Sunday, 12 April 2015

I have realised, after weeks of berating myself for not publishing my Doha Diaries post on a Saturday night at the end of the week, that it actually makes way more sense for me to post this on a Sunday so that I can actually include the whole of Saturdays activities in the Sundays it shall be going forward! Which I am pleased to report actually makes this post on time for this week ;)

My week started in the way that all weeks should start (work aside), with dinner at Hakkasan.
I thought I was late, so made a mad dash over in my flip flops (stopping to change into my heels on the approach!), but when I arrived I couldn't spot the girls at the bar. I turned to head back to the reception desk when I heard somebody call 'Holly!' - I turned and spotted Michael waving from the bar. Marion and Amelie were running late, so Michael and I (unintentionally) ordered the pinkest drinks at the bar. Yes, that is Michael's on the left! ;)

On a Saturday night, 6pm - 7pm is Happy Hour at Hakkasan, where those with a dining reservation can have a free cocktail at the bar. The girls arrived a little after 7pm and the barmen very kindly still served them a complimentary cocktail, before we headed over to our table.

One thing I love about Hakkasan is the interior - wherever you sit in the restaurant, you always feel like you are dining in a tiny, intimate setting - perfect for a date!

We perused the menu, before Marion (aka 'The Boss')ordered a selection of starters and main courses for us to share.
The Boss chose well!

Crispy duck salad (amazing)...

The vegetarian dim sum platter...

Grilled Shanghai dumplings...

The starters were great, and it was so nice trying new items from the menu. I am one of those people who sticks with what I know, so when I come with Matt we usually order the duck spring rolls (his favourite) or the salt and pepper squid (my favourite). The crispy duck salad has got to be one of my new favourites, it was so good.

For the main courses, The Boss ordered the spicy prawn curry (Delicious!)...

The sweet and sour chicken with pomegranate...

Accompanied by a side of seasonal vegetables...which just so happened to be my very favourites!

Michael was a great sport, keeping up with our very girly chats and inside jokes about coral dresses, bling shoes and laundry! It was a great evening with some brilliant people. All we were missing was Jemma, who unfortunately had to work late...but a great excuse to go back :)

After a very action packed few days from Thursday through til Sunday, Monday and Tuesday after work were my 'getting things done' evenings, ahead of two much needed back to back days off.

Matt and I spent Wednesday morning down by the pool, and then when he headed off to work, I jumped in a car to the Grand Hyatt for a one hour aromassage* at Jaula Spa & Club.

Of the spas that I have tried in Doha, the Jaula Spa at the Grand Hyatt hotel still remains my favourite (my first massage there was the best massage I have ever had in my life!) I love the relaxation area, where I curled up with a book after a slight panic that I would be late for the appointment after getting stuck in traffic for half an hour! Finally, it was time to unwind after a long few six day weeks.

After my extremely blissful massage, I came out feeling pampered from head to toe and utterly relaxed (until I checked my phone and saw missed work calls..back to reality!) I curled back up on my lounger, sipped mint tea and ate Arabic dates whilst waiting for my car to pick me up, and was back in Zen mode before I knew it.

That night, I played tennis with both Marion and Jemma which was so much fun! We played two against one for a little while, and then alternated playing one against one whilst the third had a rest!

Thursday was a St Regis pool morning, after which Matt and I took a trip to the Pearl to cure our Elevation Burger craving. It was the perfect day to be sitting outside in the shade.

Unfortunately neither of us really rated our burgers...which was a huge disappointment especially after I so boldly claimed that these were the best burgers in town! 

We took a walk around the marina with our sights firmly set on getting ice cream from Marble Slab (genuinely, the best ice cream in Doha), stopping en route to check out some cool fish...

A random fact about me...growing up I really wanted to be a marine biologist because I love fish, despite the fact I am deeply scared of being in the sea! Not really any wonder that career didn't pan out...
Finally we made it to Marble Slab, picked our ice creams and our toppings, and settled down on a bench overlooking the beautiful marina.

On Friday after work Matt and I headed over to the City Centre mall for a quick Pizza Express before an evening in watching 24...we are finally on the last series! Amazing to think that we started watching season one way back in July. Jack Bauer is still going strong!

Back in March, Rosie from Punchline Media in Bahrain got in touch with me and very kindly invited me to check out a new monthly comedy night that was coming to Doha, called the Chuckle Club. I had missed out on their first show as I was back in the UK, but she kindly invited me and and a plus one to the show on Saturday night at the Doha Mariott. I took my man, and we hopped in a cab to the Mariott all set for a laughter filled evening.

There was an area set up for drinks and snacks, and people made the most of the Happy Hour before the show started. I eyed up the popcorn, but exercised a bit of willpower instead.

As with any multi-act comedy show, you never know what you are going to get, and the comedy may not be to the taste of everyone (which at 130QR per ticket could be deemed a bit of a gamble) - I laughed out loud in parts, chuckled quietly in others, and felt silently awkward at some of the jokes I didn't find funny and/or didn't get...despite raucous laughter from others in the room. Perhaps I am the unfunny one?!

This months comedy trio were Yianni Agisilaou, Chris Garcia, and Carl Hutchinson. If you are a Doha dweller, you can follow the latest news of the return of the Chuckle Club over on their Facebook page

I still maintain that my boyfriend is the funniest person I know, and makes me cry with laughter on an almost daily basis. It's like a private comedy show every day of the week in our relationship!

Unfortunately my week ended on a very unhappy note following further sad news from home regarding the health of my wonderful Aunt. I wish I could be at home right now to be with my family, rather than thousands of miles away in Doha. Such a busy week has been a brilliant distraction from everything. I say this a lot, but life is so precious.

As always, I hope you have had a great week, wherever in the world you are reading from.


  1. The prawn curry got my attention throughout the whole post. Haha. Regards!

    1. Haha, make sure you have it next time you go Lou-Ann!

  2. I agree with Lou-Ann. That prawn curry looks amazing...but then again so does the spa! - Naila

    1. Both were fab Naila...highly recommended on both counts!!