C25k – stage two

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Yesterday Nat and I headed off to the gym again.  Now Nat is particularly impressive here because the little pool champ only made it home at 2am and so was not feeling her most spritely!  Anyway she was not one to wuss out and so we meandered over to the gym, donned our gym kit and got started.  Rather nicely the regulars were VERY encouraging that we had come back.

4754fe710cfdefe202370ca75b586147We commenced on the bike which we both quite enjoy, we did ten minutes and burned 60 calories doing the ‘fat burn’ workout that changes resistance as you go.  Then on to the main event…Week one day two of the C25K!  It’s the same routine, 5 minutes walking, then alternating 1 minute running and 90 seconds walking for 20 minutes before cooling off with a five minute walk.  Mid way through we both felt beyond hot, far worse than the previous time.  Inititally we put this down to the fact we had been drinking the night before but then thankfully our colleagues informed us that in fact we weren’t to be blamed…the a/c had broken!!!  Anyway we powered through sweating in a most unladylike manner, though again our colleague made us feel better by saying ‘sweat is just fat crying’ which made us really want to keep going.  We completed it and felt really good for not giving up inspite of the heat.  We then did a five minute stretch with Sworkit, though I am sure I did a few wrong.  I have such poor co-ordination I always seemed to be the wrong way round!  Anyway I don’t feel stiff today so it must have worked.

Next week we shall see how we go, but the good thing is we both want to continue.  It has to be a first for both of us to be so keen…my friend in London genuinely thinks I have lost the plot!  As yet I don’t think I have lost any weight but I feel a bit fitter and it has already had an impact on my energy levels!

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Not one to only have one new adventure a day it was time to tame Rex again as he needed some food.  Off to the Petrol station we went…and from there on it was a comedy of errors. First of all I parked the wrong side for the petrol pump and about a metre away from the side.  Luckily the lovely Daprindra took pity on me and recruited a friend to help me get to where I needed to be and somehow managed to reach the side of Rex with the pump so that I didn’t have to manoeuvre too much.  Amazingly it only cost 85 AED to fill him up which is cheaper than Percy!!  I imagine his fuel consumption is far less efficient though, he strikes me as a greedy Gus.  Thanks to Daprindra (who I tipped handsomely) Nat and I sailed out with a satiated Gus and made it home in one piece, where on leaping out of the beast in my gym kit I felt like a real ‘Jumeirah Jane’. This was to the great amusement of my friends!

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Fun and facing fears

ncs_modified20151027123217maxw640imageversiondefaultar-131219434Last night the three Musketeers rode again!  It has been a while since we all went out for a ladies night and last night we made up for lost time.  We met at O’Cacti the Mexican place in Pier 7.  We were able to get a table outside on the terrace and were rapidly brought ‘Blueberry Lemonade’s’ which sound far more benign than they were!!  We decided to sample some of the food and the chicken tenders turned out to be rather yummy and helped line our stomachs.  Once we had had our freebies at O’Cacti we made a move to Atelier M to partake of their offers.  Atelier M is a three level venue, there is a fine dining restaurant, the next level is an indoor bar and lounge with pool tables and then there is a rooftop bar.  We spent a little time on the rooftop bar  before deciding it was time to challenge ourselves with some pool in the lounge.

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While none of us are going to become champions any time soon we had a lot of fun messing about making the odd shot!  I was pretty awe struck by one of the girls managing to pot two balls with one hit though!!  Very impressive indeed, especially considering there may have been a few drinks taken…We had a lot of laughs and I can’t wait to go back again, perhaps this time I will play a bit better.

