London calling

On Thursday my friend and her husband arrived from London.  I was actually maid of honour at their wedding so I was looking forward to showing them my new home.  I met them at their hotel and we headed off to Dubai Mall to see the fountains and have lunch.  We arrived perfectly on time to watch the fountains when we arrived which was great.  Sadly the fountains aren’t as mesmerising during the day time as at night but such is life!  We had lunch at Rivington Grill which I haven’t been to before but had heard good things about.

Rivington Grill is a bit of a British Expat stronghold, it has a good repuatation for excellent English food and also has a view of the fountains.  Unfortunately it was a dry day due to Islamic New Year – which of course made my friend ask a LOT of fairly negative questions about life in Dubai.  Luckily the food arrived and we changed the subject but I was a bit peeved.  It rather kick started my feeling that she wanted to be negative about my new life regardless – it got a bit tiring rather fast!  Having eaten lovely food (including honeycomb ice cream for my friend’s husband). Eventually we did a tour of the mall (where I really enjoyed the new Hermes pop up store) and then we headed back to their hotel to have a drink in their room.  I then went home to have a bit of a vent to Bond and get ready for dinner.

My friends came over for a drink at ours before dinner and did the obligatory tour of my apartment and then we shared a drink before heading over to dinner at Marina Social.

Marina Social is a new restaurant that just opened at the new Intercontinental Hotel in the Marina.  It’s part of the ‘Social group’ of restaurants with Jason Atherton as the head chef.  My friend was keen to go and in fact had me make a reservation before the place was officially opened…much to the amusement of the maitre’d!  Anyway I will say it’s a beautiful restaurant and in winter it would have a great view over the marina.  The service left a little to be desired, but that’s really just teething issues.  The staff were lovely but lacked the ability to deliver food and drinks in the correct order…our cocktails appeared midway through the meal for example!  Anyway all the food was delicious, the concept is sharing so you can all choose various dishes.  It was all really good but the highlight for me was the foie gras sausage.  My top tip – don’t bother ordering dessert, they bring around a tray of complimentary puddings all of which are yummy!!!  All in all I would definitely recommend it and I am keen to go back and to also check out the bar which looked like it had a fun vibe.

We decided not to have a late evening as we had brunch the next morning.  After a fairly decent nights sleep I went and met the others to head over to Al Qasr for brunch.  We had booked a table at the Al Hambra restaurant and I had invited a few other friends to join us.  Things got off to a good start and we were all thrilled to see just how much food there was on offer!  There were rooms and rooms of options of what to eat, international cuisine in abundance!  The sushi selection was especially good as was all the seafood.  The highlight (and this will come as no surprise to regular readers!) was the puddings, they really were exquisite and they even had a sweetie section which made me very happy! Having eaten and drunk our fill we decided to take the little boats that they have at Al Qasr on to Baahri Bar.  The boats were really cute, I haven’t ever been on one before and I am keen to do it again as it was a fun experience!

Baahri bar is really fun, they have a really big terrace so you can enjoy the nice weather we are now having.  A few other friends joined us here too and the party really got started!  It turned out they have a two for one offer on bottles so two bottles of gin were delivered to the table…this may have been an error in reflection! Sadly I saw a side of someone I really wish I hadn’t and a friendship probably died that evening ‘in vino veritas’ is a true if sad adage after all…

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