a shift-free zone

No that’s not a typo. And it’s not a subtle way of not swearing. I really mean a shift-free zone. For those of you that don’t live in Dubai you may wonder what the hell? Well for the uninitiated, shifting = moving (as in house). And happily this year, for the first time in 3 years, we are NOT SHIFTING. Woooohoooo. Yes it is exciting, not least of all because the average daytime temp is about 45 degrees Celsius right now. And that makes moving anything extremely un-fun, well unless it’s moving your body into a nicely chilled swimming pool that is. That’s about the only moving that I could bear to imagine. Also as we have moved 4 times in 3 years, I think we have earned a year off, at least.



So to celebrate the fact that we have renewed our lease, and so have avoided a whole host of headaches (house-hunting, packing, cleaning, moving, cleaning, unpacking, new curtains) and the accompanying expenses, we went out to brunch yesterday. Incidentally this (yesterday I mean) would have actually been our moving date, if we were moving. Ok, the brunch wasn’t really to celebrate, we were invited by some friends, and it just happened to fall on the same day. But Stu and I talked about the fact that we should be celebrating it. Does that count? It was also a long weekend here – another reason to smile – as they are as precious and as rare as hen’s teeth (well certainly it seems that way after South Africa, which has 11 I think). The day off in question was the Islamic holiday Al Isra Wal Miraj which commemorates the ascension of Prophet Mohammad.*

Yes so brunch. At Spectrum on One, at the Fairmont. Rumoured to be the best brunch in Dubai  based on some reviews I have read in the past. And I have to say I agree whole-heartedly with that. Doors open to the restaurant at 12 noon on the dot, so being a few minutes early we drank our welcome drink, a fruit cocktail, in the lobby area along with a few other eager beavers. Just before midday we could hear a loud count-down going on inside whereupon the doors were thrown open to reveal a throng of smiling staff beckoning us to enter. What an amazing welcome.



The restaurant is laid out in what appears to be a huge square. The tables are cleverly arranged throughout and separated with screens and plants, so you never feel like you are on top of your fellow diners. The food stations snake around the edges. So to get to the sushi station for instance I had to walk all the way round to the right and head for the back corner. I was happy to find some fresh prawn tempura there as well. Taking the alternative route back to our table I passed a massive walk-in cheese room – in fact later on Stu said he could have happily moved his chair in there and spent the afternoon trying all the cheeses – served with bottomless glasses of port of course. In another corner was a massive patisserie section where a lovely lady made Eton Mess to order, with your choice of fruit. In another section a chef prepared small potato rosti bases to top with fresh Salmon tartar (the salmon section was my favourite). Across from that plates of fresh Carpaccio. Further down, dimsum and freshly made duck pancakes. Yorkshire puddings the size of sideplates accompanied by Wagyu steak. Well need I go on? All washed down with an amazing Malbec wine called Fuzion, from Argentina. It’s not the cheapest brunch by any means, but if you don’t do the Champagne option it’s do-able for a special treat. I’m sorry to say that I was so caught up with the amazing selection, and great company, that I didn’t take any pics of the food. I will just have to go again won’t I? Haha.

I hope your weekend was as good. Now back to Wimbledon..go Rafa!

Odd fact #15: A camel crossed with a Llama is called a …..Cama, and has been bred / created at the Camel Reproduction Centre.

*Please forgive my mentioning Prophet Mohammad and fermented grape in the same post – no offence intended.

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