I found the party…

…and it’s from the Phillippines!  At the weekend we went to a cocktail and cake party. Officially a GENIUS theme for a party, my two favourite things combined!  It was a new bunch of people I hadn’t met before and it was really fun to meet new people.  The cakes were fantastic too – oreo and red velvet cake was my absolute winner.  We had a really good time but a lot of the talk was of the club we were heading for later.  Everyone was raving about it and to be honest Bond and I were mystified.  We had googled the place when we got the invitation and it looked like a total dive bar…still we wanted to be good sports so we ate our last bit of cake and downed the last of our cocktails and jumped in a cab.

club-seven-dubaiWe ended up at Club 7 – now if you live here you may already know it, if you don’t then let me offer you an insight.  It’s a really low key place with decently priced drinks, they even have these beer pump things (technical name of course) on the table. Now affordable drinks in Dubai are already a winner…but the real reason to hit Club 7 is the entertainment.  When I saw the stage I was intrigued by what we may be presented with and I was blown away by the talent we saw!  It was like watching ‘Britain’s got Talent; Philippines addition’.

First off we had a band, the voices on these girls are incredible!  Seriously I was in awe of them belting out chart toppers all while busting out some major moves.  Each member did great solos and they were all super talented.  The next act were a dance troupe – I had NO idea people’s bodies could even move the way these guys can.  It was incredible to watch, they body popped and flipped themselves around and had the most amazing control of their bodies.  I couldn’t believe my eyes!  After they had finished another band came on who also proved to be fantastic.  They belted out some real classics and chart toppers and we were all really enjoying ourselves.  I was DESPERATE to dance so when people finally hit the dance floor I grabbed Bond and we threw some shapes…let’s just say that the dance troupe didn’t rush to hire us!  Still we had a lot of fun and soon our whole group were dancing.

We stayed pretty much till the club closed dancing and singing along and enjoying ourselves.  My feet were very sore the next day but it was totally worth it!  I had fun and I racked up a few thousand steps on my fitbit…a success all round!

Now to plot our next visit…

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I am a bad blogger..sorry all!

This week I have massively slacked off on my blog, I just got really busy and I am only now finding time to write this over due post.  This is now going to be a roundup of the weekend and the week…here goes!

mad-men-title-cardSo this weekend we decided to have a quiet Thursday night and tried a new Pizzeria which was great!  Now if only I could remember the name…sorry!!  Still I am sure we will order again and I will update you all then.  It was a lovely evening in and we finally started watching ‘Mad Men’ – I know I know we are WAY behind the times!  So far I am really enjoying it but I am waiting for it to really kick off.

On Friday we met up for a pool sesh which was lovely!  Then I even managed to fit in a gym session, I powered through and did an hour on the treadmill…I seem to have twinged my knee a tad so I took time off the C25K and took some advice from a gym buddy.  I upped the incline and reduced the speed and the calories seemed to MELT away.  I nailed through nearly 400 calories.  I stretched off afterwards and even felt fresh in spite of the fact I had pushed myself quite hard.  I figure if I do this a few more times I will lose some of the weight I have gained quick enough to make a difference to how my dresses fit…fingers crossed!

nezesaussi-grill-720x340In the evening I undid my hard work by going for dinner with Bond at Nezesaussi at Souk al Manzil.  It’s a great South African Sports bar and if you like your meat then I can’t encourage you enough to go.  The food is EXCELLENT and super fresh.  The pork ribs were especially wonderful, the marinade was delicious.  We ordered some divine wine from Stellenbosch which was a definite highlight. I am so keen to go back and try the sausages as I bet they are excellent.  I definitely recommend it if you want a relaxed night out with excellent food!  I had most definitely overdressed for the occassion so to make up for it we decided to go for champagne cocktails at the Manzil courtyard hotel.  It was really great to toast Bond’s success with the marathon.  The manzil is really lovely, very laid back but chic and has a nice buzzy atmosphre.  also if you like Shisha then definitely check this out as they had lots of flavours!  All in all it was a really fun Friday night!

