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Alice Temperley and the

art of romantic chic

THE BIG FASHION EDIT Our runway report + trends + what to buy now September 2017 | Issue 22 Abu dhabi | AED 20


Spectacular Sri Lanka: An Intimate & Stylish Escape








Contents Ohlala

Ben anun



The show Designer Talk: Alice Temperley Lookbook: Michael Cinco Beauty Guide: AW17


Opening Number Our Favourite Issue Editor’s Letter: Fresh Faced Style Focus: Report


The Exit Travel Escapes: Sri Lanka Ohlala Wedding Feature Miss Ohlala



September 2017 issue 22

Chief Executive Officer Greg Hughes Publishing Director Edward Smith

Editor-in-Chief Georgie Bradley


Creative DIrector

Regional Sales Directors

Angela Beitz

Paula Leal

Kirsty Edwards-Harris

Managing editor

Graphic Designers

Rami Khalil

Shabana Adam

Jyoti Rawat

SAles Coordinator Renie Simplina

Contributors Victoria Production Manager



Neil Mahmood

Sunder Pratap Singh

Melek Yildirimtekin

Credits image Delpozo

Gigimon Thankachen

Distribution Manager Ajit Kumar

COVER Image Michael Cinco

Accountants Praveen Alexander

Distribution Team

Printing Press


Jayapragash Ganesan

United Printing Press

Bahrain – Al Hilal Qatar – Dar Al Sharq

Rajesh Abdul Kadar

UAE - Tawzea Distribution Enquiries

Editorial: | Advertising: General: | Telephone: (Bahrain) +973 1721 6099 | Postal Address: Ohlala Magazine, The Nans Group, P O BOX 30378, Budaiya, Kingdom of Bahrain. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. All Rights Reserved. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily the views of the publisher. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication. However, FACT M.E. Publishing and all of its publications cannot accept legal responsibility for any error, content or omissions.



E d i t o r ’ s L e t t e r

Temperley london


esigners create fashion moments and then models make those moments happen. I remember being transfixed by Temperley London’s autumn/ winter 17 show, full of meaning, movement and high-volume elegance. Each intricate and charmingly detailed piece elicited a crowd of comments in their own right and by the end, you felt energised by the journey. I was so thrilled to have a chat with Alice Temperley, the searingly beautiful

designer behind the revered brand, for our designer focus this month. You’ll find her to be the best kind of boss woman with cinematic vision, grace and an unstoppable talent that has had a 15-year life so far and is set to continue for decades to come. As always, the September issue is a celebration of style. We’ve got our new season runway report exploring a multitude of possibilities from doing denim differently to putting pretty pink ensembles together to wearing your hair in a rigid, slicked back pony tail. Beauty-wise we offer our thoughts and reviews on the latest must-have products that will replenish tired techniques and inject life into your skin-care routine. When it comes to living a truly luxury lifestyle, we have our regular travel escapes which I was lucky enough to partake in a couple of months back across the gorgeous landscapes of Sri Lanka, going from a boutique cottage in the country’s answer to the Highlands to the wind-swept coastlines in the south. The images if anything will inspire you to take your own sophisticated sojourn. Elsewhere in the issue, we do what we do best and review the chicest eateries, spotlight the latest happenings and indulge in the finer things in life while we’re at it. Happy reading!

Georgie Bradley 12

Editor in Chief


Belgian Cafe ‘InterContinental Abu Dhabi’ / BelgiancafeAD


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Angela Beitz 14

, Editor

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For the Modern Middle-Eastern Woman


alice temperley and the

art of romantic chic

THE biG FASHiON EdiT our runway report + trendS + what to buy now September 2017 | iSSue 22 abu dhabi | aed 20

Ohlala Cover September Abu Dhabi.indd 1

Spectacular Sri lanka: an intimate & StyliSh eScape 30/08/17 16:17

September Edition available now on


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A l i ce T h r o u gh T he

L oo k i ng G lass

The charming designer behind the brand, Temperley London, is as dreamy and as romantic as her heavenly pieces. Georgie Bradley talks to Alice Temperley about escapism, what kind of boss she is and how she creates a work/life balance.



lice Temperley’s head is full right now. Her thoughts are flitting between the anticipation of spring/summer 18 and the vortex of fashion weeks ahead; she’s trying to make time for notes, sketching and fittings while consciously balancing home life too. It seems designers are either in the future or in the past – we were set to speak about autumn/winter 17 and although timely, the crest of that wave has been and gone as far as fashion chronology is concerned. Fashion moves fast, it’s never still. Alice wishes it was slower – but she’s taking time for some “peace and quiet” by shunning London’s notorious Notting Hill carnival and going away to Ibiza. A typical week for Alice will see her in the studio 32

three times, creating the narratives of her pieces (20 stories or so), working on the silhouettes, sketching, doing fittings once a week “where the creativity comes alive in 3D” and then the rest of the week involves working alongside the sales team and taking care of logistics. It’s full-on and she’s hands-on but she’s got “a brilliant team,” says Alice, who have a varied and strong skill set. What kind of boss is she? “I’m a nice boss. I like to hang out with the people I work with and have a good laugh. I really strive for a work/life balance - at the beginning I worked around the clock learning everything from scratch. It’s never just about being able to design a collection, it’s about barcodes, shipping and sales. But I don’t do laziness or attitude. This industry is hard work, there’s no place for that,” she adds. For the past 15 years, Temperley London has thrived in the fashion industry, weathered the financial storm and remains one of the most celebrated British labels around the world. The characteristic folklore fantasy of the brand has caught the imaginations of dreamy romantics and has made women feel their




“I don’t do laziness or attitude. This industry is really hard work, there’s no place for that.” whimsical best wearing beautifully embroidered pieces that have oodles of elegant movement. This season, the escapism motif so true to the Temperely London story was carried throughout, but there were some cleaner, more structured pieces that came to the fore too. “We’ve always done really strong tailoring, the quilted skirts and coats with the high-waisted trousers from this season is showing that we’re not just about pretty dresses. We’re really pushing the day-wear category forward because as it stands 60% of the brand is everyday pieces, whereas if you looked at the business just four years ago, it was predominantly evening wear, so there’s been a big shift,” explains Alice. What we see on the runway are the showpieces – ones that bedazzle the critics but beyond the catwalk are the more tonal but still detailed numbers. The trousers for example; they aren’t run of the mill, they’re identifiably Temperley trousers with that bohemian ruffle and flow, giving it a folklore stamp. “I wear my own creations 95% of the time but I wish I had more occasions to wear all the beautiful pieces I have in my wardrobe!” she says. Ibiza is the opportune destination to catch up on all outfits lost to time. If you were to catch Alice on a regular day though, you’d probably find her in her self-proclaimed uniform. “If I’m being functional, I wear high-waisted trousers and a white shirt.” She understands why most designers wear head-to-toe black when working on their collections because it skirts any clash between seasons and serves as a blank canvas to think clearly about design. Our region loves to peacock, so to speak. The emphasis is on showing and being larger-than-life, stereotypically at least. For a distinctly British brand, why has this market been so receptive to Temperley London? “I think they can see it’s additional work that has gone into each piece. Everything is hand-done and has a place – there is something that makes it more unique. Our Italian jacquards are doing particularly well in the region and it’s really refined fabric with beautiful print, with a feminine shape. The fabrics are becoming even more luxurious – you see it on a table and you just want to touch it. It’s tastefully elegant where a woman looks the best she is,” says Alice. Fundamentally, Temperley London is countryside romantic with splashes of sequins and jazz. Alice’s 34



Starter For Ten What should every woman try a t least once in her life? Try and be solitary for two weeks a year. Take yourself out of today’s rat race. No gadgets. It’s food for the soul. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? Listen to yourself and just get on with it. Don’t be distracted by other people’s noise and opinions. What’s on your bookshelf? I just read ‘The Help’ by Kathryn Stockett and for my trip to Ibiza I’ve got ‘Headstrong’ by Dave Asprey. When I’m not reading children’s books I balance it out with novels and intelligent reads. What item in your closet do you wear the most? White shirts. Who is on your guest list for a dinner party? People who make me laugh is the best tonic. What’s your greatest indulgence? Impractical things for the home and impractical cars! What’s your beauty secret? I just wear red lipstick, I don’t generally wear a lot of makeup.

affinity with the country-side stems from childhood and is a present place of refuge too. When I ask her if she internalises that romantic aesthetic, she instantly nods in agreement. She lives out the stories behind each piece she creates as it “takes away any monotony”. There is something other-worldly about Alice. She carries herself with a feathery lightness, her tresses cascade with a pre-Raphaelite quality and she has a soothing disposition. Even if she didn’t live out that narrative, she certainly looks like she does.

