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Park Regis Boutique | 21 Grams Balkan Restaurant Jumeirah

One of the best things about living in Dubai is all the completely different places you can visit with just a small drive.

Whether it’s the breathtaking dunes in the desert, the relaxing beaches, the bustle of the business districts, the peaceful public parks, or the area like Bastakiya with the inspiring Arabic architecture; there is so much to see and do depending on your mood.


This is why I love staycations in Dubai – after a 20 minute drive I feel like I’m staying in another part of the world! Needless to say I was delighted to be invited to spend a Thursday night at the new Park Regis Boutique hotel in Jumeirah.


We arrived early on a Thursday evening to find a beautiful hotel that looked more like an elegant villa with 21 rooms. The rooms are spacious and have a unique nautical theme, with lovely, comfortable furniture and well designed fixtures. We had a balcony view which was perfect for sitting outside to relax after a busy day of working or exploring – depending on your needs! It’s always great to see a Nespresso machine in the room; Ricky is always delighted with this as the taste is so much nicer than instant coffee.


The hotel is well located close to Burj Al Arab (across from Umm Suqeim park) and just a quick stroll away from the beach. Jumeirah is an area that I haven’t explored much, especially this part – so we loved spending an evening wandering around here. The highlight of our stroll was definitely our visit to the famous ‘Bu Qtair‘ seafood restaurant, one of the remaining Dubai foodie institutions that we had yet to try (we loved it and I will have a separate post on it soon).

Joined on to the hotel is the contemporary Balkan themed restaurant 21 Grams. We had our breakfast there and loved the eastern European twist on poached eggs (done with tomato and spicy pepper) as well as our first try of Polenta, which is a corn meal porridge type dish that was infused with delicious flavours. It was my first time to visit a Balkan themed restaurant and I loved the experience. This is definitely a place you could come to get some work done or grab a tasty bite.


With the Dubai Marathon kicking off on the Friday morning, my weekend was truly an example of those magic times you can have here.

I would thoroughly recommend the hotel to anyone traveling for business or looking for a nice break from the hustle and bustle of every day life. With the location giving so much to see and do nearby, along with the comfortable modern design of the hotel, it’s the perfect place for me.

I must also give my thanks to the wonderful staff in the hotel and restaurant, who were extremely pleasant and very knowledgeable about the surrounding area. Thanks to everyone at Park Regis!


Park Regis Boutique Hotel

Jumeirah Street, next to Umm Suqeim Park, Umm Suqeim 2 

 +971 4332 2277

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Where to find Filipino comfort food in Dubai | Manila Grill Asiana Hotel

Having just returned from Philippines for our wedding, Ricky and I were commenting how hard it is to find good Filipino food here in Dubai, especially with pork!  It was a pleasant surprise then that we were invited to try out the Manila Grill; a restaurant serving Filipino food (and yes, pork!) in the Asiana hotel in Al Rigga area.

Although we were a little unsure of what to expect, after looking at the menu we were very excited to get stuck in!

We started off with Sinigang na Hipon which was delicious, and packed full of massive juicy prawns. The soup itself had a lovely coconut flavour with a spicy tang. It reminded us a bit of Tom Yum Soup – which we are huge fans of.

Our first main was the Sisig.  Ricky loves sisg whenever we are out (he says it’s the perfect drinking food!) and this dish was made in the Pampanga style.  I was informed by our very helpful waiter, RJ, that the chef is from the Pampanga region and this was his speciality.  The sisig was amazing, it had more of a creamy texture than I am used to, but I loved the twist on a classic favourite.

Of course once we saw it on the menu we couldn’t resist ordering the Crispy Pata!  This classic Filipino dish of pig’s leg slowly boiled and then fried was just delicious and exactly like I’d have it back home.  It was so tender and crunchy, perfectly mixing with the classic soy/vinegar dip.

Ricky ordered the Bicol Express, which he has always wanted to try as it’s the area in Philippines where my father is from.  The Bicol Express at Manila Grill is delicious, packed full of creamy coconut which contrasted beautifully with the fresh chillies.  It reminded us of a Thai or Indonesian curry and it’s a true testament to the variety of regional food in the Philippines.

To accompany it all we had the seafood fried rice.  This was brilliantly well done, with the eggy rice combining perfectly with shrimp, crab and squid.  You could eat the rice as a meal on it’s own!  But it made a perfect accompaniment to the dishes.

Overall I’m delighted to recommend the Manila Grill for an authentic, fun experience.  If you are planning a special night with your kabayans, I’d definitely recommend a trip there – you can even head upstairs to Boracay Nightclub afterwards to continue your festivities!

PS We  also loved the live music playing during our meal, the upbeat tunes from the band were the perfect way to kick off our weekend.  

To wash down our meal, we had the lemon mint mocktail which was extremely refreshing.  It reminded me of a fresh cuban mojito.  As we were still recovering from our wedding celebrations we had ours without the alcohol!




