23 December, 2013

GIVEAWAY: Chelsea College of Arts

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In the spirit of Christmas, here is a little gift from me to you - a lovely discount from Chelsea College of Arts, for their short courses in Dubai! Their tutors from London are flying over for the next set of courses, in February, and the classes honestly look so great; the perfect gift or treat for yourself in the new year! There are a range of subjects on offer, including interior design, drawing and, a new addition, art curation. The latter would definitely be my pick, and this summary of the course has totally won me over:

"We will introduce students to the idea of the curator as a builder of narratives and cultural connections, a vehicle for exporting contemporary thinking within the visual arts and the broader cultural landscape." 

The 3-day course culminates in a group exhibition at Meem gallery, curated by the students. Sign me up! Have a peruse of the other courses on offer here and see the below flyer with your discount code, exclusive to my blog readers...

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12 December, 2013

Fishtail Rides

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Looking for something to do tomorrow? Can't face another all-you-can-eat-and-drink Friday brunch? I've got just the thing for you - Fishtail Rides.

"In a young city, disparate and sparse, a city ruled by cars and taxis, there is little connection with the streets. Somehow, along the line we have become estranged with where we live. Fishtail Rides has been born out of this feeling and a need to reconnect with the streets of our city again."

Bringing the globally-emerging fixie culture to the Middle East, Fishtail Rides (by PUMA) aims to bring people together through a series of fixed-gear bicycle rides around the city. Not a race or a fitness group, Fishtail Rides simply offers just a good time with good people. Each route is unique, showing the people of Dubai another side to the city, from another angle, away from our usual stomping grounds. Sounds pretty great right? 

Their next ride is tomorrow so click here for more info and don't forget to watch their promo video below, featuring a soundtrack by local artists Megadon Betamax feat Abri, which went pretty viral!


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09 December, 2013

Art Night

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Some forgotten photos from Art Night in DIFC a couple of weeks ago. DIFC's art area is like Alserkal Avenue's glam older sister: slick, upmarket and characteristically Dubai. The late night gallery events here attract a crowd of heel-wearing, Zuma-dining, 'young professional' types, perusing the galleries, sipping the free drinks and surreptitiously hovering around the canapé stations! Here I am playing the part -

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Shorts: Zara, Top: Forever 21, Shirt: Zara, Bag: Vintage, Heels: Choies.

OK I may poke fun at Dubai's cultural authenticity but, really, I do I think events like Art Nights are great for he city (and my personal sanity - there are only so many dinners and nights out one can do!). I'm grateful for the increasing opportunities to do something a bit different, with a different crowd - think QUOZhappens, Petcha Kutcha, Fred Perry warehouse party, The Magazine Shop fair etc - and I'm looking forward to more cropping up in the process of Dubai forming its own creative identity!


03 December, 2013

Eating and drinking our way around Beirut

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Voila! Here is the final post of my Beirut photo diary, with a delicious focus on two of our favourite finds in the city. First up is Al Falamanki in Sodecco, which was right around the corner from our apartment, and was this wonderful outdoor restaurant, serving some of the best Lebanese food I've ever tasted. The tabbouleh was honestly to die for, how can I go back to Spinneys' own now?

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Secondly: February 30. After one afternoon spent wandering around Hamra, we popped into this extremely eccentric bar that I can't imagine ever getting tired of visiting. Whilst the Moscow Mules (my drink throughout the trip) weren't quite as tasty as in Julep's on Uruguay Street, Downtown Beirut, the uniqueness of Feb 30 entirely made up for it. Tables on ceilings, barber's seats and motorbikes as chairs, swings, drinks in jars, stools with mannequin legs... it was a haven of weirdness but struck totally the right balance between kitch, shabby and cool.

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^^The bar swing and my Moscow Mule ^^
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And there you have it - a collection of my favourite photos from what was a truly fabulous holiday and one that I intend on repeating before too long! In the meantime, can anyone recommend a good Moscow Mule in Dubai, preferably served in a silver tumbler?

28 November, 2013

TRIBES

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Food and Africa. Two things I love separately so how could I not love them paired together! Tribes kindly invited me in to try out their menu but, seeing as I'm not a huge meat eater, I wasn't overly keen to begin with to be honest. However, I decided to take a meat-loving friend along with me to make up for my herbivore tendencies and was actually very pleasantly surprised by their selection of veggie and seafood dishes! 

For starters we ordered the West Coast Calamari and the Ugandan Fish Croquettes for starters and then, for mains, I chose the Snapper Fillet, whilst my date went for the Kalahari roast lamb. All of the food was absolutely wonderful but my favourite by far was the calamari - just so fresh and the sauce was divine. The atmosphere was really friendly and relaxed, and I would definitely go back, even if just to order another plate of that wonderful calamari (little bit obsessed)!

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Right, now I'm off to fully embrace the long weekend!


23 November, 2013

The streets of Beirut

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Unfortunately, blogging has had to take a backseat over the last couple of weeks, due to the crazed amount of work and events that are going on in Dubai at the moment but, finally, here is my Beirut photo diary (part 1). What I would give to escape back to this mad, gorgeous city for another four days right now! 

I'm not sure I've ever visited such a beautifully eclectic country - modern, Parisian-style streets juxtapose sobering, bullet-ridden buildings, whilst snow-topped mountains look over warm sandy bays. Tangled electrical wires run above streets dotted with lively bars, mosques neighbour churches and vibrant graffiti crowds the walls, each drawing complementing the mural yet clamouring to be seen. Ultimately, there is just such visceral energy that oozes from every corner of Beirut, from every crack in each crumbling building, which makes such a refreshing change from the numb glitz of Dubai.

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I do have one other Beirut post coming up - expect less street scenes and more of a focus on all of the eating and drinking we did!