What is the one thing you wish you knew when you were younger? Don’t overthink or overcomplicate things, keep it simple. Live in the moment. What is on your bucket list? Next thing is building myself a big studio outside of London. And I want to create things that aren’t as fast as fashion, like photography. What brings you the greatest joy? My son.


The Dark Ages If any designer could be credited for creating beautifully feminist armour for women, it would be Michael Cinco. This collection speaks to the strength and power of a woman and how fashion can stamp a statement where words are not needed. We salute this breathtaking feat. Photographer : TINA PATNI | Creative Director and Styling: MICHAEL CINCO | Hair and Make-Up: JOJO DANTESPADUA, BRIAN ONG ACALLAR, KERWIN SOLO | Set and Props: ANDREW DEL ROSARIO | ModelS: LINA and VICTORIA of MMG Models, LIGA and FRANCESCA of WILHELMINA Dubai 36










Look into my eyes Sandra Mansour’s AW17 collection is deeply evocative. Each piece demands its own reception. Feast your eyes on these whimsical numbers and let your imagination float. 46








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Beauty Talk

Editor’s picks

A n g e l a B e i t z r o u n ds u p t h is m o n t h ’ s e ss e n t i a l s .

Super Scents Diptyque has expanded its range of Fragrance Gestures which combine the intensity of scents with unexpected textures. L’Ombre dans l’Eau, Do Son, Philosykos and Eau Rose are expressed in balms, gels, oils and foams whose surprising and unprecedented textures reveal a fragrance just as strong as an eau de toilette – a scent that lasts for hours.



G e t G l o wi n g Soak up the sun with Tom Ford’s sensuous series of bronzers, highlighters, and lip colours designed to illuminate the skin throughout the year. Innovative formulas glide onto eyes, lips, and cheeks infused with hydrating, nourishing, and anti-aging benefits. We love. 58

Pretty in Pink Pink by Lancôme celebrates this joie de vivre by showering pink over everyone’s lips and nails through its dual expertise in colour and make-up artistry. You’ll love this collection of glosses, lip pencils, and nail varnishes infused with pink and designed for fun, creativity and boldness.


5 Pa l e t t e P e r f e c t i o n Chanel’s autumn/winter 17 makeup collection is inspired by a CalifornianroadtriptakenbyChanel’sGlobalCreativeMakeupandColour Designer, Lucia Pica, captured on her trip around Cali. If your budget will only stretch to one product, make it the Palette Essentielle. It’s a 3-in1 face saver that combines a balm-like concealer, a light-reflecting highlighter and a creamy blush into one handy compact.

All Smiles Aesop’s first toothpaste has been developed with the same attention to detail as the Skin Care formulations for which the company is renowned. It is a distinctively flavoured toothpaste that effectively cleans teeth and gums, and offers a unique alternative to a conventional peppermint base, combining the freshness of spearmint with subtle notes of anise.

3 6

Urban, Sophisticated, Edgy The famous black glitter Black Opium bottle from YSL is an icon in its own right and now comes in a new limited-edition bottle destined to be a collector’s item. The black glitter sparkles brightly in stripes that emblazon the bottle in a criss-cross shape. Interspersed with a crystalline rose, the luminous pink colour of the eau de parfum is the perfect fragrance for a special night out.

new ones.indd 1


6/14/15 10:15 AM

Beauty Insight

The Essence of La Prairie We sit down with Greg Prodromides, Chief Marketing Officer, La Prairie to talk about the luxury of La Prairie and how it all began.

How was the brand founded? The brand began in 1978 under Dr. Paul Neihans. Dr Niehans was a Swiss doctor and the founder of Clinique La Prairie. He believed in rejuvenation- his specialisation- that was not simply about prolonging life or adding years to life but about improving the quality of a life lived. His research detailed about adding life to years. After over 20 years of research, he found a way to restore and prolong health and vitality with revolutionary cellular therapy that slowed the effects of aging. His ideas were revolutionary and unconventional, yet so effective that they became a cult secret, whispered about in the circles on nobility, royalty and celebrity. Located on the ancient shores of Lake Leman became home to the Clinique La Prairie. It became known as a place for extraordinary rejuvenating treatments. How has the brand stayed popular and reputable? They’ve consistently been the first to market with extraordinary ingredients and formulas establishing La Prairie as pioneers and leaders in the industry with a key position on anti-aging. They’ve led the luxury skincare market in both innovation and performance. They’ve never wavered from their brand pillars of luxury, innovation and commitment to excellence. Just recently, they are celebrating 30 years since their Skin Caviar collection first launched. Tell us about the development of the Cellular Complex? The exclusive Cellular Complex is La Prairie’s age-defying, life-infusing science signature. A closely held secret for decades, this proprietary complex has been at the heart of every La Prairie skincare formula since the beginning. The history of Cellular Complex goes back to the 1930’s, when professor Paul Niehans, founder of Clinique La Prairie in Montreux Switzerland, developed a revolutionary cellular therapy to minimize the effects of aging. The complex is something of a mystery, which is in keeping with La Prairie. It is produced in three separate laboratories, ensuring that the full formula 60

remains a secret and no single technician or chemist knows the exact recipe. Could you tell us more about Skin Caviar Collection and how it changed the premium skincare industry? Launched in 1987, Skin Caviar collection was a revolution in the skincare industry going beyond ordinary skincare to offer women infinite luxury and eternal beauty. La Prairie journeyed to the depths of the sea to capture precious caviar beads and harness their rate restorative powers. Using caviar in skincare back in 1987 was already a revolution in itself in the beauty industry and marked La Prairie’s commitment to source the most unique, precious and active ingredients to offer women an unparalleled skincare experience. This commitment to exceptional science and continuous quest for the most unique and precious ingredients has never ceased since. The legend was born. Who is the La Prairie customer? She is a woman of sophistication. She enjoys pure refinement and understated elegance. La Prairie offers a unique and intimate skincare experience. Through our exclusive and innovative products, she seeks perfection and authentic luxury. Her beauty is ageless, timeless and eternal. What are the La Prairie codes and values? Pure. Rare. Eternal. How important is Swiss science to the brand? It all began in Montreux, Switzerland, beneath the majestic summits of the Alps. Ever since, La Prairie has led a constant quest to the very best of the Swiss science with innovative formulas and some of the world’s most coveted ingredients. Today, the La Prairie scientists have researched the most innovative and luxurious way to feature caviar in a formula featuring powerful ingredients. Our heritage but also our present (our headquarters and our scientists) are in Switzerland. It is one of the leading country for innovation and precision that you can find at the very core of our products.

Rare Ingredients

out for its pure beauty, platinum has been worked into the finest, most exquisite jewels, displaying at once a delicate elegance and an unparalleled strength. Scientists have also recognized it as a singular element with extraordinarily potent properties. La Prairie has harnessed platinum’s splendor, developing a unique symbiosis in which this ultra-pure metal helps increase the effectiveness of a rejuvenating peptide.The proprietary Platinum Science supports cellular functions and the integrity of the skin’s underlying structure, providing the ultimate rejuvenation experience to reduce all visible signs of aging.

From the magnificent heights of the Swiss Alps to the deepest reaches of the sea, from far below the Earth’s crust to the banks of mountain streams, La Prairie travels to find the most extraordinary, beneficial ingredients to fulfill its quest for timeless beauty.

