Monday, December 11, 2017

April

What an amazing month March turned out to be, we celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary for an entire week, starting of at Le Meridien Al Aqah and finishing at Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa, with a trip to Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Emirates Golf Club inbetween!!  The weather has finally broken and we are experiencing a rise in temperatures, it's no secret I prefer the hotter months over the cooler ones. It's Easter this month, so I hope the Easter Bunny is really kind to you all. Have a fabulous month wherever are you are.

GA

Geordie Armani

As Summer looms ever nearer I was more than happy to see that our friends at Wild Wadi have brought us a special Summer promotion, which is valid already!!  I am a huge fan of the Jumeirah Group, one day I will hunt out the pictures showing the foundations for the Burj Al Arab being laid whilst my pal and I lay on the beach, admiring the sand diggers dredging the land for the worlds first offshore hotel, little were we to know about Palm Island at that time.

Anyway back to the splashing good news that you can now buy a Summer Pass that will entitle you to unlimited visits to Wild Wadi from now until the end of Ramadan! This time of year is just perfect for Wild Wadi, we all want to keep cool during the summer months and have some fun too!  Some of you may remember that we visited Wild Wadi last month, and had a thoroughly good day out. With an array of visitors heading our way in the next couple of months we will definitely be taking advantage of this Summer promotion.

There are plenty of reasonable priced places to eat at Wild Wadi and with an unlimited entry pass, valid until the end of Ramadan you would be a fool not to take advantage of this splashing offer.

Adults (over 1.1m) 850 Dhs
Children (under 1.1m) 650 Dhs

You need to pop down to Wild Wadi to buy your passes, but there is plenty underground parking and if you go early in the day queues shouldn't be an issue.

We know where we will be spending our Summer, thanks to Wild Wadi and Jumeirah International.

http://www.jumeirah.com/en/Hotels-and-Resorts/Wild-Wadi/Promotions1/Summer-Pass/?cm_sp=Wild+Wadi-_--_-Wild+Wadi

@wildwadidubai

In July 2006 a relatively unknown Software Engineer, Jack Dorsey, launched the online social networking site Twitter.  I didn't join the on line phenomenen until April 2009, and admittedly it took me a few months to get to grips with it. Now I wouldn't be without it.  Read more...

I can't start to tell you how excited I was to be invited to Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa to spend some quality time in their famous kitchen.  I have always wanted to visit the resort but never had the opportunity to do so, so yesterday was a big day for me. I was out of bed early and headed up the Al Ain Road looking forward to the rest of the day.  I was not disappointed ....

Arriving at The Resort for the first time is so exciting, once you come off the Al Ain Road it is a good 20 minute run to the actual Resort, which quite literally is in the "middle of the desert".  We arrived and were greeted by our host for the day Chef Sebby, a lovely lovely Kenyan man with a huge heart which he wears lovingly on his sleeve. We headed off to the kitchen and were kitted up in fabulous aprons and hats. After a quick explanation about how the compact, yet functional kitchen runs we headed into the cold kitchen to whip up some crab fishcakes. Chef David knows I have tried to make these in the past and failed, I know how to make them now! Chef Thaya lovingly showed us how with some very simple ingredients and a bit of patience you can make the perfect crab cake.  Preparing good food is not about the quantity of ingredients, but quality and freshness of simple ingredients. 

From the cold kitchen we were ushered into the hot one where we met the lovely Chef Nipu.  He showed us how to make the perfect risotto, a dish I have never been overly keen on but I am definitely going to make it at home as I really enjoyed it.  We then went onto how to cook Fish and King Prawns perfectly, yet again it is not about how many ingredients were used, just straight forward simple food. Chef Nipu had created a marination from mainly coriander and a few other spices which was painted onto the Sea Bream before the fish was gently fried.  The King Prawns were expertly cut into a butterfly shape, the marination painted on they were shallow fried before being popped into the oven for a further 5 minutes. Plain, simple, perfect.  Needless to say they were eaten!!

You can't visit a kitchen and not check out the Dessert Kitchen, we weren't disappointed to find Chef Anas preparing Creme Brulee with Pink Grapefruit, one of my favourites, it was turning out to be a better day than I could ever have anticipated!!!  With the aroma of vanilla pods and shortbread biscuits in the oven!   Chef Anas talked us through how to make a perfect Brulee, and how to whip up tasty shortbread in just five minutes. Whilst the brulee's were cooking we took a look outside and checked out the restaurant with Chef Sebby. Chef Sebby also gave me a quick peep at one of the Bedouin "Tents" where guests stay, but I am going to tell you more about that when I stay at Al Maha.  By then the brulee's were ready, the BEST brulee I have had in a long long time, smooth, rich, creamy, just delicious.

Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa truly is a little slice of heaven in the middle of a Desert, the views from the terraces are spectacular. I can only imagine what it must be like to spend a sunset sat on that terrace watching the natural beauty of the desert turn into darkness. I have taken alot of photographs of the day which you can find by clicking here

All it takes now is for me to thank all of The Team up at Al Maha for just the most amazing morning ever, I didn't want it to end but sadly reality called and I had to head back to Dubai and return to being a Mum, but thank you for making me feel like a Chef for just one day. I will be back with my apron soon!

You can find Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa on Facebook and Twitter.  You can also find my Facebook page here.

It has been a big week in Casa GA, as some of you may know we celebrated ten years of marriage in style this week kicking off with a fabulous weekend break at Le Meridien al Aqah in Fujeirah, this was followed by Dinner at Jumeirah Beach Hotel on the actual day of our anniversary and then a special private luncheon at Emirates Golf Club for close friends and family.  But could we end it there?  no we couldn't, and I quite promptly contacted Chef David and booked a table for four for Afternoon Tea at Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa yesterday afternoon.

Following a late start to the day, four very tired and fragile (due to the Lunch) people dragged themselves into the Pajero and hit the Al Ain Road to explore the delights of Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa. I have been before so I was able to brag a bit and pretend I knew where everything was.  we were greeted on the terrace by Radi who swiftly directed us to the Bar where Afternoon Tea is served.  A big smile greeted us from Vivek who along with Chef David and Chef Sebby looked after us for the next few hours.

Afternoon Tea at Al Maha is not a grand affair of over filled cake stands dripping in cream and manicured sandwiches, on no it's better than that, there are no sandwiches but a selection of tiny hors dóeuvres that melt in your mouth.  Chef David (infact all the Chef's at Al Maha know) that we enjoy a good creme brulee, so they made us five, yes five different ones to try!!  Raspberry, Pistachio, coffee, pink grapefruit and saffron. Now you are going to want to know which one was the best, well I can't tell you, I ate all five and each one has its own unique surprise.  Vivek very kindly made us some fruit cocktails of Mango, Mint and Tabasco, now they really are something different! after working our way through the creme brulees we tried everything else on the display, the tiny scones were so light they crumbled on your tongue, and who would ever have thought that rhubarb jam with clotted cream would be a winner!  that is where Maha is different from everywhere else, they DO think outside the box, they do go that extra mile to make it different. There is a selection of teas and coffees available with the Afternoon Tea too.

Chef Sebby (I want to insert a heart at this point) very kindly showed us around the resort, which was a great treat for my guests.  We visited the Timeless Spa and met the lovely therapists who made us more than welcome.   After that we headed down to the kitchens for a catch up with all my old *colleagues*, it was so good to see everyone again, I am getting a bit worried that Al Maha is starting to feel like home, not as worried as my husband is though.

In the bar on the wall there was a huge picture of a leopard resting in a tree, I admired it the first time I was there, much to my delight I was able to buy the print which pleased GM Patrick as I am pretty sure he thought that I would end up taking the original from the wall!!

Anyway it's a fabulous way to spend a very very relaxing afternoon, and nice to get away from the hussle and bussle of Dubai itself, and at just 120 Dhs a head, it's worth every single dirham.  I took some photos which you can find here.  The heart at the bottom is for Team Al Maha.

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Under the patronage of H.E. Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qassimi, ‘The Friends of Cancer Patients’ is a UAE based not for profit charity and all monies raised feed directly into their programs to minimize the impact of cancer. They aim to raise awareness and engage with community spirit at all levels such that cancer related issues form part of public policy and the national agenda on an ongoing and permanent basis.

We are pleased to announce that the 9th annual Oil Barons Charity Ball, under the patronage of H.E. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, will be held at Meydan Racecourse on Friday, 18th November at 7pm.

The organisers are doing things differently this year as table bookings can be done by you online. There are three seating tiers that range in price from USD3000 - USD4000 per table of ten, depending on locality which you select when making your online booking. Part proceeds of the table sales will be donated directly to our charity, Friends of Cancer Patients. We can of course still book your table or individual tickets directly so please let us know if you require a booking form.

Your night is inclusive of the following:

Welcome drinks reception
3 course silver service dining
6 hour beverage package inclusive of beer, wine, soft drinks & selected spirits
International Entertainment “Blues Brothers, Aretha Franklin & James Brown tribute show”


www.theoilbaronscharityball.com

Facebook and Twitter (don't forget to like and follow, we need to spread to word to raise the 1 Million AED)

 

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