The Ice Park (The Parks, Part 3)

The third part of our exciting parks adventure was the Ice Park.  It is again in Dubai Garden Glow.  Right in the middle.  It isn’t included in the original cover charge, and will cost an additional AED 60.  Or maybe AED 65?  I should have paid a little more attention to that! Sorry!

Check out the cute little penguin in the “C”!!

Is it worth it?  Yes and no! Continue reading

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The Dinosaur Park (The Parks, Part 2)

Yes, that’s right.  There is a Dinosaur Park in Dubai!  Not only that, it’s covered in the AED 60 cover charge for Dubai Garden Glow!

Light up sign because Glow Gardens, you know!

Now, I have to confess that I really was a bit disheartened when I heard there was a dinosaur exhibit at the park.  I don’t think even when I was doing that bit at school I had much interest.  I still don’t now.  At all.

Mum however was really quite excited because a) she is still a teacher at heart, and b) my darling niece (her much adored granddaughter!!) is inexplicably obsessed with dinosaurs!  Because Mum was so excited by it, it kind of rubbed off a little but I was still happily the photographer while she went around doing the learning bit. Continue reading

Dubai Garden Glow (The Parks, Part 1)

In order to get over the crazy amount of “doing” that we did on the Big Bus Tour, Mum and I ended up having a lovely quiet day of treats the following day.  We had a lovely breakfast at Cafe Barbera, dresses made at Deepa’s in Satwa, we had our nails done at N.Bar, we had lunch at Noodle House (PF Changs was full sadly!) and then we went to the cinema to watch a brilliant film called Molly’s Game at Reel Cinema’s Platinum Suites in Dubai Mall.

That turned out to be fairly tiring too, so the next day we really took it easy.  We had a pool day, read our books, and then had nice pizza’s for supper.  But that felt a bit boring so we decided another adventure was in order!

Cue Dubai Garden Glow! Continue reading

Cocktails and Dinner

Following our lovely day bumbling along at the beach we headed home to relax a little. The relaxing involved a Hallmark Christmas Movie (one of our favourite seasonal treats!) and a glass of wine! After that though it was off out to revisit a couple of Mummy’s favourite Downtown activities!

On our way we had a little drive along the Boulevard. It’s lined with trees and all year round he trees are lit. At this time of year it just looks even prettier and you can pretend that it’s lots of Christmas trees lined up!!

Sadly I wasn’t quite into the swing of things at this point so forgot to take a photo! I will get there eventually and I’m sure it’s not our last trip along there!

Our first stop was at The Palace Hotel. Mum loves the fountains and I don’t like crowds, so it’s a perfect viewing place!

The lobby is one of the nicest there is, and there is always something new to see. This time was the Christmas tree of pressies on strings! Amazing!

Totally worth the wait to have a picture taken by it!!!

The hotel has beautiful gardens which back onto the lakes. Right down on the water is a restaurant called Thipthara, and next to it a bar called Fai. Although we love the food at Thipthara and having been so closed have decided to add it to our “must eat” holiday list,  tonight was just cocktails at the bar. Well, on the deck at the bar anyway. It’s too pretty to be inside!

It doesn’t afford you panoramic fountain views, but it does let you see a good chunk!

As you can see!

This had the desired effect on Mum. She was all smiley and twinkly! Maybe a little in part due to the fruity little cocktail she discovered!! I’m always so proud and excited when she discovers an adult beverage of her liking!!!!

All too soon (we over extended the relaxing part of the afternoon apparently!) it was time to go off to dinner. That said, I was starving hungry again so really probably frog marched Mum up the road to Mezza House without too much of an ado!!

We did have to pause a little along the way though as we discovered these fabulous little statues!

Hippo ballerina! Made me want a chocolate mousse!!

Frog ballerina wasn’t as fun!

Penguin ballerina! Anyone else seeing Happy Feet in their head now too?!

We have no clue why they are there or what they are attached to, but that’s not so unusual in Downtown. I’m sure it will all become apparent at some point!

Finally we were at Mezza House though. I have written about them before because they are really a favourite and it’s somewhere I take everyone, ever since Justine introduced me to it when I first moved to the area.

Before Mum arrived I actually rang ahead to book. It’s always been such a busy restaurant, especially on a Friday night. I didn’t want to have to stand around and wait for a table. I really didn’t want to miss out, and nor did Mum once I suggested it. We had been saving ourselves!!