Caviar Collection

Cellular eye essence platinum

Caviar A mainstay of refined celebrations, caviar has served as a symbol of decadence and pleasure since the time of the Tsars. Encased in small, delicate, glistening black beads is an opulence that speaks to deeply held notions about extravagance, luxury and fine living. La Prairie has taken inspiration from this delicacy and interpreted it into a privileged indulgence for the skin. La Prairie’s caviar-based active ingredients, including Caviar Extract, Caviar Water and Caviar Absolute, offer unparalleled lifting and firming benefits, helping to improve the structure and functional quality of the skin’s extracellular matrix. They help to strengthen the skin barrier and encourage cells to better interact with each other, all of which contribute to youngerlooking skin. La Prairie’s Caviar Science is the essence of potent anti-aging indulgence. Platinum Brought to Earth millennia ago by a fallen star, platinum is the rarest and most precious metal on the planet. The paragon of resilience and refinement, it transcends all expectations. Sought

Cellular Radiance perfecting fluide pure gold

Gold Long believed to be an elixir of longevity, gold has been used in skincare for centuries. It is said Cleopatra, famed for her beauty, used gold masks to preserve her youthful appearance. Empresses from ancient Chinese dynasties would apply crushed gold directly onto their skin to enhance their complexions. In Japan, Geisha have long relied on gold to give their beauty an incandescent glow. Throughout the centuries, women around the world have recognised gold’s ability to bring a touch of opulence and luminosity to their beauty ritual. Acting as a luminous filter, gold imbues skin with a natural glow. La Prairie has drawn on gold’s ability to revitalize and perfect the look of skin with a scientific breakthrough that binds pure gold particles to an anti-wrinkle peptide to enhance its effectiveness. The proprietary Gold Science Complex includes pure gold powder and gold pigments that light up the skin for unparalleled radiance and perfection.


Beauty Focus

Staying Power If you’re an avid and loyal reader of Ohlala, you’ll know that we swear by serum. That’s why we were in seventh heaven when Guerlain announced its latest beauty magic. Abeille Royale is an instant-action youth-boosting serum that has the richness of an oil and the freshness of a lotion. Formulated using unique and exclusive bee ingredients and Myrrh oil, the result is plump, highly nourished and hydrated skin. What more could you ask for?


Beauty Column

In With The New Winter beauty calls for dramatic looks and it’s the perfect time to try something new. From statement manicures to imperfect lips, Angela Beitz rounds up key beauty and hair trends for AW17.

Messy hair

Just-got-out-of bed, cool-girl hair can be seen regularly on the catwalks, but this season it makes a big impact thanks to texturising spritzes and sea salt sprays. This look was seen at Fendi, Dries Van Noten and Vivienne Westwood. This will be the perfect look this winter paired with leather or lots of black. Just blow dry, spritz and you are ready to rock.

Loads of liner

Black eyeliner made its mark on catwalks at all four fashion weeks, but the Prada show in Milan is where it went bold. Beauty guru Pat McGrath topped the smudgy black eyes with a flash of blue and at Versace it was applied in great swoops from the inner corners of the eyes to the temples. Get your kohl at the ready.

Bleached brows

Bold natural brows are still most popular, but their bleached-out counterparts are making a statement this season. Proenza Schouler saw a monochrome look with barely-there brows, whilst unsaturated brows were paired with pastel eyeshadow at Mary Katrantzou.

Statement Manis

The statement manicure is back and we couldn’t be happier. Checkerboard nails at House of Holland were uber cool, along with crystal-studded talons at Gucci and pressed flower designs at Preen by Thornton Bregazzi. Get ready for some super fun and Insta-worthy nails.

Gorgeously groomed

Natural-looking beauty with a focus on glowing skin has been trending for many seasons but this time the look has evolved into something more sophisticated. Look to Lanvin, Max Mara and Isabel Marant for the best examples of the supermodel-esque glow, curled lashes and impeccably groomed brows. We love.

Perfectly Imperfect Lips

Probably our favourite new trend, imperfect lips take away the need for constant reapplying. Several shows showcased this look with “justsnogged” lips as the inspiration for the smeared, messed-up pouts, whilst subtly worn-in lips and diffused edges were on show at Temperley London and Topshop Unique. Use a lip stain or creamy lippy with lots of pigment to achieve this lip.


JUNE 2017 VOL 4. ISSUE 01 QR10

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A Sri Lankan Sojourn If there were any mystical landscapes to include in a luxury bucket list, Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Tea Trails and Cape Weligama would come on top. Georgie Bradley experiences colonial and beach splendour in equal measure.


Travel Escapes Massey

“By nightfall, the surroundings are opaque black – not even the contours of the hills can be seen but in the opposite and nearby bungalows, ambient lighting seep the windows.” If I were to pen a book,

I’d want to spend an indefinite amount of time at the Ceylon Tea Trails. I knew this from the second we left dust bowl Colombo and our four by four starting to snake up and around the rows of tea buds and leaves into a green paradise. It was barely past seven in the morning, the pale mist was rising and curling over the hills towards the high blue sky. Despite the unpaved and at times, stomach churning drive, the vistas were so beguiling, I indulged in the sluggish pace and took it all in. I arrived at the Summerville Bungalow at midday, one of the bungalows part of the Dunkeld Estate in Hatton founded by Merrill J Fernando in 2005. A perfectly craggy pathway led to the twee, pale yellow front door where my warm-faced butler was waiting for me, ready to scoop up my luggage with hearty haste and give me a personalised tour. Picture if you will, a remote cottage overlooking the still, moody blue Castlereagh lake surrounded by vast swathes of green hills and thick manes of trees, speckled with polychrome flowers and lowlying broccoli shaped clouds where thin slices of sun occasionally


spill through. Although you’re in the depths of Hatton, Sri Lanka, there are close echoes of the Scottish Highlands courtesy of the all-encompassing rich and broody nature. Wonderfully, the wild outnumber the humans. Quiet is your companion at the Summerville Bungalow and back to my initial reaction, it’s the stuff of dreams for a wordsmith. The bedroom features a glorious four poster bed. The furnishings are wooden and tastefully colonial. The bathroom calls for oo-ing and aa-ing in its own right. A stand-alone bathtub over Victorian black and white tiling, complete with gorgeously scented accoutrements adds to the luxury of the stay. It has an overall upmarket B&B feel to it; it’s personal and quaint. The patio doors open up to a set of deck chairs and another vision to behold. I communed with the wilderness for hours on end, read appropriately slow and romantic literature, closed my eyes and let the booms of nature ripple through me without feeling the slightest itch of boredom. Despite sharing the bungalow with other guests, they were nowhere to be found or heard. Bliss.

Sebastian Posingis


Sebastian Posingis DUNKELD





“Wonderfully, the wild outnumber the humans.”

Sebastian Posingis



Nothing is spoiled by 21st century gadgetry at the Summerville Bungalow. With the exception of the iPod dock in the living room area crooning out a rolling playlist of Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra as well as a small and discreet flat screen TV, the space is devoid of modern interruptions. The living room ought to be Pinterest’s poster for ‘décor goals’ – there are throws, there are ornate lampshades with dainty detailing, there are coffee table books, there are second hand library books and there’s a well-stocked bar with gentry-approved tipples next to a roaring fire – being over 4000ft above sea level here means the temperatures are refreshingly cooler and invites a cosy up on the sofa. The veranda overlooking the infinity pool has five tables set up (five suites, five tables) – you see the tea plantations ahead of you, which never ceases to tire the eyes. As the Summerville Bungalow is in a remote location, your food and beverage is included in the stay. Each meal is elegantly plated and inspired by the local land. You eliminate any sinful diet sabotaging despite eating three course meals, three times a day because the portions are delicate and the ingredients come in their purest form and cooked with expert freshness. A standout soup had to be the pumpkin as well as the leek and potato bisque while the baked yoghurt with clumps of blackberries in the middle can only be described as special. You can also feast on a Sri Lankan spread which includes a courgette curry, fish curry, rice with fried (but still lean tasting) cashews and onions and Vattalappam for dessert, a type of custard finishing. While you could effectively spend your entire time holed up in the bungalow, there’s an impressive roster of activities on offer. You can take to the hills and hike, you can bird watch, visit Kandy, brace white water rafting or even go fishing in the Castlereagh lake. I stayed put for 48 hours and embraced the pause the experience offered. By nightfall, the surroundings are opaque black – not even the contours of the hills can be seen but in the opposite and nearby bungalows, ambient lighting seep the windows and the magic of the Ceylon Tea Trail experience is sealed off beautifully.

