Category Archives: Food

Trending Tuesday #10 Healthkick

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Fruit Infused Water

Hey Guys, so I am currently trying to eat/drink good and that is starting my day with fruit infused waters. I thought I would share with you some photos of my colourful waters from my kitchen. I have never been a big water drinker even when I was living in Dubai. Well, I have now found a way to stomach water with a little bit of sweetness to satisfy my sweet tooth. If you follow me on Instagram (sojustnice) you would have seen that I was making fresh juice every morning while I was in Dubai. In Amsterdam I don’t have a juice machine so I can say that the waters are a kind of substitute and if you leave them to infuse over night they are delicious in the morning.

What you’ll need:

Jam Jars

Fruit of your choice 

Water

Just cut the fruit up, add it to the jar and fill with water then put the lids of the jars and leave in your fridge overnight and your done. Its truly not more complicated than that.

What I Wore: Jumper: French Connection, Necklace: Tiffany & Co, Bracelets: By Sophie, Tiffany & Co and Lijnbaangracht Market, Amsterdam

Have you tried Fruit Infused waters?

Ciao for now xx

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Travel Thursday #8 Seville

RoofHey all, This week we are in Seville, Spain for Travel Thursday. I was there about a month ago now (sorry for late post). I think it is already one of my favourite cities so I will definetly be back. The architecture and scenery all over the city is a architecture fan’s biggest love. Everywhere you look is picture perfect.
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feetBuildingGuitarHotelI was in Seville for less than 48 hours on my way to Portugal. Seville is probably the epitome in Europe of East meets West. You can see the impact of the Moorish influence all over the city. Perfect day is to first walk through the city heading to the Alcazar, (you should pass the Cathedral on your way). When you come out the Alcazar walk in the narrow alleyways and then you should come to Jardins de Murillo, sit, observe and take in the beautiful surroundings.

Once you have recovered from your morning’s walking and sightseeing, then head through the gardens to the Tobacco Factory and onto the Hotel Alfonso XIII for lunch.  The Hotel Alfonso XIII is one of the most beautiful hotels I have ever been in. I could share 50 photos here but kept it just to two. Imagine though an old Spanish palace with beautiful long corridors, all decorated with tiles and mosaic from the Moorish era and wonderfully fabulous gardens. This is a must-visit if your in Seville to feel like you stepped back to an era past.

After lunch and relaxation then jump on a horse and carriage outside the hotel and take a tour of Parque de Maria Luisa, this is where the beautiful building of the Plaza Espana is and I can honestly say, that not only is the Parque beautiful the Plaza Espana is magnificent (again could have showed you at least 50 photos).

After your Carriage ride have them drop you off by the Cathedral and head to the hotel EME Fusion Hotel. Take a quick tour of this beautiful boutique hotel before heading to the roof terrace for drinks and watch the sunset over the city, with fabulous views of the Cathedral. After soaking up the best view of Seville head downstairs for dinner at Santo. This is a beautiful design restaurant with Hans Wegner’s wishbone chairs adorn this sophisticated restaurant.  Its a well executed Mediterranean menu so you won’t be disappointed by the food. Be prepared to eat with the best of Seville and you’ll want to take this restaurant back to your hometown. The atmosphere is understatedly hip and the design beautiful and a great jazz duo playing live music.

Yes I love Seville and can’t wait to go back!

Ciao for now xx

 

Copenhagen

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Change of gaurdlovemeDamageHey guys, I think you may have noticed this week on the blog I have gone a bit Danish crazy. I promise this is my last Denmark post until next Fashion Week but, then expect the same. Aside from one of home cities; Amsterdam I must say that Copenhagen has always had a special place in my heart and I could easily live there. I was ranting on the phone when I arrived to a friend about how great everything looks in Copenhagen and that includes but, is not limited too; Architecture, Fashion, People, Parks oh ok, just Everything. So, aside from me checking out the latest fashions coming out of the stylish Scandinavia I always love to catch up with my friends in Copenhagen and try and see as much as the city as I can through a local’s eye.

