Sea Circus comes to town
A beachside eatery by design-savvy British expats is born in Bali. Francesca Unsworth hunts down some playful fare.
Bali’s charms are alluring enough as it is, but for a British girl in need of an escape from the dreary English winter, relocating to the idyllic island was a reverie too perfect to resist.
So Charlie Hunton hatched a plan along with her boss and boyfriend Josh Herdman.
They were to quit their advertising jobs, pack it all in and runaway “to join the circus”.
To Bali it was, where side-by-side with a handful of talented designer friends they founded the Sea Circus – a beachside eatery that opened its doors on April 1.
With a crew of designers behind it, Nick Cox of Projects of Imagination, who created the interiors for Melbourne’s Coda and Trunk, Charles Pelletier and Georgina O’ Connor (who collaborates with Joost Bakker), the look is beachside casual meets circus chic.
The circus theme is played out in the aesthetic, vibrant yellows for the chairs and sky blue for the tables, under a lofty tent-like structure draped with string bulb lights. The bohemian twists are courtesy of the ringmaster and vintage-lover Charlie.
There are biscuit tin vases and scrabble pieces acting as reserved signs, “nods to London’s vintage markets, which I miss dearly,” says Charlie.
“I often recruit ‘mules’ from London, Melbourne and Sydney to help with the vintage finishing touches.
“My poor friends are currently having to pack vintage milk bottles to help with our new cocktail concept which will be shared around in milk bottles!”
While Charlie hones the intimate dining details which pepper the communal tables, Australian chef and Longrain-alum Stuart Marsden is manning the stove, focussing his attention on the local seafood fare.
Everything on the menu – both little and large – is made and designed to be shared.
There’s music to let your hair down to and themed parties like the recent Mad Hatter’s tea party that unite locals and visitors alike. “It’s a playground for discerning travellers” as Charlie puts it.