Manila Grill

Ground Floor, Asiana Hotel، Salahuddin Road, – Dubai

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Best rolling roast in Dubai

Rolling Roast at Jekyll and Hyde DIFC

My first taste of a classic British roast was when I visited UK and Ricky’s mum cooked me one of her signature roast. Ever since I’ve been craving for that wonderful dish with so many flavours. I was delighted when Jekyll and Hyde invited me to try their new Rolling Roast concept.

Jekyll and Hyde is located in Al Fattan currency house in the DIFC area. It is a really smart venue that reminds us of a modern British pub. I was a big fan of the music they played and the smiling faces of all the staff as we arrived. When seated, we were served by the lovely Ryan who suggested that we try their signature cocktail the Jekyll martini with passion fruit and the Mango Daiquiri (this one was buy 1 get 1 as part of happy hour) both of these drinks were lovely. I love the bitter tang of the Jekyll martini and Ricky was a huge fan of the sweet Mango flavours in the daiquiri.




After a short wait Ryan arrived with our two roasts. I have chosen the half roasted chicken and Ricky went for Tinderloin Beef (cooked red). These dishes look absolutely amazing and took me right back to that Sunday in the UK many years ago.

After the traditional gravy pouring we were all set to get stuck in to our roast. The amount of flavours on the dish was incredible. From the crispy baked potatoes the smooth and sweet mashed turnip the tangy pickled cabbage, the massive wholesome yorkshire pudding, the cheesy decadent cauliflower  and the tender chicken infused with a beautiful rosemary flavour.




This was really a stunning dish with so much depth of flavour. As I picked up my chicken there was yet another surprise awaiting me. A wonderful golden parsnip. This one took Ricky back to his Christmas dinners of old.

The beef was also beautiful cooked red and covered in gravy. It was such a soft, juicy and tasty and went perfectly with its accompanied horse radish sauce. The portion sizes were very generous (too big for me) but good for Ricky!

If you’re lookig for a trip down memeory lane to those Sunday roast your mother used to cook or if you like or taste a real authentic homely British food I would heartily recommend the Rolling roast at Jekyll and Hyde.

In addition you can up-size your meal (this maybe a great option for two) and you can also include a glass or a bottle of wine for a litte bit more. To close of our meal (although there wasn’t much room left for it we decided to try the home-made ice cream.


This was the perfect send off to our meal. The sharp cherry sorbet  and the creamy vanilla and butterscotch ice cream cleansed our pallettes and were the perfect sweet treat to end our meal.


Jekyll and Hyde Dubai 

Level M from ground floor lobby lift, Al Fattan Currency House, DIFC, Dubai

Call: +971 (0)43435 518

Instagram – jekyllandhydedubai

Facebook – Jekyll & Hyde 



Fiesta Filipino at Skye and Walker


We were feeling adventurous on a Thursday night and decided to take up an invitation from Skye & Walker to try their Filipino Buffet night.

It had been a while since we’d eaten some of my homeland cuisine – were excited for our trip to a new place and we were not disappointed!

Upon arriving at S&W the first thing we noticed was the stunning interior, it is a beautiful modern style restaurant that reminded us of the sort of places you see in Bay Square or Citywalk. We were met by the lovely staff who sat us down and took our drinks orders (fruit juices).

The buffet selection is in line with S&W’s principles of healthy cuisine along with some Filipino classics (especially for the Thursday promotion). We started off by sampling the salads, which were packed full of fresh and tasty ingredients. My favourites were the macaroni salad (a Filipino classic!), whilst Ricky loved the eggplant and tomato salad – which he said reminded him of the Arabic staple baba ghanouj.

After polishing off our salads, we were desperate to try the handmade chicken lumpia shanghai and lechon manok. These were the highlights of our meal, the chicken lumpia was stuffed full of freshly steamed veg and chicken – all contained in that golden crispy shell. It was to die for! The lechon manok was also great, I especially loved the classic Filipino sauces combining with the crispy skin.

There was also a variety of traditional Pinoy hotplate dishes to choose from, highlights included Pancit Palabok (my Mum’s favorite dish!), fried rice, sweet and sour calamari and kare kare. These were all excellently prepared -you could tell the chef was definitely a Filipino!

All evening we had been eyeing up the dessert section and we were not disappointed once we reached it! I loved the sticky rice where we call it Bico in Bisaya and the delicious leche flan. Ricky was delighted to see they had his one true love (apart from me!) tiramisu and some delicious blueberry cheesecake.

If you fancy a break for a tasty treat, drop by Skye and Walker in Diera to be treated to some healthy tasty food and friendly staff all in a beautiful location. Their outdoor area looks great for a winter evening or morning.
Btw if you are an avocado fan (who isnt these days!), they are known for doing some crazy avocado dishes as part of their breakfast menu – this is a must try! Let me know if you go.


Things To See And Do In Italy


A roadtrip is one of my favourite things to do when traveling. It gives you plenty of opportunities to snap pictures or to stop over whenever you feel like having a good look at some stunning views; It’s like having your own time to do your own thing. For this post I’m going to share to you how we hit the road to discover Italy outside of Rome on our recent trip.