I left the girls a bit early because I was conscious that the next day I was going to face a challenge.  My little Peugeot decided that it’s gearbox wasn’t working any more and so the gentleman I lease from said he would take it and get it sorted but that the only car he had was a beast.  Since learning to drive I have only driven little cars and I have developed a bit of a fear of driving a big car.  As I have no need of a big car anyway I haven’t really been bothered about this fear but you can imagine it became quite a cause of concern when I saw this…

Look how big it is!!  Apparently I can comfortably fit 7 people in it though I do not know when I would ever have cause to do so…For those of you thinking ‘gosh that’s a lovely looking car, I often need to transport 7 people’ I am reliably informed that this is a Ssanyong Rexton and it’s Indian.  I have to say now that I have sort of tamed it it’s quite a nice car.  I feel like a teeny tiny midget in it though and to my friends amusement I did have to lower the steering wheel to really be comfortable!  When it came to reversing out of the parking space I did enlist some help of a very sweet German who chose not to laugh at me which was very kind!  Anyway I have made it to the office and Nat is quite looking forward to a ride home in Rex (not  a very original name I know but I don’t want to get too attached).  Percy will come home soon and I will be happy to have him back – he’s far speedier than Rex and nippier too, turns out bigger is not always better!

 

C25K

incredible_freshman_15-front-largeSince moving to Dubai I have managed to gain rather a bit of weight (alright almost a stone) and I have also become unfit. Having been a size 6-8 in the UK which I maintained by walking miles every day it’s come as a shock to me to find that I am lucky if a size ten really fits and running up the stairs is a challenge.  I am not the only person who has gained the Dubai equivalent of the Freshmen 15 and so I decided it was time to take charge and make a change.

exercise-with-friendsNow I have made this decision before and never stuck to it.  I find it all too easy to make excuses not to go to the gym (for months it was not having the correct sports bra and when Bond said I could buy one I just looked at him in disgust!) and then once I have convinced myself that I can’t possibly go to the gym I eat cake.  It’s not hard to see where the weight gain has come from!  This time though I decided I would bring in a ringer…my friend Nat (she of the gym kit buying) has also said that she wants to lose weight and she HATES the gym too.  I figured that the two of us would motivate each other to stick with it. Once we had agreed to go to the gym together and Nat had her kit sorted it was time to decide what we would do once we got there.

c189acb7aa3b38fd82a1ee8e3ac232efEnter Tara  (do read her blog, it’s a delight!!) who blogged about C25K and had intrigued me with it…now I had a friend to do it with me perhaps it would take off. The concept of the C25K is that it takes you literally from a couch potato to the sort of running machine that pounds out 5k with ease.  Nat and I thought that sounded just our thing.  We are lucky to have a gym as part of our work complex and our colleagues who were already there proved to be very supportive of our endeavour which was great.  I downloaded the app ‘couch to 5K’ from the BBC.  You can choose from Jo Whiley, Sanjeev Kohli, Sarah Millican or Michael Johnson to be your motivating voice.  Nat and I agreed Sarah Millican was our sort of woman so got her set up.

c87b8d1f91f907ab6a4a8cb9ae369277We did ten minutes on the bike to loosen up (I had NO idea I had it in me!) and then we took to the treadmill to commence ‘C25K’ with Sarah.  We were proved right to have chosen her when she said encouraging things like ‘you’re doing really well Pet’.  Far better than someone telling me to move faster etc which is just discouraging when you’re a beginner.  You do a five minute walk to warm up and then you run for a minute and then walk for 90 seconds, you alternate this routine for 25 minutes before you do a five minute walk to cool down.  Well we both surprised ourselves by getting through it and not dying!  We walked at 5k/h and ran at 7k/h which we were told by our gym buddies was respectable for beginners.

sworkit-header-650x433Even though we are beginners we were wise and did a proper stretch routine that I also got from an app called ‘Sworkit’.  You can choose how long you want to stretch for – we did five minutes which seems to have paid off, we both woke up and felt great.  Nat has massively shown me up by going home and having a strawberry smoothie…I will have to up my dietary game ASAP.

Tomorrow we are off again and I have to admit I am looking forward to it, a first!  There is a lot to be said for having company to do something like this.  We are also going to work on goals and rewards – any ideas for realistic goals and suitable treats?

