DOHA DIARIES: MY WEEK IN THE DESERT #24

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Another very quiet week in the sandpit this week! I was out of action for a good three days with one of the worst migraines I have had in a long time. In total it lasted for four days, and I was totally wiped out for two of them, so the beginning of my week basically consisted of me laying in bed with cold flannels on my head. Obviously not photo worthy! The rest of the week looked a little something like this...

LIFE ADMIN
I seem to be doing a lot of this lately. Trying to get on track with everything - I've started using my Filofax again to help to get myself organised (although very, very tempted to purchase an Erin Condren Rose Gold Life Planner when they are back in stock as they are so pretty) Very much looking forward to getting fixed plans in the diary with friends and family when I go back to England...only two weeks to go!

SHOPPING / BEING STALKED!
I took myself off to Landmark Mall once I had started to feel more human again towards the middle of the week. I like Landmark a lot - it's close by and as Doha goes it has a decent selection of shops. There was a sale on in Mango so I ended up buying a couple of cute oversized but really lightweight jumpers, perfect for the too hot outside / too cold inside scenario that I find myself in on a daily basis in this country! I spent ages browsing round the new Marks and Spencers, and it made me feel right at home. They even stock the stunning Rosie Huntington-Whiteley for Autograph range which is very good to know! I was having such a lovely shopping trip until I noticed that I was being followed around the whole of Marks and Spencers by a guy in a baseball cap, throughout each department I looked over and there he was. I clocked him again outside the shop, so I ducked in to Warehouse and really took my time in there, taking a few pieces into the changing rooms to try on. I must have been in there for a good ten minutes or so, and when I came outside there he was again, waiting. I moved on down to Bershka, had a look around and realised he had sat himself down on a bench outside the store. I quickly hurried down to the other exit and left that way, and made my way along to another shop. As I was coming out of the next shop, he walked past and looked in, saw me and stopped. By this point I was a bit freaked out so I hurried as fast as I could past him and didn't stop until I was way round the other side of the mall - luckily by this point I lost him. Not a nice experience at all and it made me so anxious that I was in a bit of a state for the rest of the day!

DINNER AT ANTICA PESA
Jemma and I headed off for dinner on Friday night to a restaurant we haven't tried before - Antica Pesa at the beautiful Kempinski Marsa Malaz hotel. I liked that this restaurant was in an entirely different part of the hotel to El Faro, where Matt and I have had dinner before. Antica Pesa is off to the left of the hotel, alongside Toro Toro (which I can't wait to try!) The restaurant is lovely and beautifully decorated, with a gorgeous view out over the water. If I was going to live anywhere else in Doha I would want to live in one of the apartments overlooking the Kempinski. We both opted for the gnocchi (surprise, surprise) and were both pretty disappointed with it to be honest. It was baked, which neither of us expected, and quite bland. Not a dish I would have again, but maybe it serves me right for not exploring a different pasta option for once! I would go back to Antica Pesa purely for the dessert alone - I opted for the Hazelnut Parfait and it was amazing! It was essentially Nutella icecream, with chocolate mousse on the side. Heaven! Jemma opted for the Rice Panna Cotta which she also enjoyed. After the meal, we were taken on a tour of the restaurant as we hadn't realised there was a bar upstairs, and back downstairs we waited for our driver beneath the celebrity photo wall - rows upon rows of photographs of the celebrity clientele who dine at the branches of Antica Pesa in Rome and New York.

Please forgive my blurry photographs - the humidity got to my camera lense when I stupidly decided to try and take some photos outside the restaurant and ruined my snapping abilities for the rest of the evening!
Afterwards, we poked our heads into Toro Toro, a Pan Latin restaurant that quite simply looks amazing. The restaurant was yet to open officially to the public (but it is now, so make yourselves a reservation!) and was open only for 'friends and family', but we were very kindly taken on a tour. The decor is stunning, and the atmosphere is buzzing. So excited to dine here!

A1 NIGHT AT THE GRAND HYATT
This club night is nothing new and has been running for ages, but this was the first time Jemma and I had been there. By day, the Grill restaurant in the Grand Hyatt plays host to brunch on a Friday, and by night it is entirely transformed into a very decent night club! We arrived at around 22:30, and there were hardly any people there. We headed to the bar for a drink and were joined by the very lovely Moufdi, the man behind A1 Nights. We had met Moufdi way back at the start of our time in Doha, at the Four Seasons beach party. He is such a lovely guy, and arranged complimentary drinks for us for the evening, regularly checking in on us to make sure we were enjoying ourselves. Within the hour, the club was absolutely packed from front to back! If R&B is your music of choice, this is the night out in Doha for you.

As always, I hope you've had a great week, wherever in the world you are reading from :)

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