Living in Dubai, we've all had these discussions with Friends back home, trying to understand what our lives are like in the UAE. What I usually get is:
"Oh I love hot weather, I'll come visit you in July!". No, believe me, I love you to bits but you don't want to come visit me in July.
"What do you mean you can't walk?". Well unless I want to skip all the fun and die right now, I'd rather risk my life in a cab than walk.
"Can I choose the nail polish for my manicure?". Yes, of course, there is no such thing as Nail polish law, you can do whatever you want.
"What do you mean the taxi might not know how to get there, I have the address, I'll be fine!". Yes, sure, just don't be surprised if the driver asks you if you have your friend's phone number.
"Oh you must spend all your week-ends at the beach!". Or not. I am not really excited about skin cancer and mummification.
"Why would I pack jumpers, it's 40 degrees in Dubai". Indeed. Outside.
... and apparently I am not the only one to get this kind of misunderstandings. Let me introduce you to http://onlyindxb.tumblr.com/, a hilarious blog that explains all about our lives here in Dubai. Well done the Author, I think we can all relate to it!
I cannot say no to Champagne. It's a fact.
But I am not sure about Champagne Cocktails: I feel like I am wasting it if I mix it with something else... But again, it's nice to try so here is a little inspiration:
My childhood Friend AL landed on the sandpit this week-end! It's her first time in the Middle East so she didn't know what to expect. First reaction "It's hot!", second reaction "Why is it so cold in restaurants and malls?"... story of our lives here in Dubai.
So on her first day here and to put her right in the ambiance, she got a mani-pedi (kind of the national feminine sport here), followed by dinner on a terrasse with view on the Dubai Fountains, what else? I have to admit that as kitsh and loud, and too much as they are, I am still amazed everytime I see them playing.
In addition to the news and gossip, I learned a lifesaving skill yesterday: how to get Ketchup out of a real Heinz Bottle. It took K., my most New Yorky Friend all her patience to explain that hitting the bottom of the Bottle wasn't going to get me anywhere, but leaning the Bottle and hitting the Numbers engraved on it would probably be more effective... And it was. New Yorkers are wise.
I don't know why exactly but I often go to the Gramercy for a good catch up with my Ladies. The Food is good : Carpaccios, Salmon, Club Sandwiches... simple confort Food. The service is efficient and I like the intimate Atmosphere, it is easy and effortless. They also have good jazz Music, good live Singers, which I like. The Problem, and unfortunately it does spoil a lot of the experience, the problem is that it is way too loud. I like Ladies Night, I love catching up, but as much as I love the Gramercy, I would keep it for Lunches rather than Dinners. Last time we went, we literally took refuge at the nearby Florian Cafe, just so we could actually communicate.
The Gramercy, DIFC Precinct building 3, Balcony level, Dubai, UAE
The lovely Elsa Billgren spent a few days in Paris recently and visited my favourite Vintage Shop in Paris: Mamie. When I was living in Paris, I use to walk 15 minutes, cross a few streets and visit the shop as often as I could. The owners are often found knitting behind the counter and you can spend hours chatting with them, they know their stuff. Elsa's photographs are gorgeous and made me nostalgic, I miss Vintage here in Dubai!
Meet MatchBook! It is an online magazine full of inspiration. Launched in January 2011 by Katie Armour and Jane Lilly Warren, Matchbook is a collection of lifestyle, fashion, art and culture news, launches, reminiscence. It is full of ideas to make the everyday a better place.
I discovered a great way to release tension. Shooting.
I went with three gentlemen to the Jebel Ali Shooting Club a few weeks ago. Such good fun!
I discovered 2 things:
1- one can shoot in heels, "You couldn't be more French!"
2- I am not a bad shot
I loved bumping into a group of 4 Emirati Women who came to shoot together. Pretty unexpected!
To learn more about Jebel Ali Shooting Club, click here.
I never really mentionned it but we have a Family House in Connecticut, and in the latest years, we have started a little Farm there. Our little Haven is called Hickory Hurst, it is near Morris, CT, if you are in the US and want fresh organic Meat, pass by the Truelove Farm... non, we were not in a romantic mood, it is simply the Manager's Surname. I have known him since I was 4 years old! He is young, handsome and an inspired Writer.
This morning I received this darling Photograph of one of the Piggies sunbathing on the Sundeck. Life is good at Hickory Hurst, Happy Sunday everybody!
An other kind of singing! St Andrews Gentlemen Singers, "The Other Guys" came up with their own version of California Girls (Katy Perry ft. Snoop Dog) for a Charity. Their St Andrews Girls and voices are swinging for Breast Cancer Care, I say well done!
Kind of a delayed post because last week-end was so full I didn't have time to write about it yet: I went to Dubai Singers Concert at Monarch Hotel. The performance was Joseph Haydn's The Creation, with Martyn Bagnall conducting, the Choir and 3 Soloists.
If I am completely honest, I like Ballet more than the Opera. I need visual action, whether it's classical, modern, jazz... I am not fussy, I love it. With Operas, my attention tends to vanish after an hour: for some reason, I have a one hour resistance to classical singing. The only one that gets my full attention from beginning until the end is Mozart's Magic Flute, and I absolutely cannot explain why. But it proves I can actually do it so I keep on trying and learning more about it. Practice makes perfect!
And it was so nice to get a little bit of Culture in Dubai. I will definitively watch out for the Dubai Singers next performance!
Last week-end I had a charming Dinner at Pier Chic.
I have to say: the venue is stunning. It feels like being at the end of the World, like there is nothing around. The seafood is very delicate, we decided to go for a selection of starters: monkfish, carpaccio, oysters, scallops, it was just what I needed. I was even able to have a desert! I loved everything: from the venue to the quiet ambiance, discreet service and tasty food! A very nice Discovery!
If you have been following me for a while, you know by now that my favorite Macarons are Pierre Herme. I love the fact that every bite is a surprise! Unfortunately I cannot find them here in Dubai so I have been on the hunt for THE Macaron for a few months as you can imagine, and I can now say that Fauchon makes the best Macarons of Dubai (sorry if I disappoint Laduree lovers). They are crunchy but also full, soft inside and tasty. Love their soft colors!
You will find Fauchon at the Mall of Emirates and Dubai Mall.