Fish Beach Taverna, Dubai

Since its opening 2 weeks ago, I have already been to Fish Beach Taverna twice, and I am pretty sure you will find me there often. In Dubai its difficult to get excited about things because we are so used to hearing “the tallest building in the world just opened down the road!”, “The biggest shopping mall in the world is almost ready!”, “Have you stayed in an underwater hotel room?”. We are pretty difficult to wow but Fish Beach Taverna wowed me!

The setting is what makes it so beautiful, you feel like you have escaped to a Greek island for the night. The blue and white decor is simple and tasteful and the lanterns, fairy-lights and candle lit tables on the beach add a touch of magic. There is no other beach restaurant in Dubai that makes the setting quite as paradisaical as Fish Beach Taverna. Whether its for a romantic date or a girly get together, the venue is faultless and it has that beach chic casual vibe unlike most beach restaurants here which are just pretentious.

The menu is inspired by Turkey, Fish Beach Taverna has a team of fishermen in Turkey and  experienced Turkish Chefs who are dedicated to serving the freshest wild, cold water fish from the Aegean Sea, the Black Sea, and the Marmara Sea. You can taste how fresh it is and the simple but beautiful ingredients give it that taste of the Mediterranean. I enjoyed the homeliness of the place, the servers were so friendly and going for a sunset meal there is unrivalled.

Dishes range from 40 AED for appetisers, to 160 AED for mains which is pretty good value for the authentic food and beautiful beach-side dining experience. They are often fully booked weeks in advance, so make sure you call ahead of time to secure your seat. You can get their details here.

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The Cove Rotana

I spent an amazing day at The Cove Rotana in Ras Al Khaimah, it was blissful! Each villa has its own pool and the resort has bigger shared pools as well, the infinity pool was stunning and the backdrop of the Arabian Gulf was just divine. Walking around the resort, you feel as though you are in a Spanish or Italian Town on the seaside. You walk through the cobbled streets lined with villas to get to the restaurants, swimming pools or to make your way to the beach. A lot cheaper then 5 star beach resorts in Dubai and I also thought it was nicer than most of them! I would highly recommend a stay there if you are in RAK! Here are some snaps:

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Peru So Far…

I arrived at 5am in Lima and rushed to get a taxi to the bus station (Taxi Green are recommended), as I sat in the taxi, the driver asked me to hide my bag under the seat in front. He said it was the law as there are many car-jacking’s and it prevents us from being targets. I quickly removed my earrings from the night before in Miami and I looked pretty rough from the flight so I wasn’t really worried  about anyone targeting me. I was offered an emergency exit seat on the plane before I knew the plane was like a hundred years old so I took it. Unbeknown to little old me, a freezing cold draught comes through the rickety door for the entire flight.

Anyways, I was greeted by beautiful warm Peruvian weather and I was SO happy to be warm. The driver asked me where I’m from and was very excited to know I was from London and proceeded to play me the Oliver Twist audio book which was strange but somehow comforting. “What is ‘Getcha!’ he always says I’m gonna Getcha, what is this word Getcha! Getcha!” I explained and he pulled the taxi over for me to write it down for him “I’m going to get you” I tried to tell him it’s an accent and not really a word but he insisted it be part of his growing English vocabulary which I thought would be pretty fun for the next Brits who took his cab! “Hello! I’m gonna GETCHA!”. Then he started talking about the movie and I had to tell him my bus was leaving soon so I couldn’t stay and chat even though he was lovely and very entertaining. Had I known I wouldn’t get to speak English for another 24 hours maybe I would have stayed to chat a couple more minutes as he was a cute old man but hey…you live and you learn.

I boarded the double-decker bus with blacked out windows, reclining seats and footrests which  was a dream after that plane journey. Cruz Del Sur was the name of the company, they made National Express look crappy and they are known to be the best bus company in Peru, I would highly recommend them. The stewardess on duty handed out blankets and pillows and as I unpacked mine I could smell baby powder, wow, scented blankets! I noticed there was Wi-Fi on board so I suppose the 13 and a half hour journey could have been worse. I Skyped friends and family on the way showing them my first glimpses of Peru and it was really cool! The driver for some reason chose not to drive over 50km per hour although he was allowed to do 90 so in fact it was a 15 hour journey. I watched Spanish films and took pictures of the beautiful changing landscapes. I thought it would feel really foreign but every new landscape seemed familiar, the coastal scenes looked like Cape Town, the desert looked like the UAE, the mountains and luscious green vegetation brought flashbacks of Uganda. Although I don’t speak a word of Spanish the lady next to me insisted on talking to me in Spanish every hour for the first 10 hours and then resorted to talking to herself. I just nodded and smiled and then pretended to sleep a lot, the stewardess didn’t speak a word of English either. I soon learned that nobody did. I was met by a driver in Chiclayo who was supposed to take me to my place of residence.

