One of my favourite massages I've had in Dubai was in Talise Spa, Madinat Jumeirah; so when i was called in to review the place, i jumped on the opportunity without hesitation. With a relaxed environment and friendly staff, it is exactly what you would look for in a place to unwind. The Spa includes 26 luxury treatment rooms, sauna and steam room, relaxation rooms and indoor plunge pool. As you step into the sauna, the smell of menthol opens up your nasal passage and you instantly feel fresh - a nice touch. After using the spa facilities i waited in the relaxing room sipping on my ginger tea listening to the soft zen music before i was called in for my Aroma Oil Masssage.
The walk to the treatment room is beautiful. Surrounded by trees, you feel like you have stepped out of the city and into an exotic resort abroad. Just like the rest of Madinat Jumeirah, the walkway reflects that of old Arabia with beautiful architecture and painted motifs. Evi, my Indonesian masseuse was such a darling, as if needed, made my experience that little more pleasant. My comfort was her priority and my massage was personalised according to my needs. A good massage is fantastic but what sets a place apart from the rest is the little things. The warm towel placed under my neck and on my chest, the adjustable bed which lifted at the knees and helped you sit up, the fully equipped shower, and of course the warm, hospital and attentive staff. If your looking for the perfect massage in Dubai, head to Talise Spa in Madinat Jumeirah.
If there is something i cannot live without, It's my phone. Being a blogger you are literally on your phone 24/7. From taking photos, to updating your social media, replying to emails, scheduling meetings and organising your tasks for everyday. Having no set working hours, you don't ever stop. Its an around the clock job and everything in your day has to be documented, and for this, you need a phone that can not only cater for all your needs but to last you throughout the day, and the Huawei P8 does just that with its incredibly long lasting battery life.
The Huawei P8 has one of the most amazing camera's on a handset. For me, its always a nuisance carrying my huge digital camera everywhere i go, but as taking professional quality photographs is a vital part of my job, its a must. The Huawei is a fantastic alternative to my camera, as its camera quality is so sharp, crisp and the colours are so bright and vivid. Now going to food reviews means i don't need to struggle with a place to put my camera as my phone does the job taking a fraction of the space! It also has a fun Beautifying option on the camera, perfect for your selfies. With a MicroSD Card Slot, i don't have to worry about my memory getting full with all my constant photography.
When it comes to fashion, its all about the details, and Huawei P8's sleek design is the perfect accessory to any outfit. With its beautiful champagne gold colour, it compliments my accessories making itself a home with all my other essentials. It is undoubtedly a show stopper as its stunning design leaves everyone intrigued. And that, as a fashion blogger, is what i aim for!
The Pearl Spa, based in one of my personal favourite hotels in Dubai, the Four Seasons, is a a very relaxing sanctuary. The hotel itself is one of a kind, with a stunning garden and beach area, with a list of fantastic restaurants, i had to try out The Pearl Spa and see if it lived up to the rest of the hotel.
Walking into a wooden changing room, white towels and white orchids complimented the setting beautifully. A large vanity table which offered all that you would need; from hair dryers to hair combs and everything in between. The wooden theme continued throughout the spa, from the corridors to the relaxation room, where guests can relax, have tea, fruits, nuts, read a magazine without any disturbance. The facilities that the spa offers are, a steam room, sauna, indoor pool, jacuzzi, an ice fountain (perfect for using after stepping out of the steam room) and a rain tunnel (which is a pretty unique shower that has various colours, smells and sound).
I chose to try out the Signature Massage. A treatment that uses oud oil which is rich with rose and frankincense. A deep tissue massage which uses slow strokes and firm pressure (though i prefer light pressure personally so of course, the masseuse does what suits your needs) to ease stress. This massage is designed to leave your body aligned and relaxed with improved movement and circulation. My masseuse - Sai, was originally from Thailand, having worked in the Four Seasons Hotel there, i knew i was in good hands. She massaged my body with the exact pressure i wanted, making sure i was at the utmost comfort. Where i usually feel pain when the masseuse tackles my knots, Sai was so professional, she used techniques that opened up the knots with ease leaving me completely relaxed. I felt that even though the massage was the spa's signature, it was customised to what my body required. After the treatment was over, i felt calm, relax and completely fresh. A fantastic experience that i highly recommend.
