Tuesday, 26 May 2015

I'm not even going to apologise for the fact that it is now Tuesday and this should have been posted on heck with blogging rules!

Last week was a fairly busy one, kicking off with...

At work on Sunday I looked down at my sad, sorry nails and decided that they needed a treat, so I called up B/ATTITUDE spa and booked myself in after work for a Shellac manicure. My nail tech, Olha, did a fantastic job of shaping my nails just how I like them, and perfectly applying my French Shellac. Over a week later and they are still completely intact with the exception of two minor casualties to the corners of two nails, but nothing that a dash of white polish hasn't been able to touch up! I always feel very 'put together' with a French manicure - it always looks so clean and elegant.

Hard to believe we have lived in our apartment for over a year and a half and not yet hosted a dinner party! Our friends and colleagues Ade and Naz have hosted us twice at their villa, so it was high time we returned the favour. Jemma cooked up a delicious main course of pasta, chicken and salad, and I put together a chocolate torte for dessert (recipe coming soon to the blog!), whilst Marion did a super job of making the place look hospitable for our guests! It was a really lovely evening with lovely people, including Ade's girlfriend Jessica who will be moving to Doha in September.

We were due at date night and both of us fancied steak, so Matt and I chose the Astor Grill at the St Regis as our venue. We had been once before together and the steak was phenomenal, so we were hoping for more of the same. We weren't disappointed, and the Astor Grill is fast becoming one of my favourite restaurants. Our waitress was the very lovely Roselle for a second time, and we set about ordering half of the menu - wagyu steaks for us both, a side of roasted vegetables, wedges, and truffle mac'n' cheese (which I didn't even have room for and ended up taking for lunch the next day!) The Entertainer voucher makes restaurants like this so much more accessible, hence we both went for the Wagyu steaks, something we wouldn't normally do. The chef very kindly sent over a complimentary portion of the most amazing steak tartar and never ending freshly baked bread. All washed down with a bottle of red wine. A perfect date night.

When it came to deciding where we should go for our girls dinner, Jemma's suggestion of Nobu was the perfect choice. This would be our last dinner all three of us until after Summer, as Marion is now away on a business trip for 3 weeks, then I go home for 3 weeks, and this also crosses over with Jemma and Marion going home for 3-4 weeks for their Summer holidays. Such a special restaurant was definitely fitting for this special dinner. After eagerly awaiting the opening of this restaurant for so long, it was exciting to see what all the hype has been about. The restaurant itself is stunning and atmospheric - huge high ceilings with gorgeous light installations (i'm a sucker for those), a busy open kitchen, and staff that shout 'welcome' in Japanese every time the hostess brings new guests to their table. The staff are incredibly knowledgeable about the menu, and more than eager to assist in making recommendations. We found the attentiveness of the staff a little overbearing, but that is all down to personal preference - they certainly give 100% to their customer service which is something that can't be knocked. As to be expected from the name of the restaurant, the prices are very steep, but the food was delicious and beautifully presented - even the vegetables! We ordered sushi to start, followed by cod for Jemma and I, and sea bass for Marion.
As a guide, for 3 mocktails, 3 portions of sushi rolls, 3 main dishes, 3 vegetable dishes, and a pot of tea to share, our meal came to 1,300 QR.

After our meal, we decided to explore. The entire restaurant is stunning - a waterfall flows from the top of the restaurant, right down through the middle, and the views from each level are fantastic. There is a stunning bar on the first floor, where of course we stopped for some photos. Outside on the first floor are tables with a fabulous view, ideal for a date night when the weather is cooler. On the roof, there is a fantastic lounge area that curves up to the highest point of the restaurant, where it meets an observation deck for photographing the Doha city skyline. The lounge area would be perfect for drinks and dinner with a big group of friends - but only if you can afford the incredibly steep 5,000 QR minimum spend, something that would unfortunately put us off spending an evening here.
A lovely evening to end a lovely week in the desert.

As always, I hope you've had a great week, wherever in the world you are reading from :)

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