Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Bystro - Al Manara

Usually lunch is an afterthought. A hurried picking at food from a plastic Tupperware at my desk before getting back to more important tasks. But sometimes it's nice to escape the confines of the office and actually have a proper lunch. 

With that thought in our minds, a few weeks ago we decided to try out Bystro, in Al Manara. It's super close to work and we had heard mixed reviews about it so thought it was about time to see for ourselves. 

The space is beautiful; a huge open plan eating environment with shelves along the walls stacked with home made chutneys, jams and all manner of other sauces and long cabinet down the centre breaks up the space and serves as a place to present the delectable sweets, cakes and deserts on offer. All too tempting if you ask me.

The menu is quite simple but covers a great range of items including veggie options and while some items are rather generously priced there does seem to be a good mix in terms of price point. Although I feel 56 dirhams for a salad is rather a lot. 

I opted for the falafel wrap with beetroot hummus which was pretty yummy and my eating companion had a fresh fig salad. Both dishes were delicious although considering the nature of our food, service was a little slow. We also found room to savour those deserts/sweets we mentioned earlier, taking several varieties of chocolate bark back to the office with us, all of which were devoured without hesitation. 

I would want to return to savour other options from the menu, or to pick up desert, but I was bowled over in awe with this place. And in a city of such great choose, those eureka moments where you realise this is the place you have been looking for, are kinda important. 

Monday, 24 November 2014

flower power

Wednesday last week was one of those unexplained emotional days where I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and as soon as I got to work, the headphones went in my ears and I shut out the world. I don't know why but I just needed to be within my own bubble to navigate the day with as little drama as possible. 

I say I don't know why I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, but really I do. It's because the bed I woke up in was empty for the first time in months. You would think by now, I would be used to periods of separation, but shockingly, after several months of being reunited with the boyfriend, just one night made me anxious and irritable. 

The boyfriend is working on some exciting projects, hence his temporary absence for the next week and while I have plenty of my own work and life related projects to keep me occupied, the lack of his presence, compounded with the fact that yesterday just so happened to be a pretty big anniversary, made me feel a little empty and lost. 

Am I being dramatic? Probably. But living in a city where first world problems are prevalent kinda rubs off on you. That being said, my self pity bubble was abruptly burst come the afternoon when, a colourful package arrived at our warehouse with my name on it. Sometimes a hefty glass vase, crammed full of beautiful blooms does wonders for your mood. 

I feel like the only blog posts that have been tapped out recently are philosophical/emotionally charged ones and since blog posts seem to be a rarity these days, I feel the nature of my posting should change. I have a plethora of things to talk about, all lined up in a notebook ready to be crafted , but as of yet, the inclination has not come to me. 

With the smell of beautiful blooms in the air, maybe this will be the boost I need to kickstart my relationship with blogger once more. Time will tell. 

Monday, 17 November 2014

Dubai is waking up from its summer slumber

Everyone keeps telling me Dubai is a city that comes to life in the winter. And boy oh boy does winter seem to be here! The weather is cooler, in fact the mornings a positively chilly, there is an increasing amount of activities to occupy weekends with and weekday social occasions seem to be more abundant than before. 

Although I lived in Cyprus for 3 years where the seasons also seemed to be non-existent there was definitely more winter than in Dubai. It's November and the temperature has just about dipped below 35 during the day and evenings are the perfect temperature for alfresco eating and drinking. 

There is a beautiful atmosphere to the city that I haven't witnessed until now; everyone in Dubai has seemed so grouchy and fast paced, but now it's clear that was because of the ridiculous temperatures that forced everyone to either sweat it out or stay inside. Now winters here a calm, chilled out vibe has fallen over the city. 

And the weekends are crammed full of different activities. This weekend we had two Ripe Market's, one in Dubai and one in Abu Dhabi, party in the park and sole DXB. Choices in this city seem to be endless. Usually I am home girl; I like the comfort of my apartment and the company of those who reside there.

But the better the weather gets the more I want to explore what Dubai has to offer. It is a bit weird to be going to the beach on the first weekend in November when people in England are instagramming ice skating, and I momentarily get a lump in my throat when I see Christmas lights down Oxford street. But then I remember how I love my job, the sunshine and life in Dubai and that the fun of Christmas in London will soon disappear.

And with a winter of alfresco events to choose from, il get over it I'm sure. 


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