Hope you’ve had a great start to your week! Had a really hectic weekend, seeing lots of people and cooking lots of food (more than usual – don’t worry though, I’m collecting recipes to share with y’all soon!) In the mean time, apologies for the delay in getting this edition of the Dubai series up. We woke up at around 9am on day five and after getting ready, walked on down to the metro station (what a pretty walk that was too – sunshine paired with palm tree lined streets…Glorious!)
We picked up a pair of gold Nol cards before topping them up. These are the equivalent of our oyster cards, and much cheaper than buying paper tickets regularly. It’s usually pretty heaving on the trains – I couldn’t really figure it out, it was busy all day long. There were no distinguishable quiet times, you would think at midday it would be empty with the lack of commuters, but no such luck! There is, however, a gold class cabin available for twice the normal price (comparable to first class I suppose, but still cheaper than any London journeys) so that’s what we went for. This carriage is considerably emptier and you’re likely to get a seat too. That plus the added benefit of not having to be stood under a random person’s armpit is pretty much the dream.
We hopped off at the Dubai Marina station and made our way down to the docks where we’d pre-booked a ride with the Yellow Boat Company. (Entertainer voucher available). We chose the Palm Island and Burj Al Arab tour which takes around 75minutes. And what a great morning that turned out to be! After waiting about 10mins for the last few latecomers, we hopped on down and clambered into the bright yellow speed boat. The skyscrapers were glimmering in the sunshine and the water was sparkling bluey green shades. Beeeeeautiful.
After stowing away our bits and bobs beneath the chairs, and donning our ever so unflattering life jackets, we were off!
Here are some of the best pics we managed to snap up. Atlantis Hotel: Burj Al Arab and Jumeriah Beach Hotel: Jumeirah Zabeel Saray: And a couple of shots of the skyline as we headed back to the docks: Our driver informed us of all sorts of interesting facts, stats and ‘did you knows,’ throughout the trip and now that I’m back at home, I can’t for the life of me remember any of them! Once we were back on dry land, we decided to go for a long walk down the marina to hunt down somewhere nice for lunch. My sandals had stopped functioning as a useful piece of footwear some time back and after strolling around barefoot for a while, we settled on Carluccio’s.
We got some arancini as a starter to share. Two crispy, generously sized balls quickly made their way to our table, alongside a roasted red pepper sauce for dipping. I inhaled a pesto and mozzarella filled one, whilst Mr Man gobbled up a meat and ragu one. Divine! Been meaning to recreate these at home for years but I’m feeling the urgency creeping up more now! Alongisde this, drinks. I chose a ginger ale and Mr Man went for a mojito. Mine tasted a bit like a lemonade with a subtle hint of ginger – no where near strong enough, and Mr Man’s was pretty much bog standard, they didn’t even bother to use brown sugar, a little disappointing.
After that, we were kept waiting a good 45mins or so for our mains. Pretty crap really, I know that the place was busy but an update or something wouldn’t have gone amiss. We asked our waitress a couple of times who assured us that it’d be just a couple more minutes – but it was significantly longer! On the plus side, when the food did come it was pretty damn great. I opted for the tomato and mozzarella gnocchi, upon which I loaded on the parmesan. Cheese + cheese = bliss. Fluffy balls of mashed potato, in a perfectly cooked, simple tomato sauce, with a generous scattering of mozzarella chunks, all topped with fresh basil (and parmesan). Mr Man went for a meatball fettuccine, homemade meatballs in a tomato sauce. So simple but oh, so great.
Because our food had taken too long, we opted out of getting dessert here and pottered on inside the Dubai Marina Mall to try find something else enticing. Walking past Waitrose (yup) we found ourselves in front of a gelato counter, and decided to stick with the Italian theme:
I went for a scoop of hazelnut paired with a scoop of tiramisu whilst Mr Man opted for Oreo cookie and Ferrero Rocher. I feel like with a name like Gelato Divino, they had a lot to live up to, and sadly, it was all a bit lacklustre. Nothing stood out, all just a bit meh. My homemade icecreams are so much better, I know, I know. I need to share recipes and I will! I promise!
Anyway, after that disappointing excuse for gelato, (those guys need to go and visit my chum Nico in Venice who can teach them a thing or two, or you know, twenty seven about real gelato…) we headed back to the station. I took this little pic, I know it’s just some stairs and escalators but I think it looks cool. So, yeah, nod politely to show your approval and keep scrolling. We ended up back in Deira City Centre, from where we went on a long walk through the shops and markets. We stopped off at a small shop, as Mr Man was craving one of his smoothies and he picked out this little (well, big really) number. I think it was called ‘Titanic’ but I can’t really remember: Avocado, strawberry and mango, swirled around together and topped with a scoop of cheap vanilla ice cream, almonds and cashew nuts. We continued our walk and before long found ourselves in Bur Juman where we decided to end the night with some shisha at the Sehraya Cafe. Yeah, wasn’t great, unfortunately. As usual, we opted for a lemon and mint shisha, which came over to us laced in coal, almost thought someone had smoked it before us! It was pretty damn bad, and it was such a kerfuffle getting it switched. Surprising lack of customer service skills. Eventually, we got given a new one, it was better but I wouldn’t say it was great. For drinks I went for a guava smoothie (should have got one whilst we were in Deira, this one was very watery!) and Mr Man went for a fizzy drink. Anyway, let’s just say the free wi-fi was the best part of our experience here! And that, in short, was day five, a little less eventful than normal but a nice chilled out day. Hoping to have day six up before the end of the week. Looking forward to sharing our Global Village trip!