750x421On Saturday we decided it was time to run some errands…so off we went to Mall of the Emirates.  First Bond needed new shirts (need is a stretch, he said need but I think it was more ‘want’) so off we went to Hackett and he got two new additions to the collection. From there it was time to get a vase and we lucked out as Marina Home was having a sale.  From there new flat shoes for me from H&M (which were an actual need!) and then on to the dreaded Carrefour…which I will not regale you with, one because I don’t want to bore you and also I don’t want to relive it!

maxresdefault1Sadly the weekend had to end sometime and so on Sunday it was back to work.  I braved the gym again but it was really full of people which was a shame as I wanted to do some toning. I also did a yoga session so I felt really smug by the time I got home!  In fact I have begun to enjoy yoga this much I got up this morning and did two sessions to make up for the ones I missed while I was doing all the car madness.  Who knows I may soon be like Adriene…well a girl can dream!

jetty_lounge_rm2On Monday it was the leaving do for one of my closest friends at work.  We have had lunch together practically every day since I got here so it is quite a wrench to say goodbye!  She is off back home to China and I miss her already – even though I know this is the right move for her.  Anyway we had cake during the day with everyone and my boss made a lovely speech which moved us both to tears!  Then in the evening a load of us met up to go for drinks at the Jetty Lounge at the One and Only.  The Jetty lounge is a really lovely spot where you can enjoy a luxury experience right on the ocean!  They do great food and cocktails and have a decent wine list too!  We all had a really good time hanging out together and reminiscing about old times.  It was an oddly sad but fun evening…

enoc_-_tasjeel_select_plus_cardTuesday night I said goodbye to Percy Peugeot…I had decided to buy my colleague’s car when she announced her emigration.  This meant it was time to return Percy to the owner all the way in motor city.  Anyway it was not the most emotional goodbye really as I was SO excited to have my own wheels the next day.

For those of you who have not bought a car in Dubai yesterday I learned the hard way that it is not the easiest process!!  One of the guys from work came too so he could say a last goodbye and also to save myself taking a taxi.  The three of us got to work…first you take your car to the ‘testing centre’ where they apparently check the car is safe.  Then you fill in some forms which turned out to be a major hassle as my insurance company had in fact registered me incorrectly!  Anyway two and a half hours later I had my car registered, insured and salik tagged (for the toll booths throughout Dubai)…if any of you are going to do this then for sure take the VIP service like we did, I can only imagine how many hours it all takes otherwise!

Anyway now I have a new car, it’s another Peugeot 308, silver this time and with a much nicer interior.  So far it’s driving really well and I like the feeling of responsibility of car ownership!

All in all a hectic but fun week really!

This weekend we are off to brunch at the Westin to celebrate Bond completing the marathon madness!!

Namaste!

mds failSo this was my first weekend without Bond because he is of course in the desert!  We managed to text a bit so I know that he is safe and has nice tent mates and seems in pretty good spirits.  As of yesterday the actual running began and hopefully soon the tracking will actually work so I can watch his progress.  So far it’s stuck in French and doesn’t want to show me anything remotely helpful…I looked on facebook though and it seems I am not alone in this and that the team are working on it.  He was able to get a message through to me last night though saying that all is well but it’s hard work which I find unsurprising to be honest!  Hopefully the tracker will work today and then I can stalk him to my hearts content!

File_000 (8)In his absence on Thursday Nat and I decided not to do the gym but instead go for a walk and have a proper catch up.  It was really nice to enjoy the fresh air and the beach, we also saw something called ‘football snooker’ which was bizarre but entertaining.  I was able to show Nat some fun places to take her parents who are visiting this week so not only did we have fun but it was productive too!

Once we had racked up some steps we headed home for dinner, I made chilli con carne which tasted really good surprisingly!  It was thanks to Bond leaving his recipe for me to be honest that it turned out alright.  We watched ‘The Secret in their Eyes’ which I honestly thought was dreadful!  We both found it dragged out rather and that the leaps between past and present weren’t clear at all.  I spoke to another friend though who loved it so it might just have been that we were a bit tired and not really in the mood for that sort of film?  If you have seen it I would love your opinion!  The premise of the film is that an FBI agents daughter was murdered and now 13 years on there are clues as to where the suspect may be.  I am sorry I wish I could make it sound more exciting but it just left me totally cold unfortunately.

pamper-timeFriday came around and I had a properly girly day of pampering, from the top of my head to the tip of my toes.  It was actually pretty fun and I felt really good afterwards, just what I needed! After a while though there was nothing left to preen so I got ready to go to my friends who had invited me round for dinner.  The lovely N&H who are my fave couple in Dubai said they would adopt me…little did the husband know that his wife and I were plotting a surprise with some other friends and at ten they turned up with cake and we all sang!  He was so chuffed it was really sweet!  In order to make a night of it we decided to go to Cantine du Faubourg which I hadn’t been to before but is a regular haunt for them.  It’s got a really fun vibe and they play good music and we even managed some dancing which was great.  I am looking forward to taking Bond when he is back!