Around 11pm, we showed up at this house somewhere close to the beach and I could hear the waves. I was met by Alex, another local who didn’t speak English, he showed me to a room. I wasn’t sure at that point where I was as he couldn’t answer any questions. The room had an unusual number of mosquitoes so I asked if he had a spray but unfortunately he didn’t. It also had someone else’s things in it, I later learned a girl was moving out when I moved in and it was in fact my room.

I asked him for a key, pulled out my sleeping bag and fell asleep pretty much instantly but awoke every few minutes to the sound of mosquitoes screaming in my ears…I’m not kidding they were SO annoying. I woke up the next morning looking like Quasimodo. I’m allergic to mosquito bites, I slept with my sleeping bag over my head but I guess one of those little s**ts got in there with me and feasted on my face. I literally looked like I had been beaten up, bites on my eyelid, forehead, one under the other eye and a couple on my cheeks. I had about 30 bites on my body but at this point they were the least of my worries.

I had my first day of Spanish class and then first day of work in the afternoon…great first impression. I think everyone wants to be the cool kid on their first day, well I just looked stupid, I went in with massive sunglasses on and eventually took them off and apologized for my face to which everyone was like “oh I can’t see anything”. I wasn’t sure whether they were being polite or whether it was because they hadn’t seen me before so they just thought I looked like that but anyways, they said I could take the day off and rest if I wanted to. I met a girl called Robin who offered to come with me to Chiclayo and showed me where to get a mosquito net and I got every kind of mosquito killer available. Sprays, coils, plug-ins, swats and plenty of repellent, I was on a mission and I succeeded. My room has since been a mosquito free zone, I burn those coils like incense and do a daily spray before I leave for work. I cleaned every surface and wall with a mixture of bleach and Raid mosquito killer so they know not to chill on my walls and I purposely left one of their deceased friends on the windowsill to make them aware that they are not welcome here.

So far I am really enjoying my experience here, I am in a seaside town in the North of Peru completely untouched by tourists other than the students who come to the school. More then anything I love living by the water and the amazing sunsets everyday. You just live the Peruvian way which is pretty chilled, timing doesn’t mean a thing and there are little restaurants which are actually in people’s houses all over town. You get a really authentic homemade food experience and grub here is to die for. So far I haven’t had a single thing I don’t like, the chef at the school has this magic touch when she cooks and makes everything delicious. We have BBQ’s every fortnight which she prepares and no exaggeration it was the best BBQ I have ever had! I am learning Spanish for four hours every day and I guess because nobody speaks English outside of work you are forced to practice. I was really proud of myself yesterday, I took a trip to a market and managed to bargain in Spanish, obviously I learnt the necessities first lol (will blog about the little treasures I bought in the fashion section later).

I have so much more to tell you but you will have to wait till the next blog …

Ciao for now! xx

A Walk Into the Ocean in Zanzibar

Zanzibar is one of the most amazing places I’ve been too and I’ve been lucky enough to go three times, I did a post on the Blue Safari (also In the Travel section) but on my last trip there I decided to go for a walk into the ocean at low tide and ended up on my own sea Safari. Apparently you can walk to where the deep ocean meets the low tide and see dolphins sometimes, you have to walk for about an hour into the sea but unfortunately I had left it too late to walk for an hour as tide was beginning to come in already.  I would have loved to see where you are literally standing ankle deep in water and just a foot in front of you is water hundreds of metres deep and the possibility of dolphins jumping around!

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Anyways I started walking and within a few minutes these 3 African men kept trying to guide me and tell me where to walk so I don’t step on sea urchins. I just wanted to be left alone and enjoy a peaceful walk in paradise so I told them nicely that I’ll be careful and thanks for there help but they were relentless. They continuously kept telling me where to walk and eventually I gave up and realised if I just followed them I would enjoy myself more so I did. They would walk to rock pools full of sea-life and pick up what was in them and show me. I was grossed out at the sea cucumbers, sea sponges (they squeezed them and all this purple dye came out of it), sea urchins and various other slimy sea cretins but decided to take pictures of everything they showed me. After about half an hour I told them I was heading back but they kept pointing to these rows of sticks in the distance and insisted they take me there and show me what it is. I could see a lot of figures out there so I was intrigued but also worried as the tide was creeping in and I had my camera on me.

