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SALALAH MARRIOTT RESORT FOLLOW THE FRANKINCENSE TRIAL.

The Frankincense Trial is a site in Oman on the Incense Road. The site includes frankincense trees and the remains of a caravan oasis, which were crucial to the medieval incense trade. Set on the idyllic shores of the Arabian Sea, the only Marriott Resort in Oman offers a unique holiday experience in an unmatched natural setting and gives you an opportunity to experience the Frankincense trail. Have fun under the sun with us: • Revive your senses at the Frankincense Spa by Chavana • Discover the underwater life • Dip into the largest pool in Oman • Enjoy theme nights at Sumhuram Restaurant

BE LUXURY INSPIRED BY NATURE FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE LOG ON TO MARRIOTT.COM/SLLMS

SALALAH MARRIOTT RESORT P.O. BOX 225, P.C 220, MIRBAT, OMAN P; +968 23275500 F: +968 23268271 MARRIOTT.COM/SLLMS


FOREWORD

Shop away! They don’t call it retail therapy for nothing. Shopping can actually make you happy, a study has found. Treating yourself to something nice at the shops apparently has a lasting positive impact on mood and leaves few if any negative emotional side effects. Researchers have conducted hundreds of interviews at shopping centres as well as asked shoppers to keep diaries of their shopping behaviour, moods and buys they regretted. They found that retail therapy purchases were overwhelmingly beneficial, leading to mood boosts and no regrets or guilt. There seem to be positive consequences to buying oneself a small treat; one does feel better. Bazaar as a shopping guide gives you all the reasons to shop. Get inspired by our stories related to fashion, beauty, homes and more. We have taken into account the fact that time nowadays is the most precious thing, that can’t be bought but is easy to lose. We provide you with up-worthy information about the world you are well familiar with — the world of smart living. If you value comfort and have an eye for good things, you’ll surely enjoy Bazaar.

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AL ROYA PRESS & PUBLISHING PO Box 343, PC 118, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman

DEENAR PRESS & PUBLISHING PO Box 139, PC 102, Al Qurm, Sultanate of Oman

Contact Us T +968 24696868, F +968 24693569 E info@deenarmedia.com CREDITS Hatim al Taie, Abdullah al Taie, Rathish Ramachandran, Farook Shaikh, Shyniben Koyakkil, Deepali Kumar, Leticia Meneses, Bhavana Sinkar Printed at Ruwi Modern Printers © All rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form in whole or in part without the written permission of the publishers. While care has been taken in the preparation of this book, the publishers cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of the information herein, or any consequences arising from it.


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Blush on! How to apply blush based on the shade you’re using

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Contemporary baubles All that glitters is, in fact, not always gold

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purple pout How to nail dark purple lips

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Better than extensions The eight best mascaras in the beauty world

Making waves It’s not all football in Brazil right now as these rising stars of the jewellery world shine

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Perfect setting Jewellery can say a lot about a person, and knowing what your jewellery says about you is vital

Colour equilibrium We give you a report of the colours of Spring 2014

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What’s haute Step out in style with these gorgeous picks of the Spring Summer 2014 collection

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Upbeat hair A quick look at celebrities, that stunned us with their hair makeovers

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Fresh hair Spring is all about going natural, but will your hair survive the heat and humidity? Girl power These gorgeous women are talented, and they are doing it all right

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At-home spa Treat your achy muscles and stressed-out skin at home with these blissful do-it-yourself tricks

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Jumpstart fitness Ready to get strong and slim? Use these tips to lose weight and look great in no time

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Supercharged slim-down Healty recipes that’ll keep you satisfied, not starving


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Summer drama Transform your home instantly with these easy yet helpful tips

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cut clutter Declutter your home and get organised with our best tips and tricks

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Sunlit bathrooms We ask rather a lot from our bathrooms; after all, what other rooms do we demand so much?