On Saturday I did very little indeed although clearly my flat sensed my boredom and so the sink decided to back up so I had to fix that!  Honestly it was beyond gross, the drain cleaner I used stank to high heaven and then all this stuff came up from the plug…anyway I won’t tell you more and I wouldn’t have mentioned it at all but I was home alone and I really wanted to share with someone my plumbing success!  The sink is working perfectly now thanks to my new found skill set.  Now if unlike me you don’t ramdomly have ‘drainex’ lying around (seriously it’s a mystery!) then google tells me that hot water works a treat…I wish I had googled BEFORE I threw the TOXIC smelling Drainex down my sink…don’t do it people – it works but at what cost I ask you?!?!?!

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In the evening I watched ‘The Big Short’ all about the financial crash in the US and subsequently across the world.  It was really interesting but quite intense.  Still I am glad I watched it as I felt I learned a lot about an important subject.  I would definitely recommend it although it’s a bit hard going at times.  There are some great cameo moments including Selena Gomez and Margot Robbie which are random but work.  The acting is really very impressive as is the story line.

maxresdefaultNow on to the reason for the title of my post…’Namaste’.  Believe it or not I have gotten into Yoga.  This is all thanks to my friend Boo who said with great confidence that she had found a yoga instructor online that I would like.  Now I am a TOTAL cynic about such things.  I have been to a couple of classes in the past and really hated it, I do not find it easy to ‘relax’ when I am ordered to and I am not that bendy either so the whole thing just never worked for me.  Anyway I do trust Boo usually and she’s good at healthy living so I thought that I would give this instructor a go.  Adriene has a yoga channel called ‘Yoga with Adriene’ full of videos for all different levels and skill sets.  So I decided on ‘Yoga for complete beginners’ because that seemed to be right for me. It takes twenty minutes and I have to give Boo a virtual high five…Adriene is indeed GREAT!  She’s not remotely patronising, she wears normal clothing so you don’t get distracted thinking you’ll never look like her but instead you can focus on the moves.  I found myself really enjoying it…so much so I have now done three more sessions.  The next step up from beginners, the sleepy one and the weight loss for hammies.  I would say my favourite has to be the sleepy one, I found myself tucked up in bed feeling very zen and I slept really well.  If you’ve never tried yoga and you’re interested or you’re a cynic like I was then give Adriene a go – it’s free so there’s nothing to lose!

Tonight it’s back to C25K…wish me luck please!

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!

 

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!

steve jobs

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!

Fabulous Four Seasons

img_3773-685x514The Four Seasons is a truly beautiful hotel, it’s decorated to perfection and all of their restaurants are divine.  The service is fantastic and everyone you meet is charming and helpful!  I can’t fault it!  When my friend suggested we go to the Mercury lounge for drinks I was very keen to go and enjoy the beautiful venue and great view of downtown Dubai. When said lovely and efficient friend called to book a table she was told that in fact last night was their first ever ladies night, so we could have two free glasses of Prosecco and some canapes on the house!  You can’t beat a fabulous venue and freebies really can you…

On arrival the hostess led us to a great table and very promptly a bottle of Prosecco was brought to the table and poured in front of us.  It was actually very good quality and we didn’t feel that we were being fobbed off with plonk just because it was free. Soon the canapes turned up, mini quiches which were delicious and crudites with guacomole in little shot glasses.  There was also watermelon and feta cheese which I didn’t have as I am not a huge fan of watermelon but my friend said it was great.  My favourite was definitely the mini bruschetta bread with mozarella, basil and balsamic vinegar – absolutely perfectly balanced flavours and the cheese melted in my mouth.

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The atmosphere was great with terrific music as well, remixes of old favourites and some new hits.  We really enjoyed every moment of it and if I hadn’t had work today we may well still be there chatting up a storm!

I thoroughly recommend the Four Seasons, ladies night or not really – it’s such a fantastic place!

