30 Sep 2014

THE MATRIX CHANDELIERS

Euriental | London fashion blogger. Wearing Lola & Grace  Matrix Chandelier earrings.
Euriental | London fashion blogger. Wearing Lola & Grace  Matrix Chandelier earrings.
Euriental | London fashion blogger. Wearing Lola & Grace  Matrix Chandelier earrings.
Euriental | London fashion blogger. Wearing Lola & Grace  Matrix Chandelier earrings.
Euriental | London fashion blogger. Wearing Lola & Grace  Matrix Chandelier earrings.


I'm a sucker for a bold pair of earrings. These Matrix Chandelier ones by Lola & Grace add a dramatic touch to an otherwise ordinary outfit. 

Keep your eyes peeled, because later this week I'll be hosting Euriental's very first giveaway, featuring a brand new set of these earrings, plus two other beautiful pieces of Lola & Grace jewellery!

27 Sep 2014

DUBAI - PART II

I mentioned previously that Friday brunch is an ordeal, not only at the Park Hyatt, but just about everywhere in Dubai. I'll show you what I mean.

The restaurant is named Traiteur, which is French for restaurateur. We're seated in a room away from the main food area (darn), but with a little more privacy and less noise, which is nice. This room is home to all the chilled, fresh seafood on offer: raw salmon, cooked prawns, raw oysters, clams, mussels - you get the idea.

Euriental | brunch at Traiteur, Park Hyatt Dubai.
Euriental | brunch at Traiteur, Park Hyatt Dubai.

The main buffet room is packed to the rafters with people - not a free table or empty chair in sight. It houses all the main dishes (plus the dessert room. Yes, ROOM.). What do we have here? Oh, just about everything, really. 

A lobster station immediately has me drooling, as do the freshly grilled king prawns, roast duck and beef fillets. I see scallops swimming in a divine sweet and sticky sauce, foie gras being served up by the minute, and an array of cold cuts, breads, salad items and amuse-bouches I didn't even get around to. Oh, let me not forget - outside, an entire hog roast is on offer to those hungry enough to withstand the heat for a minute or two. 

My eyes are as large as the plates they're serving the food up on.

Euriental | brunch at Traiteur, Park Hyatt Dubai.
Euriental | brunch at Traiteur, Park Hyatt Dubai. Buffet spread (including lobster!)
Euriental | brunch at Traiteur, Park Hyatt Dubai. Lobster and foie gras.
Euriental | brunch at Traiteur, Park Hyatt Dubai. Scallops, duck and prawns.

I somehow summon up a smidgen of leftover appetite (willpower, I tell you) to sample some of the desserts on offer. Although there's an entire section dedicated to crepes, I manage to steer clear, convincing myself that I can have one anywhere (again, willpower is key here. I love a fresh crepe).

Euriental | brunch at Traiteur, Park Hyatt Dubai. Dessert room - crepe stand.
Euriental | brunch at Traiteur, Park Hyatt Dubai. Dessert room.

I chose: adzuki bean and green tea cup, dulce de leche cup, triple raspberry cup, chocolate bark, a pistachio macaron and some sort of coconut-ty chocolate cube. I must admit - I am a dessert lover, but these didn't quite hit the spot for me. The focus at brunch here is definitely on the savoury food, not the sweet. At least, that's what I deduce from the desserts I taste.

Euriental | brunch at Traiteur, Park Hyatt Dubai. Dessert room.
Euriental | brunch at Traiteur, Park Hyatt Dubai. Yacht club.

After we've eaten enough to last us a week, we wallow like hippos in the pool for a few hours before heading up to the room to change for our 5:30pm booking.

Euriental | brunch at Traiteur, Park Hyatt Dubai swimming pool.
Euriental | view from the Park Hyatt Dubai Terrace Suite.

The Burj Khalifa, otherwise known as the tallest building in the world, is home to not only the Armani hotel (where we had dinner the other evening) but also At.mosphere, where stunning, uninterrupted views of the city stretch as far as the eye can see. It's truly breathtaking - desert, water, islands, high rises.

Euriental | At.mosphere bar at the Burj Khalifa. Tallest building in the world.
Euriental | At.mosphere bar at the Burj Khalifa. Tallest building in the world.
Euriental | At.mosphere bar at the Burj Khalifa. Tallest building in the world.
Euriental | At.mosphere bar at the Burj Khalifa. Tallest building in the world.
Euriental | At.mosphere bar at the Burj Khalifa. Tallest building in the world.
Euriental | At.mosphere bar at the Burj Khalifa. Tallest building in the world.

At around 6.25pm, the sun begins its descent. We stand and watch it go down over the horizon, morphing the sky from a light, pastel blue into a rich, warm shade of orange, and finally into a dark blue as it disappears.

Euriental | At.mosphere bar at the Burj Khalifa. Tallest building in the world. View of the sunset.
Euriental | At.mosphere bar at the Burj Khalifa. Tallest building in the world. View of the sunset.
Euriental | At.mosphere bar at the Burj Khalifa. Tallest building in the world. View of the sunset.
Euriental | At.mosphere bar at the Burj Khalifa. Tallest building in the world. View of the sunset.

There's nothing left to do but enjoy each other's company, drink our expertly made cocktails, nibble on bowl after bowl of olives and mixed nuts, and watch the fountain shows (the same ones we saw at eye-level the previous night).

Euriental | At.mosphere bar at the Burj Khalifa. Tallest building in the world.
Euriental | At.mosphere bar at the Burj Khalifa. Tallest building in the world. Fountain show.
Euriental | At.mosphere bar at the Burj Khalifa. Tallest building in the world. Fountain show.

