With Summer finally approaching, we are already dreaming of sunny beaches and bustling city breaks. Welcome to the first in our series of fashion getaways; a new regular feature on the Angel Jackson blog where we will hear about the best places to visit from the people who know it best.
First up, is our very own Millie Smith, Brand Director for Angel Jackson. Having lived in Bali for the past five years, she gives us an expert view of her favourite things to see, do and experience, from delicious Bloody Mary’s, to the most stylish of hotels on the island. Read our interview below, and we are sure you will be packing your bags and checking out some cheap flights to Bali!
Q and A with Millie, Brand Director for Angel Jackson
- What would be the first place you recommend to a new visitor to Bali?
There are so many amazing places it’s difficult to choose! It depends on what sort of experience you want from Bali and how long you’re here for. If you want a really chilled beach holiday, I would recommend going to Uluwatu.. beautiful white sand beaches and in certain spots the sea is crystal clear and like a swimming pool. Other spots in uluwatu have famous rips and are perfect for surfing.
When we go down to Uluwatu we go to the ‘Secret Beach’.. it’s not so secret anymore but still always pretty much deserted with some great warungs (shacks serving food) along the beach selling cheap beer!
Padang Bai is great for snorkelling (Blue Lagoon Beach, not the main Padang Bai harbour)
The gili islands (Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, Gili Meno) are a 25 minute flight from Bali airport or a 2.5hr boat trip.. we always opt for the boat as it’s much more fun and takes you straight to the islands. With the flight, you fly to Lombok, then have to get a taxi to the other side and then a boat to the Gili’s.. The biggest Gili island is Gili Trawangan.. its still sleepy compared to Bali but is the busiest of the 3 islands. It has great accommodation and restuarants for all budgets.. Snorkelling and diving are the main activities – also, there are no cars or motorbikes on any of the gili islands, so transport is either horse and cart (chidomo) or push bikes that you can hire from all over the island.
Of course, a visit to the Angel Jackson factory is a must – see where the magic happens!
- How long have you lived in/been visiting Bali?
Katie and I have been coming to Bali we set up the Angel Jackson factory in 2004.. I have been living here since 2008. Katie is moving here in July which I am soooooo excited about..
- What do you miss most when you leave?
Waking up to blue skies every morning and the sounds of the birds in the garden. I also miss the Angel Jackson team at the workshop as everyone is like family..
- What’s it like to work in Bali/what inspires you about Bali..
Bali is a great place for meeting other designers – there’s a brilliant creative community here. Other luxury designer brands such as Zoe and Morgan and KTZ work out of Bali. There are lots of other handbag designers here as well, so it’s great when anyone has a problem – it just takes a few phone calls to friends who work in the same industry and it’s usually sorted pretty quickly!
The craftsmenship in Bali is amazing.. our team of tailors are incredibly dedicated and passionate about their work. There is a great attention to detail and sense of pride in the Angel Jackson bags that are made at our workshop.
There are so many gorgeous materials available in Bali.. the colours are an inspiration in themselves!
- What is unique to Bali?
The people are gorgeous, welcoming and the Balinese Hindu religion is like no other.. beautiful offerings are made every morning for the gods.. there are hundreds of ceremonies throughout the year for various gods and occasions. We have a temple at the Angel Jackson workshop and offerings are placed there every morning.
Balinese offerings for the Gods
- What would be your perfect evening out in Bali?
Cocktails at Ku De ta, followed by dinner at Merah Putih then dancing at Mamasan for the Kitchen Sessions.. there are so many good places to drink, eat and dance it’s difficult to choose. The best hangover cure though, is bloody mary at Potato Head beach bar and then a drive down to Uluwatu for a beach day
Merah Putih Restaurant, Jl Petitenget
- Which bag do you take out with you and which bag are you wearing at the moment?
I am using the Stitched mini box bag in black when I go out dancing as you can wear the chain across your body and therefore don’t lose your bag! I also use the White Pria Foldover when going out for sunset drinks/dinner
In the day, I use either the Black/white chevron origami tote or the Pria tote in White.. great bags for fittings all my everyday essentials in!
- Where are your favourite hangouts? Best place for breakfast/lunch/cocktails?
Best western breakfast and lunches (price range: medium) (esp. good for salads and bacon sarnies!)
Zucchini, Jl Oberoi (also sell clothes)
Café Ocha, Jl Legian (full English and coffee for less than £3!)
Ku de ta, Jl Oberoi (bit pricey, but the best view of the ocean in the morning and the size of the breakfast will keep you going til dinner!)
Good Indonesian food (price range: LOW) (typical food is fried rice and fried noodles with veg or meat.. everything comes with an egg (fried!) )
Pili Pili, Jl Mertandadi, Kerobokan – great range of Nasi Campur – you can choose either yellow or white rice and then have as much or as little as the other dishes as you like. The best options are the aubergine curry, the fried prawns and the beef rendang
Cafe Ocha, Jl Legian, Legian do brilliant Nasi Campur (rice with a selection of different fired foods which you choose from counter).. the brown rice nasi goring is really nice off the menu. Also, their english breakfast is ridiculously good value and delicious (less than £3 for the works including coffee. juice etc)
Warung Pantai, Pantai Batu Belig, Seminyak.. does a really good seafood curry with loads of prawns for under £4.. also brilliant fish and chips. It’s right on the beach and is great for sunsets with friends/kids
Best Restaurants and celebrity hang outs:
Merah Putih , Jl Petitenget – Amazing interior design and Indonesian food – not super expensive and the quality is amazing. Also brilliant cocktails and music
Sarong – very glamourous high end asian fusion.. a real treat – our favourite place to eat! best cocktails –
La Lucciola – on the beach – fairy lights – high end italian – gorgeous cocktails – very romantic
Kaizan – korean/japanese food – really good korean bbq and sushi – best place to sit is upstairs – very cool
Ku De Ta – brilliant music (slightly biased as Millie’s husband is resident DJ!) – great bar food (sushi, gyoza’s, pizza) and fine dining a definite must.. brilliant for sunset cocktails and sounds – on the beach
Potato Head Beach Bar – brilliant music (he’s a resident there too!) – this is the place to be seen out in Bali at the moment (Paris Hilton was recently spotted running around with her friends!) also great food (restaurant and bar food)
Ku De Ta, Jl Laksama
Places to stay:
W Hotel, Seminyak (Paris Hilton has just stayed here)
Karma Kandara, Uluwatu (Jennifer Lopez has stayed here)
The Island, Legian
Best bars and beach Parties:
La Plancha, on the beach between Double Six and Dyana Pura – really good spanish Tapas, great for sunsets and fantastic all night parties every other friday on the sand (over 1000 people dancing!)
La Finca – batu belig – super cool new tapas bar – great space and brilliant drinks menu.. food yummy too.. perfect place to meet up with friends before going out
Potato Head Beach Bar, Petitenget (below) – throws amazing parties during high season. Big name dj’s and bands are booked and there’s a real festival vibe to their day parties
Potato Head Beach Bar, Jl Petitenget Tel:
Places to buy Angel Jackson in Bali:
Word of Mouth Concept Store, Jl Kunti, Seminyak
Satu, Beachwalk, Kuta
House of Feather, Jl Laksmana, Seminak