contact us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right.

Anywhere, Anytime

Global

3238441451

Were travel, art, architecture, fashion, food and adventure meet. Founder and global adventurer Geren Lockhart was "Born Packed" when she started traveling at a young age and never stopped. This site follows along on her journey. 

EXPLORE

Filtering by Tag: Design

CONSTRUCTION IN CANGGU

Geren Lockhart

THE EDGE OF THE PLANET AND TOP OF THE WORLD WITH BIRGITTE RABENS.


This cool building is the brainchild of Birgitte Rabens, who is the force behind Rabens Saloner, a women’s fashion lifestyle brand. Birgitte migrates around the world working and playing when she’s not camping out in Copenhagen.  She’s got a diverse itinerary which makes for a diverse collection, Italy for lots of stuff, Northern Thailand and Portugal for cotton, Nepal for cashmere and a yearly migration to her residence in Bali for a good part of the wares both clothing and house that make the up the brand DNA. 

Introduced by a mutual friend Birgitte generously met me moments after I arrived and whirled me away to a much needed perfect breakfast. On a scooter no less. My first glimpses of Bali were thru the eyes of an ex-pat who’s spent a good span of time here creating over the past decade. It couldn’t have been more perfect. 

Birgitte has impeccable taste combined with the exploration genes that I think all Danes have which had her taking on a few “creative projects” that weren’t about making goods to export; these were building projects. Construction in other countries is always fascinating. How materials are decided on and used. How the architects, builders, and contractors work together. I remember the first time I saw a 20+ story building in Hong Kong surrounded in bamboo scaffolding with people crawling all over it. I gasped, I was shocked, and then I got used to it. It works there. 

2016-03-31 05.12.33 1.jpg

The house pictured was being built to sell. It’s in Canggu, North Kuta where tons of ex-pats are are migrating. It’s a beautiful part of the island where there is good surf, good food, good fun and it's less chaotic than Seminyak. During my time with Birgitte, I wanted to explore her creative process and the reality of making things, including buildings in Bali. After a day of checking on production stuff for Rabens Saloner, we scootered out to the site to check up on the progress and say hello to the security guard who lives on site. 

We darted thru roads and paths that I wouldn’t want to try to figure out how to get building materials down for any amount of compensation. To ensure a successful outcome so much has to align everyday local know-how, new ideas and a great deal of human capital are just the beginning. It was a substantial building and when we saw it. It didn't look measurably different than some others we had seen at this stage, but it felt different. It was going to be different because of the unique collision of Brigitte's creative force, her knowledge of having lived on the island for so long and her passion for collaborating with the local artisans and maximizing even challenging the local know how. It is a physical manifestation of her focused lens on the island; it is all the learning from both sides coming together to create a unique collaboration that allows everyone to contribute. It is a pile of metal, wood and cement but it’s also magic. 

The house was just a framework when I saw it. But it was beautiful; it was straightforward and robust and organic but industrial, and I can’t wait to see what it ended up looking like when I’m back in Bali. 

More on my adventures with Birgitte soon. 


EXPLORE


TULSI INDIAN WARUNG

Geren Lockhart

2016-03-30 11.02.39 2.jpg

TULSI WAS ONE OF OUR GO-TO SPOTS IN BALI. CHIC, CHEAP & DELICIOUS.

Tulsi is a Warung in Ubud, Bali. By definition a warung is a simple local restaurant. It is simple. Housed in a small quickly put together structure, serving straightforward Indian food from a menu that has only two entree options adding sides that are from what is fresh at the local farms and markets that day, choosing from dosa or roti for a set price that is a steal.  Add on a beverage from homemade Indian favorites like lassi or chai, and if you are smart, you will save room for the homemade Kulfi.

However just like most things that are simple yet truly well done when you take a deeper look you find there is more to the story. You are seated in a room that’s spacious and well designed, using local materials and modern details. The owners son who is responsible has an eye for design thus Tulsi's interior is superior to most warungs on the island. The room is anchored by an open kitchen peering out at you through shelves of neatly organized supplies. Details shine, from unique and creative tile moments to the use of recycled wine bottles as lighting fixtures you are left knowing that it’s all very considered.

Rani is the owner of Tulsi and is Indian by birth. She has called Australia home for the last few decades and in 2015, she made the full-time move to Ubud where she brought with her generations-old family recipes and a deep well of know-how when it comes to the foods of her homeland. Since Indian food isn’t a widespread option in Bali and spices are the most crucial component of the cuisine she’s often adventuring to Singapore’s Little India and the epic mega source Mustafa Center to gather the must have components. These dishes and condiments are not just slapped together quickly. Cooking is an all the time endeavor at Tulsi. It will be the many days of work that you taste when you have the food. You feel the choices to do it right. The selection of ingredients combined with doing things as they are done in India. It is not just good Indian for Bali; it is good Indian for anywhere.  

