Taste of Arabian Hospitality, Ewaan

The new moon has been sighted and tonight is the start of Ramadan in the UAE. Regarded as a spiritual fasting month of giving and sharing, for many Ramadan is a time to focus on personal development, family life and wellbeing of a community. As an expat, I really enjoy observing the little changes happening in local life: extended shopping hours, the aura of concern around women rushing home with groceries, the excitement everyone shares when offices close two hours earlier, the beauty and the warmth created by colourful lanterns lit at every corner, and the happy sparkles in the eyes of local kids expecting sweet treats at dinner. I love the tradition of gathering for Iftar, a dinner at sunset shared together after a long day without food or drinks. Ewaan at Palace Downtown hotel serves Iftar buffet in the best traditions of Arabian hospitality and creates an unforgettable moment of unity people, flavors, dishes, species and tastes.

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The experience starts with a warm Marhaba (welcome) and a lovely cup of Arabic coffee or a chilled drink made of dried fruits.

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Right at the table there is an extra bottle of water and a serving of figs, prunes, apricots and dates to help conquer immediate thirst and hunger.

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My table was inside the restaurant however another option was to settle on air-conditioned Bedouin tent with a magical view of the  water and and Burj.

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Overwhelmed by a generous selection of dishes and flavors, I walked around talking to staff with  curiosity of a foodie and a journalist. Fortunately no one minded my camera and my plate got heavy in a matter of minutes.

My joy of discovering the dessert section was indescribable. It was the sighting of Moroccan tea brewing at my table that forced me to move away.

Hope you can make it to Ewaan this season and I’m so looking forward to hearing your reviews!

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Splash in nature @Dwarika’s

Nepal for many is one of the world’s best trekking destinations, where the bravest conquer the peaks of Everest or chase down the mysterious Yeti. I arrived in Nepal in a search of peace and hidden treasures, hoping to discover sights, people and, as it turned out, cats defying stereotypes. That’s how I ended up at Dwarika’s in Dhuikhel, a place very few have heard about and even less visited (here is a link to the start of my journey).

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Located on several hills in the Himalayas, this resort is not a typical all-inclusive 5 star Disneyland to impress and entertain.

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Nor is it a boring detox center filled with over concerned personnel.

The resort is founded on a philosophy of respecting nature and the self, and promoting a balance between a body, mind and a spirit to enjoy a healthy life (with a breathtaking view).

With a holistic approach to every detail, Dwarika’s incorporates a mix of Nepali tradition with the best modern life has to offer. Think air conditioning, soft cotton fabrics, solar panels, water re-harvesting, minimized light pollution at night, recycling and a lot more. Dwarika’s is built using mostly natural materials like clay, stone, wood, glass and sand to decrease the harmful effect on the environment and guests.  Dwarika’s helps out Nepal’s indigenous arts and crafts by creating working spots for locals plus a continuous demand for products.

The designers deliberately chose earthy colours and patterns to transform this resort into real eye candy from an architectural point of view, branding Nepal as a new luxury destination.

Top it off with the famous Nepali hospitality, a focus on individual wellbeing, and you like me will never want to leave. To prove how seriously guest relations are taken, a resident cat was hired to ensure that happiness is not a just a meawy word.

Being a respected employee, the Dwarikat is entrusted with additional responsibilities that include but are not limited to spontaneous food tastings. Blessed with a cheerful, loving, humble and cheeky personality (not to mention the pretty face), the Dwarikat is set to become the next most popular Katdashian. I am surprised she doesn’t run her own celebrity Instagram page yet. I would follow her straight away.

To be continued…

P.S. Thank you Dan  for a brilliant Cat’s name idea, the Dwarikat

I am wearing a tailored kaftan and swimwear hand made by a Dubai-based designer Anna. Check them out.

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