Villa Gregoriana in Tivoli


It was spitting with rain when we headed on an early morning trip to Tivoli. It took an hour to reach the town located in central Italy, about 30 kilometres north-east of Rome. We arrived to discover a lovely, quaint little town. After a brief wander around the town-centre, we ended up exploring a place called Villa Gregoriana.

We were delighted to discover this massive park with pathways leading to eerie caves, and eventually a great waterfall. Villa Gregoriana is world famous for its epic waterfall created by the river Aniene. It is perfect for people who love nature and longer walks. Although we were exhausted after 2 hours of hiking around the park, we really enjoyed its peaceful surroundings and natural beauty.

Beautiful Tivoli Italy

Villa Gregoriana



Buffalo Cheese Farm


On our trip to Pompeii we stopped over at a farm on the outskirts of Rome to try out fresh Bufala mozzarella and meet some of the local patrons.  Our guide bought loads for us to try, it was so fresh and soft, almost with a taste of fresh yoghurt. It was perfect as a snack on the way and we were very grateful to our horny friends!

Buffalo Factory in Italy

Buffalo Cheese Rome



Pompeii was once a thriving city located in the southern part of Italy. In 79 AD the eruption of Mount Vesuvius destroyed and buried the city under tons of volcanic ash and debris. First rediscovered when an archaeologist excavated it in 1748, the ruined city has remained frozen in time until present day and is one of the best glimpses into how the Romans, and even humans as a whole, used to live back then.

Pompeii is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The story of this place and the way it has been preserved left me very emotional; around 2,000 people died on that fateful day. Below is an image of a sign from the front door that says “beware of the dog”. It’s amazing to think that these designs were made so long ago.

I highly recommend you to visit Pompeii.

Pompeii Beware of the dog

A sign saying beware of the dog


Inhabitants remain intact and preserve covered by ash and pumice

Pompeii Italy


Amalfi Coast – Positano village


From Pompeii we drove to the scenic and breath-taking view of Amalfi coast. I’ve never been to a place so magical. It is located in the southern tip of Italy’s peninsula and a very popular destination for tourists and honeymooners.
We arrived at Positano, the most photogenic town on the coast. I was mesmerised by the vibrant lights at night. Did I mention that my favourite cuisine is Italian? You can’t imagine the excitement when I tried the authentic Napoli pizza. I ordered Calzone stuffed with fresh bufala mozzarella and fresh tomato sauce or as it’s more commonly known; Margherita! The mozzarella was so gooey and warm – I’m craving for it right now! Positano is a must to stop over when in the Amalfi coast; be sure to try their local food and enjoy a drink whilst spotting the newlyweds and wealthy holidaymakers!

Stunning Amalfi coast

Pre-honeymoon shot

Refreshing Gelato at Positano

Amalfi coast Lemon

Lemon is a popular produce in Positano

Positano Calzone pizza

This Margherita calzone is so good. Fresh Italian mozzarella and tomato sauce.

Positano Amalfi Coast

Cheers from Positano


Vatican, Rome

I’ll be honest with you; this is one of the most tiring trips we did. The Vatican is overwhelming and as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world; you can expect plenty of tourists queuing to get in. I was so glad to have visited though. I was fascinated with the tons of ancient artifacts that they have collected over the long perid of time.

As a lover of ancient Egypt, I was delighted to discover an area dedicated to the subject – with many cool artifacts and burial objects of the pharaohs.

Bramante spiral staircase

Bramante spiral staircase

Vatican Roma


Where We Ate 

Best Lasagna in Rome

We were delighted to find this local restaurant with a hipster vibe in the heart of Rome called Ai Tre Scalini; amazing food and delicious wine served by their friendly staff all at great prices! The place is always packed with locals so you can be sure to have a great authentic time.

Found the best #lasagna in #Rome #italy #aitrescalini

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Ricky is a fan of the famous chef/travel writer Anthony Bourdain and on one of his trips he paid a visit to a local shop called Bonci. Determined to track down this hidden gem, we set off on a journey through a less travelled area to find this pizza place and I’m delighted to say it didn’t disappoint. The pizza was sooo good; big rustic slices packed with flavourful ingredients. We were all so full that we had a long walk to burn it all off.

Famous local Tiramisu

Another one of Ricky’s well-researched gems was a local shop offering what is considered by many as ‘the best Tiramisu in Rome’. The treasure hunt was worth it in the end as we tucked into some decadently creamy coffee flavoured delights!

The most voted best tiramisu in Rome! #barPompi #italy #foodporn #rome

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Helpful tips

  •   When looking for an authentic local restaurant check the menu; if it’s written in Italian then it’s more likely not an overpriced tourist trap
  • Do your research online before heading out to find the real local treasures (read more blogs and check out tripadvisor) – it’s how we found all our hidden gems that we would NEVER have found otherwise
  • Try and learn a few Italian phrases, not everyone will speak English and it will be much appreciated!
  • Be wary of pickpockets and always look after your belongings
  • Water is safe to drink anywhere in Rome as long as there is no sign that says “not for drinking” (or equivalent in Italian!)

Have you been to Rome? Would love to hear your tips and experience. xoxo