Surprisingly, we didn’t need a reservation. I’ve never seen it so quiet. We wondered if it was a popularity thing? So much has opened locally that perhaps there was a new place we had missed. Or maybe it was a sign of the holidays and how many people have appeared to have left this year? I have to say that I hope it’s the latter and that Mezza House is not going anywhere. At least not until after I do!!!

The menu has changed since I was last there with Albert, but our favourites were mostly all there still.

We always have to have the Fattoush’na salad. It’s their twist on a very popular salad. It is divine, and literally my favourite ever. It has some pomegranate molasses in it which brings a lovely sweet note to quite an acidic dressing.

On the side of that we always have their humous (chickpea dip) and also their moutebal (smoked eggplant dip) which comes with beautifully fresh, light and fragrant Arabic bread. I also sneaked in a side of cheese cigars this time! They are basically cheese spring rolls. How is that ever a bad thing?!

The main dish though is always a selection of Arabic meats. We used to have a set of three meats but they don’t do that anymore so we had to upgrade to the mixed grill. Such a shame… not! Amaze!!

It comes with a lamb chop (thankfully the translation is a little lost on the menu as is says “rack of lamb”!), shish tauok (Arabic chicken), veal tikka (different to the Indian version) and a lamb kofta (minced lamb with parsley and onion). There was an added surprise of a lamb stuffed pita thingie called “Arayess”. I have no clue what it was but it was very delicious!

It doesn’t photograph very well but by this point I didn’t care and may have launched myself head first into the delicious munchings!!!

All this good food and wonderful company is all nicely located on the Boulevard with all the twinkly trees, and overlooked by the Burj Khalifa. The smell of the sheesha drifts over you, and the chatter around you is in a multitude of languages. The people are varied; from expats like me, to traditionally dressed men and women. It’s another fabulous example of the melting pot that is Dubai.

I love sharing my life with my Mummy, especially when it’s such lovely places like this.

Kite Beach, Dubai

Winter in Dubai is glorious! We spend months cooped up in the summer when the temperature is so hot your internal organs are at risk of melting. It cools off in the autumn but not by a huge amount. It also gets humid which just makes it hot and sticky. Then, around the end of November to early December the weather breaks and it’s just nice.

Today was one of those just nice days. No higher than the mid 20’s, clear sky and a light breeze ruffling your hair. Divine!

Since Mum spent most of the day stuck on a plane yesterday, winging her way over to the warmer climes of Dubai, we thought a nice walk somewhere would be lovely. Continue reading

The Rubbing House, Epsom Downs

We had been running errands around the old neighborhood all morning when suddenly, hunger struck.  It was a traumatic experience.  I was surrounded by places that I had grown up around but nothing looked quite how I remembered, or of it did, that was enough to put me off!  After a unreasonably long time, I had a light bulb moment…

A few months ago, probably around a bank holiday weekend, a bunch of my friends went to The Rubbing Horse up on Epsom Downs.  Not hugely remarkable until you realize that none of them are connected at all and I was just seeing random Instagram or Facebook posts.  I realized it was years since I had been up there and it was even longer since I had been to the Rubbing Horse.  For once my brain actually worked at the exact time it needed to and I remembered!  So off we trundled!

Thus named as it was the spot people used to rub down their horses after a ride across the Downs, way back when.

Thankfully Mum was with me and we has Doris (generic name for any SatNav type device or app) to guide us that last few corners!  When we got there Continue reading

Ask Italian, Winchester

After our little trundle around the Christmas market, we needed warming up and feeding so had a little wander down a few streets and stumbled across Ask Italian.  It turns out that this is quite a famous chain.  Who knew!

I ate like two Italians!

We walked in and it was absolute bedlam!  They did however do gluten free pasta so it was worth the wait to be acknowledged.  I did question that decision when a scruffy little chap came over and cracked what turned out to be a joke.  He was the manager on duty by all accounts so why he thought to reply to my request for a table with “computer says no” is beyond me.  It is apparently a quote from Little Britain.

They did, despite the joke, have a table and after 5 minutes of waiting for him to stop chatting to his coworkers to clear the debris from the party seated there before us, we were good to go. Continue reading