Marks & Spencer's Spring 2015 Launch took place in Meydan Beach on JBR. Watching the models walk the catwalk whilst having high tea in a beautiful layout, with pink and yellow roses and tulips adorning the tables. Fabulous styling, clean lines and bright and beautiful prints, the collection was very fresh and a great take on the season. I loved the colour palettes from the pastel blues and pinks to the 70s inspired prints.
In Dubai where a new restaurant opens up pretty much everyday, it's very hard to find one to remember, but let it be known that Maison Mathis is a a little hidden gem. Clean, white and simply beautiful, the decor inside Maison Mathis is very Parisian chic - envisioning being in a little cafe in Europe. The dim lighting and soft music set the mood for dinner. Maison Mathis is a chain of internationally based restaurants, sharing its culinary expertise and Belgian roots from the States to the Emirates. Trying out fine dining recipes for the first time, i was more than excited to see what they had in store for us.
Starting off with a refreshing Asian Passion mocktail, a concoction of fresh mango juice, passion fruit puree, cinnamon syrup and mint leaves, a delicious, tangy, sweet and sour drink. Not a bad start at all. Fist item that was brought out was the Traditional Tarte Flambee - which was topped with creme fraiche, white onions and thyme (traditionally including veal bacon but as a non pork eater i asked for this item to be removed). I loved the thin dough and the seasoning was perfect. Even though onions are one of my least favourite of ingredients, i actually found the crunch very pleasing. Next out was the Tomato and Goats Cheese Salad - cherry tomatoes, basil and croutons finished with almond crusted warm goats cheese. The tomatoes were very fresh and juicy. The spices used, the sauce and the nuts with the goats cheese was a fabulous combination! I couldn't get enough. The next dish was the Spinach and Chicken salad - spinach, chicken, mushrooms, sesame seeds tossed with balsamic dressing and parmesan flakes. Wonderful warm chicken that was just delicious, and the sesame seeds brought all the flavours together. Beautiful bowls of salad. Loved! The following dish was a chilli baby prawn and squid tempura. Lightly seasoned and the added chilli made this dish interesting and boosted the flavour. There are countless restaurants that create prawn/shrimp tempuras, but this has to be the best i have tried!
Four fantastic starters, and on to the main dishes. The first dish we tried was the Pesto Farfalle Pasta with basil pesto and sundried cherry tomatoes. In pasta choices, i always love a vegetarian option, and this one was no exception. The pasta itself was a tiny bit too al dente for my liking but the flavours all worked perfectly. The second drink that was brought out for me was a kiwi mojito, although not on the menu, a very rich flavoured drink, not your usual watered down version. Beautiful. The next main dish was Sea Bream with Provencal Vegetables, rosemary, red chillies and olive oil. Crispy on the outside and soft and delicate as you cut through. Soft peppers, zucchini, tomatoes. What a stunning dish - perfect taste and texture! As a side dish, we were introduced to their Potato Gratin, by this point i am running out of complimentary words to use! Just Wow. Texture was impeccable and the broccoli was cooked perfectly. How can they possibly beat any of this? Oh but they can! Maison Mathis didn't fail to impress. The next dish to come out was the Corn fed Yellow baby Chicken. Absolutely amazing. You could taste the high quality of the produce straight away, it was so good, almost unexpected that Restaurant so unpretentious could produce such incredible dishes! So on to desert. A Homemade Pannacotta and a Chocolate Eclaire. The eclair was delightful with the dark chocolate - different to the norm; and the pannacotta had a very nice texture, a rich flavour which was perfectly balanced with the cream. Hard to believe that Maison Mathis have only just recently started fine dining, as they have certainly mastered this art to perfection! Hats off!
Hilfiger Denim, launched its Spring Summer Collection in Meydan Beach. A beautifully lit glass room overlooking the sand and sea backdrop, the collection was bright, nautical and consisted of clean shapes. Along with their SS15 pieces they had a Ramadan Capsule Collection, ready for the holy month, exclusive for the Middleeast. Long draped fabrics, modest dresses prefect for the region. The accessories complimented the line creating a whole look. At the end of the room, was a drum set next to an American looking bar. The mannequins here, wore rock and roll pieces which stood apart from the rest of the collection.
An afternoon of high tea at Laduree at JBR to preview the SS15 collection of jewellery and time pieces by Cerruti 881. What a perfect location to launch this collection. Luxury, beautiful and elegant pieces under the beaming sun sparkled so beautifully. We were given the chance to try on the pieces, (as shown in the image above) while we enjoyed a delicious afternoon tea.