Travel Escapes “The villa follows the rules of colour pop minimalism offset against antique wooden cabinets.” To get to Cape Weligama

Tom Parker

Sebastian Posingis

from the Tea Trails, you need to factor in a six-hour drive or a seaplane option that shaves off over three-quarters of the aforementioned time frame. However, in the interest of seeing the changing landscapes from the high hills to the southern headland where Cape Weligama is positioned, the drive suited my adventurous sensibilities. What could have been a thumb twirling, exhaustive ride, turned out to be six hours gone in a poof. Plugged into a series of podcasts, I leaned against a constant picture window of rich foliage interspersed with gentle smiles and frantic waves from locals as we threaded between dusty villages. As we came back down to sea level, the steamy streets widened my eyes. The pace and cacophony built up to a rush hour crescendo. But there’s something so glorious about being a spectator to this madness, where you don’t move an inch but the outside world spins around you and that grating noise is but a murmur from the inside. After wading through traffic, we approached the barely-there entrance to Cape Weligama, as if it were a hushed secret. The tone was set for my beach escape. With just another 50-meter drive to the reception, the property is properly secluded. After an aromatic welcome drink, I was whisked off in a buggy to my villa. The 18 hectares, sumptuous property is atop a vast cliffside on an Indian Ocean headland near Galle with 39 villas and suites. I was staying in an ocean villa that had the privacy level of a manor and a shared garden pool (although I monopolised the pool as the next-door villa wasn’t occupied). You don’t get the tidal wave of tourists here. The villa follows the rules of colour pop minimalism offset against antique wooden cabinets and a broad desk that can fit an entire office of stationary. The bathroom offers private vantage points for views of the ocean below. I almost asked for a floor plan of the villa for it’s larger than most apartments you’d find in any city. It felt like I had come to my holiday home where I’d spend an entire two months basking in the uninterrupted views of the shimmering ocean, eat buckets of prawns swimming in garlic, watch my limbs turn brown and my hair change a shade lighter.


Tom Parker

Sebastian Posingis

Sebastian Posingis

Tom Parker

Tom Parker


Sebastian Posingis

Travel Escapes

For more information or to book a stay visit: Tom Parker

“The waves bounced and frothed against the biscuit-coloured cliffs – I dodged the incoming waves with child-like squeals.”

was on the edge of the infinity pool with its glassy waters, overlooking the ocean. Lots of likes on Instagram. My aim of cultivating greeneyed envy worked. Even I was jealous of that post and I was immersed, full-body, in it! Luxury exists in every part of Cape Weligama. For such a sprawling property, not one blade of grass is left to wither. I spent a few hours scoping out the grounds, bumped into the general manager, Dirk, who was on his maintenance rounds, spoke with roaming members of staff who were always generous with their time and resources and finally settled on a lush tropical patch of garden outside my villa with some complimentary snacks – which make all the difference for a detailoriented traveller like yours truly. Although I could have indulged in a lavish breakfast-in-bed scenario, I awoke each morning at the break of dawn to the rustle of palm trees and birdsong and made the short but pleasant walk to the all-day dining restaurant, Ocean Terrace, where I picked between a Sri Lankan breakfast and a few Continental comforts. Having exotic wild fruits with a fluffy buttered croissant while transfixed by the ludicrously beautiful views of the rugged coastline ahead, is like a dream you don’t want to wake up from. Normally I’m a breakfast on-the-go girl but here, the reverse transpired. I whiled away two unplanned hours. Everything was peachy and warm. Other culinary offerings include the Ocean Grill restaurant. There, I got my fill of chicken teriyaki with avocado (tastes miles better in Sri Lanka) as well as a pungent ceviche followed by a row of splendid sorbets. As I retreated to my villa on the last night, I sat out on the patio on one of the cushioned (so comfortable it was like a mattress) sofas. I didn’t do anything. I didn’t need to. Just being was fulfilling enough. The atmosphere was whisper-quiet, only broken by the midnight waves. As I contemplated my lamentably looming departure, my thoughts turned to a quote from the works of Ibn Battuta: “Travelling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”

I stepped onto the patio, continuing this mental fantasy and breathed in the salt of the air. Ahead of me were the slow, crashing waves which were as soothing as they were stirring. It drew me in; I walked towards the ocean, went down the many steps to get to the bottom and enjoyed the stretch of sand that went into the far distance. The waves bounced and frothed against the biscuit-coloured cliffs – I dodged the incoming waves with child-like squeals. I never felt so dwarfed by nature, so insignificant yet so alive. The wild waters can test the strongest of swimmers (I kept to a quick foot paddle) but the default experience is to just watch. Up at the property again, I took a postcard of the resort from my villa and snapped a meta photo of me holding up the card against the exact image, in the exact spot in real life and time. ‘Postcards from the edge’ I called it. The moment simply called for it. Quite literally, I


Palatial Living When you travel to the cultural capital of Spain, is there any better place to haul up than a 19th century palace? We discovered the sights, the shopping and the streets of Madrid with a stay at the 5-star Gran Meliรก Palacio de los Duques. 72

When in Madrid, book yourself into a palace! In the centre of

the city stands the stunning Elizabethan façade that is the Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques (Gran Meliá Palace of the Dukes). It’s privileged location means that you can let your tourist 101 out in full force; you’re practically on the doorstep of some of the most important monuments in the city, including the Royal Palace, Royal Theatre and the Cathedral of the Almudena, not to mention the abundant plazas and squares packed with some of the best bars, cafés, restaurants and snack stops. Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques is an architectural feast for the eyes (and your snapchat!). The building is a blend of vintage splendour, timeless luxury and delicate contemporary touches with an avant-garde flair. The palace itself is located on the site of what used to be one of the most important convents in Europe in the 13th century, the Convent of Santo Domingo. Today, the Meliá hospitality brand has managed to successfully maintain the character and elegance of the original structure: the residence of the Dukes of Granada de Ega. One of the major highlights of the property and a huge tick in our books is the spectacular and historically-important 1000m² garden which is unbelievably tranquil and peaceful to walk through. Greenery in the middle of busy city life? Yes, please!

“Clarins bathroom amenities will be a fabulous reminder of why the Meliá

brand is great at making you fall in

love with hotels over and over again.” We arrive to a warm welcome where the front desk staff are attentive and fast with the check-in process. As we head up to our Supreme Room with a polite and helpful bellboy in the lift, we’re told that the hotel’s interior is inspired by the work of the famous Spanish painter Velázquez, whose creativeness acts as a muse for the elegant and exquisitely designed rooms. More specifically, Las Meninas, the Velázquez masterpiece, is the motivation behind the decor of the rooms at the Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques. The colour palette, the sharp, clean lines and fine textiles, have all been selected with the greatest of skill to recreate classical elegance with a modern flair. All the rooms feature the latest technology, exquisite furniture and luxurious bathroom details to ensure you enjoy a unique experience of rest, comfort and style in the heart of the Madrid of the Austrias. When we enter our Supreme Room, it’s evident that the utmost attention to detail has gone into its formation. Huge windows glorify the utter beauty of Madrid whilst natural light pours into the room, highlighting the ochre tones and classical atmosphere. There’s nothing but space in this 38sqm room where the comfiest king size bed makes for some of the best siestas and sleeps and the small living area is a restful addition, whilst the magnificent bathroom is all-inviting with its amazing tub and rain shower with waterfall effect. Under floor heating and the delicate perfume of the Clarins bathroom amenities will be a fabulous reminder of why the Meliá brand is great at making you fall in love with hotels over and over again. Now, let’s talk dining. The hotel has three restaurants, two cocktail


“This hotel is more than just a place to stay, it’s an extraordinary way of life.” 74



