I spy with my little eye... Qbara the opulent.

Everybody had been talking about Qbara for the past months so one calm week-end (before everybody came back from their 3 months holiday), the gentleman and I decided to go check it out. Booking was surprisingly easy and smooth so we wondered how packed the restaurant would be on a Friday night.

It was actually busy but in a nice buzzing way. Qbara is the kind of place that will never be empty but where you can always get a table, which is perfect. The space huge but doesn't feel empty, you colour scheme is middle eastern with rich gold and purple shades but without feeling crowded (which is a miracle).

I appreciated the effort on the wine list: they definitively kept it Mediterranean with wines from Lebanon, Syria, and even Greece. I was very happy to discover something new, never had had Greek wine before!
Foodwise, the concept is to give middle eastern cuisine a gastronomical twist. It's actually surprising that no one thought about it before. I appreciated the wide menu, and the effort to make simple family dishes something more elaborate, it was tasty and surprising, even if I didn't understand everything: why in the world would you put lobster in a fried kebbe? Lobster is way too subtle a taste in my opinion to be paired with fried food, in other words: I couldn't taste anything. 

As much as I enjoyed the dinner, the deserts were the highlight of the evening with a mix of textures and spices. I knew the Middle East loved it's pastries but that confirmed it all. It was probably the first time I managed to finish deserts after a mezze!
All in all, I'm very happy I finally made it to the "best restaurant in Dubai at the moment" since I had been hearing this all summer long. I love the effort to put forward local cuisine, and I love the fact that they can do better: means plenty of surprises to come!

For more info about Qbara, visit their website: www.qbara.ae

I spy with my little eye... cha cha cha Chantelle.

When it comes to lingerie, I am very picky. So picky I actually can't remember buying a single piece of lace in Dubai in 3 years. The only underwear I can handle in the UAE is the everyday Marks and Spencer bras, I realise how sad that sounds coming from a Parisian, but this is the blunt truth. I refuse to wear cheap lace and I have declared war to ugly big flowers, therefore I am still on the hunt for high waisted panties and art deco lace, but I haven't given up yet. Hence my surprise when Chantelle sent me their new catalogue: there is some good stuff in here!

So let me show you my favourite piece!

Starting with Mouvance. Love the Art Deco vibe with the suggested shells, and the subtle grey.

In the same vibe, I liked the Vendome ensemble which made me think of burlesque 1920's performers with these big stars and golden touch. I paired it with the book I'm currently reading, and my beloved Kate Spade lipstick!

In a less retro theme and more of an everyday baroque style, this Palazzo burgundy ensemble caught my eye. For some reason I like triangle shapes, and small patterns, this model manages to be both simple and a sultry at the same time.

Finally, our cheetah Lino had a crush on the Graphic bra, looks like he has simple taste when it comes to lingerie!

I spy with my little eye... Good Magazine's blogger of the month!

Guess who's Good Magazine's blogger of the month?

I spy with my little eye... Roland Mouret for Banana Republic.

A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to be part of a bloggers photoshoot for the Roland Mouret for Banana Republic collection. We're talking of a French designer, and a fun afternoon with my lovely fellow Dubai bloggers, of course I said Oui!

So on a Saturday afternoon, we met at Chinawhite for some shooting and laughing. I absolutely love these projects since you get to see how each blogger adapts the same collection to her own style. Dubai does not have a distinctive identity yet, it is still (and I hope it will stay) a Babel Tower of trends, cultures and languages, resulting in a wide range of styles, and I like the idea of a fashion safari!

So let me introduce my partners in crime, from left to right:
Dee from streetstylesavvy.com
Tina from tinayums.com
Stephanie from mademoiselleadubai.com
and Natasha from redlipsandlace.wordpress.com

I will admit I felt a bit shy when I discovered the collection. My outfits are usually pretty flimsy, the only feature highlighted being the waist, so I am definitively not used to bodycon dresses which is what Roland Mouret went for. It took me a while not to feel naked in this navy blue dress, despite the fact that it was very covering and classic, it was simply out of my comfort zone. So to balance that, I paired the dress with my favourite vintage accessories: a vintage hat, doctor's bag, red Louboutins and my red lipstick!

I hope you like what we did with this collection? Oh and there is a video (yes, you are used to reading us, but we do talk too)!

I spy with my little eye... Dubai sun, Friend and Foe.

As you probably noticed if you follow me on instagram or twitter, I am back in Dubai! And back on my usual bipolar relationship with the sun: I can't live without the light and warmth, but I also like the idea of not looking like a overripe peach at age 40, and I always find that pale skin tone works better with red lipstick, call me Snow White.
The answer to this universal dilemna as Baz Luhrmann puts it, is sunscreen. And I was lucky enough that it came with my August Glambox: two 100 spf Bioderma testers that are fantastic. Non greasy, transparent, easy to apply and with maximum protection. Like this 1956 french sun lotion ad mentions it, after Coco Chanel started the sun-kissed trend in 1920 (after she got sun burnt on the french Riviera, true story), it is important to hydrate your skin as well as protect it while sunbathing. And one more thing I can confirm after years in the desert: the spf degree has nothing to do with how much you will tan, just how much you will burn. Wear sunscreen!

And for more information about Glambox, check their website www.glambox.me

I spy with my little eye... la Dolce Vita in the South of France.

Last post about our holidays in France: after the wedding in Normandie, we drove (let me rephrase that: the Gentleman drove and I tried to tame the GPS) for 10 hours to reach Albi in the South, where we have a family house. Life in Albi is pretty simple: pool, wineries, beautiful middle age city, rides through the countryside, lots of flea markets and cheese. 

Lil'bro was there as well, smoking, playing the piano and discussing the future of our world instead of writing his thesis. It doesn't get any more french than that to be honest... "Easy, I'm enjoying, smoking my glass of wine".

The one reason I miss France is for all of the vintage markets. If I hadn't refrained myself, I would have bought enough stuff to furnish a whole mansion.

Hats make me happy!

 1940's skin treatment, anyone tempted?

 Look at that wooden horse!

Posters, chairs, you name it, they have it!

I was very very close to buying this Art Deco "coiffeuse" (make up table).

Eventually we did something else than shopping and eating (it was difficult though). We visited beautiful Cordes sur Ciel. It's difficult to believe that people actually live in that doll little village in the middle of the sky (as stated in the name of the village itself).

I absolutely wanted to visit a little thriftshop just outside of Albi. Last year I had discovered the place and the guy owning it by chance and the space was so incredible I didn't want to miss it! Au Chien Vert has no website, no facebook page, no twitter, it's owner sometimes even forgets to put out the sign on the road to indicate that he is open (which is exactly what happened to us: I literally had to go knock on the door to find him working on a 1970's car "oh yeah, I forgot to put the sign"), it's like he doesn't want you to find him. But once you do, it is a whirlwind of vintage! His warehouse is absolutely packed with stuff (there is no other way to describe it) he collected from deceased people or bought at auctions.

After that overdose of vintage which I really really needed, we obviously headed back to the sandpit, full of inspiration and new finds! 
Hint of Beautiful. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.