After spending three years as executive chef at the Alila Manggis hotel in the village of Candidasa in eastern Bali, Penelope Williams decided to strike out on her own and open her own restaurant. Williams didn't want to open any restaurant - she wanted to open one that served authentic Balinese cuisine based on homestyle cooking. She accompanied fellow chefs to their villages, where she learned the recipes and cooking techniques of Balinese cuisine in the homes and temples of villagers. There's an old saying in the restaurant trade that other than food, the most important aspects of running a successful business is location, location and location. Usually, that means finding a spot with the right foot traffic. For Williams, it was about finding a location with a view to do justice to the food. It's worth the trip to Bali Asli Restaurant and Cooking School just for the view of Mount Agung from the terrace. This is one of the most spectacular landscapes on the Island of the Gods. If you're going to go all that way, why not have lunch? Better yet, why not learn how to cook lunch? Cooking classes are offered most days, with anywhere from two to 10 students. The classes are based on the theme of "a day in the life of" and include an adventure in the surrounding countryside - ascending Mount Agung, row-boating in a river, and tilling the fields with a cow are a few examples. If you would rather let the chefs do the cooking, the restaurant opens at 10am for morning tea. Lunch is served from noon to 3pm, and afternoon tea and sunset cocktails from 3pm until 6pm. Many hotels in Bali also arrange cooking classes for guests. The classes offered by Ametis Villa Bali in Canggu - between Kuta and Seminyak - begin with an early morning trip to the wet market. The hotel chef then teaches you how to prepare dishes in the outdoor kitchen of your villa. The activity ends with a sumptuous lunch prepared by you under the supervision of the chef in your outdoor dining room. If you'd rather skip the work and relax by the pool while waiting to add to your selection of sunsets, west-facing Seminyak offers some of the best views, and the Woobar at the W Retreat and Spa Seminyak - Bali is one of the coolest spots to hang out. Even if you are not staying at the hotel, you can enjoy complimentary access to the pool and lounge in the plush day beds that surround it while enjoying cocktails, tapas and that driving beat.