Iberico, Nottingham: The King of Tapas in his Castle of Churros

There’s a new word that’s entered restaurant vocab of late. It has just quietly slipped in, unannounced, and often comes up during those precious moments when you’re scanning the menu, desperately trying to absorb what’s on offer, keen to make sure you make the right decision. Fomo.

Fomo, my friends, means the Fear Of Missing Out and it’s a growing condition. It tends to strike when two people are torn between the same dishes. When one makes a decision, the other turns to her decisively (and a little bit bitterly) and says: ‘Well I shall have to have the same otherwise I’ll be riddled with fomo.’ Ok she might not say riddled, but you get the idea.

To be fair, it has a point. There is nothing worse than spending an entire dinner staring at someone else’s food, wishing it was yours.

But this is why I am such a fan of tapas. Specifically, tapas at Iberico in Nottingham.

Tucked away under Nottingham’s busy pavements in the caves of the Lace Market, this is the perfect place to while away an evening ordering two, three, four even five small dishes. And obviously the Spanish designed tapas so that you also get to share all the dishes ordered by your dinner companion too. It’s perfect for a fomo-free night of nibbling.

It’s white, low-arched ceilings create a warmth that feels almost unimaginable when pacing the pavements above on a cold winter’s day, and the cosiness is further intensified by the restaurant’s soft lighting and the Arabic mosaic tiles that adorn the bar.


Apologies for the poor quality of the pics, the cosy, warm lighting played havoc with my camera

But it is the quality of the food that makes this place stand out from the crowd. You will find all the tapas regulars on the menu like patatas bravas, chorizo and totrilla but you will also find an endless list of ever-changing imaginative dishes like its infamous black cod in spicy miso, the scallops with smoke cured pork belly and cauliflower foam or beef skewers with truffle sauce. To put it bluntly, Iberico makes La Tasca taste like fast food. So it is no surprise to learn that it has just picked up a pretty impressive food gong – the Michelen Bib Gourmand, which is an accolade given to “good value” restaurants by the most respected food guide in the world.

Dishes are priced at anything from about £4 to £8, which I agree is good value for the quality here – but as my belly is so often dwarfed by my big, greedy eyes, it is easy to walk away with a bill larger than one would reasonably expect for two people. However, on my most recent trip I sampled the early-bird menu which took this problem right out of my hands.

For just £13.95 you can have two tapas dishes and two chunky slices of their delicious Catalan bread (imagine crusty door-step toast made from the softest bread, smothered in a herby, garlic tomato paste). It works. Plus dessert is also included.

The early-bird menu also scores points because it doesn’t just leave you with the cheap dishes to choose from. We ordered the pan fried squid with chorizo jam, jamon croquetta, the sausage and bean cassoulet with confit of duck and the wild mushroom, kale and chilli empanadilla. It was hard to pass on the delicious sounding roasted cauliflower in curry mayonnaise with almonds and rice and the grilled hake with piquillo pepper, green olive and lemon salsa – but that is just testament to the great selection on the bargain menu.

The wine menu is equally impressive and we ordered a beautiful bottle of Montepulciano that arrived at the perfect temperature, despite the almost icy weather outside.

And after about 15 minutes or so our food began to arrive. Iberico serves the dishes as soon as they’re ready so be prepared to finish one dish before the last has arrived, but it does mean you can enjoy each dish while its hot and fresh from the pan.


The cassoulet was the perfect winter warmer. The duck confit gave a delicious rich flavour, while the chunky pieces of chorizo and stewed beans contributed to its rustic and robust texture. And the squid was just as impressive. It’s reassuring to be offered squid without its usual coat of batter, instead the delicate flavours of the al dente pan-fried squid were accentuated simply by salt and pepper – and a sweet, sticky chilli jam on the side.


The mushroom patties (aka empanadilla) were fab. These delightful little parcels of crumbly puff pastry were stuffed with finely chopped marinated wild mushrooms and the kale, which it was served with, had a nutty sweet flavour. I was a little bit in love.


And the jamon croquetta fingers were equally delightful. Their crispy bread-crumbed shells broke away to reveal a creamy, cheesy béchamel dotted with ham. I remember loving Findus crispy pancakes as a kid but returning to them years later and realising, with horror, that they were awful. However, I must confess that these croquettes are, to my matured taste buds, what Findus was to my five year-old self; a guilty, creamy pleasure.

