Friday, November 17, 2017

April

What an amazing month March turned out to be, we celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary for an entire week, starting of at Le Meridien Al Aqah and finishing at Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa, with a trip to Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Emirates Golf Club inbetween!!  The weather has finally broken and we are experiencing a rise in temperatures, it's no secret I prefer the hotter months over the cooler ones. It's Easter this month, so I hope the Easter Bunny is really kind to you all. Have a fabulous month wherever are you are.

GA

As it would happen Lady Luck was shining down on Casa GA earlier this week when out of the blue the wonderful Grand Millenium Al Wahda in Abu Dhabi kindly, like a Fairy Godmother blessed me with a much needed overnight stay in their fabulous new hotel.  I needed a break and had been trawling the internet for special offers for this weekend and was practically jumping for joy when they were able to accomodate us last night!!

We packed up yesterday morning and headed down to Abu Dhabi, the GPS on the iPhone 4 was programmed and just over an hour later we pulled into the valet parking area of the biggest hotel in Abu Dhabi!! yes it is huge!!  850 rooms in total, spread over two adjoining tower blocks.  Check in was over in minutes and we headed up to the room which was beautiful! a massive white bed with fluffy pillow cases, Mitten jumped onto it and fell into it like a marshmallow!

Five minutes later we were changed and heading up the roof top pool.   Beautiful luxurious pool area with sofas, tables and huge big arm chairs for those wanting to read or relax. We got our self a few sunloungers and relaxed in the afternoon sun whilst ordering lunch from the pool bar.  The pool area is covered and uncovered if that makes sense, a wonderful idea as the staff have a super shaded area for the summer months.

The hotel boasts an array of restaurants, Toshi- Far Eastern, Porto Bello - Italian, Al Wahda - All Day Dining, Lobby Lounge - cream teas!!, and opening soon is a steak restaurant, PorterHouse Grill.  As I expected the food was top notch and we really couldn't complain about a thing.  If you are in Abu Dhabi, or visiting you must take advantage of their current 2-for-1 offer in Toshi, and Porto Bello.  The Lobby lounge is offering afternoon Tea for Two for just 95 ++ AED.

The Hotel is conveniently located right next to Al Wahda Mall, which we had a quick look around before dinner.  Great little Mall (in comparison to Dubai monstrosities) housing all the household favourites we are familiar with here in the UAE.

A hotel is a hotel, a bedroom is a bedroom, a bathroom is a bathroom, without two essential ingredients a Hotel will never become a second home ........  LÓccitane toiletries and fantastic staff, the amazing Grand Millenium Al Wahda, I am very pleased to say has them both. 

I dedicate this to Kassem, he knows who he is ...

I have seen some fabulous marketing campaigns over  the years and some equally horrific failures as well, living the Middle has proved that I have seen alot more of the latter!

The wonderful witty and delightful Alan Carr (aka @chattyman) last week had that pop sensation, JLS as his guests on his weekly chatshow.  The world has watched the cheeky boy band's raise to fame since they were finalists in the Xfactor a couple of years ago.  Not really my cup of tea but adored by thousands, especially young teenagers who seem to lust after this dynamic foursome of handsome young men. Made famous because they are good looking, can mime well, but more importantly have mastered the art of line dancing for young people.

Anyway I was very surprised to see that they have joined forces with Durex, I am pretty sure the initiave would have been Durex's however, and have launched a range of condoms, wait for it, the Just Love Safe (JLS range). Further investigation via everyone's friend Mr Google revealed that JLS have a charitable trust which is concerned about STD's and other nasties that can be caught if we aren't practicing safe sex.  Admirable, yes totally, spreading the word, yes definately, packaging, nice small box, pretty colours but this is where it all starts to go a bit strange ....

Each member of the band has his own specially packaged condom, it would appear from further investigation that the young frontman by the name of Aston (great name for a puppy) seems to outsell his compatriates when it comes to condom sales. Would that be because women are buying them? as they are in some strange state of infatuation, or because men are buying them because the women like him?   Fascinating yet true, either way their initiative is admirable and hats of to Durex for being so imaginitive with their Just Love Safe Campaign, I am sure it has made them very little money ......

http://www.durex.com/en-GB/Products/Pages/Just-Love-Safe-The-JLS-Range-of-Condoms.aspx


 

 

Been a while since I updated this section of the site, for various reasons.  The sprained ankle is taking so long to heal.  I now also have a badly bruised shoulder which is making it difficult to do anything, including up until last night even sleep.   Things seem a lot better this morning so give it another week and I am hoping to be back on track with Sunjay,  to finish off the rest of my personal training sessions. 

I luckily won an over night stay at the Al Wahda Grand Millenium in Abu Dhabi, and my little family and I will be heading there for 24 hours relaxation this weekend.

Thanks for reading and your support over the last couple of weeks, you know who you are.

