I am very protective of my mornings.
One thing I appreciate the most about working independently is the flexibility that comes with it: the flexibility to manage my own time based on my own pace. For me, this means protecting my mornings.
Naturally, I wake up early; as soon as there is sunlight in the room—which is why I love to sleep with my curtains and windows open. But I love to take my time in the morning. To go slow. I spend some time just lying in bed, feeling the way my body tingles with life after an 8-hour rest and remembering my dreams. Then I would reach out to my bedside table, grab a book, and start reading. I reserve at least the first 2 hours in the morning for myself: reading, writing in my journal, having coffee, dancing, or listening to uplifting or inspiring talks and interviews.
For this reason, I love late breakfast. I don’t like to prepare some food or fill myself up first thing in the morning, so breakfast has to wait. Until later. Until around 10.
Some mornings deserve a big hearty breakfast.
Those mornings are not meant for instant coffee and leftovers, yogurt and granolas, or apples and bananas. They are the kind of mornings when you are craving to be pampered with food. Good ones.
You know exactly when you experience these mornings from the time you wake up. You could be very sad, very happy, very tired, very energetic, very heartbroken, or very much in love; but you know that you just want to start your morning by slouching in someplace nice, ordering a full breakfast served in a beautiful plate with beautiful presentation, and sipping a good cup of coffee. A big cup of coffee.
When I woke up groggy one morning, D suggested that we have it: that big hearty breakfast. Not knowing that by asking me to eat, he already lifted up my mood level a notch.
“Pick a place,” he said. “And we’ll go there.”
My ‘Secret place’ pick for breakfast in Ubud.
D and I have this thing about ‘secret places’. On slower days, after clearing each other’s schedule for the day, one of us would exclaim: “I am going to take you to a secret place today!”
A ‘trip’ to a secret place means:
- it is a place we have never visited together before
- it is either a beautiful place or a place offering a beautiful experience
- we will spend some time there relaxing and lazying around
- the person suggesting the secret place would
That particular morning, for the big hearty breakfast, I decided to choose a ‘secret place’.
There was this cafe called No Mas in Ubud‘s Monkey Forest Road that we frequented in the evenings to catch up with friends. Below the cafe, there was this hipstery-looking place called FOLK. Usually, it was already dark and closed when we’re about to have some drinks at No Mas.
I read some online reviews of the place and found quite a bunch of surprisingly mouth-watering testimonials. So, I told D to drive to No Mas; because our secret place for breakfast in Ubud would be ‘nearby’.
I always opt for good food, not Instagrammable food.
When our order came, they looked exactly like Instagram food. So pretty and neat and clean, carefully carrying all the right color combination to look wonderful on my camera. They even came with edible flower petals. And the portion was quite big.
Imagine our surprise when instead of simply looking good, the food actually tasted delicious!
The good reviews were spot on!
We had the epitome of a big hearty breakfast: toast, poached egg, bacon, spinach, potato, and beans—and also a healthier version of toast, poached egg, avocado, and feta cheese. Plus a cup of cappuccino and latte. Each element of the dish is delicious in itself; each one a bomb of flavors, even when tasted separate.
A good hearty breakfast can always make my mornings and lift up my mood. And that day, I must have chosen a good secret place.