Can’t go wrong with a long weekend!

bangleThe above title turned out to be a case of famous last words for me as I woke up on Friday with food poisoning and ended up spending the whole day glued to the sofa feeling sorry for myself!  So pitiful was I that Bond turned up with gifts and my favourite foods for supper to cheer me up.  I was so touched by his loveliness and thoughtfulness – he went to my favourite store to get me the above bangle and a mug  just to make me smile even though I had been a real moaning minnie all morning.  Luckily it was just a 24 hour thing so by Saturday I was back in the land of the living.  Bond must have still been feeling a bit sorry for me though as he agreed to go and see ‘Zootropolis’ (who knew food poisoning could come with so many bonuses?!)

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If you have children go and see ‘Zootropolis’, if you have children that are technically adults (here’s looking at you Mummy and Daddy) go and see ‘Zootropolis’, if you don’t have children but you like them go and see ‘Zootropolis’ and if you don’t have children and you don’t like them (well you’re missing out, a lot of them are better than adults) STILL go and see ‘Zootropolis’.  Honestly EVERYONE I know who has seen it loved it and it’s not hard to see why.  It’s an animated film about a world where animals live side by side be they predators or prey.  They work in offices and wear human clothes and basically live like us.  Sloths run the DMV and rabbits own carrot farms and the mayor is a Lion!  The main plot is about a bunny who wants to become a policewoman, which has never happened before as all the police are predators so everyone expects her to fail.  I won’t tell you more because it will ruin it suffice to say it’s funny and clever and has a moral story for us all.  It will make you laugh and think and you can’t ask for more than that can you?  Also if you have kids they will LOVE you for taking them and that seems like a good thing too for all the parents reading!

Easter decorationEaster weekend in Dubai is not a public holiday so companies can choose to give you the Sunday off.  Fortunately for me my company said we could have the day off…sadly Bond’s company didn’t!  So while he was stuck at the office I found a friend to pal about with for the day and we had a whale of a time.  First there was essential shopping, new jeans that aren’t skin tight so can be worn in a million degrees and a t-shirt that I didn’t need but really liked.  Nat got her gym kit (more on this later) and we found a few stores we definitely want to hit up once we have lost the weight we plan to lose at the gym (hence the kit!)

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Having shopped our fill we went to have lunch at ‘The Scene’ in Pier 7 which is fast becoming a favourite place.  The food is great, the service is exemplary and the cocktails aren’t half bad either.   We were able to get a table outside on the terrace so we could also enjoy their fantastic view of the Marina.  It seemed a lot of people had the day off because there was lots of activity on the water with people taking their boats out.  We spent a couple of hours eating good food and enjoying the gorgeous weather before we decided it was time to shift.  From the Marina we walked over to JBR to meander about the shops there, I for one can’t wait for Muji and River Island to open and Nat fell in love with Essential Antwerp.  Yet more shops hit the post weight loss shopping list!

sofitel-dubai-012From the shops we went to Sofitel, on the way we spotted a couple taking wedding shots on the roundabout which did seem a bit odd as it’s not remotely picturesque – still to each their own.  On arriving at the bar at the Sofitel we realised that the wedding reception was happening there.  Well we both felt rather sorry for the couple, the weather by now had gotten a bit gloomy and the whole thing was outside.  There were also a fair few people at the bar who were able to watch the festivities – some of them were in beach gear and no shoes and Nat and I hardly looked like glamorous wedding guests.   It was really a shame that the hotel hadn’t thought to provide some privacy for the wedding.  Still I hope that they were so blissfully happy (they certainly looked it when they were posing) they didn’t even notice us!

All in all it was really a lovely weekend even with the food poisoning!  I hope that you all had wonderful Easters!!

 

 

Old friends and New places

df8241201517c3466d6fab94cc411608My lovely friend H was able to carve out an evening during his stint working at Art Dubai to have dinner with Bond and I.  I was so pleased to be able to see him as we have been friends for such a long time and he is one of my favourite people.  H and Bond also get on really well which made for a fun evening!

