Wednesday, April 22, 2015


I was recently invited to sample authentic Persian fare at Shayan, a fine-dining restaurant in the heart of Deira. The occasion? Iranian New Year, also known as Nowruz. It signals the start of spring, and is a great way to celebrate with family and friends.

I went with an open mind and left with a happy, full tummy. Here's a typical Nowruz menu:

A Persian meal always starts with fresh appetizers, consisting of vegetables, nuts, olives and cheeses.

Braised lamb comes off the bone, paired with light and fluffy saffron rice.

Fish and a special sauce topped with fresh herbs: one of my favorites. Lightly seasoned but packed with flavor.

Slow cooked beef with grilled tomatoes and Persian style rice. Another to-die-for menu item.

The smorgasbord set a festive mood and brought smiles to people's faces!

And of course, entertainment was brought to us by a talented Persian pianist, who could shift from Persian classics to contemporary Western hits.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Nice to Know Ya, Cappadocia!

Oh hi, didn't see you there.

My best friend and I went to Cappadocia in Turkey last August, and because she's not in town, I'm not too busy to post these pictures!

It was one of the best trips I have ever gone on. Every element of it was A+++ in my books. Great company, fabulous hotel room, even more fabulous landscape and touristy things to do, and the incredible, headache-inducing yet magical thought that it was going to be my last real holiday before I became a missus. Needless to say (but I'll say it anyway! I can waste internet space, what?!), I made the most out of it by being impulsive and living like a single girl whose motto was YOLO. Mostly by spending more than enough Turkish lira on different kinds of tea and fridge magnets.

Enjoy the pics! Warning: They'll make you want to leave your desk, pack your bags and head to Cappadocia right now.
The entrance to the Museum Hotel.

The view from the Museum Hotel's terrace. Magical.

A hotel entirely carved out of a cave to preserve its integrity. 

The bar man was happy to serve me a drink at 3 in the afternoon.

Around the Museum Hotel.

They have unconventional hotel rooms and hallways.

The whole place is full of artifacts from thousands of years ago.

Everyone' sick of me talking about how our room has a wine tap. Two wine taps - one for white, one for red. 

I feel asleep in this lovely marble bath that was the size of a jacuzzi.

Museum Hotel makes its own vino. This bottle was conplementary, and it was enjoyed weeks later in Dubai.

Every element of the hotel has character and is charged with centuries-old history. My best friend absolutely fell in love with this old school telephone. 

Orhan, the general manager, 

Fifi fell in love with Turkey!

Ladybugs selfie-ing outside a castle, no big deal.

The Turkish flag on top of a hill.

Cappadocia's incredible landscape.

Inside the Uchisar Castle

Great weather, great people, great bargains!

The sidewalk scene in Cappadocia is always intricately colorful and very fascinating.

Pottery and wall art sold in a cave shop.

Pretty hand painted souvenirs.

We didn't buy anything in here but we snapped away. 

Sena and Mucahit. We met them at the bus stop. They had no idea we were a hundred years older than them.

Mucahit took us to Kebabistan, a local cafeteria in his locale Nevsehir.

This shop owner insisted on playing this little string instrument for us even though we didn't fancy anything on the shelves.

Nevsehir's central stop for all sorts of public vehicles.

Fifi had a grand time in Derinkuyu district, which goes down nine storeys down.

Around Love Valley in Goreme. Lovely penis-shaped chimneys.

Yup those are schlongs.

You can go inside the caves!

We took loads of pictures before the sun set.

Before dinner at the Museum Hotel.

Another posey photo. Right by Lila, the fancy restaurant.

Wining and dining with Fifi.

The Museum Hotel.

Our cave hotel room!

Did I tell you it had a wine tap? Two wine taps.

TV, wine, lounge. Cave life.

Chef was very hands on. He was awesome.

Incredible place.

We tried pottery and I must say it's not a profession or hobby I would take up.

The Uchisar Castle.

Inside Omurlu Ceramics, a family-run pottery business.

Every pot and artwork is hand painted.

We went on a hot air balloon ride. Woke up at 4am.

All ready to hop on!

This is it!

Flying just in time to catch the sunrise.

It was simply magical.

Cappadocia is paradise.

Firing up the balloons to go higher and higher and higher...

Rock formations up close.

Awesome patterns.

Thrilled to have made it up there, 6,000 feet above the ground.

Yup I took part in deflating the balloon. Someone threw me on top of it.

Back in Museum Hotel, enjoying the morning view.

Told you she was in love with the old school telephone.

These are all natural Viagras.

Souvenirs by Uchisar Castle.

Carpets are one of Cappadocia's best selling souvenirs. They're super expensive because they're all hand made and the designs are fabulous.

Fifi bought a Dumye doll for a Lira. Or was it two Lira?

It was not as sexy as the scene in Ghost.

A half-painted Turkish masterpiece.

Just a selfie.

Up in the air.

We made stuffed Turkish flat bread in a traditional tandoor.

Museum Hotel grows grapes around the property.