Above I have included the must-see’s of the city from the beautiful harbour where you can see the wonderful Danish design of the Copenhagen Opera House to the amazing ships that are in the harbour including the Royal Yacht, sadly I didn’t get a picture of this but, I can tell you its a truly beautiful boat. Since HRH joined the Royal Family there has been a reason to keep a close gossip watch on the Danish Royal Family and I am sure my friend Anne-Dorothe can tell you how I went Royal crazy by sprinting across the park to get a video clip of the Change of the Guard band you can see the clip here on my instagram.

When in Copenhagen I always go to my favourite cafe not once but several times and this time was no different, I had dinner there and two breakfasts. I am sure the picture of breakfast above is making your mouth water and your already clicking for a ticket to CPH. If you do make it to the Danish capital then head to the lakes take a walk and then go to Cafe Dag H. You won’t be disappointed because not only is the food awesome but, so is the people watching.

After a hearty breakfast then just walk around the city I suggest heading to the Rosenborg Castle Gardens which have to be some of the most manicured urban gardens I have ever seen, the castle in the gardens holds the Queen’s jewels and is a a spectacular building itself and looks like something from a fairy tale.

Then head to the shopping area and just wonder in-and-out of the shops where you will not only see beautiful clothes but also beautiful furniture, I fell in love with the 1950’s inspired corner in a furniture store of course, made by the wonderful designer Arne Jacobsen. Drop into the small art gallery’s and see something that catches your eye. After all this window shopping or credit card bashing then go to Nyhavn with all the tourists, and if this is your first visit to Copenhagen to the boat tour too (only in good weather).

Aside from everything you can see around town the Danes are super great people with a fabulous sense of humour as you can see from the bill I received at the wonderful Sushi restaurant Umami . If you like Sushi this is a must eat place, great interiors, excellent service and to die-for sushi. Eat up and then go to the Union cocktail bar and then get ready to party the night away in true Danish fun style and trust me there will be Damage!

Have you been to CPH then drop your tips in the comments

Ciao for now xx

P.S What I wore: Jacket Maje, T-shirt: Gap, Jeans: Acne, Clutch: HM Nederland

P.P.S What I Wore: Peplum top: HM Nederland, Jeans: Rag and Bone Jeans, Shoes Zara seen here and here

Trending Tuesday #8 Ramadan

IMG_5762IMG_5737DSC_1027IMG_5766DSC_1044IMG_5785IMG_5828Hey All, Before Ramadan ends this week I wanted to just tell you all about my first weeks of Ramadan in Dubai. As this blog talks a lot about East and West, this is the one thing I wanted to share with my readers in the Western part of the world. Before I moved to Dubai I had never experienced Ramadan in a Middle Eastern country. Well, my first Ramadan was in winter of Dubai and was actually quite cold in the evenings much different to this time round. It was extremely hot and I was in awe of my friends and family who were fasting in heats of 40-45oc for long hours. Aside from the fasting, Muslims who are participating in Ramadan are able to spend more time with family and friends as well as spend time in prayer and deepening their spiritual enlightenment. For me, in a household where one member of the family is fasting; my Dad, its a time for us to admire his strength during this challenging month and to spend time with friends and enjoy the wonderful atmosphere of Ramadan. Dad and I were actually home alone together so I enjoyed cooking for Dad and friends, my key dish this Ramadan and a cooking challenge was Lamb Tagine receipe is here, I hear everyone enjoyed the food…… phew! I also spent time catching up on emails that were long over due and reading my magazines out by the pool in the evenings.

The pictures above show some highlights of Ramadan tents in the One and Only Royal Mirage in Dubai (my favourite hotel as you know from here). One of the favourite things to do in the evenings is to meet with friends at the many tents around the city. My favourite tent was and is always the one at Royal Mirage, gorgeous tent colours with wonderful music and of course the best highlight, Shisha. You can see the from the photos the wonderful tent that has been up at the Royal Mirage and if your in Dubai I can highly advise visiting this gorgeous tent.

Another favourite thing we enjoyed this Ramadan was Freej, I wrote all about the wonderful creative mind behind Freej earlier in Ramadan and I can tell you that the latest series was just amazing with fantastic animation and carefully selected stories for each episode. Once the series is released on DVD with subtitles I’ll be sure to let you know.