Travel Escapes

bars, a tea corner and outdoor areas with different gastronomic options. Of all the culinary offerings, it’s Dos Cielos Madrid by Hermanos Torres that gets the foodie crowd talking. Located in the area previously occupied by the Palace stables, and with an outdoor area in the historic garden, the restaurant’s menu is comprised of some of the Torres brothers’ (who have one Michelin Star) most emblematic dishes along with a menu inspired by the area of Madrid of the Austrias; Castilian and historic, along with classic allusions that have been recovered with a touch of creativity. This is the place to go for a friendly and fine-dining atmosphere and a true taste of old-school local favourites with a special twist. For special occasion dinners or even as a treat during your stay, this place won’t disappoint! For those of you who are there to shop, get ready for major fashion envy. Gran Via, the high street of all high streets is mere minutes away. Known as the ‘Broadway’ of Madrid, this is where you’ll find popular brands like Zara, Bershka, H&M, Salsa and many more. Stop off for a snack at one of the many quaint cafes serving delicious churros (crispy sticks of fried batter) with chocolate sauce, before continuing up Calle Fuencarral or Calle Hortaleza, dotted with cute vintage shops. One of the city’s oldest district and Madrid’s multicultural heart, Lavapies is where African, Indian and Asian influences come to life with charming restaurants and street-market-style shops. Surrounding the hotel area are the narrow streets of La Latina, in Madrid’s Old Town. A hidden gem packed with chic shops that you’ll spend hours wondering. Serrano is another area you might want to check out; it’s one of the trendiest and most expensive neighborhoods of Madrid, where travellers will find luxurious shops located in what were once small palaces. When you’ve had your fill of the city, Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques is the best place to return to and make use of excellent facilities. There’s a breathtaking swimming pool and jacuzzi on the top floor overlooking the Royal Palace, the Almudena Cathedral and the famous district of the Austrias, with a solarium and cocktail bar. The unique Thai Room Wellness features four massage cabins, sauna, Turkish bath, therapeutic shower, changing room and showers. Here, the most exquisite treatments provided by expert Thai therapists will help to relax your mind and body, renewing your energy for another day in the great Spanish capital. Much like many of its sister properties, the Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques is another 5-star win for Meliá, a hospitality giant that keeps on impressing us with its many thoughtful elements. This hotel is more than just a place to stay, it’s an extraordinary way of life and, just like us, you’re going to find it very hard to leave this stylish living! For more information and reservations call: +34 912 76 47 47 or visit: www.melia. com/en/hotels/spain/madrid/gran-melia-palacio-de-los-duques or


Hear Those Wedding Bells Ring All throughout the capital, there are some truly beautiful spots for a wedding. Whether it’s beachfront or an opulent ballroom, we’ve picked some of our favourites for you to choose from.


wedding Feature

The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal For those celebrating their nuptials, The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal features an unforgettable combination of ideal wedding and reception venues and unmatched service, style, and breathtaking scenery to help create memories that will last a lifetime. At The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal, couples can enjoy a romantic beach or ballroom wedding atmosphere and select a setting that speaks to their tastes. With stunning views of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the Grand Canal, The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi sets a new standard in romantic elegance. The on-property beauty salon, nested within the spa, offers top-range hair and nail services while the Bridal Suite adjacent to the ballroom features a dedicated make-up and dressing room that can be transformed into a beauty parlour on the wedding day. Highly experienced wedding specialists gently guide couples through each and every stage of the preparation while working with their wedding planner and suppliers to ensure that the event is executed with exacting skill and pride. For information or reservations call: 02 818 8888


Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi Imagine waking up in a palace overlooking the glistening blue waters of the Arabian Gulf to get ready for your fairy tale wedding within the golden walls of the most spectacular address in Abu Dhabi surrounded by friends and family. At Emirates Palace, your wedding dreams will become reality. Royal weddings are their signature, and the talented team of international wedding specialists will help you plan your perfect wedding. Inspiration is found in every corner of the breath-taking grounds of the Palace, from the glimmering ocean to the ceilings adorned in gold. Dream about your special day and then hold it at Emirates Palace. Make memories to last a lifetime when you marry or honeymoon in a Palace. Plan your royal wedding or honeymoon at Emirates Palace for memories that will last a lifetime. For information or reservations call: 02 690 7944 80

wedding Feature

Fairmont Bab Al Bahr Fairmont Bab Al Bahr has established an unrivaled reputation for hosting some of the most spectacular weddings as well as classic receptions. With years of experience in hospitality excellence, the dedicated team takes care of every last detail to ensure your wedding preparations are effortless. From creative dĂŠcor and grand wedding cakes, to exclusive menus that delight the most discerning palate, every intricate detail is seamlessly attended to, allowing you to sit back and enjoy the memorable day. Fairmont Bab Al Bahr wedding specialists understand that no two love stories are the same, giving you a unique experience that will last a lifetime. Explore the true meaning of intimate ceremony at Fairmont Bab Al Bahr. For information or reservations call: 02 654 3098


St. Regis Abu Dhabi A wedding at the St. Regis Abu Dhabi is a celebration beyond expectation, every detail attended to with intimate care. The St. Regis Abu Dhabi merges authentic Arabian hospitality with more than a hundred years of bespoke St. Regis tradition. Crafted for modern connoisseurs who desire exceptional experiences The St. Regis Abu Dhabi brings distinctive St. Regis New York legacy to the captivating Arabian Address of Nation Towers on the Abu Dhabi Corniche, the social epicentre for royalty, the discerning traveller and luminaries in the art of living. Al Mudhaif Ballroom is the ultimate choice for a truly memorable occasion. A captivating and elegantly designed venue with soaring windows, handcrafted ceilings and crystal chandeliers create a magical atmosphere, ideal for weddings and social gatherings. The 1,311 square metre ballroom comfortably accommodates more than 650 guests for seated banquets and up to 1,000 for receptions which is sure to impress for your big day. For information or reservations call: 02 694 4444 82

wedding Feature

Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel & Villas

The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa

Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas offers an impressive venue for your big day by offering flexible indoor and outdoor function spaces that are perfect for meetings, conferences, private events or memorable wedding receptions. Get inspired and host unique events on our resort’s beach lawn, private beachfront and lush lawns, or choose from our beautifully appointed indoor event spaces. Picture a romantic sunset ceremony overlooking Saadiyat Beach, followed by a magnificent dinner dance reception in the Alyazya Ballroom.  Welcome your guests with a cocktail, treat the bridal party to a day at the Atarmia Spa and plan a rehearsal dinner in one of their venues. In every instant, every detail - from superb cuisine, brilliant floral arrangements and fabulous live entertainment to the occasional, gentle reminder to stop and savour the moment – the expert wedding planners at our wedding hotel in Abu Dhabi will help you to make the wedding day you have always imagined, a bespoke experience.

Celebrate your special day on the beautiful grounds of The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa, with delicious cuisine, picture-perfect locations and personalised service, every detail of your Westin wedding is carefully selected to reflect every dream you have. They will ensure that every nuance of your event is attended to, leaving you relaxed and energised to revel in the joy of your celebration. The Westin Abu Dhabi is pleased to assist you with your wedding cake needs and with their dedicated team of professionals they can make the cake you always dreamed about. In regards to linens and table arrangements, they have a range of different seating options to suit your needs. Speak to one of the dedicated wedding planners to get some inspiration for your big day. Be wowed by the hotel’s in-house florist. Speak to the dedicated in-house florist to discuss your ideas, or contact out Westin Wedding specialist for other recommended suppliers.

For information or reservations call: 02 407 1234

For information or reservations call: 02 616 9999


Intercontinental Abu Dhabi

Jumeirah at Etihad Towers

There are times in life when only the exceptional is good enough. It’s a belief that influences every aspect of what Intercontinental does, and it shapes the way they create memorable events. This philosophy, backed by decades of premium catering experience and the impeccable standards of the InterContinental Hotels Group, brings an unmatched level of expertise to your wedding. You’ll find a focused creativity as we connect cuisine, décor and location. You’ll find an obsession with detail, and a relentless pursuit of ways to make your event unique. You’ll find seasoned experts in the art of event catering - people who love what they do, and who love to amaze you. And most of all, you’ll find your own event becoming an occasion. Under the leadership of InterContinental Abu Dhabi’s highly experienced Executive Chef, the Catering’s Best team of seasoned chefs, planners, and service staff is all you need for your next special day.

From beautiful Bridal Suites to expert caterers, to their dedicated team of planners, Jumeirah at Etihad Towers are experienced at making sure your big day is everything you dreamt of and more. Your guests can enjoy drinks and aperitifs on the spacious indoor terrace, with its views over the hotel’s stunning atrium, then move into the majestic Mezzoon Ballroom, with its tasteful use of marble and crystal, for a reception dinner for anywhere from 100 to 1,000 guests. Not surprisingly, Jumeirah at Etihad Towers is one of the most in-demand wedding venues in all of Abu Dhabi and they invite you to discover why it’s the perfect venue for your big day. Also, if you host your wedding between 1st October 2017 until March 2018 you will enjoy three or five nights for your honeymoon at Jumeirah Vittaveli in the Maldives, with compliments! Terms and conditions apply.

