If I lived in Dubai I would be fat

The 9 day trip to Dubai was on schedule and as with any holiday you instantly put on 3 pounds without even getting off the plane. To be fair we did have chips and a glass of chilled Sauvignon before even boarding but that’s not the point.

It reminds me of Shanghai with all of the brunches and hotels serving up fantastic food with an array of restaurants in every location. We went out a lot but the places that really stayed in my mind were:

1. The Rivington Grill (Caprice Holdings) opposite the Burj Kaliefa. Superb views, excellent service and a clean and fresh menu that delivers subtle flavours. We went for lunch and had the Salmon and horseradish salad with potatoes and of course a bottle of x. I can imagine the evening is even better. You’ve also got the well known London Mango Tree next door which is also a huge hit out there.

2. The Souk Madinat from Jumeriah. Wow – what a place. If you’re going to Dubai then go here, there are a vast number of restaurants, numerous bars, clubs and all with a river around them with boats to take you to your room in the Jumeriah. Stunning! We went on a Wednesday night and it was packed, trying to get into The Meat Co which reminded me of  Hawksmoor branding with the ambience of Smiths of Smithfield. Unfortunately it was packed but we found a lovely little Italian serving up some of the best beef carpaccio I’ve had. It was clearly a night for beef.

3. Bars & clubs consisted of JamBase, Barzar (both at The Madinat) and Barasti Bar which is on the beach and with a DJ on. The sand between our toes, vodka tonics all round and a mint and grape sheisha you couldn’t help but enjoy one of the best bars Dubai has to offer.

4. THE BRUNCH – Fridays are known as the Saturday in Dubai and everyone lures towards top hotels serving up all day brunch. We went to The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi which was superb, although I must say though that the one in Shanghai delivers it better with greater choice, service and it is actually cheaper. We went for drinks and food which was £85 per head and well worth it. Sushi, marinated salmon, Thai food, fillet steak, red mullet, squid, lobster, crab, prawns, desserts – you name it, it was there. We were especially pleased with the boats full of handmade chocolate buttons and the vodka fuelled watermelons. It was like Charlie and the chocolate factory with people dressed up (some questionable choices) and a pick of anything you most desire.

5. One more for a visit was Raffles where we went for our high tea, averaging about £16 per person it was fantastic value with as much tea and coffee as you liked with fashionista treats and mini sandwiches and fantastic service. It felt like London in Dubai and they really did high tea very well indeed.

So with the three pound gain, a few hundred more spent and some fantastic times with friends I’m hoping to get another visit in very soon. Any recommendations of places you love out there would be great to hear about.

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