40 Kong

A friend of mine recently quit her job and took a time out back home in France.  She returned to Dubai a few weeks ago to try to find a new job and rebuild her life here (if you had met her lovely boyfriend you’d understand why!)  She got back in touch with me and I was delighted to go and meet up with her and hear all her news.  What better excuse for a cocktail we both agreed!

We arranged to meet at 40 Kong which is a relatively new roof top bar at the H Hotel.  I have fond memories of the H Hotel because I went there at Christmas last year with my aunt to have mulled wine and watch them turn on the Christmas tree lights.  It was lovely to go back there as it’s been too long.

The traffic was horrendous so eventually I abandoned the taxi and walked the last block to the hotel.  You take a seperate lift which is amazing, it’s on the outside of the building and is all glass so you get a full view of the city from the fortieth floor.  For anyone with a fear of heights I would suggest you close your eyes as the lift has a glass bottom too which is a bit unnerving!  For those of you without said fear definitely take your camera, the lights over Dubai are amazing!

elvissaWe ordered yummy cocktails,the Elvissa which I think would be easily recreated at home should any of you fancy it. It had real pieces of fruit in which we joked basically made it healthy!  The food looked yummy too but neither of us were hungry, I am looking forward to going back and having some of the snack bites soon!

It was lovely to have a good catch up with a friend and I am so pleased she decided to come back to the sandpit!  I definitely recommend 40 Kong with friends old and new, it’s got a lovely relaxed vibe but is also trendy and good fun.  I think it will be a firm favourite!!

Kindred spirits

Yesterday after a mad day at work I headed to Oeno at the Westin for Ladies Night with two new friends of mine. We all work in the same company but in totally different divisions, I met S as we often have to arrange meetings with our bosses and N works in Creative and I met her on the metro shuttle bus – often joked about as the social hub of our company!

I immediately hit it off with both girls and felt sure they would like each other and I was proven right at our Frankie’s dinner the other day.  We had such a good time that then and there we made the plan to go out last night.  I was so glad that we actually followed through and did it. Often here people say ‘let’s meet’ but it never happens.  When all three of us actually made it on time I knew we were all like minded and keen to be friends.

Oeno does a terrific ladies night with great music and free wine and prosecco till 11 and it’s pretty free flowing!  The music had us on our feet dancing up a storm and the girls laughed that I knew all the words, seems I have a party trick after all!  We were able to talk about anything and everything which was great.  It was interesting that we all felt so at east with each other and able to be ourselves.  S said it was funny because to look at us you’d never guess we’d be friends, she was in a really chic pencil dress, N was in a fifties style really fun red and black polka dress and I had on leggings with pleated detailing and a long silver t-shirt.  We couldn’t have looked more different but we seem to share a similar outlook on life and the same moral values and let’s face it that’s what really matters!

It’s been great to meet two girls who really like each other and to be able to go and do girls nights out and really have fun.  I do have a lot of lovely girlfriends here but they don’t all know each other – which is good for a drama free life but rather puts paid to the whole girls night thing.  I didn’t really think I had missed that but last night was so fun and I have to admit there is something to be said for letting your hair down with good mates.  Plus once my bestie finally returns to Abu Dhabi she will love these two so we can be a happy little group.

All three of us agreed that we are a good gang and that we all know how to have a good time whilst being responsible enough to be in bed at a sensible time!  At the end of the night I raised a toast to new friends who feel like old friends, and the others agreed!

I am already looking forward to next time…

What a jam-packed visit!

Bond’s mother came to visit this weekend and boy did Bond plan a full schedule for her. She arrived on Thursday morning and mother and son headed off on a bus tour all around Dubai while I was at work.  It seems that the big hit of their day was the Museum where they learned all about the great history of the U.A.E.  Much hilarity from Bond’s sisters who refused to believe there actually is any history at all here.   They were rapidly put in their place though, who can argue with a whole museum after all!  I would tell you more but I missed out and mostly I heard about the jokes…they said it was very interesting though!  I will have to check it out and report back.

