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  • Doha,  Qatar

    When a Chef and a Food Blogger Face Off – in Conversation with the Mondrian’s Simon Winchester

    With its fanciful and space age design and celebrity chef styled restaurants, the Mondrian Doha is already shaking up the food scene in Qatar. These include international brands such as CUT and Morimoto as well as Qatari restaurant Walima, casual Hudson Tavern, and bars Black Orchid and Rise. In addition, the much loved Magnolia Bakery has also found a home in the hotel’s sci fi movie set lobby. You can check my blog Facebook page for my first takes on two of these outlets. This is the first foray into the Middle East by edgy hotel brand SBE – complete with its gold plated elevator, Swarovski crystal chandeliers and I Dream of…

  • Doha,  luxury travel,  Qatar,  Travel

    10 Things That Will Surprise First Time Visitors to Qatar

    When I am traveling I regularly get asked “What is Qatar REALLY like”. Whether it be from the media coverage of recent events or already preconceived ideas about what the country is like, people are fascinated by this tiny peninsula. My answer to this question is always the same – Qatar will truly surprise you. Now, with Qatar Airways offering free stopovers until the end of the year and with  visa free entry for 80 countries (not to mention some highly competitive fares from Asia, Australia, the United States and Europe), it’s never been more attractive to visit Qatar and see what the fuss is about. Here are the top…

  • Doha,  Qatar,  Restaurant Reviews,  Restaurants

    Six Places in Doha to Go for a Girl’s Night Out

    Let me be clear do about this – by “girl’s night out” I don’t mean “ladies night”. In fact, what I really mean is a list of places you can go with your “squad” (although I also hate that term) or tribe (much better). I mean a place to go with drinks (or maybe not), decent food and yes, maybe, some musical stylings (preferably of the retro persuasion). And, of course, this isn’t just limited to after 6pm fun or places with Happy Hours. So…because, sometimes, you just need to be with your tribe, here are my go-to places for a girls night out/afternoon gathering (alert the authorities!). Break out…

  • Doha,  luxury travel,  Qatar,  Travel

    The Best Room in a Hotel – Why Booking a Club Room Ensures a Great Stay

    Here’s a tip – in my view the best room in a hotel isn’t the suite with sweeping views or the one with the stand alone bath tub. It’s the Club Lounge. Travel is about the experience and there’s nothing that will de-stress the experience—or make it feel more memorable—than a little extra pampering.  Whether it be a glass of champagne, a breakfast cooked to order, or a comfy couch and a bite to eat after a loooong day, we all want to feel a little special. And when you are staying in a five star hotel, all you need is that special key – to the club floor. When…

  • Doha,  events,  Food,  Promotions,  Qatar

    Your Blockade Busting Guide to Getting the Best Dining and Drinking Deals in Doha

    Let’s face it – we all love to live large but for as little outlay as possible. With the current “situation” we find ourselves in, we all know that costs are rising in some quarters. As I noted around the same time last year, this comes after a fairly rugged period for many in Qatar where people tightened their belts and bunkered down. Where a couple might go out for dinner one night and then attend a brunch in the same week, it’s now one or the other. Having a family – school fees etc – ups the financial stakes further. Mix in increased fuel charges and the mugging we…

  • Hidden Gems,  Qatar

    Doha’s Hidden Restaurant Gems – D’Chopstix at Holiday Villa

    If you are like me, you have your “go-to” restaurants where, (mostly) for want of a better idea, you always end up at. There is a lot to be said for the Cheers approach to eating out – you like to go where everyone knows your name…and how you like your Diet Coke. But sometimes I like to veer wildly off my usual programming. This led me to thinking, why not shine a light on some of these places, that perhaps aren’t as widely known as they should be. Maybe they are located where you least expect them. Or perhaps they are literally off the beaten track. Doha and Qatar…

  • Hotels,  luxury travel,  Qatar,  Travel

    Finding (and Packing) the Perfect Carry On For Your Next Getaway

    For many, choosing your next vacation destination is the easy part. Finding your perfect carry on suitcase or luggage? And what to pack? Well, that’s as difficult as avoiding any social media/real life conversation about Game of Thrones. Your travel bags are a special kind of accessory – they stay with us through thick and thin, though flight delays and lost in transit moments, through big city streets and far flung destinations; vacations and staycations. With a couple of decades of traveling under my belt and many, many hits and misses, I now have my packing and carry-on routine down pat. My essentials are: Headphones – sometimes you just want…

  • Doha,  luxury travel,  Qatar,  Restaurant Reviews,  Restaurants,  Travel

    Doha Stopover Essentials – An Insider’s Guide

    Doha is now well and truly on the map for travelers around the world thanks to Qatar Airways’ expanding global route map and an innovative new stopover program. I am often asked by readers for tips and advice for visitors to Qatar, so by popular demand, I have compiled the “ultimate” Insider’s Guide to Doha. From visas through to hotels, what to buy and of course where to eat, its all here in one place. My only advice? Just come – you will love it. Visa Details: Travelers can now enjoy the new Transit Visa free of cost when you add a short transit or stopover between five and 96 hours…

  • Doha,  Qatar,  Restaurants

    Seven Places You Should Be Eating in Right Now – Summer 2017 Edition

    Don’t be alarmed…but it’s nearly August. Hard to believe we have survived nearly two months of the #QatarBlockade 2017 (although there appears to be a lucrative black market in Diet Coke hoarding and coriander swapping) and one of the swampiest Summers on record. But…here we are. Stronger. Sense of humor intact. And still HUNGRY. I thought it was time to revisit my now regular twice yearly look at places you should be eating at right now. To be fair, many of these places are old favorites that have maybe fallen off the radar (well mine anyway) but have returned with a new vigor and one out of left field. All are…

  • Qatar,  Restaurant Review,  Travel

    Heading North – An Authentic Foodie Experience Where You Least Expect it

    During Ramadan I received a message via my blog and I have to say, it more than piqued my interest. It was from the family who operated a small restaurant serving Indonesian, Malaysian and Filipino food inviting me to come and try their menu. The only catch – it was in Al Khor. Al Khor? I don’t go that far for my holidays!* So, after a little coaxing, much arguing over the music play list and a stop for petrol, AZ and I found ourselves one recent Friday standing outside a hypermarket in Al Khor. Upstairs in the large food court was a final destination  – The Sizzlers Qatar. It’s a…