For information or reservations call: 02 693 5190

For information or reservations call: 02 811 5555


wedding Feature

Marriott Hotel Al Forsan Abu Dhabi

Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi

Whether a traditional wedding or a one-of-a-kind celebration, Marriott Hotel Al Forsan, Abu Dhabi will exceed every expectation. From inspiring spaces and creative menus to an exceptional events team, they offer everything you need to make your big day an affair to remember. The stunning Al Forsan Ballroom features dazzling crystal chandeliers and a large private terrace area for access to fresh air. The state-of-the-art built in screens and projectors are of the highest standard for guests’ needs. The Ballroom divides into three salons for more intimate events so that the venue can be personally catered per event. Expansive outdoor space for events including the 1000 capacity open air terrace situated at the front of the hotel and surrounded by open air cooking facilities.

When love is in the air, leave the luxurious details to Beach Rotana. It is their privilege to help you plan the destination wedding ceremony of your dreams - and the best day of your life - in an idyllic and majestic setting. Withs tailormade wedding package specially designed to meet your requirements, the team is ready to offer you expert assistance – allowing you to look forward to your special day with pleasure and confidence. Beach Rotana’s wedding packages are starting from AED 180* per person. With a choice of two fairy tale ballrooms, starlit lawns and decadent touches, there is nowhere more romantic to say “I do”.

For information or reservations call: 02 201 4000

For information or reservations call: 02 697 9139


Bab Al Qasr Hotel

The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort

Bab Al Qasr Hotel impresses on all levels with its iconic architecture and an exclusive address on Abu Dhabi’s Corniche. A luxury hotel with indoor and outdoor venues that can be transformed into the perfect location for your dream wedding. With a set of stunning views – a choice of either Palace or Sea view – modern, yet arabesque interiors, based on a Moroccan theme and inspired food and beverage concepts, the options are vast and varied. From an intimate ceremony on the beach to a lavish party in Al Dana Ballroom for up to 350 guests. Their dedicated wedding team is ready to create your everlasting memories.

The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort is the finest expression of refinement and grace in the Middle East, and the premiere location to host an unforgettable celebration. A vision of classic Mediterranean style, complimented by rich fabrics and striking crystal chandeliers, the resort offers a distinguished backdrop to host any occasion. Nine kilometers of majestic white beaches and crystal blue waters welcome your guests to the tropical surroundings while the Saadiyat Beach Golf Course and the Iridium Spa offer relaxing and sophisticated reprieves before or after your event. For the most lavish and exquisite wedding or special occasion, guests can look forward to a standard of extraordinary service.

For information or reservations call: 02 205 3000

For information or reservations call: 02 498 8888 86

wedding Feature

Hilton Capital Grand Abu Dhabi

Marriott D owntown Abu Dhabi

It’s one of the most important days of your life. So it’s only natural to want everything to go smoothly. Hilton Capital Grand promises to take care of all the little details and make sure you have the wedding of your dreams. The chefs offer a superb choice of menus but above all, they promise flexibility. If you have a passion for a particular food, they will make sure it’s on the menu. And once you’ve chosen your menu, they can arrange a special menu tasting. Enjoy bespoke service from the moment you arrive. Their dedicated wedding planners are here to assist you with all the important details.

Whether a more intimate ceremony or a one-of-a-kind grand celebration, Marriott Hotel Downtown Abu Dhabi provides spectacular venues for the perfect backdrop to your “I Dos”. The two ballrooms cater comfortably for up to 300 guests, while the other private venues are ideal for smaller gatherings including ladies’ henna parties and private dinners. At Marriott Downtown Abu Dhabi they look at every wedding individually. Whether a traditional wedding or a one-of-a-kind ceremony created by you, they will ensure to exceed every expectation. With inspiring venues and creative menus to an exceptional Weddings team, Marriott Downtown Abu Dhabi offers everything you need to make your big day an affair to remember.

For information or reservations call: 02 617 0000

For information or reservations call: 02 304 7777


Ohlala Boutiques

Fresh Fragrance The Ritual of Karma body collection combines the sweet, floral aroma of Holy Lotus with the nourishing power of Organic White Tea. Spritz and mositurise your skin and surroundings a fresh feeling with a delightful combination of a sweet floral aroma of White Lotus with the uplifting power of Bergamot. 88

High Street ... .Hero

What can we expect from H&M’s AW17 collection? For A/W 2017, the Studio Collection looked especially to the creativity and energy of New York City. It’s about how street-meets-sophistication, with a blending of graffiti prints with menswear checks, for example. Or the merging of different technical and traditional fabrics in a garment that expresses a fearless attitude. We were trying to capture the city’s vibrancy, strength and universal style, and apply that to a modern wardrobe. What artistic direction have you taken for this season? The H&M Studio collection is always about presenting to our customers the most important trends and key looks of the season. They are statement pieces from a limited edition collection that complements anything else from the main line. With the Studio Collection, however, we want to be especially forward-thinking and contemporary in our designs. So for this season, the urban sophistication inspired mainly by New York City is our own interpretation of what is “now”. This season, we focused a lot on tailoring, but for a woman’s silhouette. And this applies not only to trouser suits, but also dresses, shirting, knits and more. There’s a neatness to all the pieces plus ultra-feminine details to balance it out, along with street or punk references to add in the mix. The result is hard-edged yet sophisticated. What is it about New York that appeals to fashionistas so much? I think New York appeals to everyone because it has that mix of downtown and uptown, street style and socialite, gritty and pretty, etc. Within all these contrasts, there’s a constant energy and tension that’s really exciting, and, of course, yields great style. It’s very much about modern dressing – the way in which people mix and match their pieces and how their love for a garment really shines through. What are the hero pieces? It’s always hard to choose, but the oversized hooded parka-poncho hybrid in the checked print and faux fur trim is key. It’s so tough yet cosy and you can literally throw it over anything and still look cool. The dresses are also important pieces. They follow the curves of the female body, but also might have a graffiti print or strong, structural elements. Nothing is too precious, which I think comes with the punk attitude we were channeling. If you could collaborate with a dream designer, who would it be? If it could be any designer that ever lived, I would have to say Coco Chanel. She is one of the pioneers of casual chic for women, using jersey fabrics or thinking about ease of movement, both of which were unheard of in her day. I would love to see what she would make of modern dressing today. She had that instinct of knowing what women wanted while also creating true, lasting classics. Plus, from all the famous quotes attributed to Coco Chanel, she would be good company!

Pernilla Wohlfahrt

If we could single out one high street brand that has provided us with the most reliably chic and statement making pieces season upon season, we’d crown H&M. We chat with Pernilla Wohlfahrt, H&M’s Head of Design and Creative Director about the new studio collection.

“Within all these contrasts, there’s a constant energy and tension that’s really exciting.”


Chic Eats

Expert Italian

Cipriani Yas Island offers fine-dining with flair and impressive service and of course, top-notch food.


ipriani is well known in many countries including the celebrity frequented New York location along with Cipriani Dubai. The Abu Dhabi location set on Yas Island offers a fabulous experience that starts once you enter the restaurant that is set up like a 1930s ocean liner. Waiters in slick white jackets really make this experience with their expert knowledge and fun service style. The restaurant serves Italian cuisine that is as impressive as the service, ambience, and the views it offers overlooking Yas Marina, Marina circuit and the bright lights of the Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi. Cipriani is decked out into several parts; the main restaurant, the bar, the cigar lounge, a wine room, the private dining space, the banquet room, library and a sprawling outdoor terrace. The well-appointed restaurant has all the makings of a destination for special occasions and on the night we visit there are plenty of guests celebrating birthdays. The best way to kick off your Cipriani experience is to sip one of their delicious Bellin’s in the bar created in the 1930s by the restaurant founder himself Giuseepe Cipriani. The décor of the restaurant is sleek and polished with paneled wooden floorboards, white leather chairs and lots of small touches you’d expect at a restaurant that prides itself on fine dining. We peruse the menu which boasts loads of Italian favourites along with some of Cipriani’s famous dishes. To start we order the burrata, the carpaccio (a must order) the beetroot and goat cheese salad and the calamari. The calamari was super tasty and perfectly cooked. The burrata was equally delicious served with gorgeous cherry tomatoes and olives that had perfect flavour. The carpaccio is a real hit too and it’s not hard to see why it’s been on the menu for decades with it’s perfectly sliced beef and lemon mayonnaise. The fresh flavours of the beetroot, asparagus and goat cheese salad were also great and we couldn’t have been happier with these entrée choices that are perfect for sharing. We then move onto a main of mushroom risotto which is perfectly rich and creamy, the seabass that was such a beautifully piece of fish done with cherry tomatoes and capers and the veal chops which were so tender and moreish. There’s always room for dessert in our books. We choose thee vanilla gelato, the chocolate cake and the famous vanilla meringue cake. All were beautifully presented and each were so good it was hard to choose what was best but you can’t go wrong with the vanilla meringue cake, layers of soft vanilla sponge topped off with sky high meringue...perfection. Cipriani is well worth a visit and the service alone with impress you. It’s a sophisticated dining experience with excellent dishes that boast consistency and excellent flavour with old world charm. Cipriani, Yas Marina, Yas Island, 2 657 5400 90