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We walked fast and soon reached the mysterious sticks, it was an underwater farm. The guy explained to me in a mixture of broken English and Swahili that all these people were farmers. Every day they would wait for low tide to go into the sea and tend to their crop of seaweed. They would string a tiny bit of seaweed onto these ropes tied to sticks in rows and they would cultivate them and slowly they grew. Once they were big enough they would remove the seaweed dry it and sell it in the town where it was used for roofs (that was my understanding of what he said). I was amazed at how these people had created a business with no costs, they used nature to make a living and I had the utmost respect for them as East Africa is riddled with beggars so desperate that they often maim themselves as a means to earn more. These people were so resourceful and it was so inspiring, the men who were showing me sea creatures also caught around 8 octopus by hand which they would sell for money. Definitely one of the best walks of my life.

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Ruth’s Summery Look


Ruth explained that she normally uses a darker palette on her eyes, I could understand why as that would really bring out her gorgeous green eyes. Darker shades are great for evenings but I wanted to do something different, since we were going to a pool party/BBQ I thought it would be nice to do a bronzed look and then add some colour to her usual eye palette. I used a Sleek Palette and blended copper with turquoise on her eyelid and then took a brown eye-shadow up to her brow bone. When you have smaller eye-lids you can wear your eye-shadow really high, it gives you the illusion of bigger eyes. I have bigger eye-lids so if I did that I would end up looking like a drag queen. I only ever wear high eye-shadow for costume parties or if I need an OTT look. Its really important to recognize your features and work to enhance them, I’ve seen people try to copy a beautiful make-up look and it just looks terrible because they didn’t consider how to adapt things to suit there features.

I highlighted under Ruth’s brow and used an eyebrow pencil to add more definition, then I finished with a metallic turquoise liner under the eyes and two coats of Benefit Bad Gal mascara. I added a MAC bronzer and a little Inglot coral blush and highlighted on her cheek-bones and nose. I finished with a Lancome coral lip-gloss, I thought it was perfect for the summery look I was going for and it really suited her.


We chatted away on the flight and before I knew it we were beginning our descent into Goa, Sheryl was her name, A born and bred Goan flying back home to her family after a business trip. She formed my first opinion of Goa and Goans, she was very warm and helpful and said to call her if I needed anything during my stay. It was an impulsive trip, somewhere I had never previously thought of going so I hadn’t really had time to do much research and I had no expectations. My parents told me to be careful (they went there when they were around my age) so I thought maybe it’s dangerous, “Goans are too lazy to steal” explained Sheryl, she explained life was very relaxed and to expect things to happen very slowly.

It was almost a two hour drive to the hostel, peak traffic time and still it seemed very calm. Apart from the constant beeping of horns which I’d grown accustomed to after 4 weeks in India, there wasn’t really much noise and for most of the drive we were surrounded by jungles. Buildings  were spread apart unlike anywhere I’d seen in India, usually buildings are literally on top of each other.  I took pictures of the beautiful coloured houses with the strong Portuguese influences clearly visible, Goa was a Portuguese colony for over four centuries. You could tell that Goans were more worldly then other Indians due to their various influences and Goa is a tourism hub so they’re a lot more liberal.

The hostel was decent and people were friendly, my friend Shantel was staying there already, she helped me take my bags to the West Wing. Everyone was staring at us struggling to pull my 60kgs of luggage along the dirt road including the two English guys who arrived the same time as us and were also walking to the West Wing but none of them offered to help. “Chivalry is truly dead” said Shantel, “Excuse me can you help my friend?” she asked the guy showing us to our room, “I am too weak, I am a weak man”. Wow! men really are different here, is this even earth? Did he just say that? “Whatever, I am a strong woman” I thought to myself and pulled my suitcase with a bit more purpose… after about 5 seconds Shantel took over but between us we made it hahaha.

We ran into the two English guys again, one of them looked really familiar, “Did you go to Graveney School by any chance?” unbelievably he did! What a small world, imagine running into someone who went to the same school as you in a Hostel in GOA!? His name was Guy and he was soon to become one of mine and Shantels beach buddies. I napped and when I woke up Shantel had gone for dinner so I went to the Night Market with some people I met at the Hostel. The market was AMAZING, SO CHEAP and sooooo much jewellery and clothes, most of the jewellery was silver, embellished with beautiful semi precious stones. I bought a “magic dress” which could be worn 7 different ways and some other bits and bobs but mostly I was just taking it all in and then I heard a voice behind me that was sooo distinct I turned around and screamed, “DIANEEEE!!” Diane was a lady I met at the retreat in Tamilnadu 550 miles away, as I said, Its a SMALL world! It was great seeing her, she told me to come and stay with her in the South of Goa as the beaches there were divine but sadly I didn’t get the time to explore that side of Goa.