Naturally we went to our regular haunt ‘Frankie’s which was a great choice because H remembered me hosting my birthday at the London branch all those years ago!  It’s enjoyable to be nostalgic every once in a while and he was telling me stories I had long forgotten. Bond is now not drinking in the run up to his big running event and I was very impressed that he managed to be abstemious while H and I indulged ourselves.  H is getting married to his Colombian fiance in Cartagenia and Bond and I are invited.  I for one can’t wait and Bond is excited too – and even more so after H told us all the plans.  It should really be a fun time with old friends and I am looking forward to meeting lots of new people too. It is an added bonus that his fiancee is terrific and makes him happy so it should be a joyous day watching two people I really care about committing to spend their lives together!

3We called it a night not tooooo late and Bond and I enjoyed a walk along JBR taking in the #DubaiCanvas festival that’s going on at the moment.  These pieces of art are really very impressive but my photo’s are definitely not sadly!  It’s on Instagram though so do have a look at them.  The giraffes are my favourites and looking at this photo it seems I am not the only one.

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The following morning the sun was shining so we met at the pool to soak up some rays (that tan is still not really turning up though!!) and then agreed to a cinema date night.  Bond had seen the trailer for ‘Eye in the Sky’ and was keen to see it and as it’s the last film Alan Rickman made I also wanted to see it because I really thought he was talented and he is a real loss to the acting world.

Before the cinema we decided to break with tradition and try a new restaurant and not go to the counter (i know…shocker!)  Tom Aikens just opened his Dubai outpost ‘Pots, Pans and Boards’ right on the beach.  I was a bit of a fan of Tom’s kitchen in Chelsea so I was intrigued to see what his Dubai gaff would be like.  The menu looked promising and the service was great too from the second we arrived.  Our drinks were delicious and Bond announced that the milkshake makes top 5 in Dubai which is a big accolade as he is quite the connoisseur nowadays (my blood orange punch was also excellent).  Bond won the ordering with his spatchcock chicken, while my crab burger was delicious it was battered and rather negated the healthy option I was hoping for.  The creamed spinach was also delicious but again covered in cheese so not as healthy as you’d anticipate.  All in all the food was REALLY good but I think the menu could do with far better descriptions so you know what you’re getting.  Honestly I was very impressed by the place and we will definitely be going back…i’ll just leave the diet plan at home!

220x320_38e0fdc9dfbe981567983d9bad611ff2So following dinner we headed on to the movie, I can’t urge you enough to go and see ‘Eye in the Sky’; though if you also watched 13 hours at my recommendation then after this it will definitely be time for some comedy!  I for one am looking forward to Zootropolis after a glowing review from my friend.  I digress, back to ‘Eye in the Sky’ which is full of suspense and emotion that will keep you on the edge of your seat.  The film is all about a scheduled drone strike in Kenya in order to capture known terrorists.  As it unfolds it becomes clear that the simple ‘capture’ is not to be and hard decisions have to be made.  The film is at its’ centre an expose of the conflict between morality, politics and military solutions in this sort of situation.  The part I found fascinating was the portrayal of the different approach the Americans and the British tend to take, as well as women versus men.  The other interesting factor was the idea that all these people wanted power, but not apparently the responsibility that comes with it.  At every moment people are passing the buck to get out of making a decision.  All in all it’s an amazing expose of what happens with these drones and the people who control them.

From seeing an old friend, to finding a new favourite place and watching a good movie this was a lovely weekend!

 

Amazing Art Dubai

IMG_2934Last night my friend arranged for Bond and I to get VIP tickets for Art Dubai opening night. He works for a New York art gallery that takes a stand here in Dubai.  So it was great on two fronts, I got to enjoy fantastic art as a VIP so I could actually see the art rather than attempting to see around crowds of people and I got to see a really good friend!

There really isn’t a great deal of  culture here in Dubai but they are really trying to change that.  Art Dubai is a large part of this change.  It’s a great opportunity to go and see all sorts of art from all around the world and to meet the dealers as well so you can learn more about the pieces.  Even some of the artists are around too so you can actually hear from the experts on what motivated them and inspired their art.  It’s fascinating!