Cafe Milano

eat greek

Cho Gao, Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi

cafe milano


Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi is delighted to announce the launch of new dishes at Cho Gao from 1 September. Cho Gao will see nine new dishes to its already robust menu such as Asian beef salad, Char Kway Teow with Beef - wok fried noodles with vegetables and Khao Naa Ped – succulent roasted duck, marinated with five spices. Head Chef, Areewan Larpnikorpkul takes inspiration from her Thai roots, and incorporates fragrant Asian spices and succulent fresh ingredients. For information or reservations call: 2 616 6124

Ray’s Grill, Jumeirah at Etihad Towers

September Dining We round up the best dining spots for this month. Butcher & Still, Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi Ciao Brunchers! Sophisticated diners can join Brunch Del Sabato at Cafe Milano to experience a Saturday all’Italiana. Guests will relax in a fashionable ambiance, soak in the unbeatable Abu Dhabi skyline views and enjoy the finest Italian cuisine, freshly prepared and served to their table. Every Saturday from noon until 4pm, AED 250 including house beverages. For information or reservations call: 2 333 2444

Emirates Palace Back by popular demand, Emirates Palace is offering Mooncake gift boxes to make the Mid Autumn festival. The

decadent mooncakes, dressed in sumptuous packaging, are available for purchase from 17 September to 14 October in Le Café. They come in five toothsome flavours: Green tea, Lotus, red bean, fruit and red bean with egg yolk. They make lovely gifts, so don’t delay and make sure you place your order today. AED 130* per box with five Mooncakes. For information or reservations call: 2 666 8066

Giornotte, Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal Brunch season is back. Launching a new brunch concept, Giornotte will be home to impressive dance performances that to keep guests amazed throughout the afternoon. With themed shows changing monthly, the award-winning brunch kicks off the season with the best of Latin dances, from Salsa to Cha Cha Cha or Cuban Mambo, perfectly complemented with South American live cooking stations. Children will delight in the sweet wonders of Dolce café with candy floss, popcorn, waffles and chocolate fountains. For information or reservations call: 2 818 8881

Enjoy Rays Grill’s Unique Flambé Experience where you can enjoy a 180g Tenderloin cut into medallions cooked in butter and shallots then flamed in Cognac tableside, the guest will then choose one of the following sauces to finish their steak - peppercorn, mushroom, truffle or red wine. As part of the price we will also offer one potato dish and one side dish from our current à la carte menu valid for the month of September. AED 240, dinner only. For information or reservations call: 2 811 5555

Eat Greek, Galleria Mall, Al Maryah Island Eat Greek Kouzina, with prime locations across Dubai, has opened the doors to its fourth branch in the UAE and the very first restaurant in Abu Dhabi. The latest restaurant will launch in luxury lifestyle and dining destination The Galleria. It is set to be at the forefront of Abu Dhabi’s food scene, serving the best contemporary Greek cuisine in a modern and relaxed setting that speaks to the senses. The restaurant’s space, located on the ground floor next to Bentley Kitchen, is designed to give guests a completely authentic experience in a contemporary setting. For information or reservations call: 2 309 2323



health Files

fresh faced

We try the perfect facial to hydrate our tired skin at Sense Spa, Rosewood Hotel Abu Dhabi.


he constant battle to achieve perfect skin in the UAE is no easy job but this is where high end facials that really give results come in. We are trying the Intraceuticals Facial at Rosewood Abu Dhabi’s Sense Spa which is high-tech facial which uses products from this popular Australian brand.The facial will work as a pick me up to refresh our lacklustre skin. We love this spa as they’ve managed to create a space which is luxurious yet understated and is run by super professional staff. We sip on our welcoming drink as we fill out a consultation form that will help our therapist to know our skin’s needs. We change into a robe and slippers and are ushered into the super chic treatment rooms that Sense Spa has to offer. We talk through our concerns with our therapist and she explains that there are two types of facials to choose from with the Intraceuticals products: the opulence package or rejuvenate package. Both have similar properties but they accommodate different needs. The opulence package is designed to brighten, balance and smooth skin, whereas the rejuvenate package is for skin that is in need of some restoration – it’s designed to hydrate, lift and tighten. Our skin needs the rejuvenate option so we go for this. The treatment begins with thorough cleansing the skin to boost circulation and to remove impurities then moves onto the key step which is the most important component of both Intraceuticals oxygen therapies. This is the step where cold air from an oxygen gun blasts a serum made up of hyaluronic acid and collagen onto the skin, forcing it deep into pores. Hyaluronic acid is a chemical that is found naturally in the body. It hydrates and plumps the skin, helping to keep it looking full and youthful. It also attracts fluid to the cells it is present in and helps the body produce collagen – the protein responsible for making the skin stretchy and firm. This is the real unique selling point of the

facial and once this process is done to one side of our face, our therapist shows us the difference compared to the side that has not been done yet and the results are impressive. Clear, lifted and plump skin is revealed and we couldn’t be happier. To complete the treatment, a topical cream is applied to seal in the serum in a process known as hyaluronic layering. This is the perfect treatment should your skin need a real boost or if you have an important event for that requires a fresh, glowing complexion. This is definitely a spa worth trying, especially if you really want to treat yourself and escape the world for a few hours. Our skin is unbelievably smooth and super hydrated and we feel very relaxed. AED832 for 60 minutes. Sense Spa, Rosewood Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island, 02 813 5537


dahila spa

health Files

Relax & Rejuvenate Our picks for the best treatments for the month of September. Emirates Palace Spa Experience Sheer Body Bliss this September as it’s the month of reunions in Abu Dhabi, so why not arrive back to your capital lifestyle looking and feeling refreshed? Emirates Palace’s luxurious Spa reopens in mid-September after a late summer facilities refresh, so book your spot and indulge in our exceptional cooling and hydrating treatments, such as our popular Summer Body Bliss treatment. Not valid with any other promotions or discounts. 60-minute massage prices start at AED 495*. For information or reservations call: 2 690 9000 ESPA at Venetian Village, RitzCarlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal ESPA brings a new range of hammam treatments, with different lengths customised for its guests needs. The different rituals use products originally from Morocco with natural ingredients as Argan oil. Enjoy a Traditional hammam ritual with a body cleanse, back exfoliation, hair cleanse, stretching bath and oil application, 60 minutes for AED 580 or the Signature hammam ritual with a Body cleanse, body & face exfoliation, hair 94

cleanse, stretching bath, body & face nourishing, scalp massage, 90 minutes for AED 740. For information or reservations call: 2 818 8051

or reservations call: Various locations, 4 399 0550

Dahlia Spa, Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi

In the hustle and bustle of Abu Dhabi you’ll find a hidden gem, Cosmopolitan Salon, where beauty has never been more fabulous. Staying true to the salon name, Cosmopolitan is a European style salon and is all about the modern girl. The salon offers a range of services including colour, highlights, restyling, nail, spray tanning and beauty treatments and is highly recommended by Ohlala. For information or reservations call: 2 677 7014

Taking care of one’s skin is essential in Summer. For every booking you make this summer, you will enjoy a soothing 50-minute extension from a selected range of exquisite spa treatments. The Double Spa Indulgence will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Starting from AED 470 including a complimentary 50-minute extension. This gorgeous spa is the perfect place to unwind this month. For information or reservations call: 2 694 444 Tips and Toes Keep your mane manageable this month with Tips & Toes Hair Botox or Keratin treatments. These hair heroes will put a stop to humidity spoiling your do. These treatments will not only will you leave the salon with gorgeously glossy, frizz-free locks, you will also feel red carpet ready for any event. For information

