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    luxury travel,  Qatar,  Travel

    12 Travel Apps to Help Make Your Next Vacation a Little Easier

    Until recently I used to be a little old school when it came to traveling. I would tote around a plastic folder stuffed with print-outs of plane and hotel bookings, even reams of restaurant and tourist attractions. But you can teach old dogs new technology tricks. The biggest change for me was buying an iPhone and discovering the Apple Wallet – it was like a bolt from heaven! A place where I can store boarding passes, hotel loyalty cards and more? Sign me up! But the more I travel, the less I want to take with me. So along with my iPad, headphones, lip balm and travel insurance, several pairs…

  • Doha,  Qatar,  Restaurant Reviews

    Summer Loving – Nobu’s Seasonal Menu

    You would have to be living under a rock to not know that all is not well in the GCC region right now. This isn’t a blog to discuss politics and the bullying antics of neighboring countries against a sovereign nation (oops…see what I did there?). But I can truly say it’s business as usual – supermarket shelves are full,  ATMs are dispensing cash…expats and citizens are just getting on with life as best we can. Which brings me to this blog post – for me, this means continuing to eat my way around the city. Last night it was Nobu Doha  to try their new Omakase (Chef’s choice) menu. This has become…

  • Cheese,  life,  Love,  Qatar

    When the Words Just Won’t Come

    As many regular readers know, I generally take a little break from my blog every northern Summer. I get blog fatigue. This year’s has been longer than usual because, I just couldn’t find the words to write. Every time I opened the site to start, the words just wouldn’t come. Just a couple of weeks ago, my greatest supporter, the first reader of my blog, my Mum, passed away after brief and brutal battle with cancer. I still can’t believe those words even as I lived and wrote them. I’m not completely sure how I have been functioning the last few weeks, except for the love and support of family…

  • Cheese,  Love

    A Friend in Cheeses – Here’s to 2015

    I don’t really do resolutions. Because like the cliche they are, I usually abandon them quickly like bad boyfriends. Rather I make deals with myself. This year’s are as broad as they are ridiculous: Eat breakfast everyday Read more widely Learn one new recipe per week Finally learn Arabic Be open to love (Oprah made me say that) Say yes more often (except to margaritas) And of course…eat more cheese. Who can ask for more than that?

  • Accompaniments,  Cheese,  Cooking,  farmers cheese,  Food Trends,  Hotels,  India,  Media,  Travel,  White Cheese

    Paneer to the Action

    The thing about cheese, is that it’s actually really simple. Milk, a souring agent and time is all it takes to produce a simple white cheese. No complications. It’s when you start adding things like flavor, smokiness, rinds that things get complicated. Kind of like relationships. Except they don’t have rinds.Well, you know what I mean. I’m glad to have introduced my friends to the power of paneer and Indian cheese. It’s to the point where we actively seek it out, like DVD copies of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. We had a couple of brushes with this cheese on our recent trip to Mumbai. This included a unique paneer salad…

  • Cheese,  Cheese in Cooking,  European Cheese,  Food,  Italian,  Italian Cheese,  Italy,  Recipes,  Travel,  wine

    The Grate Escape – Eating Pecorino in Italy

    You may have heard, I recently went to Italy. To say this was a spiritual experience (bit like my visit to The ABBA Museum would be very accurate. I spent most of my time in Florence like Florence is well known for many things. some bloke called David, the setting of a million films and novels and of course, its’ food. I was there for the cheese – specifically Pecorino. Pecorino is the name of a family of hard Italian cheeses made from ewe’s milk. The word derives from Italian pecora meaning ‘sheep’, which in turn is from the Latin pecus meaning livestock. Like Parmesan we have all probably had…

  • Cheese,  European Cheese,  Food,  Hotels,  Italy,  Pecorino,  Travel,  wine

    A Room With a View – Four Days in Florence

    When I stepped off the plane in Florence last month, it dawned on me that it had almost been 20 years to the day since I was last in this city. Why I left it so long, I have no idea. But 20 years later I was back – older, a bit wealthier, better dressed but in no way wiser. I had originally planned to visit Rome. But then saw that thanks to Qatar Airways joining One World, I could now book a flight straight through to Florence with a short stop in Rome. I’m relieved to say the city hasn’t changed. It just has more Chinese tourists. I have…

  • Cheese,  European Cheese,  Grilled Cheese,  Italian,  Italy,  Recipes

    Full Fontina

    We all know the feeling. Work is a war zone. The car is on the blink. Traffic is at carmageddon levels. A friend isn’t talking to you. Even the neighborhood stray cat hates you. For me, this is a time when only a grilled cheese sandwich will do. See, grilled cheese doesn’t judge you. Doesn’t yell at you for doing something wrong. It doesn’t care that you are wearing tracksuit pants where the elastic is broken. It’s warm, gooey, non-judgemental goodness. This little number, made recently on a cool and wet Doha night, features fontina cheese, walnut bread and some sneaky ham. Fontina cheese has been made in the Aosta…

  • Cheese,  Food,  France,  French,  Restaurant Review,  Travel

    Stuck on Bleu

    You can dine in Michelin Star restaurants in far flung destinations, immerse yourself in the language of haute cuisine and bathe in truffle oil. But at the end of he day, it is fresh, simply prepared and unadulterated food that will win my vote every time. I had the pleasure of experiencing just this recently at Opal by Gordon Ramsay. This thin crust pizza with pear, a eggplant paste, bleu cheese and parmesan with a sprinkling of pine nuts was the perfect combination of sweet, savory, salty and crunchy. I had to restrain myself. But at the same meal, I was blown away with something many of us dismissed on…