There was also a Piaget exhibition with lots of vintage pieces from the sixties and seventies, they were SO beautiful and very different in style to the sort of things you see today.  The cuffs with inbuilt watches were really incredible and intricate.  It was wearable art to be honest.  I have a deep love of sparkly things so I thoroughly enjoyed it!  It was however a nightmare to take pictures because everything reflected…if you do want to ooh and ah please go and read this article to read more and to see great photos!

The venue is HUGE, with several massive galleries that you can wander around.  They also have bars everywhere too so it’s a really sociable vibe.  We enjoyed it so much we are thinking of going back again when I am in flat shoes as my feet definitely were suffering by the end.  So much so we went to have a restorative cake at Al Qasr which was delicious!!

It’s really great to see that there is more culture coming to Dubai and my friend the expert tells me that up the road in Abu Dhabi the Louvre and the Guggenheim should be opening soon which truly will bring us the culture we crave.  Between these and our soon to be opened Opera house Dubai will be able to compete on all stages, shopping, dining, beach and culture!

If you’re based here definitely do check out Art Dubai – you won’t regret it!

Ahhhhhhhhhh Ajman

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Now that I have found I LOVE spontaneity (as long as it is somewhat well planned, baby steps!!!) Bond decided we should go away for the weekend and I said ‘YES’…you know because that’s my new approach to life!

Bond recently joined the Starwood Preferred Guest scheme which comes with all sorts of rewards when you travel.  The nice gentleman he spoke to proposed that we head to the Ajman Seray for some luxury without the Dubai pricetag.  We had never been to Ajman before and decided now was as good a time as any to tick off another Emirate.

The drive was easy and we got to the hotel within 45 minutes making it a painless breakaway.  It still amazes me that all this is on our doorstep!  Ajman itself is not the most beautiful of  Emirates but the creek is rather pretty and the sea is bright blue and clear which is a nice change from Dubai.

From the moment we arrived to the moment we left we were made to feel totally special. The nice concierge told us at check in that we were getting a double upgrade, once for the SPG member scheme and again for Bond’s promotion which I thought was especially lovely. The suite we got was HUGE, honestly I was seriously tempted to just move in.  Not only was it huge but beautifully appointed.  The bathroom was especially amazing, the bath was massive and the products were terrific!  We got two of each and the bottles were really big so we could really enjoy the luxury (and of course take some home…)

anastasiaOnce we had taken in the whole room we decided it was beach o’clock, swimwear and sunscreen on we found two loungers right on the beach and enjoyed the view. We read and relaxed for hours which was just what we needed.  Then we decided it was time for a sundowner, I decided to try the Anastasia cocktail which was delicious!  We sat there for ages just chatting and enjoying the sunset, it was totally blissful and just what we needed.  As it got a bit chilly we decided to head to our suite and change for dinner.

 

Bond had made a reservation for us at Mejhana, the Arabic restaurant.  It’s always a good sign when a place is full of locals enjoying themselves and when the food arrived we could see why the place was so popular.  Everything was totally delicious, especially the mezze starters!  The waitress was so lovely and took me to the patisserie place so I could have my favourite cake for dessert which was wonderful.  It was these little attentions to detail that really makes the Ajman Seray stand out.

After dinner we went to chill out on the balcony and enjoy the great view and talk some more and to eat MORE cake because the hotel was nice enough to provide a congratulations cake for Bond which was the perfect end to an already perfect day.

The next morning we hit breakfast and we tried everything possible.  The food was delicious and there were so many options too.  The scrambled eggs were my favourite though!  The only downside was a lack of pork station which of course came as a disappointment but everything else was so good it made up for it.  We also tried Guava which Bond loved and it turns out that I really, well, don’t…YUCK! A lesson learned the hard way…

IMG_2885From breakfast to the pool to soak in some more rays, the weather really came through for us so of course Bond is as brown as a berry and I am marginally less pale…I really enjoyed sitting in the jacuzzi reading my book and just relaxing.  Then Bond persuaded me to swim in the sea which was so lovely and calm that we could even see little fish swimming around.  We swam for ages and enjoyed the water and I felt so relaxed afterwards.