As we have reached the end of Ramadan the shopping craziness begins with people buying gifts and new clothes, so on that fashion note here are my go to places for your shopping:

Malaak: For your beautifully designed Abaya, Kaftan and Turban essentials

Liliaya: Their online store currently has some of their wonderful pieces on sale

OTT: Gorgeous Kaftans and items for home are now for sale in selected boutiques

Butik.ae: The Butik is the go-to place for gorgeous one-off pieces

S*uce Gifts have a great money pouch for you to keep all your Eid money in or to gift to another

I hope this has given you all an insight into the wonderful atmosphere that Ramadan creates of spending time with love ones and sending gifts to those that you may not see often but, still are dear enough to you to think of at the special time of year. As I sign off I hope you have all had a wonderful Ramadan and Eid Mubarak to you for the end of the week.

What do you think is special about Ramadan?

Ciao for now

Yado’z Favourites

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Yado’z means grandma in Emariti Arabic and yesterday I introduced you to Mohammed Harib the creative genius behind the UAE’s favourite grandma’s from the TV show Freej. As I explained yesterday, Mohammed see’s Freej as a brand and Yado’z are the products that were once our Grandma’s favourites but, reproduced for the modern day. I loved the products especially for the fact that they were made in the UAE, yet I could see how they would work in Holland for example. Yado’z produces different Emariti inspired items that also support and give back to the community.

The cushions are perfect for indoor and outdoor use and I love that they have the Arabic calligraphy on them in neon colours. Imagine your white or black garden furniture with a gorgeous Middle Eastern cushion …. coming to a garden or balcony near you soon!

The Smart trays with the intricate details are just gorgeous for home and have been carefully designed for the Bookiyas so you no longer have to worry about spilling your coffee pot all over your poor guests because this tray holds everything in place, and if your like me I would use the Bookiyas for sugar and spices!

The T-shirts were designed for charity to help people who need wheelchairs. All the t-shirts have been designed with the UAE culture in mind but given a modern twist …. I love the super man t-shirt with the Burqa hidden in the logo.

But, now my absolute favourite thing about the Yadoz products is that they all go so well together, the t-shirts can be packaged in the Bookiya. The bookiya can be held in place in the simple coffee trays and can be used for so many other organisational needs. The cushions can be stored in the ottoman boxes that can also be used for indoor and outdoor use. Yado’z produces different Emariti inspired items that also support and give back to the community. If your looking for the perfect gifts for people from the UAE that are different from the usual tourist gifts then look no further than Yado’z.

To find out more about Yado’z follow them on facebook and twitter.

What would you choose to put in your bookiya?

Ciao for Now xx

Salvation Jane

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Salvation Jane is a salvation indeed. Last Sunday I started with Brunch at Salvation Jane and arriving there at 2pm I was seriously hungry. One of my favourite things to do on a weekend is to head to a cafe fill my stomach and read my newspaper and magazines. So, Salvation Jane gave me the perfect start to my Sunday with a wonderful dish for brunch and my time to read the newspaper.

The cafe is “interior inspiration central” for me. I love the use of the old work bench with new wood floor. I love old and new mixed together I always think its pleasing to the eye. My favourite thing in Salvation Jane aside from the food of course, was the bar stools outside, great for chilled dining.

Of course, I need to tell you all about the food too! Since I had been traveling in US and then to London I had been missing out on my fresh juice in the morning  so I opted to have the Orange and Carrot juice (I was tempted by the bloody Mary, next time) but the orange and carrot was delicious and just what my body was craving. For my brunch I had Thyme roasted Portobello mushrooms with goats cheese with a Poached egg and crispy palenta …. is your mouth watering? This was so delicious and highly recommended. The goats cheese was not too heavy and the palenta was indeed crispy making a good contrast with the soft mushrooms and cheese.

If your looking for a great place for brunch today …. head to Salvation Jane if your in London, about to visit London put this on your must do list.