On our way home we decided to go to Club Cubana known as “the club in the sky”, it was on top of a hill and kind of like a giant treehouse. You go up some stairs and on different levels you could get off and there was a pool on one level then one was a VIP area and there was another bar and dancefloor area. It was an interesting experience, there weren’t many locals there, mostly Russians and then a mixture of everyone else; Brits, Americans, Australians. It was fun being out with people I didn’t really know, we just chatted the whole night and got to know each other, Cristina was in Goa for a few months to try and finish writing her book, Alec was travelling the world while saving it by volunteering at every stop, Jaya and Jake were travelling around India and I just found everyone’s stories fascinating.


The next day I woke up and went for breakfast with Shantel and then we headed to Vagator beach with whoever else was awake – Simon, Guy, and the Sophies (Swedish BFF’s travelling together with the same name – they were actually adorable!) The beach has huge rocks on it and even in the sea so you have to be careful where you step but that was really the least of our worries. We got harrassed by cows – India really needs cow police because there are just as many cows as people and they need to be hoof-cuffed to trees for certain hours of the day so that humans can relax. But seriously this cow did not leave us alone for like 2 hours, we bought fruit from a lady on the beach and the cow just wouldn’t go away. We threw the mango skins really far away…like we actually walked for a good minute and then threw the skins but as soon as it finished it came back and would shake its horns at us (it was a bull) and tried to headbutt us or just stand over us while we sunbathed so I had a major fear of being trampled to death by a cow. Simon had a staring match with the cow but it wasn’t backing down. Moral of the story: DONT GO TO VAGATOR BEACH (unless you’re going swimming after clubbing or to watch sunrise coz then the cows are asleep)
Our beach group stuck so every morning we would go to the beach together with the addition of Tova and Tony, we found a beach called Morjim which was about 25 minutes by scooter, the drive was really scenic and the beach was quiet, clean and calm and didn’t have rocks or cows! Me and Shantel hired a scooter too…Guy gave me a quick lesson and I thought I could drive it but then when we set off I almost died four times in the space of about 30 seconds so I literally abandoned it on the side of the road and we hopped on the back with the boys haha. Even though Simon and Guy are good drivers and most of the time we were just driving through jungle roads where there weren’t many cars, in the town I found it scary so I don’t know what I was thinking trying to drive one lol. We got lost a few times but it kind of added to our adventure, one of the places we got lost in had so many cows in the road and people and cars and we were zig zagging in and out of them. They need a cow lane and a footpath…The cows just stop in the middle of the road or they just decide to change direction…its madness. Shantel learnt to ride the scooter after a few days but I spent most of my time praying or not breathing on the back so I stuck with the guys (sorry Shan hahaha). We had two nights out in Baga which is where the majority of the clubs are and one in Anjuna.


Food in Goa was amazing, seafood is so fresh and so cheap and sooooo yummy, I had my best meal at a restaurant called Sri in Anjuna – if you ever go there you have to try the fish! Thalassa was also in Anjuna, an outdoor Greek restaurant that overlooked the beach. The ambience was serene and we went there twice and watched the sunset while we dined. There’s lots of great beach shacks that have good food and generally you can’t go wrong with seafood. I tried a local curry called Xacuti and I couldn’t eat it…it basically tastes like curry powder and water so I would steer clear lol, Goan fish curry was amazing though.

Most people in Goa come just to party and chill on the beach, I don’t think I’ve ever been so relaxed in my life, it was like living in slow motion, you never need to be somewhere or rush for anything. I wanted to explore Old Goa and so did Felix and Malik so I skipped the beach that day and we went exploring. To be honest there wasn’t much to see but the 3 churches we saw were really amazing and we rode the bus there which was interesting. The bus conductor suddenly jumped of the bus and started fighting with this guy in the street so we had to wait until he finished so we could go. I really wanted to go to a floating Casino as Sheryl highly recommended it and they looked amazing but I just didn’t get the time even though we extended our stay. I managed to get us free tickets to the David Guetta concert so we stayed another day – it was fun and the Goan crowd were so enthusiastic. I loved every minute of being in Goa, definitely one of the funnest weeks of my life! I would highly recommend a trip to Goa and the Asterix Hostel!


There are many more stories but what happens in Goa stays in Goa :p




Zohra x




Heres a pic of the sunset in Zanzibar…I was sooo happy snappy on that holiday, everything was so beautiful…even the bugs:

Something about this picture fills me with a sense of freedom:

I am obsessed with the sky and amazed by the colours, when I fly I take like a 100 pictures of the sky from the plane…this is from the beach though.. so prettyyy