Soon it was SPA time which is my favourite thing EVER, I am so lucky that Bond is also a fan and will happily agree to some pampering time.  The spa at the Seray is only two years old and it feels brand new as they have maintained it so well. We were especially lucky because we were the only people there!  We went to the segregated parts to sauna/steam etc and then we went into the couple’s spa treatment.  Bond is so hard he had an intense sports massage, I am a more delicate flower though so I went for this…

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and believe me the word bliss is not an exaggeration!  Also it’s been a few days and my skin is still silky soft and smooth and even a bit firmer.  I am thinking this may have to be a regular thing for me!

Once we had finished at the spa we had to accept it was time to go home to Dubai…now to book our next stay in paradise!!!!

Well that escalated quickly…

Yesterday morning I decided that a little bit of rain wasn’t going to defeat Percy Peugeot and me so off we went to the office!  Well it turned out that Dubai was feeling ambitious and wanted to throw the biggest storm of it’s life (so I am told!) and Percy and I did start to question our sanity when a lorry went passed us and the water went over the top of the car.

After this moment my little car and I started to feel a little bit overwhelmed (well I did, I don’t really know what emotional state Percy was in, though he did seem to groan rather a lot!) I ended up having to give myself rather a lot of pep talks!  I even quoted the little engine that could to motivate Percy.  It all got rather intense, there were nearly tears if I am honest.  I have never seen anything like it and I really did think I was going to break down and be stranded.  I felt like a major achiever when I rolled in to the office and my boss was suitably impressed by my chutzpah so that made up for some of it.

On arrival everyone was sharing horror stories, everyone was pretty shocked by it all. No sooner than we had all settled down to work we heard a major commotion in the lobby of the building.  I went to investigate only to discover that there seemed to be a gas leak and we were all told to head home.  That was easier said than done as the roads were nearly all flooded…we decided to wait it out a bit in the canteen and then my friend with a Hummer offered to take me so Percy could recuperate at the office.

Off we went on our adventure only to turn the corner and see our poor colleague whose car had been flooded.  We stopped to try and help and watched while a lorry came to tow him away…poor guy, it really was so unfortunate as it transpired to be a new car!  Once we had checked all was under control we headed off again…it took twenty minutes to find a way out even with her tank but eventually we made it to the metro station and I was able to get home after a somewhat wet walk home…turns out I don’t own an umbrella in Dubai, oops!

This morning I walked out to sunshine and easily got a taxi, woohoo I thought, things are back to normal…well famous last words indeed.  It took two and a half hours of traffic, driving through mini lakes and some seriously impressive navigation on the part of my driver but somehow here I am at the office!

Very few people have made it in today due to the traffic chaos and I think I will have to leave early so I get home before nightfall.  Really it may be time for some drainage Dubai?!

 

 

Oh so spontaneous!

File_000 (2)Spontaneous is not usually one of my buzz words, I am more plan everything to the last detail and control it all!  I am a list maker too…anyway this weekend I threw all that to the wind and I went with the flow (another new thing for me!)

On Friday the girls text me to see if I fancied a cocktail and catch up and I said YES, I threw on a frock and headed over to the Address Marina to see my musketeers.  We ended up in Blends where we decided to be abstemious and had mocktails.  The highlight for me was the strawberry daiquiri sans booze.  Honestly it was DELICIOUS, it was almost like a dessert!! We thoroughly enjoyed it before we succumbed to temptation and had cosmopolitans..well one can only be so good for so long!  We had such a lovely time chatting away and I thought to myself I should say yes to these things more often!