I met up with them after work and we toasted my finally passing the driving and his mother arriving for her first ever trip to Dubai!  Then on to dinner at Frankie’s.  It was typically wonderful, the food was delicious and the music was terrific.  Plus we managed to hit the happy hour so saved money on lovely wine and cocktails.  Bond’s mother was very impressed and happy!  Plus we got her hooked on Margherita’s – clearly I am a very bad influence

The next day was our chance to show off Dubai at it’s blingiest!  Naturally this meant a taxi to Downtown to see the all important Dubai Mall.  Everyone is always amazed at how big it is.  Even though they know it’s the hugest mall in the whole world it’s still pretty awe inspiring when you see it in the flesh!  We tackled a few of the stores before showing off the ice rink and indoor fountain (obviously vital in all malls) and then we decided that we had to have a bite to eat.  The mall does tend to make you ravenous, I think it’s the sheer scale of it!

IMG_20150726_141306We had a quick bite at Markette, which is a lovely little bistro style place.  Bond and his mother decided to go for sweet crepes but as I don’t really love those I was all virtuous and had a quinoa salad with beetroot paste and aubergine.  It was really delicious! Once suitably nourished we went to the Aquarium to meet the new king croc that has recently been moved here from Australia.

Bond and I have never been to the Aquarium before so it was fun to have a new experience with his mother. The aquarium is HUGE and holds a large array of fish, including forty sharks and massive groupers!! The first thing we noticed is that you can quite easily identify whether a shark is a male or female, to be honest I really felt that we knew those sharks a tad more intimately than we would ever want to!  You are literally a foot below them in a tunnel, which is quite unnerving.  It looks like they are napping on top of you!    It’s quite amazing to see to be honest.  Upstairs is a zoo that shows all the animals native to the UAE.  There were even two barn owls who were beautiful and several iguanas and chameleons who were spectacular.  I also really enjoyed the otters who were having lots of fun, though they wouldn’t go on the slide which disappointed Bond somewhat.  There was a large array of tropical fish, my grandmother used to have a big aquarium of them so it made me happy to reminisce. I sadly take awful fish photos though…Feeding time was announced so we watched the King Croc eat a chicken – he had to leap up into the air to get it which was quite a sight to behold as he is 6m long.  I learned that Crocodiles are faithful for life to their partners, which made them a tad more endearing.

As well as seeing all the animals we were also able to go ‘backstage’ and learn how the aquarium operates which was really interesting.  They grow their own coral and breed sharks so we were able to see shark shells.  Each shark has a totally different shell depending on it’s breed.

While it was an incredible thing to see and there were penguins which you know I LOVE I do wonder how kind it is to these animals.  I am always a bit conflicted by animals in captivity, while I do love to see these animals up close and personal and get to learn about them I do worry if it’s cruel.  I am planning to do some research once I have written my blog – I would love to hear your opinions too!

Soon it was time to head to Atmosphere at the Armani Hotel in the Burj Khalifa.  This was something else we hadn’t done before so we were super excited too!  The Burj Khalifa is stunning from the outside and Atmosphere lives up to it.  We arrived at the hotel and were escorted to the special lift up to the bar where we were led to the table by the window that Bond had pre-booked.  It really is a stunning place, and I failed to take nearly enough photos of the inside because we were far too busy enjoying the view and of course the cocktails.  The bar has a minimum spend so we decided to grab a starter as well so we weren’t totally blitzed on the potent cocktails.  Bond’s mother decided it was the highlight of her trip and I can totally see why.  There is something seriously cool about having a drink at the highest bar in the world…and it helped that they were really delicious!

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How cute is this? They gave it as a surprise!

After the drinks we moved on to Souk Al Bahar for dinner at Mango Tree so we could show off my beloved fountains!  We were actually quite full after our yummy Atmosphere starters so we decided to just get a few more appetisers and another cocktail.  Bond’s mother said we had converted her to cocktails!  We saw three rounds of the fountains, including the fantastic Thriller by Michael Jackson.  There is something most amusing about fountains dancing to Thriller.  Bond’s mother LOVED it – but then who doesn’t love those fountains!  I took a video but honestly it is so poor, you should youtube and see if anyone has done a better job…

On Saturday genetics won out and Bond and his mother proved they are both a tad odd and headed to the beach in the most mental temperatures!  Once they had their fill of the sea and sand Anne and I decided it was time for some pampering so we went to the salon (well not Bond of course…) I got a mani/pedi and Anne had a facial which sadly was a bit disappointing.  Mehr Mah luckily didn’t disappoint me and my talons look good – the girls even said how much my nails have improved so I am very happy.

