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La Laguna, Canggu

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by Karen Ross (subscribe)
I love slow travel, slow food and discovering new adventures and delicious regional food in new locations. I'm on an indulgent quest and I'd love you to follow at
Published January 4th 2017
Gypsy-chic in Bali
I spent a blissful three months in a rented villa in Bali a couple of years ago and watched, with increasing interest, a magical place emerge before my very eyes.

rickety bridge, Berawa Beach
rickety bridge, Berawa Beach

I first noticed a rickety bridge being built over the lagoon on the beach that stretches from Seminyak to Canggu. The first time I gingerly crossed the bridge I discovered, on the other side, fern-fringed ponds, ducks, geese and peacocks.

Each time I passed by, over the next three months, I noticed new additions; huge slabs of timber that looked as though they had been at the bottom of the sea for a decade, full-sized, Dutch-style lamp-posts. Then a Gypsy Caravan appeared. The whole place had taken on an 'other-wordly' aura.

Gypsy Caravan
Gypsy Caravan

With my interest fully piqued I was frustrated to leave the island not having seen the result of this mystical project.

Not one of my regular virtues, I'd heard the saying 'patience is bitter but its fruit is sweet' so I filed that memory away until my next Bali visit, when, I hoped, all would be revealed.

Fast forward to 2016 and another Bali visit. I researched, as I do, to find the new and interesting places to visit. 'La Laguna' was being heavily advertised as the new, gypsy-chic restaurant/bar on Jalan Pantai Kayu Putih at Canggu, the next 'village' on from Seminyak.

The people responsible for La Laguna are the same as those who gave us La Plancha (the bean-bag bar on the beach at Legian) and La Favela (the hidden-from-the-road bar/restaurant full of madness on Kayu Aya at Seminyak). La La La.

follow the path
follow the path past caravans and fishponds

I took a Grab-taxi to Jalan Pantai Kayu Putih and eagerly followed the path through palms and past ponds.

small bridges and fern-lined ponds
Little bridges

There are now a whole series of gypsy caravans, at least one offering Tarot Card Readings.

Tarot reader
Tarot reader

The timber beams-from-the-sea had been arranged to form flooring, walls, ceiling, posts, shelves and a bar and were covered with fairy lights, candles and lamps of every description.

Lamps of every description
Candles, lamps and tiny lights

There was so much to look at I paused, heart a-flutter, to order a cocktail at the bar before settling in for a serious perusal.

Cocktail prices are reasonable at La Laguna; Rp125k for 'signature' cocktails which use lesser known spirits, and Rp175k for the 'premium' version. I ordered a 'signature' Long Island Tea which tasted pretty good to me.

Long Island Tea
Long Island Tea

I felt like I was in a kitsch museum, a living one, in a good way. I've always loved kitsch. A teapot in a glass dome; why didn't I think of that?

I've always loved a bit of kitsch

Every timber surface is painted in keeping with the gypsy-chic theme and there are embroidered tablecloths, placemats and napkins on the timber tables.

painted surfaces and embroidered tablecloths
Painted surfaces and embroidered tablecloths

Even the high-chairs are adorned thematically.

painted baby
Painted high chair

The menu offers sandwiches, including the 'Casablanca' (moroccan-style lamb sausages with eggplant relish, grilled helium and yoghurt) for around Rp75k as well as tempting salads for Rp65k-95k.

Having passed the kitchen on the way into the restaurant, I was particularly interested in the grill menu.

Grill menu- La Laguna
Grill menu- La Laguna

All so tempting but I had a 'hot date' with a different restaurant across the road for dinner, so I ordered Mediterranean Dips for Rp90k as a starter. Very delish.

Nicely settled in now, I focussed in on who was there. People of all ages from everywhere, that's who. I saw families with babies and children, locals, expats and travellers. A table of hipsters sat beside a couch full of grey-nomad-types wearing Hawaiian-style leis. Clearly La Laguna has something for everyone.

Humans from everywhere
Young and old from everywhere

As evening approached the lights and lamps and candles were lit, adding to the magical aura.

Lagoon bridge at night
Lagoon bridge at night

I loved it, it's definitely my kind of place, but there's always lots to do in Bali and I needed to head for my 'hot date'; a favourite restaurant just across the road.

La Finca, Canggu
La Finca, Canggu

Although not in the same family, it's called 'La Finca' and I highly recommend it.

La Laguna, I'll be back. La la la la.
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Why? Enjoy fairy lights, kitsch and a Tarot reading to your cocktail hour.
When: 11am-12am every day
Phone: 62 812-3638-2272
Where: Berawa Beach, Canggu, Bali, Indonesia
Cost: Cocktails around $12Aus
Your Comment
I've never been to Bali, Karen, and you've made it look truly magical ! Well done!
by Elaine (score: 3|8949) 2048 days ago
Well done Karen. Looks like one of the less 'touristy' places which is cool.
by Brooke. A. R (score: 2|405) 2048 days ago
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