And then it was time for dessert. Just look at this…


Like a castle with turrets of Spanish doughnut; the churros was something special. The fried dough-pastry fingers were perfectly crispy on the outside, sprinkled in cinnamon sugar, but beautifully melt-in-the-mouth soft on the inside. And the hot chocolate dip (yes it comes with hot chocolate dip) was wonderfully rich, thick and creamy. I was in heaven.

So there you have it, the essential guide to dealing with fomo; you can order, taste and fall in love with everything on your table… without any fear in the world.

DISCLAIMER: If you’re eating from Iberico’s standard menu you will be spoilt with a huge selection of tasty tapas. The cheese board is to die for and the black cod is amazing. In fact, unless you are dining with a small group of people, and can order at least 12 dishes, you may still suffer from fomo. Sorry about that.

Food Facts

The express early evening menu is available from 5.30pm to 6.45pm Monday to Friday, and we had to vacate our table by 8.30pm for the evening diners. It costs £13.95 for two tapas dishes, the Catalan bread and dessert (the churros and hot chocolate incurred an extra £2 supplement).

You can also get the same deal at lunch time during the week for £11.95.

Iberico World Tapas lives at the Shire Hall, High Pavement in the Lace Market and you can call them on 0115 9410410.

The Tea Trolley, Nottingham: Giving even more ‘reasons’ to eat

I’m sure you’re all more than aware by now that I do not need ‘reasons’ to eat. If I’m honest, sometimes I tuck into some delicious looking fodder when I’m not even hungry, I just really fancy it. My hips and my wallet get most upset when this happens, but I’m not sure it’s something I can really control.

But now I have discovered a little place, just a stone throw away from where I work, that has given me yet even more ‘reasons’ to eat.


The Tea Trolley in Chapel Bar has only recently opened and is a quirky little room that feels more like someone’s living room than a cafe. It has a sort of 1970s tea-cosy feel to it, with spoon backed wooden chairs and a handful of little round tables. In fact I felt like I had walked right into the cafe scene of Withnail and I.


But that’s not my new ‘reason’ to eat.

Flicking through the menu I was impressed. The cafe has a great list of lunch options – salads, sandwiches, paninis, soup – but with some really nice (and cheap) variations. Take the Italian panini for example, thick sliced vine ripened tomato, homemade basil pesto and torn mozerella, freshly made for just £2.50. The soup of the day just £1.50. My friends, this little gem of a place undercuts the Boots lunch deal.

I opted for a jacket potato with cheese and beans, for £2.50. Randomly this is often a meal I crave at work and I have sampled a number of jacket potato eateries across the city. Many are very good but most are just takeaways, served in polystyrene containers dripping with bean juice – and while I’m at it – come with a plastic fork that snap at the first hurdle of crusty potato skin.

This, on the other hand, came on a plate, with proper cutlery, and was served with a good portion of REAL MATURE cheddar cheese. Nothing makes me more angry then a potato with that awful mild, rubbery stuff piled up on top. And I mean nothing.


Phwoar, would you look at the cheese on that?

It was a great jacket potato. But that’s not my new ‘reason’ to eat.

No, no, behind the funky interior of the cafe – and its good, mature cheese – lies something even cooler. The Tea Trolley is actually a social enterprise.

It is run by South Notts College and Mencap and gives people with learning difficulties the opportunity to work and earn a NVQ in catering. So while you scoff on your afternoon tea (£10 for two I seem to recall), the people serving you are earning some genuinely valuable life skills.

And surely even my hips and wallet can’t argue with that.

World in Pictures: Lenton Flats, Nottingham

The Lenton Flats in Nottingham are like the Eiffel Tower to Paris, the Shard to London, or the Empire State Building to New York.

Of course I’m exaggerating, they never quite made it as a tourist destination, but nevertheless the five 1960s tower blocks dominate Nottingham’s skyline, well if you live in that part of town anyway.

But not for much longer. Nottingham City Council is pulling the whole lot of them down… They are going the way of the dodo.

In my job as a reporter I went out there for resident reaction (yes I was the person ringing all the buzzers until someone let me in), which gave me the opportunity to explore a place that will soon become a little piece of history that separates generations. And contrary to the popular belief that no one would want to live in these ‘eyesores’, I found people in spacious, well looked after flats with tenants who were sad to leave. Yes, they said it was cold in the winter but they had raised their children here, their grand-children lived round the corner, Mavis upstairs is their best friend.