Happy hues It’s time to stop with the boring white. We list the six best paint colours that work

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Big adventures The wonders of South America set the stage for an incredible holiday The escapist These getaways not only make you feel small, they’ll revive your senses Honeymoon destinations This is the time to shoot for the moon: travel and bring home a lifetime’s worth of memories

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Bed guide With these helpful tips find the perfect bed for your bedroom

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Creative living Uncommongoods.com ships to Oman and we’ve featured the products we can’t wait to order

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Quick and healthy Perfect for a mid-week meal, these recipes are fast and filling without the side helping of guilt restaurant reviews We take a tour of a few of Oman’s popular restaurants and cafés

BAZaar 2014


BEAUTY & FASHION


Blush on!

How to apply blush based on the shade you’re using

Shades of pink Pink blush should stay localised just on the apples of cheeks. It’s meant to mimic the shot of rosiness that’s actually found in the area since it’s where the blood naturally pools in your cheeks. But the colour shouldn’t fall forward into your smile lines otherwise it can look abnormal.

Illamasqua Powder Blusher in Chased

YSL Blush Radiance Blush in Rue de Babylone

Step 1 First place one finger at the side of your mouth and along the laugh line to indicate where the blush colour should stop. Step 2 Dip a dense, dome-shaped brush into your pink powder blush of choice. A small, dome-shaped brush with a dense and flattened head works well. Ideally, a dense blush/powder brush number 24, will help to concentrate the colour just on the apples. Step 3 Using circular motions, swirl the colour onto the newfound apples of your cheeks. You will notice the healthy breath of colour at the front of cheeks that doesn’t fall into the smile lines.

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M.A.C. Powder Blush in Pink Swoon

Jouer Mineral Powder Blush in Peony


Deluxe Skin Treatments Facials Body SPA Treatments Massage Slimming Reflexology Beauty Spa Hair Salon Nails Tanning Whitening Make up Tattoo Moroccan Bath Fitness Classes Gym

Contact us for a free consultation on 24601255 - 24694910

E.mail: hayati@mutrahoverseas.com Opening hours: Daily 10am to 8pm; Friday 2pm to 8pm

www.facebook.com/Hayati.Spa.Page


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purple pout How to nail dark purple lips

The easiest way to take your look from day to night is with a bold lip colour. And since purple reigns this season, why not switch up your signature red lip with a deep plum hue? It’s not only sensual, but its stunning wine-colored hue is sure to get you noticed instantly.

Exfoliate

To wear dark lip colours, you must have smooth, supple lips sans flaky skin. Start by exfoliating with a lip exfoliator using circular motions to slough away any dead skin. You may use E.L.F. Cosmetics Lip Exfoliator or any facial exfoliator.

Camouflage your true lip color with cover-up Layer concealer over your lips using a flat makeup brush to blank out any of your natural lip colour. That way your lip shade won’t conflict with the purple lip colour, leaving you with true pigment payoff.

Line your lips

This provides a barrier that’ll keep the purple lipstick from feathering or bleeding. We recommend M.A.C. Cosmetics Plum Lip Pencil.

Fill in your pout with the plum pencil

Colouring in your lips with the same purple lip pencil from step three gives the purple lipstick you’re about to apply something to adhere to. This helps to make the colour last longer on your lips.

Coat your lips in a deep wine-colored hue

Using a lip brush to get a precise application, apply a purple lipstick over your entire mouth. Try Bobbi Brown Lip Colour in Blackberry.

Lacquer-up your lips with a matching gloss Intensify your lip’s look with a gloss in the same shade as your lipstick.

Create symmetry and clean up any imperfections with concealer

Using the lip brush and concealer that you used in step two, perfect your application by cleaning up around the edges of your mouth, creating straight lines with cover-up.

Finally, pucker up and get ready to show off that pretty purple pout!

