Showing posts from February, 2017

Qatar Airways Business Class Johannesburg-Doha, 777-300ER

Qatar Airways has become a favourite with South Africans and tourists either returning to Johannesburg via its Doha hub or those travelling from Johannesburg to Doha and beyond. This is reflected by the fact that the airline does double dailies on the route, using the brand new B787 and the larger 777-300ER. Today my 10-year old daughter and I are travelling Johannesburg-Doha-Abu Dhabi. 
Check-in at the Business class counter is uneventful and soon we are on our way to immigration. After getting through immigration, we make our way to the Bidvest Premier Lounge, the lounge that caters for Qatar Airways premium customers. I must say I miss the Shongololo Lounge which has so much soul. Don't get me wrong, the service, food and drink options are adequate in Bidvest, but a very slow internet connection and long walk to our boarding gate make me yearn even more for the old lounge. After a  functional lounge visit, we move to our boarding gate and we see that boarding has commenced. We a…

A getaway from Abu Dhabi - Jannah Resort & Villas, Ras Al Khaimah

There is something alluring about the Northern Emirates. Personally, I like the town-feel of places like Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah. No skyscrapers. No traffic. Warm and friendly atmosphere. With the opening of Jannah Resort &Villas in Ras Al Khaimah, my daughter and I had an opportunity to take a road trip up north not only to enjoy this latest hotel by Abu Dhabi-based Jannah Hotels and Resorts, but also to the cleaner air in what is the UAE's fastest growing tourist destination. 

We stayed in a one bedroom apartment in this all-suite hotel, which incidentally also offers 3-5 bedroom villas on the seafront. our one bedroom suite apartment was more than big enough for the two of us, and with a fully functioning kitchen, it felt like a place we could spend a week. 

One of the innovations that Jannah Hotels and Resorts is bringing to its hotels is the genuine butler concept known as Karim - their butler service designed to make your stay that much more comfortable and convenient.…

Thursday Steak Feast at The Foundry - Southern Sun Hotel, Abu Dhabi

The Foundry has remained at the top or near the top as a steakhouse since opening around 4 years ago. In that time it has confounded some of the big steakhouses and rewritten the rules with regards to what makes a steakhouse a success here in the Capital. It recently launched its Thursday Steak Feast, erroneously being labelled by some diners as a Thursday Night brunch. Be that as it may, a Thursday at one of my favourite steakhouses in the city is not a bad way to spend the evening, so I tried it.

The latest trend in Abu Dhabi is the whole Thursday night brunch idea. Forget the ignominious title, but the idea is free flowing drinks with unlimited small portions of never ending dishes. It is along these lines that the Thursday Steak Feast operates. In the case of The Foundry, it is a fantastic menu offering tremendous value. 

I start off with an order of Freshly shucked oysters, the Wagyu beef carpaccio and Butternut squash soup. The starters give 5 options, and with them being unlimite…

An evening with Henri Fabre- A wine dinner at Bord Eau, Shangri-la Abu Dhabi

There is something rather special about a family run winery. It is even more special when one of those family members visits us in Abu Dhabi and spends an evening with us, sharing his wines and indeed stories. Henri Fabre, the CEO of Fabre-en-Provence, is the guest of honour as he talks about his family's wines. The setting could not be more appropriate - Bord Eau at Shangri-La at Qaryat al Beri remains one of the finest restaurants in the city. 

A cool Winter's evening, well Winter by Abu Dhabi standards, sits perfectly with guests as we gather on the terrace, taking in sumptuous views of the canal. Around 40 guests - the restaurant seats around 45-55 - are huddled on the terrace. If you have been to Shangri-la in Abu Dhabi and tried this French restaurant, I am sure you can appreciate the view from this vantage point. 
We start off with the delightful Chateau de l'Aumerade Cotes de Provence Cru Classé Rosé Cuvée Marie-Christine 2015. This wine is from a very limited number…

The journey of love through dessert - Tamba, Abu Dhabi

A rose on the table. How symbolic of love. A near perfect moment as two people fall in love and pledge to love each other forever. The folly of youth? The optimism of love and its promise? The intoxicating effect of happy ending movies? However, the rose petals are strewn all over the table. The rose stem is left with thorns. Imperfect love? No. This is real. Every cliche pops into my head as symbolised by a rose. Tonight, on the eve of something I have never celebrated, Valentine's Day, Abu Dhabi's must-visit restaurant, is launching a new dessert, to continue a series that started when the restaurant opened less than a year ago. Tonight, it is the Indecent Proposal. But to understand tonight's dessert, we need to start at the beginning of this love story. 

The table is laid out. Tamba's restaurant manager Shipra starts the narrative of Tamba's desserts. We start off with Mumtaz, the starting point of the love story. She is an idealist; a romantic soul who makes qu…