Cosmopolitan Salon

Dubai Cosmetic Surgery Is your skin feeling dry and dull and in need of a little TLC? Treat yourself to peel at the Abu Dhabi Branch of Dubai Cosmetic Surgery. Known as one of the best in the UAE, Dubai Cosmetic Surgery is offering its Instant Radiance Peel until the end of September for only AED 499. Get your skin glowing with this amazing treatment. Includes a free consultation. For information or reservations call: 054 392 2153

For the culture-savvy in Abu Dhabi


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The best Abu Dhabi insta accounts to follow for staycay envy




health Column

Beat T he H eat Our super columnist Lena Dobschall is back from her holidays and is facing the grind once again. But she finds uplifting ways to exercise in the dripping heat – that won’t make you pass out. Now that we’re all back from our holidays, let’s wipe that little tear off our cheek and face the ugly truth and get back on track with everything. Work, kids, fitness routine, healthy food and all those daily life shenanigans. The heat doesn’t really help and makes it even harder to get motivated, but why not make the heat our frenemy and best buddy to get us back on track? If you can accustom your body to the heat now, guess who will shine in the winter months when the temperatures are just fine!? Let’s start this step by step. The secret of beginning something and actually sticking to it is to start very slowly and not demand too much from your body. There is absolutely no shame in starting off with baby steps. No matter how small your steps are, they will bring you much further than if you overstrain your body at the first attempt. Be patient with yourself, test your limits but don’t go beyond them - especially in the heat this can turn out to be quite dangerous! So play it safe and be gentle to yourself ! Before you start exercising in the heat I suggest you start off with some powerwalks. This should get you sweating already, especially if you’re not used to working out outdoors at all. The evenings are actually quite bearable and it’s a nice way of ending a busy day. Go out every second day for a week and then start to include some jogging parts as well. Build them up over the next month and by the end of the months you should be able to run two or three kilometers without pauses. Not a runner? Not a problem! Just roll out your Yoga mat and start with some light stretches. Go through a little flow and see if you can stay with your breath! The heat warms up the muscles for you and many people actually feel stronger in their poses. However, you should avoid the number one mistake that Yogis do during hot yoga classes: the 96

heat makes you feel more bendy and it’s easy to overstretch your muscles! Practising Yoga in higher temperatures is a fantastic way to wring out all the toxins in your body! Also, why would go to a hot yoga class in a heated room, when it’s the same temperature outdoors!? If you’re up for a bit more action why don’t you take your bike for a ride? Yas Island seems to be the perfect place for that! Want to impress everyone else in those fancy spinning classes? Well better get started then and build up some stamina! For those of you who are in it for a long time already: challenge yourself and try the bicycle track in the Al Wathba desert. You can choose from different routes from 8-32 km.

“I suggest you start off with some powerwalks. This should get you sweating already, especially if you’re not used to working out outdoors at all. ” Also, can we please talk about how good swimming is for your overall health? It burns a lot of calories and trains your back and shoulders exactly those muscles that hurt after a long day in the office. The accessibility to so many pools and beautiful beaches definitely makes living in the UAE an advantage and therefore swimming is a perfect sport, that you can practice throughout the whole year! Or maybe you just try out a different sport every week? This is the best time to find

the sport you like and stick to it during the upcoming season! Remember that hydration is important whenever you work out in the heat: Experts advise to drink at least 4-6 liters per day if you are working out during the summer months. Dehydration and heat exhaustion should not be underestimated. Make sure you listen to your body carefully. If you feel dizzy or nauseous during your training you should lower the intensity of your workout immediately and drink a lot of water. When we sweat we don’t only lose water but a lot of salt as well. This is where an isotonic sports drink or a powder with electrolytes from the pharmacy come in very handy. As long as you take these precautions and start slowly until you are in a certain routine exercising outdoors is safe and even good for you! And now I leave it up to you to beat the heat!

Get fit with Guava Pass Still need more inspiration? Why don’t you just try out different classes throughout the city and find your perfect fit? Guava Pass makes it possible: visit unlimited classes with the monthly pass in over 32 studio locations in Abu Dhabi. From the classics like Pilates, Yoga, Crossfit and co. to more exotic classes like Bouldering, Aqua Biking, or Kangoo Jumping there is something for everyone. Booking is made easy through the Guava Pass app! Visit, select your city and discover all activities and gyms in your area. OHLALA readers get benefits: Get DHS150 off your first month with Guava Pass simply by using the discount Code “OHLALA” during checkout!*


Miss Ohlala

Sorry, NO... ok, maybe Miss Ohlala considers our struggle with the ability to say “no” for fear of disappointing someone else.

Alexi Lubomirski

I understand the arguments for just saying no to something that you don’t want to do, but it can be harder to implement in practice. We are social animals and I believe it is human nature to be socially obliging and to have a strong desire to be liked. The word ‘no’ can be particularly challenging in a family context for fear of damaging family bonds. I think there is a social expectation that makes us feel pressured to live up to the saying “blood is thicker than water”. I don’t see myself as under-assertive or overly empathetic, but nevertheless I often find it hard to say no to friends and family in particular. There are some friends that I would do almost anything for, short of murder. But we all have at least one friend who asks you to do a small favour which turns into a mammoth task and keeps you occupied for evenings on end, precluding you from watching your favourite Netflix series. It’s so irritating when the hubby gets ahead on a series and you’re compelled to play catch up or guess what ground has been covered in the last few episodes... but I digress. I was the kind of child that felt obliged to compete for the school in the 3000m or 1500m run category, even though I had no particular skill at running long distance, just because no one else wanted to. At university I was known by my friends as “Miss Can Do” as I was always keen to try a new activity, join a club or go out. With a “to do” list a mile long and a calendar that was bursting at the seams with extra-curricular activities, I realised by my final year that I was over-committed in terms of time, energy and finances and needed to rein myself in. I spent years burning the candle at both ends and eventually came to the conclusion that you can’t do everything and you can’t please everyone all of the time. As I’ve grown older I cherish time spent with family and close friends. I think having a young family finally made me realise how important time is and therefore if I don’t really want to do something I 98

won’t prioritise it over spending time with my husband or children. Reaching the conclusion that I need to put myself and my immediate family first has been a game changer in my life. Being selfish of your time enables you to be dedicated to helping those you truly care about. I also enjoy my own company, and if I want to stay at home to watch another episode of Ru Paul, The Crown or another generic vampire series, rather than going out with friends, there should be nothing to stop me. At this point in my life I feel less guilty if I say no to others. I only have regrets when I say yes when in fact I should have said no. It is true that saying no” is liberating. Now I just need to review my agenda for this week and strike out everything that doesn’t help me achieve my personal goals or support my close family and friends... easier said than done!

Friday Brunch Experience a hearty and colorful brunch in true St. Regis style. The Terrace on the Corniche welcomes you, family and friends to share quality time and indulge in an infinite selection of the freshest seafood, sushi, foie gras, fine grilled cuts and more — many of which are prepared live in front of you. Just remember to save some room, a visit to the dedicated dessert, cheese and chocolate rooms are a must! 12:30 pm – 04:00 pm AED275* Brunch incl. soft beverages AED385* Brunch incl. selected cocktails, grapes and Hops AED525* Brunch incl. selected cocktails, grapes, Hops and bubbly The Terrace on the Corniche The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Nation Towers, Corniche, Abu Dhabi, UAE 02 694 4553 | | *Prices are subject to a 10% service fee, a 6% tourism fee and a 4% municipality fee


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©2017 The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.

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Start the weekend in style with Giornotte's fabulous Friday brunch.

Giornotte’s Friday brunch at The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal shines with over 30 masterfully presented live cooking stations and a dedicated dessert room in Dolce café. To keep the fun as fresh as the food, the brunch welcomes a troupe of dancers moving to a different beat each month. In September it's Latin Fusion, a heady mix of tropical rhythms, from salsa to cha-cha-cha to Cuban mambo. Starting at 295++ per person.


For reservations, please contact +971 2 818 8282 or email

Ohlala Abu Dhabi September 2017  

For The Modern Middle Eastern Woman

Ohlala Abu Dhabi September 2017  

For The Modern Middle Eastern Woman