GA

A few days back my friend Frockexchange and I decided that enough was enough and we were going for a little day out to the shop that sells the sparkly stuff, the stuff with the bubbles in it ...

So of we doddle up the Emirates Road taking in the countryside, first thing we came across was a group of caravans for sale!!  Gypsies we shouted! sadly we were wrong but it funny all the same. Got there in no time at all and decided to have a bit of breakfast, so we headed to the little restaurant for some quick refreshment.   Walked in and standing at the bar with a whisky in one hand and a cigarette in the other was a man dressed in local dress.  I have seen it time and time before so it just goes over my head, Frockexchange was tickled pink, especially when he moved out of our sight of vision and the barmaid served him with a bottle of red wine!!

True to form the continental breakfast of pastries and condiments turned out to be four slices of white bread and jam!!  had a good laugh at it all though.

Just makes you think, what a weird and wonderful place we live in!

We are all becoming familiar with the new websites around town tempting us with special offers and this weekend I am pleased to say that Juan Salon has teamed up with Cobone to offer both existing customers and new customers a very very special offer in the Salon.  I won't tell you what it is, just keep your eyes open on their site over the weekend and you shall find. I have taken the following information from their website about how you can snap up one of their special offers:

"Every day Cobone features one amazing thing to do in your city for an unbelievable price.

The deals range from great restaurants to top notch hair salons, from luxury health and beauty spas to breath taking experiences and much more.

We work with the best companies to offer one deal each day with incredibly low prices. Using Cobone is easy!

Register now and get daily alerts of the deal e-mailed to you each morning. If you see something you want to do, sign up.  If enough people sign up,   the deal will be activated. By having a minimum number of buyers we can guarantee businesses lots of customers and ensure you receive the maximum discount.

So when you find a deal that you like, simply enter your name and select from the many payment terms we offer. You won’t be charged until enough people join the deal to activate it.

To make sure the deal reaches the minimum number of people, tell your friends using Facebook or Twitter, e-mail them or phone them up.

When the deal is activated we will post you the coupon that you MUST print and use to redeem the offer"

Happy Shopping!

http://www.cobone.com

 

Today I am offering my total support to Kuwaiti Based blogger, Mark Makhoul posted on his popular Kuwait based blogsite 2.48 am a mildly critical post of the opening on a new Branch of Benihana (Kuwait). I have listed below the review which I have taken from his blogsite along with a link to take you directly there. Mark was contacted by the Manager of Benihana and is now the subject of a US$ 18,000 lawsuit filed by the Kuwaiti franchisee of the global Japanese restaurant chain.

Are our opinions no longer worth anything?  Does the customer have no rights?  What sort of business would sue someone for their opinion? I am supporting Mark directly by repeating his blog here on my site.

My Benihana Experience .... by Mark Makhoul

A few days back I posted about Benihana opening up at the Avenues and yesterday night I decided to pass by with Nat and try it out. The service wasnít too bad for a restaurant thatís just been open for a few days and the staff were really friendly. The restaurant itself is made up of islands and bars with a grill in the middle of each one. You sit around the grill and the chef will come to your table and prepare the food right in front of you which makes things entertaining. Itís actually why I prefer sitting at the bar in Japanese restaurants in general, since you can talk to the chef and watch them put your dish together. The problem with my experience last night though was with the food, it was disappointing to say the least.

We ordered beef negimayaki for starters followed by an Orange Blossom maki and a Hibachi Chicken. The negimaki arrived looking good and was probably the best thing we had there even though I prefer Makiís negimaki which has a richer teriyaki sauce. The Orange Blossom was very ordinary, wouldnít order it again. Now the Hibachi chicken which is basically grilled chicken, that was the worst. The chicken was very chewy (I could swear it was undercooked if not raw) and tasted terrible. Even after I had the chef add some more teriyaki sauce in hopes of improving the taste it didnít work. I tried to dip it into the sauces that came with the chicken but it was hard to figure out if they were actually making things worse or not. Nat only ate one piece of chicken and left the rest while I needed my protein since Iím on a strict diet and forced myself to eat my whole plate (I can do that) but the after taste was really bad. Even the rice and the veggies that came with it tasted bad AND were under cooked. Once we left I considered picking up a frozen yogurt from Pinkberry even though I hate frozen yogurts but I just needed something to get rid of the aftertaste. A few moments later we ended up at Chocolate Bar ordering the gooey chocolate cake (bye bye diet).

I shot the two videos above of the chef preparing our meal. Benihana are known for the live shows they perform when preparing your dish so I was expecting to see [This] but ended up with the above . Would I go back to Benihana? No I wouldnít. Their sashimi and makiís are pretty cheap (KD1.5 for 5 pieces of Salmon sashimi for example) but there are two other Japanese restaurants at the Avenues, Wasabi and Maki, and I would prefer either one of those to Benihana.

http://www.248am.com/mark/kuwait/my-benihana-experience

 

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