But the council says they are not financially viable and I’m sure they’re not. They are building new, warmer homes in their place. But as I walked around the estate that has been a landmark for so long, and a home to so many, I found myself singing ‘The Way of the Dodo’ by The Streets. And here are my pictures… to the lyrics.


I’m right behind you but don’t expect me to ride like it’s a race


Conspiracy theories – we all see these


Just another brother trying to love my son and mother


Scramble for the top, for the bottom of the ceiling


For the kids let’s make the rules


It’s not that I don’t care, just that I’m way too caught up with breathing air to grieve the trees


I can’t imagine the day when things have actually faded away

Gili Trawangan Night Market: Tasty, Budget Food with No Frills (literally)

I would like to discuss a theory I have about restaurants with you. It’s a philosophy that Matty and I carry, perhaps controversially, across the world on our travels. It’s not about what warrants chefs to throw toenails into stews, nor is it about judging a waitress by the number of wine glasses she can carry in one hand (I can carry five since your asking) – or even a conclusive theory about tipping. Although I admit all of those would be helpful. No, no, I believe you can judge a restaurant by its tablecloths alone.

And when I say a restaurant, I really mean the price of its menu. It’s a simple theory really – the skankier and more threadbare the cloth; the cheaper the bill. Here’s a quick guide to restaurant prices based on this scientifically proven (well I have eaten a lot) theory.

White linen tablecloths – Woah there Billy Big Bollocks, you are going to be flashing your cash. Just how much will depend on the quality of that linen, if it’s matched with big heavy, sparkling silverware you could be paying in excess of £10 for a cocktail. And that’s just my aperitif…

‘Funky’ wooden tables with no cloth – You could be in a bistro, a gastropub, a carpenter’s studio. But either way you’ll be paying a fair whack… It’s all about the girth ladies, the chunkier the wood the more you’re paying. Fact.

Dark coloured cotton – You’re probably in an Indian restaurant. It disguises the curry you see. But it’s a popular choice in other cuisines too and a reliable sign of a low-mid price restaurant. Be prepared to pay anything from £8-15 for your main course.

The patterned tablecloth – It’s very likely you’re either in a vegetarian art-covered cafe or a tea shop. Either way the price is coming down and you can potentially enjoy an afternoon tea or falafel burger for about £5.

The plastic tablecloth – If you don’t leave your elbows on the table too long you’ll be fine, especially if you’re on a first date. There’s something decisively awkward about the sound of skin ripping off a plastic-covered table, ‘She had heavy arms,’ he’ll tell his mates. But hell, he’ll get a cheap bill.

No tablecloth – And we’re talking about revealing a naked, ugly table underneath; possibly something resembling a decorator’s table, a plastic table or some scratchy metal surface. We’re entering serious no frills here. If you’ve got less than £5 in your pocket and need a feast this is the place to pull up a pew.

Matty and I have walked streets across the world, from Ibiza to Lebanon, exclaiming, ‘Oh no, look at the tablecloth on that, we can’t afford to eat there.’ You actually don’t need to look at the menu after a while, a quick glance at the tables is all you need.

I would like to add that we have often had some of our best food on plastic tablecloths and at bare, naked plastic tables, so I’m afraid this chart is not much use in judging the quality of food. However, it can be a lifesaver when backpacking on a shoestring.

On our recent trip to Gili Trawangan we found the perfect spot for these special tablecloth free evenings, and I’m not talking about girth now. The Gili T food market is a brilliant find if you’re looking for cheap grub. I say ‘find’ but you can’t really miss it; a huge square, which stands empty by day, turns into a hive of plastic tables, bucket chairs, wooden benches and hungry tourists by nightfall. Big simmering cauldrons of soups sit on hob rings on food carts while fish lay in ice ready to be barbecued and traditional Balinese black rice pudding is whipped up for afters. There is barely a tablecloth in sight – and the ones that are present are both plastic and stapled to the table.


Our favourite stall was one that belonged to a woman who had trays of marinated fish and meats next to a huge barbecue.


Here she is, the woman in green.

This, my friends, is where you can pick up five skewers of barbecued chicken, beef or prawns with an assortment of delicious salads and a side portion of rice for just 25,000 Indonesian Rupiahs, which is about £1.70. What a bargain! The chicken was succulent and the salads were delicious, my favourite being a fresh green bean number, dressed in a soy sauce based dressing.

