Search This Blog

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Another Christmas Gone...

Another Christmas, another year and soon 2010 will be no more. We spent the holidays eating and drinking while managing Z's sleep routines rather successfully. He's so young and so slept through everything. I was able to chill out and enjoy the odd glass of wine or five.

Doha has become so cool even during the day temperatures are never higher than 25 degrees. Perfect weather, as I said to a friend, for slim leather jackets and peep toe stilettos. On Christmas morning, we joined some friends for brunch at La Cigale Traiteur which also boasts an impressive deli.

The cafe offered the usual breakfast options but the deli was in a class of its own. There were miles desserts, cheeses, breads, ice creams and sweets on offer. 

As it is Christmas, the range of log cakes was mind numbing. How does one choose ? Luckily I had dinner invitations tonight, so was "forced"to buy a cake.

I finally decided on the cake featured on the left bottom of the photo above. It was a chocolate mousse cake with a rice crispies base. Delish and at QR 180 which was not cheap but totally worth the pennies.

I was tempted with this log cake with the face but changed my mind.

We will be back soon to sample the rest.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Simply wonderful

Mountain biking is not my passion, neither are bike stunts but I enjoyed this bit of film so much.

FRAMED-Andi Wittmann Rider profile from Felix Urbauer on Vimeo.

Happy National Day

2 days ago was Qatar's national day and people were out in throngs celebrating. Road blocks were set up around the corniche where the parade started mid day.

Days before the national day, flags were flown from all the lamp posts lining the streets, people stuck on decals of the emir on their cars and large corporations compete with each other on who could put up the biggest qatari flags.

Ritz Carlton had a massive flag strung up from their hotel. It could be seen from miles away.

The parade along the Corniche featured the military forces, men on horses and camels.

(pics from qatarliving.)

I guess the nationalistic feeling amongst those who live here must have grown since Qatar won the 2022 world cup host bid.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Fantastical Furniture

Smarin  calls these livingstones. Giant foam cushions posing as pebbles. I love the idea, though not quite sure how practical they are as outdoor furniture. Are they waterproof? If so, how comfortable can they be?

What about this fantasty bed frame? The Shawn Lowell Metalworks Tree Bed as seen on ThisNext. It looked like a prop from a fairy tale set.

Stuff that little girls dream of having in their rooms?

My eyes popped out when I saw these creations from Dedon, called nestrests. How absolutely dreamlike. This is what a hammock wants to be when it grows up.

Utterly gorgeous and I want one.

Question - How did he get into it without getting wet ?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Latest Lunch Spot in Doha

Last night we hosted a cocktail party to celebrate Little Z's 30 day since birth and even though I only had 3 glasses of wine, I was slightly hungover. T had seen better days too and we both decided to go for a walk to clear our heads and treat ourselves to lunch at the newest restaurant to open at The Pearl - Carluccio's.

Carluccio's Caffe is an Italian deli with branches all over the UK and also in Dubai. This Carluccio's is different from Dubai insofar as it is licensed to serve alcohol woohoo!!

The deli section had a small but mouthwatering selection of cheeses, salads, cakes, deli meats. On the shelves were their signature cookies, pasta and olive oils. A small packet of porcini mushrooms about 20 grams were QR 45 and a small jar of red pepperoncino pesto was QR 55. Prices were much higher compared to the UK, the same jar of pesto was only 4 quid there. Still, beggars can't be choosers, this is the second decent deli in  Doha, after Dean & Deluca in Villagio.

We quickly ordered lunch of mozzarella and tomato salad and a penne giardiniera which was made with a feather light white sauce of courgette and mild chilli with deep fried spinach balls with parmesan and garlic. I was pleasantly surprised at how tasty the crispy balls of vegetable were. The sauce was a little too light for me and needed a fair amount of salt to enhance the dish but perhaps that was just me.

I will have to come back again to try all the other pasta dishes and they are homemade and fresh. That night, I had some of the peperoncino pesto on my dinner and it was extremely spicy! Brillant stuff!

Sunday, November 14, 2010


I am taking a break from blogging right now as I spend my entire waking life feeding, burping and changing nappies. We came home with a new addition to the family just nine days ago and trying to get used to the idea of being responsible for somebody else now.