The food is where Tulsi shines. High quality dishes with just the right amount of complexity while remaining authentically Indian. Your meal is served on a metal tray cafeteria style. Despite the utilitarian delivery the dishes and condiments will have you oohing from the first bite to the last. It's comfort food and If you are anything like us you will be begging for a little more of this or that depending on the days offering. We loved Tulsi so much that we stole away from packing on our last day in Bali to make sure we got to have the experience one more time. After six weeks and countless wonderful meals, it speaks volumes that this was our last stop on the island.

Tulsi Warung Nyuh Kuning


EXPLORE


SHIRO SUSHI

Geren Lockhart

Shiro Sushi is a tiny piece of Tokyo hidden away upstairs at One Eleven Resorts, a modern design hotel on the edge of a tropical island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. With impressive organic modern interiors by celebrated Osaka-based architect Shibemasa Noi, you could go just for the atmosphere and escape while filling up on the extensive sake and Japanese whiskey offerings. That is just the beginning, despite the perfect surroundings and strong cocktails, you will soon realize that it is the food that shines at Shiro. The sushi is perfect; the cooked dishes are creative without being molecular, and the sashimi is something I will make my way back all the way to Seminyak, Bali to experience again. I had the small omakase menu, and it was spot on. Sit at the bar and make some new friends while you watch the chef work his magic with stunningly gorgeous pieces of super fresh fish. Do yourself a favor and book in advance as it fills up, and you won't want to miss this spot. Shiro stands out among a lot of tourist filled mediocre offerings on the island. Dinner here will be one of the highlights of your time in Bali.

Shiro Sushi

P3239367.JPG
P3239364.JPG
P3239371.JPG
P3239383.JPG
P3239389.JPG
P3239402.JPG
P3239405.JPG

bp-dispatch-post-footer-signup.png
footer.png

EXPLORE


THE WATERHOUSE SHANGHAI

Geren Lockhart

mainpage600.jpg
Waterhouse-Shanghai-Sign
Waterhouse-Shanghai-Bathroom
Waterhouse-Shanghai-Bed
Waterhouse-Shanghai-Collage
Waterhouse-Shanghai-Entrance
Waterhouse-Shanghai-Hall
Waterhouse-Shanghai-Lone-Soldier
Waterhouse-Shanghai-Rooftop
Waterhouse-Shanghai-View-From-Room

The Waterhouse at South Bund is a diamond of a design hotel tucked quietly away in a 1930's ex-Japanese Army headquarters in the neighborhood of South Bund in Shanghai. It is a raw and organic take on the melding of the old with the new, designed and re-built by the local celebrity architect and design firm Neri & Hu design and research office. They created a space that feels unique in the middle of the "older" part of town which is being torn down and replaced by peach high-rises holding thousands of apartments. The Waterhouse is a welcome respite from Shanghai which can be really, really, really full on pretty much all of the time. Standouts for the property are the art collection, the Tracy Emin neon behind reception makes sure you know that art is crucial when you've just walked thru the door. The owner of the property is a collector, but of chairs, he's obsessed. There are all kinds of chairs throughout the property, the most bizarre is the vintage barber chair that sits outside my door set in an open space as a piece of sculpture. 

The rooms are spacious and well appointed if a bit Jetson's in their user experience. Frosted glass walls divide the bathroom from the main bedroom and portal windows slice and dice your views of the city and skyline which really did engage me in looking at the city differently. Beds are placed in the middle of the room, they function as storage, work table, and bed all in one. Comfortable...very comfortable. Robes, slippers, stationary, and amenities remind me of East London (where they also own the Town Hall Hotel) or Williamsburg and to be honest these memories were a welcome normalcy which I often yearn for when tromping through Asia. The best way to sum up the rooms is chic new loft. They're peaceful despite their lack of adornment. 

The food......ahhhhhhhh, THE FOOD. Jason Atherton of Maze fame in London steps out on his own for the first time with Table No. 1 at The Waterhouse at South Bund, and he wins. Big big winner. I have told many people since my stay that the food was stellar for anywhere in the world. Not just stellar because it was western cuisine in the Eastern part of the world. From the coffee at breakfast, to the snacks waiting in my room when I would plop down after a long day at the factory and most likely in a car for hours it heightens the experience at the hotel by many notches. The clientele at dinner is the Shanghai version of a cosmopolitan crowd you almost solely encounter in London making for a great mix of locals and visitors. The menu is smaller bites and plates of heightened but not fussy concepts. Wonderful ingredients, some of which are grown on the property, are combined together in familiar but not expected ways. I will confess that once I had the food, I didn't eat anywhere else for the rest of my stay. It wasn't my first trip to Shanghai and I had a compulsion that this may be the only time I get to partake of Jason's genius at Table No. 1. The staff is well trained and knows the experience that the chef is trying to create. The kitchen which you can look into from the courtyard is a well oiled machine, reminding me of the kitchens of Spain or the UK the chefs all looked to be on their way to greatness of their own. It was a family environment of ex-pats really focused on the reason they are there. 

