"After years of continuous eating,'A Girl has to Eat', a self-confessed food lover and eat-aholic, has been spurred on to create her own food guide & blog. Read about her fabulous (and sometimes not so fabulous) culinary adventures in her restaurant reviews. This and more!"

360 Bar & Lounge Dubai

Posted on Wednesday, 11th December 2013

360 Bar & Lounge in Dubai has carved a niche for itself by offering some of the best club music in Dubai. It was voted Top 100 clubs in the world for three years running by DJ Magazine, and earlier in 2013, 360 also scooped the Time Out Dubai Nightlife Award for ‘Best Club’.

Cocktails at 360 Lounge & Bar

Cocktails at 360 Lounge & Bar

But for me, what makes 360 Bar & Lounge special are its views. It’s split over two floors – an indoor ground level and an alfresco upper deck where there are lounge seats dotted around its circumference. Its circular perspective means that you get spectacular views from wherever you sit, which were particularly impressive during our sunset visit. The music is every changing, but for our chill out it rotated between a DJ set and a live jazz band. It was all very cool, and the magic of sunset over Jumeirah Beach and Burj Al Arab made for an incredible experience.

Sunset at 360 Lounge & Bar Dubai

Sunset at 360 Lounge & Bar

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Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa

Posted on Monday, 9th December 2013

We next spent two nights at The Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa, a luxury 5-star hotel located on the Palm Jumeirah Island. Decorated in a Polynesian tropical theme, The Palm Resort has lush vertical garden walls, and its low-rise perspective creates an oasis of calm and tranquility. The resort only recently opened in July 2013 and has been finished to the highest order.

Green Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort - Garden wall

Garden wall


The Pools

We were spoilt for choice when it came time to chillaxing by the pool. The Sofitel Dubai Palm has five outdoor pools gracefully positioned throughout the resort. For a bit more of a lively atmosphere, we decided to perch ourselves at the spectacular main pool. And even though this was the main pool, it was so well laid out and spacious that at no time did we feel like we were crushed under the weight of other guests. The resort’s four other outdoor pools offered a slightly more secluded experience, perfect for those seeking some peace and quiet. In addition, there was a private beach with wonderful views of The Palm and Burj Al Arab, and water recreational activities could be organised through the resort.

Sofitel Dubai The Palm - Main pool

Main pool

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Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach Hotel

Posted on Saturday, 7th December 2013

After Doha I headed to Dubai, and this time I stayed for two nights at the Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach Hotel. During my last visit to Dubai I was at the JA Ocean View Hotel, and it was then that I discovered the charms of the Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) ‘Walk’ with its cosmopolitan mix of restaurants and shops. The Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach Hotel is similarly located on The ‘Walk’, and its location in Dubai Marina means that it is within easy reach of the Dubai’s new business hubs: Dubai Media City, Dubai Internet City and Jebel Ali Free Zone.

Sofitel Dubai Jumeriah Beach Hotel

Sofitel Dubai Jumeriah Beach Hotel

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The Sharq Village & Spa Doha

Posted on Thursday, 5th December 2013

The Sharq Village & Spa, Doha is a gorgeous Hotel run by the famous Ritz-Carlton Group. Built like a traditional Qatari village, it blends a unique traditional desert castle design with modern amenities. The hotel features two pools, beach access, a string of restaurants, its own traditional Arab bazaar and an award winning Six-Senses Spa.

The Pool

With a day in transit in Doha before heading to Dubai, I decided to seek out a bit of sun, choosing The Sharq Village & Spa as it offers pool day passes to non-hotel guests (QR350 on Fridays and Saturdays – about £60, QR200 the rest of the week – about £34). The pool area is gorgeous with both pools being special and unique in their own way. The larger of the two is a uniquely designed infinity pool, but the smaller of the two backs onto the beach and offers a striking bird’s-eye view of downtown Doha.