Day 3: breakfast on the terrace, more pool time, my first ever snowboarding lesson (hey, I only fell on my butt about four times! Accomplishment?), dinner at the fantastic Blue Jade (located in the Ritz Carlton hotel) and one last maniacal golf cart ride to Bliss Lounge, which is eerily empty of people (then again, Saturday night is Dubai's version of Sunday, as Sunday is a working day). As it turns out, it's the ideal place for us to kick off our shoes (literally), lie back on one of the bed-type loungers and enjoy the beach at night.

Euriental | Park Hyatt Dubai breakfast on the terrace
Euriental | snowboarding at Ski Dubai in the Mall of the Emirates
Euriental | dinner at Blue Jade in the Ritz Carlton, Dubai
Euriental | Bliss Lounge, Dubai

Day 4: a short flight to Doha, where we spend a few hours in the fantastic Al Mourjan business class lounge, and movie marathons on our way back to London. 

Unlike most of our holidays, this one wasn't about exploring the city on foot or visiting historical & cultural sights. This was about relaxing, eating excellent cuisine from different countries and enjoying our beautiful hotel. Dubai is the kind of place you go to for a luxurious, chilled out, spend-all-your-money (and boy is it worth it) holiday. Not somewhere I'd choose every time, but absolutely somewhere I'd return to.

Euriental | Al Mourjan Business lounge at Doha airport
Euriental | Al Mourjan Business lounge at Doha airport
Euriental | First Class on Qatar Airways

24 Sep 2014

DUBAI - PART I

After a leisurely morning at our hotel, our first order of business is to find some lunch at The Dubai Mall. Known as the largest mall in the world, there is certainly no shortage of restaurant and cafe options for those with grumbling bellies. We knew we were going to the right place.

The first thing I notice upon entering is the aquarium. Whilst casual shoppers stroll leisurely past the stores on one side, rays, fish and sharks swim by in their own little world directly opposite. This stretches on for quite a while, and is gorgeously relaxing. I try to visit an aquarium at every country I go to - it's one of my favourite pastimes. Ever. Is there anything more peaceful, awe-inspiring and other-worldly?

Euriental | travel trip report, Dubai. The Dubai Mall Aquarium.

One of my rules when entering a new place, whether it be a mall, mosque, hotel, restaurant, bar or museum, is to always look up. I'm glad I do, for I am rewarded with a beautifully starry night sky.

Euriental | travel trip report, Dubai. The Dubai Mall starry night sky.

We eat at pretty much the first restaurant we come across. Sushi is on our minds, and excellent sushi (and sashimi) we have, at Katsuya. Next on our agenda: more mall exploration. Well, what?! You could easily spend a full day here and not see every corner! I love a good mall. It reminds me of home (Shanghai), where super malls and food courts are aplenty.

Euriental | travel trip report, Dubai. Restaurant Katsuya at The Dubai Mall.
Euriental | travel trip report, Dubai. The Dubai Mall.
Euriental | travel trip report, Dubai. At the Dubai Mall wearing Missoni wedges and Chloe bag.
Euriental | wearing M Missoni turquoise wedges.
Euriental | travel trip report, Dubai. The Dubai Mall.
Euriental | travel trip report, Dubai. The Dubai Mall souk area.
Euriental | travel trip report, Dubai. Burj Khalifa outside The Dubai Mall.
Euriental | travel trip report, Dubai. The Dubai Mall waterfall.

A few hours later, we take a cab back to the hotel for a late afternoon snack of birthday cake, kindly provided by the PH for Jarv's 30th, and a few hours by the pool.

Euriental | travel trip report, Dubai. Birthday cake at the Park Hyatt.
Euriental | travel trip report, Dubai. Birthday cake at the Park Hyatt.
Euriental | travel trip report, Dubai. The Park Hyatt pool and jacuzzi.

For dinner, we are heading to the sexy, sophisticated Armani hotel, which is situated inside the Burj Khalifa.

Euriental | travel trip report, Dubai. The Armani Hotel lobby.

If you're looking for quality, delicious Indian food (much more refined and healthier than the takeout kind, might I add) and impeccable service, go to Amal. The staff training is impressive - when I get up to go to the bathroom, our waiter steps over to politely ask Jarv how the meal is going and 'entertain' him until my return. When he spots me walking back, he continues conversing with Jarv as he pulls out my chair, unfolds my napkin for me to re-place on my lap, and neatly finishes up the conversation to leave us to it. Now that's good service. 

During our meal, we also have a direct view of the fountain shows that take place nightly from around 7pm onwards (every half an hour). Photos weren't really coming out well as the reflection of the open kitchen behind us was quite bright, but trust me - if you're booking there, ask for a table with a fountain view.

Euriental | travel trip report, Dubai. Amal restaurant at the Armani hotel.
Euriental | travel trip report, Dubai. Amal restaurant at the Armani hotel.
Euriental | travel trip report, Dubai. Amal restaurant at the Armani hotel.

We finish off the night checking out a few bars. One, Bahri Bar, has a great view of the Burj Al Arab, but I wouldn't recommend it, personally. Live pop music, which gets an A for effort but unfortunately comes off a little like an awkward karaoke session, and simply WAY too many people crammed in together, mostly - it seems - all expats aiming to get drunk before finding a club for the night. People rave about it, though, so perhaps that was just our one-time experience.

Euriental | travel trip report, Dubai. View from Bahri Bar of the Burj Al Arab.

A wild golf cart ride (this was the least blurry picture of the lot), another drink at another rooftop bar, and day one concludes with smiles as we flop, exhausted, into bed.

Euriental | travel trip report, Dubai. Buggy cart ride.
Euriental | travel trip report, Dubai. On the beach outside the Burj Al Arab.