The Waterhouse at South Bund is a hotel standout from a design and culinary perspective, they have some kinks to work out with the flow of the rest of the service but I don't speak Mandarin and you can't complain that you can't communicate if you don't speak the native language....

I would stay again, and anytime I am in Shanghai you can bet you'll see me at Table No. 1, probably more than once! I had a mid-day flight and the team packed me a take away meal from the restaurant so that I didn't have to have plane food. A very good tip if you're departing home from the hotel. It made the long trip home a bit better.

The Waterhouse at South Bund

Waterhouse-Shanghai-Food
Waterhouse-Shanghai-Table-No-1-Hall
Waterhouse-Shanghai-Table-No-1-Window
viewfromdeck.jpg

EXPLORE


CLASKA TOKYO

Geren Lockhart

Claska-Tokyo.jpg
Claska-Tokyo-Reception.jpg
Claska-Tokyo-Dining-Room.jpg
Claska-Tokyo-Gallery.jpg
Claska-Tokyo-Mt-Fuji.jpg
Claska-Tokyo-Living-Room.jpg
Claska-Tokyo-Bedroom.jpg
Claska-Tokyo-Living-Room.jpg
Claska-Tokyo-Manager.jpg
Claska-Tokyo-Manager.jpg
Claska-Tokyo-Roof.jpg

Claska is a lifestyle concept as much as it is a hotel property. The large Mad Men era building sits in the Meguro neighborhood of Tokyo which is a bit off the more traveled paths of the city. Meguro is a very robust area with good public transport access, I wasn't bothered in any way by the location. However I was surprised by the lack of design hotel properties in Tokyo. It feels as if every other detail of every other thing is being considered from design and concept perspective, despite that you will be challenged to find a place to lay your head that isn't either a luxury property from a global player (I'm not complaining about that in any way, but I wanted a design experience) or a Japanese business hotel - think pods. The building and it's rooms are big by Tokyo standard, with 20 rooms across 4 floors there are distinctly different types of rooms to choose from. Rooms fall into 4 categories: Traditional Tatami, Japanese Modern, Contemporary and Weekly Residences. I stayed in one of the contemporary rooms on the 7th floor full to the gills with conceptual stuffed animal art pieces that I thought were going to freak me out, but ended up being a nice juxtaposition to the urban landscape. All of the rooms and common spaces deliver. For my next stay I will go for the Japanese Modern or the Weekly Residences, every room is worth its rate. Rates which are surprisingly reasonable compared to what you hear about in Tokyo.

The concept shop sells mostly Japanese wares a well edited offering from designers and craftspeople throughout the country. The shop at Claska is one my top three favorites from the stay. I found it especially good because of the smaller artistically considered selection on offer. Compared to The Loft or Tokyo Hands it was easier to navigate. It is simple to understand the artistic take when you realize that there are two separate galleries in the building that regularly have shows up. Upon arrival you are greeted on a lovely welcome floor with reception and open plan restaurant that is great for a traditional Japanese breakfast or tea in the afternoon. My favorite parts of the building were the common spaces and the architectural details that they had left in place when they re-purposed the property to turn it into a hotel (see amazing tile below). Thoughtfully placing seating and working areas are spread throughout the common spaces on each floor. There is a shocking amount of open space and it's all cinematic, it is a very photo friendly property. The toiletries are from Marks & Web which became a favorite for gifts when I was in town. You will be conserving in the interest of bringing them home with you. The linens were crisp and luxurious with two different robes on offer. 

The best part of the whole building is the rooftop terrace, stunning views of the city skyline from an underexploited vantage and an excellent place to sip coffee with my new crush....Mt. Fuji that is. I woke up each morning in my animal filled room looking out the window a the magical mountain. I fell hard. I was lucky that I had three clear days in a row where he was on full display and it was just after winter so he was in tip top camera-ready shape. The last morning I was there a fashion shoot for a Japanese magazine was in full force with fittings in the gallery space on the 8th floor and a small crew setting up on the roof. It was nice to see all the space being used in a creative way. I really felt like I was living in Tokyo for a moment. 

The service at Claska is wonderful. They're not chasing after you like butlers, but they are smart, thoughtful and have a genuine concern that you enjoy yourself and are comfortable while you're with them. I will be back to Tokyo and Claska as soon as my life allows. 

Claska Tokyo


EXPLORE