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In the evening I went and joined Bond to watch ‘Steve Jobs’ the movie and enjoy a Leopold’s supper, that quiche remains amazing!  The film is quite good, it’s been heavily critiqued though and I can see why…he comes off as a major jerk and it seems like there is no chronological order to it.  They also said what amazing performances these were…I think for such a great cast they have been somewhat over hyped.  While all these actors are great and they do a fantastic job I wasn’t really surprised!  Still give it a go if you’re really interested in the man and the brand.  Personally I found it a harsh portrayal of a man who always seemed fairly personable.  I may have to learn more to see how accurate it is though…

On Saturday we decided to chill out at the pool and enjoy the gorgeous weather, the sun is shining but fortunately it’s not too hot!  In the evening Bond proposed a cinema and dinner date (more spontaneity!!)

13 hoursWe had a walk around the area and saw some new spots we need to check out!  The counter was excellent as always, Bond resisted the milkshake which has to be a first!  Then we went to see 13 hours…now while Steve Jobs left me cold 13 hours was intense, moving and incredible.  I honestly can’t urge you enough to see it.  Whether you know nothing about Benghazi and what happened there or you know it all this film is worth a watch.  More than just a portrayal of a political crisis this film captures the strength of the human spirit and the power of love, friendship and family.  I found it incredibly powerful and struggled to even articulate how I felt about it to Bond at the end.  Please watch it if you feel like something that will get your heart rate going and make you think!

All in all a lovely totally unplanned weekend, I must do this more often for sure!

Sensational St. Regis

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Recently the fantastic, talented and hard working Bond got a promotion at work!  In order to reward him for this achievement I organised a night out for the two of us so he could really know how proud I am of him!  The above is a picture of Dubai’s new answer to Paradise or rather how it will be in the future once some construction is finished!

File_000The beautiful and stunning St. Regis recently opened in Dubai and I have been very keen to go as the branch in Abu Dhabi wowed us when we went there.  From before we even arrived I was impressed! I sent an email to make the booking and asked that they arrange a cake to say ‘Congratulations’.  I got a lovely e-mail back confirming everything and congratulating Bond and saying it would be their pleasure to ensure it was a special evening!

File_002Well they MORE than delivered on their promise, we were escorted to the bar where the lovely lady welcomed us and congratulated Bond.  Then we had delicious champagne cocktails with a French theme, a Paris Bloom for me and a French 75 for Bond.  They were both wonderful and came with lovely olives and canapes.  As we finished the cocktails they presented Bond with a cake with gold leaf and chocolate writing saying ‘congratulations’.  The lovely lady said that she just wanted us to know how thrilled the bar staff were!  So sweet and it really put a big smile on Bond’s face!  For those cocktail fiends amongst you here is a link to their bar menu, I thoroughly recommend giving them a whirl at home!!  Don’t say I don’t spoil you…

From cocktails we moved across the hallway for dinner at J&G steakhouse, on arrival we got another lovely greeting and were led to a great table.  The atmosphere is perfection, it has a chilled New York style vibe – even the background music is ideal.  A bartender came over with a trolley all set to make Martini’s.  He asked for our preferences and got to work! Bond was very appropriate and had a straight martini (shaken not stirred of course!) and I was untraditional and had an elderflower martini, which was new to me and tasted delightful.  It was so fun to see the martinis being made at the table and really added to the sense of it being a special occasion.

File_005Menus were presented to us and I went for the Calamari and Bond had the three cheese ravioli.  Both were excellent, the calamari was a real hit – the portion size was generous enough that we could share…i’d love to tell you about the ravioli but I didn’t get a look in! Bond reliably informs me I should try it next time we go!  For the main I went for the Wagyu cheeseburger which truly was EPIC and Bond had the pork ribs which I was allowed to try and they weer wonderful.  I hate to admit but I think he won the ordering!  All told though both meals were delicious and presented really well.  The waiter was SO delightful and charming I even told the mangeress how impressed I was and how the service had really made the evening for us.

No sooner had the manageress left the waiter reappeared for another cake for Bond!  We couldn’t believe it, two cakes was far more than I expected and it really made Bond’s night!  We were having so much fun we went back to the champagne lounge for a nightcap so we could really make the most of the evening!

I honestly can not fault any part of the evening and I really can’t wait to go back…I suspect it will be the venue of many happy memories to come.  Add it to your ‘must go’ places – you won’t regret it!