And the stall behind her, with the yellow and red lettering, prepares what might just be the best pancakes in the Southern Hemisphere. These little beauties really put the cake in pancake. Huge folds of fried batter came drizzled in melted chocolate, bananas and condensed milk. Served in a cardboard box it was like a huge chunk of sweet, pancake flavoured cake, costing just 15,000 Rupiahs (about £1). It was beautiful. I queued for about half an hour, much to Matty’s disgust, but it was worth every minute. And I’m a bad blogger because I just inhaled it, without even taking a picture.

We actually couldn’t finish it between us. It was that big. But I do hate to see good food go to waste so we offered to another couple on our table, who turned out to be from Lincolnshire.

Fortunately they didn’t think we were crazy (or at least not at that stage anyway) and the pancake sharing soon turned into Bintang drinking with our newfound friends Jane and Simon. And as we sat there exchanging tales and drinking the chilled beers (available from ice boxes at all good food carts) I couldn’t help but think it would have all turned out differently if there had been white linen tablecloths involved.

So there’s my secret, what’s yours? If you have any tips about finding good budget eats when travelling, or any restaurant recommendations, please share!


Learning to surf in Kuta, Bali

‘Don’t go there,’ almost every traveller warned us, in dark and fearful tones.
‘It’s a concrete jungle… Blackpool for Australians… the Magaluf of the Southern Hemisphere.’
The list went on.

We didn’t intend to visit Kuta, in fact we had positively decided not to. But things change.
Namely Matty (‘young, hip and urban Matty’) said he wanted to check it out… ‘Have one night on the town’, he said. So we agreed to stay for two days only, taking a day trip to the nearby Seminyak and Denpaser on the second day. And I’m glad we did it. Kind of.

Famous for its fabulous, wide 12km stretch of beach, Kuta is riddled with touts and hawkers. You cannot close your eyes for a minute without feeling someone tugging on your shoulder crying ‘massage, massage’, as everything from carved bow and arrows to pirate DVDs are thrust into your face.

The only way you can escape the madness is to get into the sea… There you are safe from it all. And I think this is why so many people surf. That and the amazing breaks. (Have I got the lingo right? I’m working on this).

So partly out of desperation to escape the touts and partly because well… when in Rome and all that, we threw ourselves into the sea for a surfing lesson. Not before a bit of haggling mind you.


The beaches are lined with hunky Indonesian surfer bods who sit around small stands of surf boards that are propped up in the sand. These guys are pretty entrepreneurial, you have to give them that, not only do they rent surf boards, give surfing lessons and sell drinks in little cool boxes but come sunset they line their little plastic chairs up to face the sinking sun and serve ice chilled Bintang. Perfect.


We played the regular ‘good cop, bad cop’ routine for haggling down the surfing lesson. This is a technique my lovely friend Carly and I perfected on our ‘gap year’ and basically involves one person doing totally unreasonable haggling while the other person looks on at said tradesman with sympathetic eyes and nods as if to say I-know-she’s-a-nightmare-but-I’m-a-good-person-and-we-all-know-you’re-asking-for-too-much.

Needless to say when Matty and I play the game I am the bad cop and he is not just the good cop but a bloody angel of a cop. He even says ‘I know she’s a nightmare’ to the said tradesmen. I’ve tried telling him that he’s meant to say it with his eyes but I don’t think he gets it. Anyhow, it worked and we were soon armed with surf boards and surfers ready to teach us the way of the waves.

I’d like to say I charged into the water with the surf board tucked under my arm Baywatch style, but I didn’t. I entered the water looking more like a criminal whose ankle tag had accidentally become attached to someone else’s surf board and I hadn’t realised. So Ketut (my surf instructor) strolled into the water holding the surf board and I ran behind him trying desperately not to trip over the cord that ran between the board and my ankle.

Many people choose to go to surf school in Kuta where, for a lot more cash, you spend the best part of a day learning to surf. Lessons often start in a swimming pool before you’re taken to the beach. And while, I cannot vouch for this method, I really recommend just having a go with the guys on the beach.

They were fantastic and gave us a 10 minute explanation on the sand (which saw us lying on the surf boards like beached whales) before we entered the ocean. It was a little tricky, I won’t lie.

Ketut held my board in the right direction and let go just as the right wave came my way, so really he did most of the work, the wave did the rest of the work. All I had to do was get up. But first few times I didn’t even try.

‘Why are you not trying?’ Asked Ketut, clearly confused by my apparent determination to just ride out the waves on my belly.

