My birthday celebrations this year started with a haircut a couple of weeks before the day. For some reason I always snip my hair leading up to this day. I could say that I do it to symbolize rebirth or re-emergence, but I think it is more to do with a subconscious desire to look good in birthday pictures.
Of course, it starts out sleek and pretty but that never lasts. Anyway, hair in place, the celebrations began in earnest.
The weekend before my birthday, the four of us went to Dubai Marina, where a street festival was on. We spent some time there, watching knife throwing, juggling and other acts from around the world. Our favourite was this Canadian guy whose hilarious patter nearly outshone his antics with the unicycle.
We then hopped on the tram and went to JBR, as The Walk has now been rechristened.
After walking around a bit and sampling some red velvet pastry at the Night Bazaar, we walked into La Dolce Vita, because it looked less crowded than most other restaurants. I had a middling-in-flavour tagliatelle in pesto sauce. We also ordered a Margherita pizza, grilled chicken and a steak, all of which were decent.
I do a lot of research on restaurants before I go somewhere, but I seldom end up where I plan to go. I’d really wanted to go to Frankie’s but was too lazy to hunt for it!
We ended the day with a little stroll on the beach, which was emptying out by this time.
The next day, my bestie, her daughter and I went off to Boxpark on Al Wasl Road. It’s not accessible unless you travel by car, so I’ve put off going there till now.
Cafés and stores at Boxpark are housed in old shipping containers. Once I got there, it was JBR all over again – I couldn’t decide where to go. There were so many options, each more tempting than the last. A representative for Boxpark came by and gave us free coupons to three outlets, which took the decision out of our hands. We decided to check out The Brownie Box – what else would you name a store that is housed in a box and sells brownies? I got myself a brownie with a peanut butter topping, that was interesting. Not content with that, we also went to Just Salads, where we each got enormous portions at not-very-cheap prices. I’m not complaining though, I had enough to last me for an evening snack over the next three days!
With its rustic footpaths and outdoor seating, Boxpark seems to have been created just to give you the opportunity to take pretty photographs, and of course we rose to the challenge!
I’ve mentally bookmarked the Marimekko café, a fondue joint called The Melting Pot and a pretty Italian place called Bianca Mozzarella to check out later.
My birthday was a working day, but it went off pleasantly, with no major disasters. I tried to dress for the occasion by wearing the nicest thing in my wardrobe, a Zara dress. The girls prettied up my table, the team bought me cake and generally made a fuss of me.
In the evening I met the family at Dubai Mall for dinner at Social House. I’d had too much birthday cake at this point, and so made do with a ratatouille, which was very well-made. We managed to get seating in a room facing the famous dancing fountains, and watched as they roared into life accompanied by song.
We walked by the fountains at the foot of the Burj Khalifa for a while and then took a taxi home.
All that’s left now is to get on with the last year of my thirties, and make it as memorable as possible!