Little Z arrived at 12.36 pm on November 5th and weighed a wee 6.1 pounds. He's got his Dad's complexion and hairline while from me, he might have inherited the flat nose. Poor sod.

Sometimes I get a window of free time and manage to do some surfing and today I was shown this massively hilarious video that had me in stitches and moving to the beat.

Never heard this song before but this kid is a star.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Design templates

I am still working on The Write Stuff but mostly doing children's birthday invites for now. M's daughter is having a Dorothy the Dinosaur theme party at a park in Brisbane mid November and has kindly let me design the card for her.

I must admit, I had never heard of Dorothy the Dinosaur up til now and apparently, she's a bit hit with kids Down Under.  Dorothy is a yellow polka dotted dino who loves ballet and eating red roses. I came up with an invite and the matching thank you card. M loved it and I am very pleased !

I hope to do more card designs and C, whose daughter is having a birthday in Dec is celebrating her special day with two other kids. They have not decided on the theme yet but so far Ben Ten + fairies are up there.

It is tough finding good quality paper in Doha but I have to keep looking. Might have to import some if the demand picks up. Fancy envelopes do not exist here, but I did come across Upon a Fold, an online shop that sells a clever idea.

Envelope die cuts.

These templates let you use any fancy paper, or recycled material to make your own envelopes. You can create two different sized envelopes and the kit only costs AUD 5.50! But it here.

Anyway, it's Halloween weekend and I am due any time now. A final visit to my OBGYN tomorrow to see if everything is on track. Wish me luck !

Saw this amazing photo on DesignCrush and thought I'd share with you guys.

Have a great weekend !

Doha can be fun...

Over 4 months in the desert and we are slowly discovering that Doha has some treats up her sleeve. Just this afternoon, friends were going sailing at the Regatta Academy at the Intercontinental Hotel beach front and invited us to come along to watch. I couldn't get on for obvious reasons and T was told, he needed at least a few lessons before they let him out on the water. The boys were just renting lasers to sail for an hour and at QR 100 an hour, very reasonable. 

The Regatta academy was nothing more than a wooden beach shack but what more do you need ? There were a few kids having a theory lesson but other than that, very quiet as it was a weekday.

G and N were putting on some life jackets while the guys were helping them rig up their lasers.

Taking off from the beach, you could choose to sail out into the open or towards the cityscape of Doha.

We are definitely taking up some classes come the new year and what's more, with the sailing club attached to the hotel, you could hang out at the hotel pool or dine at the restaurants, lounge at the beach deck chairs all for a small day rate. 

What a brillant way to spend a day no?

Doha Film Festival Opening Night

T's office is the official broadcaster for the film festival so we were invited to the opening night last Tuesday. The Katara cultural village was pimped out for this amazing event and the spotlights could be seen beaming from the village from miles away.

These pics are from the official DTFF website, go here to see more. We arrived around 7pm when the film was to start an hour later, only to see rows of fans lining up against the red carpet welcoming famous Arab stars and international ones like Kevin Spacey, Robert De Niro and Salma Hayek.

We were ushered to the outdoor amphitheatre for the film and it was massive.

This photo is from the DTFF website, I took one as we were approaching it and at night, it looked even more magnificent though the photo doesn't do it justice.

The seats were plush comfy armchairs and by this time, Doha evenings had become so cool it was really nice sitting outdoors under the stars. The video wall showed Salma Hayek coming down the red carpet and being interviewed. The boys went out to get some dinner for us and we were munching on our chicken kebabs before everything started.

There were deck chairs right on the front and familes brought their prams and babies along to the viewing too.

Outside the Law, by Rachid Bouchareb opened the festival. The film was about the Algerian struggle for independence and it was brillant. We enjoyed the experience so much, we are thinking of going again this evening for another film. On top of all this ? The screenings at the outdoor theatre is free how good is that ?!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

House Envy

I have been feeling rather tired and lethargic over the past week, which explains my lack of blogging. Even looking at my favourite bloggers updates, was not enough to lift me out of my restlessness. Anyway, I forced myself out of the house a few days ago, to get some fresh air and meet some friends to try and shake the moodiness out of the system.

