Beauty. Brown started out as a freelance make- up artist with a speciality in natural looks. She sold her first 10 lipsticks out of her house be- fore a major department store took a chance and launched the product. ‘Bobbi Brown’ soon became a household name and was acquired by Estée Lauder after five years. Brown remained an employee for 22 years before leaving to em- bark upon Jones Road Beauty, a ‘clean make-up brand that teaches people how to just look like themselves but better – and it’s all UK-inspired’. ‘Are you a fan of the UK?’ I asked, remem- bering the chesterfield. Brown scoffed. ‘Let me show you a couple things.’ She took us on a tour, through a cavernous shooting studio to an office where employees were tapping away at their laptops. She pointed at two Endless pieces on the wall and a Union Jack refrigerator. ‘Honestly, don’t ask what’s wrong with me. I’m completely obsessed with your Queen, and this was way before The Crown.’ As we said our goodbyes, I was surprised to learn that this was the first time that Brown and Endless had spoken ‘face-to-face’. ‘It was a pleasure to meet you, Endless,’ said Brown. ‘The first thing I do every morning is look at my bright pink Queen in my bedroom. I will look at it in a more personal way now.’ S

Villa Melissa, Bali

eco-inspired Green School. Fortunately, my work afforded me the opportunity to come to Asia (principally to Hong Kong) so that’s what we decided to do. When there was a gap in the various lockdowns, we seized the chance to vis- it Bali. And how good was it that we did. When the news came that we would likely


WONDERS Max Johnson

WE SPENT THE first lockdown in Exmoor. It was a gorgeous spring, and going on sun- bathed walks was a highlight of what was a difficult time for many. But when word spread that there would be a second wave of the virus, I knew that meant another lockdown. With a baby now filling our lives with joy, I just couldn’t face being confined to our home for a long Covid winter, having our social freedoms eroded until all we had left was Ocado and BBC iPlayer. I’d read a lot about people relocating to Bali to ‘work from home’, or to send their kids to the

have to isolate or, at worse, quarantine in some shabby airport hotel in the UK on our return, the blow was softened by the surroundings that morning. We were staying at the luscious and resplendent Villa Melissa, nestled up the coast in the quiet neighbourhood of Pererenan, complete with two infinity pools and a tennis court. There could be very little wrong with ‘working from home’ for the next few days. Bali is an island rich with culture and a depth which is readily evident every morning as offerings of small baskets woven from palm or banana leaves, holding flowers, oils, salt, money, and cookies, are placed outside the homes. Scooters buzz along the lanes shuttling people to and from ceremonies, elegantly dressed in white robes and adorned with col- ourful arrangements of flowers. A convenience store will often sit next to a temple. It is a spe- cial place where kindness and friendliness come first. Hindus, Christians, Buddhists all make up a vibrant community and to be a guest here at any time is a privilege. But this is a very different time. As I write, the borders have been closed to tourists and many, if not all, of the hotels stand empty. The streets of Kuta are deserted. The traffic jams are gone. And in truth it is a real struggle for people to make ends meet. If there can be a

place on your to-visit list, please make it Bali, or Indonesia in general. Lombok, now complete with an international airport, will soon host a Moto GP. Komodo and Raja Ampat are the stuff of diving dreams. Even in Bali, it is very easy to hire a car and drive off into the hilly uplands of Ubud, cruising along rice fields and finding hidden waterfalls or lakes. Exploring Indonesia is nourishment for the soul. Villa Melissa sits right on the ocean with a stunning lawn adjacent to the beach and a roll- ing surf break called ‘Punch’. A team of 12 staff tend to your every need and when you just want to lie back and sip on a coconut all you can hear is the sound of the waves breaking. Or you can have a massage at a secluded end of the garden. We were gloriously well-looked after. Bali for me is a significant place. I got en- gaged here and married on the nearby island of Sumba. I’ve seen how Covid has decimated lives and industries and I was impressed at how seriously people were taking their ap- proach to social distancing. Curfews were in place, vigorous hand sanitising was in force. The number of options available to travel- lers to Bali can be overwhelming. But a com- plete stay would include a visit to Uluwatu, Ubud, the gold beaches of Nusa Dua or Jim- baran, and North Kuta or Canggu. It is the lat- ter which would make Pererenan the perfect place from which to explore the island. ‘Working from home’ may not suit everyone, but if we could all do it from places such as this, I would certainly be all for it. S Villa Melissa can be booked via or

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100