people are happily helping out, donating money, goods and good will. I even have friends looking after my daughter for few nights while I am away.
I feel extremely fortunate to have this opportunity and know that so many will benefit once I am in Nepal.
Have you thought about what you would do if you had $75,000,000 sitting in the bank and never needed to work again?
Honestly what would you do with your time and energy?
It’s worth pondering this and knowing what you would do.
Discover your passion, follow your dreams, live your truth.
It’s amazing how easily things come together when you know what you want and what your life would look like.
My life might sound far fetched unless you are nearly doing this… and fortunately for me I nearly am. Life is amazing.
Last week I was camping at Byron with my children, surrounded by amazing people, then Friday I was talking at a fund and awareness raiser for domestic violence in women. Then this Saturday I am off to Nepal doing a few weeks volunteering. I feel truly blessed and fortunate to do what I do.
This is a big part of what makes me tick. I discovered early in my life that this is my calling/my passion.
I will be posting my travels and adventures on this blog and I welcome you to be a part of this adventure. Feel free to add comment and marvel at the beautiful people I am about to meet and introduce you to.