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  • luxury travel,  Travel

    Around Barcelona in Five Great Meals

    When I told people I was traveling Barcelona for a quick vacation in November, the reaction was very similar – a sharp intake of breath, a purse of the lips and a quizzical “Is it a good time to go?” And you know they didn’t mean the weather.  If you know me, you know that I can sometimes be slow on the uptake. So it took me until well into my (ahem) 40s and my traveling life to visit Barcelona(and of course I had to visit during one of the most turbulent periods in the city’s recent history!). A serious omission on my part. The people. The location on the…

  • Cheese,  Food,  Restaurant Reviews,  Travel

    That’s Amore – Revisiting Porcini at Ritz Carlton Doha

    In a galaxy far, far away, when I first arrived in Doha, believe it or not there were only a handful of five star hotels and dining options were more limited. I used to spend a lot of time at Ritz Carlton Doha. But you know how it is, as new properties opened and Doha’s traffic started to define Carmageddon, I visited less often in recent times. So when I was invited by the hotel to try an old favorite, their Italian restaurant Porcini, it was a bit like catching up with an old friend after so many years and picking up where you left off. That is not to say…

  • Cheese,  Qatar,  Restaurant Review,  Travel

    A Good Manchego is Hard to Find – Review of Chef’s Choice Menu at El Faro

    While I am very much a woman of my own mind, sometimes I get overwhelmed and paralysed by indecision. Especially where a buffet is concerned or a menu where everything sounds amazing. I also hate “Menu Envy”…you know when you finally order something then your man/friend/random nearby diner orders something far more interesting. It’s like FOMO….the foodie edition. This is why the rise of tasting menus are so good for someone like me. The newest tasting menu on the block is being offered by El Faro at the Marsa Malasz Kempinski which I believe is one of the best new restaurants in Doha – innovative and interesting food, great service and a…

  • Cheese,  Spanish

    Tapas Bravos – Restaurant Review of Aceite at the Melia Doha

    There are few things that can make the world better again than fried cheese and copious amounts of sangria. Which is why when the invite came to try this new restaurant, I literally ran towards it screaming. Spanish food is literally surging in Doha right now. With the excellent El Faro at the Marsa Malasz and now this gem, Aceite at the new Melia Doha. On a Thursday night in July, it was busy with big groups of work people enjoying the tapas and a drink as well as couple and of course two hungry Australian sheilas. Plied with a very hypnotic sangria tapas style starters of cheese and chicken croquettas along with…

  • Cheese,  Doha,  Restaurant Reviews

    Living La Vida Loca at El Faro

    In my next life I want to be a flamenco dancer. There is something about the combination of fierceness, amazing red frocks and being able to dance in high heels that really appeals to me. I have always loved Spain and visited Madrid twice in recent years. I even bought one of those stunning fringed Spanish shawls, determined to channel my inner Flamenco dancer. I’ve worn it once and nearly decapitated myself when it got caught in the door of my car. But I love the Spanish combination of pragmatism and  love of life and food. And their sense of humor. This is the country that gave us surrealism. Spanish…

  • Cheese,  Doha,  Qatar,  Restaurant Review

    Tapa the World – Brunch Without the Big Buffet

    I used to be a prolific bruncher. Fridays would always consist of a jug of margaritas and a lush buffet. Brunch in the Middle East is an art and I was an old master. But something changed, maybe a desire to get healthier or a realization that I would end up spending Friday nights napping. Maybe I just got old. Last week the Oryx Rotana asked me to come our of my Brunch Exile to try their new “Tap Brunch” at their popular Cellar restaurant. I was glad I came our of retirement. This hotel is actually my “local” and to my great detriment I always forget about it and literally drive…

  • Accompaniments,  Aged Cheese,  Artisan Cheese,  Cheese in Cooking

    Fromage Fortifications

    As a cheese blogger, having a fridge full of the good stuff is an occupational hazard. As of yesterday I have leftover pieces of Manchego, Parmesan, Swiss, Cheddar, Gorgonzola and several unidentified randoms. Now you know how I hate waste as much as losing perfectly good cheese, so I dug out this recipe by the amazing David Lebovitz for Fromage Fort. Fromage fort is a French cheese spread, literally “strong cheese”. It is traditionally made by blending together pieces of different leftover cheeses, white wine (or other spirits) with garlic, herbs and whatever takes your fancy. I made mine with around seven kinds of odds and ends cheeses The recipe calls for…