Ciao for now xx

Malibu and Santa Barbara

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Hi guys, hope you have been enjoying my recent posts on my trip to California. I am currently sitting here reminiscing that this time last week I was spending my last day in LA sitting by the sea in Malibu before heading out on the first leg of my road trip to San Francisco. The road trip began as we traveled for two hours up the coast from Malibu on Highway 1 to Santa Barbara. The scenery was amazing and I absolutely loved driving on the coast, it was a spectacular drive and so unusual to glance to your left and see the Pacific Ocean.

Malibu is my other favourite place to be in LA you can read about the other happy place here, this is because my zen place is always to be by the coast and  listen to the waves. In Malibu you can watch the surfers and paddle boarders which I find fascinating. I have decided I am going to try to master paddle boarding this winter in Dubai. If you saw my first attempt at paddle boarding I think you would be very skeptical about my attempts to conquer this activity but, I will keep you updated on that situation later.If I ever I wasn’t going to live in Dubai you would find me up in the Malibu hills over looking the ocean (yes, this is my dream).

If you’re in Malibu I would highly recommend going to Gladstones for lunch or dinner. The location is fantastic right next to the Ocean where Sunset meets the PCH. Sitting above a very un-populated beach; either come and sunbathe prior or after your lunch. I would suggest after, so you can eat as much as possible and then fall in to a food-coma lying on the gorgeous California beach. While I was at Gladstones I indulged in the shrimp taco’s which were delicious and somehow had a taste that lingered on your tongue for hours and even made me crave more days later. I also recommend the cobb salad which to me is quite an American salad as I don’t find it on menu’s elsewhere, do you? The cobb salad was given its own Gladstones twist which makes it less heavy and a light summer salad, how LA! I could go on and on about Gladstones but, I think you have to go and try it for yourselves.

After our lunch there was no chance to sunbathe as we had to jump in the car and head to Santa Barbara, As I have already said and will tell you lots of times how great the scenery is. Once we reached Santa Barbara we took a walk along the beach and you can see the pictures here. This is one of my favourite things to do when I am in Dubai but the great thing on the West Coast is that the beaches go for miles. so you can walk your heart out.

Santa Barbara is a quaint Oceanside town with a laid back atmosphere where life is happening but, at a slower place than elsewhere. So, come up-to Santa Barbara kick back, enjoy the scenery and indulge in good food and super friendly people. When your bored of the beach and harbour head to the town and walk in and out of the little shops and boutiques.

While I was in Santa Barbara I stayed at a beautiful hotel called Oceana Santa Barbara. Located on Cabrillo Boulevard; its the perfect location for the beach and harbour area but also only a short walk to the town centre. The hotel was re-designed in 2008 but what I loved about the design was the mix of the Mexican/Spanish influence and the colonial look. Gorgeous seating areas are located sporadically throughout the property under palm tree’s and blue skies what more could you ask for? Beach cruisers are complimentary for two hours and I wish I would have had time to indulge in an exploratory bike ride at a slower pace than city biking in Amsterdam.

Once again I have another food recommendation for you; Toma. An absolutely wonderful restaurant where most ingredients are sourced locally. Speaking of locally sourced products if you’re looking to try some good California wine there is plenty to try here at Toma. As for the menu, there are traditional Italian dishes on the menu but, each has their own individual twist. Toma has recently re-opened 8 weeks ago and outside the restaurant the decoration is beautiful whilst the interior is inviting and cozy. The staff is very friendly, we didn’t have a reservation and yet they couldn’t do enough to accommodate us furthermore, they are so knowledgable of their food as well as the local area that eating at Toma is a real dining experience. Head here for dinner and I assure you won’t be disappointed.

All I can say as I type this post from London is, I wish I was back on the West Coast exploring Malibu and Santa Barbara all over again. For the foodies who read the posts this is really the place to go if you’re looking to indulge in some extraordinary dining experiences. As soon as I can be back I will be.

I wore: Pants: Zara, Top: HM Nederland, Scarf: Mille Rostock

Do you have other great restaurants to recommend in this area? If so write them in the comment box.

So Santa Barbara and Malibu are definitely ‘Sojustnice’

Ciao for now xx