‘I wasn’t psychologically ready,’ I tried to explain. This is a phrase I over-use, as my good friend Nicki knows only too well after she accompanied for my first ever skiing trip. I said it a lot… Perched at the top of a terrifying green run, just as we were about to get on a ski lift, the time she tricked me into snow ploughing down a red run. I spent most of our trip crying ‘I’m not psychologically ready’.

So anyway after belly boarding about three waves I attempted to stand. It’s a strange old concept… My hands gripped the sides of the board, I pushed the top half of body up, right foot forward, left foot forward and voila… I was up! So it didn’t happen immediately, but it did happen, quite a few times.

And I liked it. It was cool. I was just standing on a board riding the waves… It was totally rad man. And then as I got closer to the shore I could see the water was running out and I wasn’t quite sure what to do, so I just sort of threw myself off – but I meant to you see.

And that was definitely the best bit about Kuta. The rest of it is everything we had been warned of. The streets are traffic-choked, heaving with tourists, rammed with touts and tack and, sadly starved of the beautiful culture we had grown accustomed to in Bali.

Come evening the main strip, Jalan Legian, turns into something else entirely… It’s like an ugly cross between Ko San Road in Bangkok and London’s Picadilly Circus, minus the lady boys. It is a intoxicating mix of neon lights, loud music and snail-crawling traffic. But yes, we did have a good night out.


A memorial to remember the 202 people who died in the Bali bombing of 2002 in Jalan Legian. Built in the spot of the bar that was bombed, it has a strange aura of calmness in an otherwise chaotic street.

We felt compelled to see Kuta, and that we did. But you don’t need more than a day and one night. So if you’re going to go then go now, quickly, before they put the touts on surf boards. It is, surely, only a matter of time.

Travel Tips

Don’t pay more than 100,000 Rupiahs (£6) per hour for surfing on the beach with the locals. Someone tried to charge us 300,000 each but with one instructor. Instead we got an instructor each for 100,000 in the end. Play the cop game! The surf in Kuta, we’ve been told, is ideal for beginners and while we had nothing to compare to it was certainly manageable. If I can stand up anyone can!

The food in Kuta was terrible – full of crap restaurants catering to western tastes badly. We did not have one good meal. Do your research and maybe you’ll have more luck than us!

We stayed at Fat Yogi Cottages in Poppies Gang I and it was absolutely wonderful. It’s very central, you’re right in the heart of Kuta but bizarrely, it was lovely and quiet. Rooms start at about 200,000 Rupiahs, we upgraded and spent 340,000 for a room that was really worth the extra pennies… Large walk-in shower with hot water, big spacious room and very clean.


The pool was lovely, there’s Matty on the right-hand side ordering our breakfast.

World in Pictures: The People of Bali

The people in Bali are a beautiful bunch. Blessed with big, bright smiles, glossy hair and romantically chiselled faces, many are undeniably good looking. But it is the beauty I found underneath all of that – their warmth, their friendliness, their sheer delight when you attempt to speak their language, that really sets them apart.


This beautiful man works at the Monkey Temple in Ubud and while hundreds of tourists coo and scream at the scavenging monkeys he just goes about his job, sweeping leaves and tidying the place up. He seemed quite bemused when I stopped him to ask if he’d mind being in my picture, he laughed and pointed at the monkeys as if to say ‘they’re the bloody attraction, not me!’ But nevertheless he obliged.

Fortunately, people in Bali always seemed quite happy for me to take their picture, I’d make that international sign of an over-exaggerated shutter push and they’d smile and nod and pause for a minute to allow me to capture a split second of their world.

I guess they’re used to it. But while hundreds of thousands of tourists descend on their tiny little island every year, most Balinese have never left. One of the nicest people I met in Bali was our lovely taxi driver Ketut, which literally means fourth son, who drove us from Kuta to Denpasar. Unbelievably they only have four names in Bali, each one represents the birth order and if a fifth child is born the cycle just starts again.

Anyhow it was on this journey that Ketut explained to us that the Balinese don’t have enough money to travel. Not just because their wages, which may allow them to live comfortably in their local villages, don’t translate into international air tickets, but more because of what they choose to spend their money on.

‘Ceremonies,’ he explained.
‘Our Hindu faith means we spend years and years saving for our ceremonies. Weddings, funerals, cremations are very, very expensive. We spend it all on ceremonies.’

So there you have it, while I am busy saving for a holiday for me, a new camera lens for me, some clothes for me, another holiday for… yep me, many Balinese spend their whole lives saving for ceremonies for their families. And I guess when you look at it like that, posing for a picture is an easy thing to give.

