Wednesday, December 6, 2017

november twenty seventeen

al qasr friday brunch dubai
November felt like such a long month...and just when I thought October was crazy, November literally was nuts.
Here's what I did...and ate....in November.
The month kicked off with a short but sweet visit from my parents.  It's always good to have them here with me and now the weather is perfect, Dubai is just an awesome place to be.

We had a wonderful Friday brunch at Al Qasr hotel, this is my all time favourite brunch and it never fails to wow people.  Brunch is spread over 3 restaurants but I prefer to sit in The Hide, the steakhouse-I love the big comfy chairs and tables. and the relaxed atmosphere.

Jolie afternoon tea dubai
 Something not so wow was afternoon tea at Jolie cafe (City Walk).  It had been highly praised in Time Out Dubai but when we went we were the only people there and the food was basic at best.  It also took ages to be served and the service was very passive.  There were nice little touches like fresh roses served with the drinks but I struggle to see how Jolie will survive in Dubai.  I should have stuck to what I know and taken my parents to The Palace for their incredible afternoon tea.

Rhdoes W1 Dubai
My favourite meal with my parents was at Gary Rhodes, Rhodes W1 (Grosvenor House Hotel, Dubai Marina).  I spoke about this restaurant in my september twenty seventeen post and again we had the most amazing experience.  The food is divine and the service is wonderful.  They still do an incredible extended happy hour every day and this restaurant should be far busier than it has been when I have visited.

Gaucho terrace DIFC Dubai
 A month would be incomplete without a visit or two to Gaucho (Dubai International Financial Centre, Gate Village) and the 1st November saw the opening of their new terrace which I was invited to.  The terrace is super cool and they have several promotions throughout the week-a brilliant ladies night and a AED23 drinks promotion between 5-8pm.  More details can be found here 

Of course I didn't just just go to Gaucho once in November-I went four times in total-twice to eat a proper meal and twice to eat dessert (obvs cheesecake) on the terrace.

Shake Shack Dubai
I've been doing this crazy fitness challenge with one of my best friends (more about that later) and we planned a cheat meal at the end of last week which was supposed to be our favourite burgers from Shake Shack-but on the way home we decided to detour to Gaucho for cheesecake, making it the ultimate cheat day-and Danny the General Manager at Gaucho gave us very appropriate desserts to mark the occasion!

Gaucho Dubai
I also had a wonderful lunch at Gaucho with Chloe last week where I had an amazing rack of lamb-it was literally so incredibly tasty I couldn't believe I hadn't had it before and it's definitely something I will order again.

La Petite Maison Dubai
La Petite Maison Dubai
Not only did I do Gaucho last week for lunch I also did 3 of the other very popular restaurants in the DIFC at lunchtime-La Petite Maison (DIFC, The Gate Village) is incredible, everything about the meal was flawless.  It definitely one of the most expensive restaurants in Dubai but for special occasions you cannot go wrong-make sure you book in advance.

Roberto's Dubai
Roberto's is also a DIFC favourite of mine (DIFC, The Gate Village), they offer a good value business lunch and wonderful views of the Burj Khalifa.  Their terrace is now open and I am dying to try their brunch on a Friday.

 I also squeezed in a quick business lunch at the ever impressive Zuma (The Gate Village, DIFC).  This is always busy and bookings are a must but their Japanese cuisine is exceptional quality and I have never been disappointed.  You must try the passion fruit souffle, it is absolutely to die for.  I already have two bookings here for lunch in December!

The most disappointing meal of the month was definitely at Seafire (The Atlantis hotel).  I was so looking forward to it because when I have been before I thought it was excellent but it was hideously overpriced (and I have no issues paying for good food) and nothing was that good!  The Wagyu wasn't as tender or tasty as I would expect, the sides were unseasoned and the desserts were so dry.  I was so disappointed that I would never go back there.

I didn't just eat in November, I did other fun stuff too!


We went for a team desert safari which was really good fun and I ticked off a 'bucket list' wish-a camel selfie!  Desert safari's are a 'must do' in Dubai-I've probably done about 10 in my time here!  I love the desert-it's so beautiful and we were blessed with an amazingly clear day and the colours of the dunes were just stunning!
 The car loving geeky side of me was happy last month to attend the annual Dubai International Motor Show where everything was super shiny and super fast!  There were some unusual cars on display including the £1.25m Karlmann King mega SUV-I've never seen anything quite so cool!

I did a short trip to Cairo for work, my last of the year and my 28th flight of 2017.  I was very happy to be upgraded to business for the flight back, especially as it was overnight so I got some much needed sleep.  My 29th and 30th flights will be my Xmas flights when I will be back in the UK for a short time.

motion cycling dubai
I was invited to try a Soulcycle class at Motion Cycling in Business Bay, Downtown Dubai and it was so cool!  The girls who lead the classes are fit and the class is so fast paced and energetic.  The soundtrack was epic and although I felt like the least fit person there I would definitely go again.  You can check out their location and timetable here-you'll definitely walk out feeling amazing!

I went to see JLo!!  I honestly think she is one of the most beautiful women in the world and her show in Dubai was outstanding.  She literally gave it her all and put on an amazing show-the dance moves and the costume changes were just beyond incredible.  I had such a brilliant night I didn't want it to end!

Without a doubt the most fulfilling thing I did in November was start a fitness challenge with one of my best friends.  We have been pushing each other, setting goals and doing as much as we can-and I have loved it.  The only annoying thing is I have lost hardly any weight (but then you look at the meals I have eaten and that may explain it) but we've been doing more and more exercise each week and clocked up a 'never before done by me' 1585 minutes of exercise in November.  Bearing in mind this was despite the fact my parents visited and I was in Cairo 4 days-I am honestly pretty impressed with what we achieved.  We've been doing mainly gym classes and I can see improvements in my fitness levels and recovery times week by week.  Having a friend with you really makes a difference too-if I was on my own I would do one class then think I had done enough and go home-but when there is two of you, you push each other-and my natural super competitive nature comes out.

The highlight absolutely was heading out to the desert very early one Saturday morning (my alarm went off at 4.30am) to attempt the 50km purpose built cycling track at Al Qudra.  There are shorter versions but we decided to go all in-and we did it!  I was so so so proud of us-we did it non stop and then went back 6 days later and did it again!  Obviously that's not a picture of me riding the bike-if I took both hands off the bike I would fall straight off!!

Finishing off the post with some random highlights from the month-top left is one of the mini Gaucho Dulce De Leche cheesecakes I asked Danny the General Manager from Gaucho to order for me to celebrate my friends first year with us in the office.  They looked amazing and I am sure they tasted amazing but someone forgot to include herself in the numbers when she was ordering them.....what a rookie error!

Top right is my best friend in the world, Danielle.  If you have been watching the ITV Be show Tamara's World then I am sure Danielle will be a familiar face!  I am SO proud of her, she works so incredibly hard!

Bottom left is a photo I took during the Art Week in DIFC where I work.  Alongside all the banks and law firms, DIFC hosts a range of art galleries and special events and there were some amazing installations dotted around the DIFC for a few days-the one above was my personal favourite!

Finally I went karting again and I feel I have upped my game-yep thats me in position #1!  You can read more about my 'secret past' here.....

December's here...and I should be travelling home to the UK this month for the festivities.  You can follow my instastories daily for a sneak preview on next months post!

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