The Sharq - view from the pool with downtown Doha in the background

View from the pool with downtown Doha in the background

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Great Queen Street

Posted on Friday, 29th November 2013

Great Queen Street is owned by the same group that also own Anchor and Hope, a gastropub which has carved a name for itself with its inventive British cooking and its use of head-to-tail ingredients. Great Queen Street’s menu plays less reliance on offal cooking, but it is similarly classically British. Its makes good use of seasonal ingredients, and as such the menu is ever changing. Great Queen Street is a rustic looking venue – the furniture is dark, and the lighting is kept low. Located on Great Queen Street in Covent Garden, it’s a perfect spot for a bout of casual central London dining.

A starter salad of ham, egg, beetroot and horseradish (£7) was absolutely scrumptious. There was something heavenly about how the salty crispy ham blended with the earthy sweetness of the well-cooked beetroot. A half soft-boiled egg was perfectly cooked, and the horseradish dressing gave the salad a lovely kick. This was a wonderful marriage of flavours, all of which combined beautifully together.

Ham, egg, beetroot & horseradish

Ham, egg, beetroot & horseradish

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Luxury Design On A Budget: Industry Tips To Help Your Business

Posted on Wednesday, 27th November 2013

What’s the first thing that you notice when walking down the high-street? Town and cities across the UK are full of shops and restaurants all competing for your custom. From bright lights, to amazing offers, to distinct and bold branding, businesses use an array of tactics to bring people through the door.

When it comes to food however, people are a lot more particular when choosing where to dine. It will come as no surprise that the layout and design of your restaurant, bar or café plays a huge role in people deciding between your venue and the establishment down the road. So what can you do to bring customers through the door?

Eclipse furniture

Eclipse furniture

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Diciannove at the Crowne Plaza Hotel

Posted on Wednesday, 20th November 2013

Diciannove at the Crowne Plaza Hotel is an Italian restaurant, and a reincarnation of Refrettorio, a Giorgio Locatelli outlet that was well known for its accomplished cooking. Giorgio’s influence is still visible in Diciannove as Head Chef Alessandro Bay spent over 10 years under Michelin-starred Giorgio Locatelli, working his way up from chef de partie to sous chef and finally as head chef. As such, pasta is king at Diciannove, all of which are homemade daily. Diciannove translates to 19 in Italian and represents the address of the hotel, number 19 New Bridge St.

The restaurant has undergone a complete refurbishment since it’s rebranding from Refrettorio to Diciannove. The space was tastefully done and comfortable. There was ample booth seating, but these tables were perhaps too big, so the smaller tables perched in the centre of the restaurant are probably a better choice for the ease of conversation. At the front of the Diciannove is a little deli offering a number of Italian goodies for sale.

To begin with we opted for the cicchetti (Italian tapas) from the bar menu instead of the starters from the a la carte menu. All of them proved to be really tasty and incredibly great value. The burrata crostini (£3.85) for instance came with a richly creamy burrata that paired well with some softly grilled aubergines, tomato, basil and chilli. Thinly sliced beef fillet carpaccio (£4.50) with Parmigiano reggiano, olive oil and wild rocket was deliciously tender and soft and further enhanced by the nuttiness of the cheese.

Diciannove burrata crostini

Burrata crostini

Diciannove beef fillet

Beef fillet

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Angler Seafood Restaurant

Posted on Thursday, 14th November 2013

Angler seafood restaurant is part of the D&D Group and located on the seventh floor of the glamorous South Place Hotel. The dining room is elegant, yet unimposing with a relaxed sophistication to it, and its floor to ceiling windows and outdoor terrace provides exciting views of the city. The executive chef is Tony Fleming who previously worked with Marco Pierre White at the Criterion and the three Michelin-starred Oak Room. Tony has also cooked at Oxo Tower, The Great Eastern Hotel and at One Aldwych. Seafood has always been his specialty, and at Angler, this has translated into a British seafood menu with a contemporary twist that saw it awarded a Michelin star in September 2013.

The dinner got off to a smashing start with some of the loveliest langoustines (£5 each) that I have ever tried. These Orkney Islanders were mouthwatering with a delectable sweetness and were firm in texture. If this was anything to go by, the other crustacean options of shellfish platter, clams and crab would no doubt have been exquisite as well. The breads were also heavenly and moreish. Served warm and eaten with the beautiful salted butter made for something moreish.

The langoustines at Angler

Langoustines

Breads at Angler

Breads

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