Dinner, Driving and believe it or not Culture!!

game of thronesWe had quite a manic weekend!  Now that we are thoroughly into Game of Thrones we spent Thursday night eating Thai and getting stuck into season 1. How we waited this long I will never know…it’s addictive if a bit overly gross and bloody!  I can’t wait for season 2 to start! On Friday I had planned a dinner out for Bond to say congratulations on his business trips recently.  I had kept the whole plan a surprise and was really hoping he would like the place I had chosen and he was pretty excited about it all!  We had a quiet day to prepare for the evening!

The venue of choice was Alfie’s at Emirates Towers.  It’s the restaurant done by Alfred Dunhill (with a store conveniently located next door).  When we arrived the place was pretty empty and I was quite disappointed there wasn’t more of an atmosphere.  I think that’s the problem with going out in Ramadan though.  In time we came to quite enjoy the private dining feel that we had going.  The service was excellent without being overly attentive as well so we were able to really relax and enjoy ourselves. The decor is very cool and chic, long grey leather sofas and marble tables with gorgeous Dunhill salt and pepper shakers.  Bond sat on a black leather chair that apparently was not at all comfortable which was a shame really as the sofa I had was lovely, I would have swapped but he only told me at the end!  We ordered a lovely South African Shiraz which was utterly delicious and went perfectly with all the red meat we had ordered. Bond had loin of beef and I had a bone marrow burger.  Both were perfection and so were the vegetables and potatoe wedges.  For pudding I had apple crumble which was to die for, just the right texture.  Bond had a cheeseboard which he said was a great selection, certainly he got a lot of cheese and crackers so he was happy.

All in all I would definitely recommend Alfie’s and I am keen to go again after Ramadan to see if it’s got more of a buzz to it!  It would be a great place for any Brit missing home or any Anglophiles out there.  I am for sure taking my dad on his next visit – he will love it! There is a cool gentlemen’s club style bar that we have to check out next time!

Saturday morning saw me heading to yet another driving lesson, this time with the lovely Daniel.  More details on that in another post!  After driving I met up with Bond and our lovely German friend for a quick bite at the Kempinski before we headed for some culture.  During Ramadan the Kempinski offer lunch behind curtains in the Aspen lounge.  It feels a bit like you know a secret when you go in there!  The food is delicious, M and I both had the ravioli and Bond had a club sandwich and chips.  They also do terrific lemonade so I was happy to have one of those. I don’t think we have been there for a long time so it was lovely to go back again.  I suspect it will be a regular haunt during Ramadan.

Once satiated we headed off to Al Serkal Avenue which is a collection of art galleries in Al Quoz.  We were keen to see the photos taken by a friend of M’s. He travelled across Africa for six months on a motorbike taking photographs of people and landscapes and buildings that struck a chord with him.  I don’t know a huge amount about photography so it was interesting to learn more about why they choose certain mediums to print on and what difference that makes to the over all look of the photo.  Having seen the photographs we decided to explore the area a bit more.  We went to about 5 or 6 different galleries in the end (unfortunately a few were shut). Most of what we saw I liked but a few pieces I had to say I found a bit unsettling.  That said they were obviously designed to be provocative and so the fact that they made us all think and have a discussion about the piece has to be a good thing.

Dubai is perceived to be a bit of a cultural wasteland, and to be honest it’s not an overly unfair stereotype.  I try to defend the city and say that we have world defining architecture and that it’s a new city trying to define itself but it’s true that we aren’t leading the way on the cultural front.  There does seem to be change here though with Art Dubai happening annually and the Opera house that should open soon.  Abu Dhabi will have their own Louvre and Guggenheim soon too!  Still till that all happens it’s great to know we can just go to a place on our doorstep to see some art!

All in all a fabulous weekend!  Next weekend it’s my birthday and Bond is busy plotting…I have to admit I am MOST intrigued!!

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