Shoe Mart celebrated their 25th Anniversary with a fashion show at the J W Marriott Marquis. With the lebanese sensation Maya Diab as their ambassador and the face of Shoe Mart's SS15 advertising campaign, it was an unforgettable event. The fashion show was split into three sections, with the themes: Eclectic Tropical, Futuristic Pastels and Desert Sun. In between each show two talented violinists played beautiful musical pieces while the models prepared for their next catwalk appearances.
As the models walked the finale, The MC of the night, Rania Ali, invited none other than Maya Diab herself onto the stage, and joining them was the CEO of Shoe Mart, Manu Jeswani. Maya talked about her excitement to be part of the Shoe Mart's team and being the ambassador of the number one leading shoe brand of the region. Mr Jeswani greeted the audience and explained the milestone Shoe Mart had reached from its start in 1990. On why choosing Maya Diab as the ambassador, Jeswani spoke of Miss Diab as being a fashion icon and with her knowledge, fashionable sense of style and devoted fans, Show Mart plan to gain an even larger audience than they already have achieved. Talks of the future led to the element of surprise where Mr Jeswani revealed a collaboration with Maya Diab as they plan to design an exclusive line together.
Bloomindale's Dubai turns 5 with a big bang. Held at the Dubai World Trade Centre, Sheikh Saeed Hall was transformed into a circus ring, with the stage being a huge circle with black and white stripes. The models walked out of a dome with the same print and thousands of lights completely transformed the space into a circus tent. The opening act of aerial silk performance set the theme perfectly. Models were face painted with clown like features. Bold and bright colour blocking and mixing prints and unusual accessories proved to be a fresh take on fashion styling. It had to be the best fashion show i had been to, all year. The finale was fabulous, the lights dimmed as a model in a stunning coral ruffled evening dress with highly theatrical makeup, holding three large balloons stepped out and posed for the million flashes that awaited her. She gracefully walked the circular catwalk and was later joined by the rest of the models all circling her. Beautiful stage and set up, fabulous pieces and beautifully styled. Welldone Bloomingdales, and congratulation on turning 5!
With Blogger Nisa Tiwana
With Bloggers Klaudia and Laura Badua
Bloggers: Kate & Jen from Desert Twins, Seema from Sparkle with Seemz, Paul from The Style Choreo and Nisa from Nisa Tiwana
Solo Bistronomia and Vino Bar, a relatively new Italian restaurant opened its doors to the forever hungry Dubai crowd in Raffles Hotel. The term hungry being used very lose here; not just in the literal form, but also in reference to the residents restless mission to constantly find a new hub or 'it place' to be seen in. Solo covers a huge space split into sections, each decorated with the utmost attention to detail. The bar was buzzing with crowds having arrived on a Tuesday for its famous Wine Tasting sessions. We were escorted to our table in the dining area which was like walking straight into a casual urban restaurant in the heart of New York. Red brick walls with hanging lamps lit up the ornamented walls of colourful bull heads inside frames. With white sheep statues and the occasional black, sitting on the tables it was an amusing gimmick. The lounge area had a different vibe with less colour and an entirely black and white theme with a huge skyline painting. The music was modern and set the ambiance perfectly. Cool but no so pretentious.
I ordered a virgin colada, one of the best i have ever tasted, and we were off to a good start. I started my meal with the Tonno e Zucchini, a seared to order blue fin tuna tartar with zucchini, sweet zola cheese and mullet roe. The texture of this dish was exquisite. The tuna chunks and tomatoes were a great combination and as you ate into the core of the box shaped presentation, you were greeted with an unexpected crunch of pine nuts. Amazing! The roasted fish eggs slightly salted taste, balanced the flavour of the tuna perfectly. What a fabulous starter. Not to be missed!
For my main, i ordered the Culurgiones di Carciofi, A signature homemade artichove ravioli, with pecorino cheese and black truffle. The flavours were beautiful and with the side dish i ordered - the Ravizzone (baked kale chips with basil oil powder) it was the perfect marriage. The chips were so delicate and delightful, an excellent companion for the ravioli.
For desert, i chose the Torta al Formaggio, a rustic ricotta cheesecake with citrus sauce and strawberry sorbet. A fluffy cheesecake with a refreshing sorbet, garnished with delicious dried strawberries on top.