At the top of the long drive down to The W Bali property is a strip of shops, salons and restaurants, all of which cater to the upmarket trade staying at The W, The Kayana & other hotels in the near vicinity.
Judy, who has very good shopping taste (she‘s a Merchandising Director for luxury brands in the US, so hardly surprising), had stayed at The Kayana last year, and sent me a few recommendations, amongst which was: “Carga, across the street to the right of hotel, is cute for gift stuff and home stuff. It’s a stand alone big bungalow building. I bought tons of Christmas ornaments and also sarongs and houseware – table serving platters etc…”
The day before, I had failed to find anything to buy on the main shipping drag of Seminyak bar this pretty romper (about £12) from a store called Kidsagogo for my new goddaughter Isabel. (She’ll be three months in August, so this should be perfect for her then.)
Fifteen years ago I would probably have bought up half the place – I have vague memories of shopping for England when I was on Bali in my late teens – but a combination of having way too much stuff in my life already, and being a whole lot more discriminating, meant that nothing had tempted me.
So on my last afternoon, I thought I might just take a peek at Carga. All I can say is that it’s is a good thing I was chronically over my luggage allowance; else I would have spent a fortune. There is a pile of wonderful bedlinen, great ceramics, lovely silk dressing gowns for about £35, hand stamped notebooks, and some enticing jewellery.
So what did I get?
Well, I’ve been wanting a pair of rectangular wooden serving platters for ages, but because I have a glass table top they need to be lightweight. So the ones I found were brilliant: very light (so good for bringing home too) but still solid. A handmade doll for Emma’s daughter C, from a street kids project;
A lovely Champaca scented candle for my mother in a punched silver box made in Bali, pair of handmade rose quartz earrings (about £15), and a little nightlight holder to go next to my bed (£3) – all at at top -, and a small black fan (£5, below) for the summer – all my other fans are too big to fit in an evening bag.
I really wanted this pink & black lace fan, which reminded me of an expensive pair of knickers, but it was irretrievably shop soiled, much to my chagrin, but the relief of my bank balance.
I didn’t buy, (because I had already bought my godchildren presents), any of the really lovely children’s clothes from Coco & Ginger, but it was very hard to resist silk Batik romper suits, hand embroidered party dresses and frilled knickers for infants, all designed and made in Bali by an LLG reader, who coincidentally had been emailing me lots of brilliant Seminyak advice.
Anyway, Carga is a brilliantly edited selection of homewares & accessories pitched perfectly at the grown up shopper, and priced to look inexpensive compared to the UK. Very clever, if ruinous for my pocket. (All in all, I spent about £60.)
CARGA – Jl Petitenget, 886, Kerobokan. T: 847 8173