A taxi rank in Ubud.

A stall owner in Ubud… his stall must have one of the best backdrops in the world.

The children in Denpasar who put flowers in my hair…


A woman blesses her offerings for the day in Ubud.


Setting the scene for a traditional dance performance at Ubud Palace.

Jimbaran’s rambling beach band

And of course, my favourite man of all, Gung Bawa, who I will be eternally grateful to.

World in Pictures: Goose Fair, Nottingham

In Nottingham autumn is not marked by the change in the colour of leaves, nor the need for a scarf. No, no, it is marked purely by the arrival of a goose. When the goose lands on the Mansfield Road roundabout you know the season has officially changed and its time to crack open the winter wardrobe.

The Goose Fair, one of Europe’s largest travelling fairs, rocks up at the Forest Recreation Ground every October. This weekend it’s the fair’s 718th visit and to celebrate the milestone I’ve put together a few of our pics from the past couple of years (and drunk a bottle of Chianti). Add hundreds and hundreds of people, the smell of sweet, sticky candy floss in the air and five different booming songs playing from rides all around you, and then, and only then, will you get a true picture of the infamous Goose Fair.









What came first – the goose or the mushy peas?

Nusa Lembongan: Dream Beach

There’s a beach on the little island of Nusa Lembongan, just off Bali, called Dream Beach. That is its actual name, it’s written on the map and everything. Dream Beach. There’s no beating around the bush with a name like that is there?

As we made our way across the island on our rickety scooter, which had me sucking in my stomach to help the bike up some of steep hills, I got very excited about Dream Beach. In my mind I could hear the theme tune for Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs and the dulcet tones of Kirsty Young. Whenever I listen to that programme I always imagine being stranded on a beautiful castaway island with white sands, clear water and coconut-heavy palm trees swaying in the background.

So that’s my dream beach. And I’d get to take a luxury item, which would be my camera since you’re asking. Matty was just focussing on getting us up the hills so I’m not sure he spent much time deliberating over his dream beach.

Nusa Lembongan is a really beautiful island, which ticks along at much slower pace than most parts of Bali. Randomly, it exports seaweed all over the world – they use an agent from it to help thicken ice cream. So even if you’ve not heard of Nusa Lembongan, you’ve probably eaten a little bit of it. Large parts of the shore are carved up by picket fences into ‘seaweed farms’ and you can see, and smell, the stuff drying out all over the island.


It seems to come in all shades of colours.


And a huge 85% of the population work in the industry.

But anyhow, I digress. I wanted to tell you about Dream Beach. So, Matty and I were hanging onto this scooter (well actually he was driving it and I was hanging on) and trying to navigate our way there. There are only about three roads on the island so even we couldn’t get too lost and eventually we turned off our dusty little path and found ourselves at the top of a cliff looking down onto an idyllic white sandy cove. We had reached Dream Beach.


I think it lives up to its name. I lived the dream.


But it gets better. Sitting on the cliff, overlooking this beach of dreams, there is a big infinity swimming pool surrounded by comfy loungers. It belongs to a (posh by our standards) resort but for a mere 50,000 Indonesian Rupiahs (about £3.50) they will let anyone in. Even us.

We were travelling Bali budget style. We had allocated cash for Bintang… Seafood even. But fancy £3.50 sunbeds? It felt totally extravagant. But we did it. And it was marvellous. And as we lay there sunning ourselves and looking down on the stunning beach below, I couldn’t help but think how much more enjoyable it was than a return tram ride in Nottingham. And that costs £3.70.


So now I’m torn over my one luxury item… Camera or plush resort with infinity pool?

PS Mushroom Bay, with its slightly less ostentatious name, is also stunning and well worth checking out.


Travel tips
You can stay at Dream Beach Huts for about 600,000 Rupiahs a night. There’s also plenty of lovely accommodation around Mushroom Bay. We stayed further along the coast in the Jungutbatu area, where the accommodation is much cheaper and still on the beach.

We stayed at Puri Nusa, paying only 200,000 a night – they had cheaper and more expensive rooms too. The room was fine but its real selling point was its lovely restaurant terrace that overlooks the west coast of the island – the perfect sunset spot.

You can also cross over into the neighbouring tiny island of Nusa Ceningan, which is connected by bridge. People throw themselves off a cliff here into the ocean (for fun we are told, not suicide). We opted for a diet coke instead.