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  • Travel

    Five Foodie-Approved Short Breaks to Take this Summer

    I’m in the process of researching and booking my Summer holiday destinations. The criteria always remains are unchanged from the last year: solid foodie credentials, direct flights on Qatar Airways and as few visa entanglements as I can muster. If you are, like me, when choosing a destination, food is a major consideration. Well, let’s be honest, it’s probably top of the list along with easy (or no visas) visas and bearable flight times.And many times, I book a food tour before I book a hotel. All the below destinations are a manageable four to five hours from Doha and have visa on arrival or e-visas AND have the Life on…

  • luxury travel,  Travel

    Five Important Things I learned About Travel in 2017

    I’ve been traveling for pleasure solidly for more than 25 years and lost track of the countries and cities I’ve been to (that’s not to brag – really I have a terrible memory). But one of the best things about travel and being…ahem…slightly mature…is that you always learn something new from each adventure. This year, with the illegal blockade of Qatar throwing in a bit of color and movement, was especially instructive and I wanted to share with you some truths I learned in 2017 from cities far and near: The best trips don’t have to be meticulously planned Nearly every trip I have taken this year has been half…

  • Food,  Oman,  Travel

    Head in the Clouds – A Weekend in Oman

    It’s true, I’ve been an absentee blogger of late. A nasty virus and its associated hangers on (tonsillitis, bronchitis, kidney infection) knocked me for six and saw me confined to quarters for weeks. My other half (who has also had his own health issues), said he knew I was really unwell when I refused to even touch the feast he had just brought home from Afghan Brothers. It had been a rugged couple of months, so when AZ went to Dubai for a work assignment, we hatched a plan to meet in Oman for a languid weekend. He had his car (a gigantic 4WD) so I flew to Muscat and…

  • Cheese in Cooking,  India,  Restaurants,  Travel,  White Cheese

    Rolled Gold – New Ways With An Old Favorite

    I consider myself a semi expert on Indian paneer and cheeses. Self appointed of course. I had thought I know the whole gamut of ways to eat it until I visited The Indus in Muscat. Falling into the realm of “high end” Indian food, this restaurant really did live up to its hype. For me, the highlight of an excellent meal was their version of cottage cheese style paneer. I had never come across this treatment of the cheese before. Doodhiya Kalmiya which is cottage cheese rolls stuffed with bell peppers, potatoes and Indian spices. The cottage cheese is rolled flat and wrapped around the stuffing. It’s then cooked on a char grill.…

  • Burgers,  Oman,  Restaurant Reviews

    Swings and Roundabouts – Roadside Dining Omani Style

    My ertswhile traveling companion, life coach and general man about town GF has a theory about popular cafes. He reckons that the most successful cafes in places like Australia and the Middle East all share one single unifying characteristic – they all look out onto a car park. In my experience this theory has some validity, especially in the Middle East. Whether it be the proximity to parking, the convenience or the general ability to people watch, I’m not sure. But it does have some basis in reality. With this in mind, on a cool Muscat evening, I coaxed GF out of the relative warmth and safety of his apartment…

  • Cafes,  Cheese,  Media,  Middle East,  Oman,  Restaurant Reviews,  Travel,  White Cheese

    Restaurant Review – Manis Gourmet Cafe Muscat Oman

    It would be fair to assume that I do spend a lot of time in five star hotels – either lounging around, terrorizing their chefs or drinking heavily. The reasons for this are twofold – in the Middle East hotels are generally the only place a gal can drink in public and frankly, my handbag collection demands a stage. That said, I don’t mind a greasy spoon joint (hangover helper) or a quality cafe. Anywhere with good coffee, magazines and decent people watching/judging opportunities. On one of my most recent trips to Muscat, my regular partner in crime GF and I ventured out of the rarefied confines of five stardom…

  • Cheese,  European Cheese,  Feta,  Food,  Greece,  Travel,  White Cheese

    Never Get Feta Up With This Cheese

    Ahhhh Feta. Not only is the sharp yet creamy taste something to savor, you can basically to anything with it – salads, sandwiches, stuff it into things (other food I mean you evil people), drizzle it with oil. Back at Grand Hyatt Muscat for the weekend, I managed to convince them to serve up one of my favorite breakfasts -feta, olive oil and tomato on bread. I’ve written of this before, but the cheese on this occasion was a kind of feta I haven’t come across before. It was firm yet creamy and you can see the ripple marks from the basket it was brined in. There was no comparison…

  • Cheese,  Restaurant Reviews,  Travel

    Living in the Bubble – Restaurant Review

    In Australia, brunch is a relatively new concept. We are fairly black and white – it’s breakfast or it’s lunch. The only exception being yum cha (dim sum) which kinda starts at 11am mainly because we all want to bag a table. Although there was a time in the 2000s when “Girl’s Brunches” were all the rage. I blame Sex and the City (for that and the whole cupcake phenomenon). Plus, did Samantha ever finish her fruit platter? Seems she was eating it for six seasons. In the Gulf however, more explicitly the “Expat Gulf”, brunch is taken very, very seriously. It is, in fact, an art form to be…