The hair salon I frequent in Doha, was opening a new branch just 5 minutes away. Glow American Salon had an opening party on Friday at the Beach Tower. They promised the first 200 patrons goodie bags of free products. The invite said to come between 3 - 7pm and enjoy complimentary spa treatments like manicures and hair washes.

I figured that if we got there around 3pm, we wouldn't miss out. Getting 200 women to congregate in one location in Doha, sounds ambitious. How wrong were we ? The girls and I arrived at the scene at 3.15pm and already, all the bags were given out and the queue for free treatments spilled out of the salon. Boo hoo!

The sight of so many expat women in one place was rather unusual and they were everywhere. We were given free ice cream and coffee coupons so the trip was not completely wasted.

Beach Tower is located in the West Bay area, and the spa is on the ground floor of the apartment block. Handy to know that besides Glow, there is also a coffee and bagel shop in the building. We lingered for a while and decided to leave after having our fill of free scoops of dessert.

S, who drove us to the salon, just moved into her house on the bay. Since we had spare time, she invited us for a cup of tea at her new house.

What a house, is all I can say. It was right on the water and they had their own private swimming beach !

S is sharing the house with some mates as it has 5 bedrooms, so plenty of space. G's two cats were happily frolicking around the sand and the small patches of grass on the lawn.

The last tenants left a trampoline on the beach !

This was the view at the water line, the tall building in the horizon, is the Zig Zag Towers, an apartment block. There are rows of these gorgeous houses dotted along the beach and people were riding jetskis and sailing their little laser boats on the water as we sipped teas on the lawn.

Not a bad way to end a day....

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Doha Film Fest 2010

It's finally here, well in 8 days, the Doha Tribeca Film Festival 2010 will last 5 days starting on Oct 26. This year, the outdoor screenings will be done in the new Katara cultural village not far from the Pearl Qatar and right next door to the Intercontinental Hotel.

We drove in to have a peek at the area as we have only seen parts of the architecture poking out from behind the sand dunes from the main road. From a distance, it already looked impressive plus there was a Magnum photography exhibition on in one of the buildings.

Katara, I found out later is the ancient Greek name for Qatar. The old name sounds a lot prettier don't you think? We were greeted by these towers which are inspired by bird nests.

The stone buildings next to it housed a photographic society and a society of engineers ?! Weaving through the buildings, passing empty lots slated for cafes as the cultural village is not officially open to public yet. Suddenly there was an opening and the amphi-theatre loomed before us. It was like the roman colosseum, massive and built out of marble with soaring columns, great arches and what looks like, a brass entrance at least 2 storeys high.

My phone camera was unable to capture the magnificence of the building but found this image online.

For the film festival, films are not featured in this grand space but a temporary amphitheatre has been constructed steps away and viewings will be free of charge.

(photo from gulf times)

About 50 films are featured during the 5 days and we got tickets to watch one for now - Certified Copy, starring Juliet Binoche. We will head to the free screenings whenever possible as the evenings are so cool now, stting outside for a few hours would be pleasant.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Chunky Jewellery

Last night I had the evening to myself while T went out with the boys. I had the whole night to watch the latest season of Gossip Girl Season 4 so settled down on the couch with a big tub of London Dairy Pralines and Cream flavoured ice cream.

As usual the plots were diabolical but very entertaining. The main draw for me as always, was the accessories. I zoomed in on the stunning chunky necklaces that the girls were wearing especially the agate adorned ones.

Serena wore this in Epi 5 and it just blew me away.

Everything from the colours to the organic chunkiness of the necklace is stunning. As I found out there are many designers out there who create amazing sliced agate necklaces and here are a few I would love to own.

A.V Max Agate Necklace ( USD 101) featured on Divasjewellerybox blog.

Gucci has this blue agate bracelet at USD 6900 ! Crazy.

This is more like it. A fuchsia agate cuff for USD 33 featured on firstresponse blog.

The Vamoose is a jeweller online that stocks these beautiful pendants at GBP 21.00, much more affordable.

Stone and Honey is another but they blend agate slices with delicate silver or gold designs.

And this beauty.

Price start from USD 95 to USD 160.

Which ones do you like?