Later it was decided that mother and son would go and meander around the walk and then meet back at mine for a home cooked meal.  Clearly they were very brave…because I am not a hugely gifted cook.  Thankfully a while ago when I was still living in London a really old school friend of mine came over to teach me how to make a tagine.  I pulled up the e-mail from her with all the details and followed it religiously and thankfully it turned out all right!  Both Bond and his mother said I did a great job and I had laid a nice table too.

All in all it was a lovely visit and we managed to sell Dubai!  Now Anne is on the way to Australia to meet Bond’s soon to be niece/nephew – so exciting!!

Saintly St.Regis Saadiyat Island

This Friday marked Bond turning 29 (finally we are the same age again!) after he threw me such an epic birthday weekend I decided he deserved the same and so I whisked him away to Abu Dhabi for the weekend.  Having done my research I decided that the St.Regis on Saadiyat Island would be the perfect spot to spoil Bond rotten and make him feel special.  Saadiyat Island is relatively new and is gorgeous, the beach is stunning and the sea is really blue.  The St.Regis has the reputation of being fabulous with exemplory service.  My colleague stayed there and said it was wonderful.  As we drove there I was really hoping it would live up to my expectations.

When you drive up the place is beautiful, you instantly feel that it’s special and I knew I had made a good choice!  A fleet of uniformed staff greeted us at the door and took our bags and the car off our hands. Then on arrival at concierge we were greeted with genuine delight from the lady at the desk.  We soon realised she was pleased as she had rather a nice surprise for us – an upgrade to a suite!  We couldn’t believe our luck! The suites come with Butler service too, a perk I have never enjoyed before.  Our butler was a delight and brought everything you could ever want.  My best moment was asking for camomile tea bags and instead having him arrive with a tray with ready made camomile tea and gorgeous china which he then poured for us.  Honestly it was possibly the most decadent tea ever.  Also TWG is delicious, it may just compete with the Mariage Frere tea I mentioned before.

Before we went to the room we decided it was time for lunch.  Olea is the buffet restaurant and the food was delicious with a lot of options, plus we had a table with a fantastic view of the sea.  Having devoured lots of lovely food, including some delicious cakes we headed up to the room.

We couldn’t believe how stunning it was, honestly it was perfection beyond words!  Also we had the most amazing view from our balcony loungers.  I can’t really find the best way to describe it so luckily Bond took pictures so you can all get a feel for the place!

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Having taken in the full room we headed down to the spa.  I had booked us both a massage.  Bond had a full body sports massage and I had a detox body scrub and full body massage.  It was beyond luxurious, I would go so far to say it was the best treatment I have ever had and Bond agreed.  What was really nice was having the whole place to ourselves.  I was very happy sitting in the Jacuzzi alone with nothing but Glamour for company (they segregate by gender here).

After the spa we retired to the room to relax and get ready for dinner.  I had organised champagne for us to enjoy and the hotel organised a cake for Bond as well.  It was really lovely!  Bond ripped into his gifts and said he was delighted with all of them!  I was really pleased as I had spent ages choosing them all! Thanks to the lovely concierge who had sent me a list of cool local restaurants, dinner took place at Caramel, it’s a cool restaurant serving American gourmet cuisine.  Thanks to a friends recommendation we ordered the kobe chilli beef and chips, which was totally delicious. Then I had Kobe bolognaise and Bond had Kobe beef sliders, then for desert they brought over strawberry cake with a candle and the most beautiful writing ever!  It tasted as beautiful as it looked!  I was so impressed by the service too, the waiter was delightful and attentive without being overly so and they all made a fuss over the birthday cake too.  That sort of thing always makes me happy!

The next morning we indulged in the fantastic hotel breakfast, I couldn’t believe how much choice there was.  From savoury to continental to Indian options and an egg station I was blown away!  We both tried a bit of everything and it was all extremely good.  I had a waffle drowned with nutella which was probably my highlight…naughty but oh so nice!

Thanks to a late checkout at the hotel we were able to enjoy the pool as well, it really was beautiful.  The deep blue tiles made the water look so appealing and at certain areas there were specially designed dips where you could sit by jacuzzi jets.  It was blissful.  Bond had an iced coffee and I had a peach iced tea before we accepted that we really did have to check out…

All in all it was a perfect weekend away.  I totally recommend the St.Regis Saddiyat island and we are already planning our next trip!