Doha Diaries: My week in pictures #4

Sunday, 30 March 2014

I didn't do a whole lot at the back end of last week/front end of this week, because I haven't really been in the right frame of mind.
Iv been going into work, doing my hours, coming home and seeking refuge in the gym on my favourite treadmill.
Usually followed by a wonderfully relaxing session in the jacuzzi in my apartments.
Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to have these facilities on my doorstep.
In an attempt to get out of my slump of a mood, Jemma and I decided a lunch date at our favourite cafe was on the cards. Nothing quite like a lunch at Paul to cheer a girl up!
After much deliberation of the menu, I settled on a pasta dish that I order every time because it's so good...but this time I think I had ordered it to death so it didn't taste quite as good. Next time I must try something different! Although I still recommend it...prawns, mushrooms and sun dried tomato pasta in a creamy and very mild mustard sauce. Mmm.
Jemma was very good and healthy and tried a delicious looking new Halloumi salad.
After lunch, we both had to get a few bits in Carrefour. A trip to Carrefour is never a particularly enjoyable experience, so afterwards we were feeling very sorry for ourselves and decided to grab a cake to go from Sugar & Spice.
Sugar & Spice is a gorgeous tea shop, vintage and homely in design, and a popular spot with Qatari locals. The place is always busy, and for that very reason I think I have always avoided even bothering to have a look.
As soon as we set foot through the door though, there was no way we were leaving with a takeaway cake. Everything just looked SO good! We were led to a table by a very friendly waiter and shown the menu....and what a menu!!

Our friendly waiter recommended the Goodie Jar, so on his excellent advice we both ordered a jar of naughtiness.
The whole place had such a great vibe to it...relaxed, friendly, welcoming...a place to go to switch off from work and just relax in a cosy setting with a delicious treat.

On Thursday night, our lovely neighbours Gary and Donna hosted a BBQ at our apartments. Everyone from work came, and it was a great buzz with good food, good music, and more alcohol than is probably even welcome in this country!
I couldn't resist nipping round the wrong side of the BBQ and donning the chefs hat

Meanwhile, actual chef Welsby did an excellent job of setting the place on fire.

As the afternoon turned to evening, the camera phones came out

Our hostess Donna looked fab..

Whilst I looked tipsy..cradling the strongest punch in the history of punch.
Ali and Gareth hijacked my iPhone for some attractive selfies
And I posed with sleepy, drunk eyes with Danny
..before deciding the best place for me was bed, by half past ten. Hardcore.
The morning after started with the only known hangover cure...cheese Saj. Thin, almost crepe like bread, encasing gooey melted mozzarella. For just 6QR...about an English pound. Mmm.

Last night Sara and I met up with one of my Doha pals, Nabs, who is sadly leaving for Dubai (although this gives me even more excuse to jet off for a weekend away, to visit!)
We went for steak and waffles at the Belgian Cafe, in the Intercontinental hotel, where I had hands down the best steak iv ever had! Medium rare..more on the rare side but absolutely delicious
The waffle let the side down unfortunately, but the molten Belgian chocolate sauce was delicious
I'm now sat in my room on Sunday night, happily blogging away whilst I SHOULD be packing my suitcase...because I fly home tomorrow night!!!
So so so excited.
Right, I must go. Will no doubt blog from the airport tomorrow night when I arrive about five hours too early like I did last time.


Saturday, 22 March 2014

My week started out lovely - dinner with PW at Hakkasan.

We met outside my apartment block and wandered down to the St Regis hotel, stopping en route to pose with the shiny Ferarri parked outside my building.

I rarely drink anymore, but Hakkasan do amazing cocktails, so I decided to indulge in one or two, while PW tucked into the red wine.

We ordered soft shell crab, duck rolls, stir fried beef and honey glazed Chilean sea bass (my fave)

The next day, my week took a downward turn as I had some horrible news from home. Nothing has been the same since, and more than ever I just want to be at home with my family and not waste another moment out here.

Iv been distracting myself with work, and hitting the gym. The good thing about running is that you can just zone out and not think about anything other than keeping going.

On Friday, I had the day off, and rounded up my workmates who were also off to partake in some Friday brunch antics. Endless glasses of wine seemed like the only thing to help keep my mind off things.

I met a very hungover Matt and Toddy outside the apartments on Friday morning - Jason didn't even manage to wake up! We hopped in a taxi to the Grand Hyatt, where we settled into our table outside in the sun.

The theme was 'Karl Lagerfeld', and we were handed out gift bags with makeup bags and perfume samples of the new fragrance. Annoyingly I got so drunk that I left mine in the bar!


The day passed by in a blur of sushi, BBQ food and never ending glasses of wine and bubbles.


Jason finally made it out of bed and joined us!

It didn't take him long to catch up, and soon the four of us were happily merry. After brunch we headed up to Dunes bar for a cocktail, and things got pretty ugly from there...




The party carried on back at the terrace bar at our apartments, as the guys indulged in a few more beers.

I'd reached my desired level of drunkenness and disappeared up to my apartment for water and to get changed ready for he Reggae BBQ beach party, where Jemma and I were off to meet some new Doha friends.

Didn't take any pictures in the evening, but Ryan and his friends were lovely and welcoming, and we sat chatting on the beach, listening to the brilliant resident Reggae band, until the heavens opened and we hobbled home as fast as our wedges would carry us.


Ladies who brunch

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Jemma and I had the day off together on Friday - we didn't fancy a boozy brunch (although I can't think why not!) so we decided to whip on our gladrags and head on over to the Ritz for afternoon tea.

The Ritz is one of those hotels that I completely overlook. It's only ten minutes in a cab but it's out beyond the Grand Hyatt, so I tend to forget its there. To be honest it doesn't look anything special from the outside, but you head up to the thirty something floor and you'll find La Mer, a lovely, vintage looking tea room with spectacular views of Doha.

We opted for the 'Royal' brunch - afternoon tea involving the usual suspects but with a glass of bubbles on the side.

A quick 'cheers!', and we were ready to tuck into the delights that had been put in front of us.



Teeny tiny rolls, a selection of pastries (and hands down the best chocolate mousse, ever), and the best layer of all...the scones. All washed down with endless cups of tea (English breakfast with milk and sugar for me, and Jem opted for Moroccan)

These were served up warm, with mascarpone cheese and strawberry jam. Delicious!

Needless to say, it didn't last long!

We decided to walk off our lunch in the hotels pool area...a maze of lagoon style pools and bridges. The perfect setting for a paparazzi session!






Sleepy from our lovely lunch and stroll, we hopped in a taxi back home to recharge our batteries as an evening of yet more eating lay in store for us!

As a flat, we try to squeeze in a dinner just the three of us girls as often as we can. Our venue of choice for Friday night was La Spiga by a Papermoon, a new Italian restaurant in the W hotel.

Bottle of wine ordered, we deliberated over the menu and I settled on Polenta with Shrimp and porcini mushrooms to start, and four cheese ravioli for mains. Amazing!! My dodgy iPhone camera doesn't really do the dishes justice.

Dinner was followed by another paparazzi sessio .


We finished the night off with a cocktail in Wahm, and then headed home to bed. Big weekend of sport at work this weekend...Premier League, 6 Nations final, and our first Formula 1 show now that we have the exclusive rights in the Middle East. Sport-tastic!