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Better than extensions

The eight best mascaras in the beauty world

Le Volume de Chanel Mascara This product has been out for a bit now, but its latest blue iteration is brand new, and trust us, you’re going to want a tube. Its royal hue helps brighten the whites of your eyes, cancelling out any redness, while lengthening the look of your lashes. USD30, chanel.com

Too Faced Mascara Inspired by the curves of a woman’s body, the hourglassshaped brush was designed with extra stiff bristles to maximise this carbon black, collagenfueled mascara’s results. You are probably wondering what to expect from this mascara; you get lashes that are curled, not clumped together, yet look super thick. USD23, sephora.com

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CoverGirl LashBlast Clump Crusher Mascara If you hate with a passion when clumps of mascara pile up on your lashes, then you might like this. This voluminous formula and its fine-toothedcomb brush head work in tandem to kick clumps to the curb. It’s a life changer because you can layer the mascara on a few times and still come out with zero bulky build-up. USD6, drugstore.com


Hypnôse Star 24H Waterproof ShowStopping Volume Mascara This mascara has many good features. The brush has two sides: a flat one, which helps build intense volume and a flared that helps comb through the lashes to give you that Kardashian ‘Wow Factor.’ The moisturising panthenol in it keeps the formula flexible on your lashes instead of stiff, which can lead to unsightly flakes come 4pm. It also stays on all day and all night because it’s waterproof. USD28, lancome-usa.com

Tarte Cosmetics Lights, Camera, Flashes Statement Mascara You can’t tell here but this brush head is two-toned and offers up major results. First, the short, dense, softflex bristles on the one side deliver just the right amount of mascara to coat each lash perfectly; then, the longer firma-flex bristles on the other side lengthen and separate for tons of volume sans clumps. USD23, tartecosmetics.com

Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100 per cent Natural Origin FakeOut Mascara If you don’t have the longest lashes in the room, you don’t have to worry. This formula is the first of its kind to have natural lash extension fibers that will give you that falsie look without any irritation. USD10, physiciansformula.com

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Colour equilibrium We give you a report of the colours of Spring 2014

Designers take a modern twist on the traditional for spring 2014 by pairing soft pastels with vivid brights to create a colorful equilibrium. Inspired by a mixture of blooming flowers, travels abroad and strong, confident women, designers use colour to refresh, revive and defy conventional wisdom. Three very adaptable pastels sit on the one end of the palette and, because we are so accustomed to seeing them as nature’s background, they can be creatively combined with any colour in the spectrum. Placid Blue, like a picture-perfect, tranquil and reassuring sky, induces a sense of peaceful calmness, while Violet Tulip, a romantic, vintage purple, evokes wistful nostalgia. Similar to the verdant shade of Springtime Foliage, Hemlock, a summery, Ornamental Green, provides a decorative touch that’s very different from the Greens of recent seasons. Pair any of these versatile pastels with a bolder hue for an au courant look. Sand, a lightly toasted and amiable neutral, conjures images of the beach and the carefree days of summer. Try pairing Sand with Hemlock for a perfect, natural balance. Paloma serves as a quintessential neutral, interesting enough to be worn alone or combined with any colour of sophisticated poise. Cayenne, a high-pitched red, adds a dash of spicy heat to neutrals and heightens the excitement when mixed with Freesia, a blazing yellow that is sure to illuminate wardrobes this season. A tropical, floral-inspired shade, Freesia’s warmth and energy help set the stage for Celocia Orange with Violet Tulip for a captivating vision, much like the setting summer sun. The pallete is brought full circle with Radiant Orchid, a bold counterpart to Violet Tulip, and Dazzling Blue, a scintillating, polar opposite to Placid Blue. These strong, vibrant colours pair well across the pallete. They are perfect companions to pastels, and add confidence and vivacity when mixed with other bold colours.

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Violet Tulip Placid Blue

Celosia Orange

Paloma

Hemlock

Sand

Freesia

Cayenne Radiant Orchid

Purple Haze

Comfrey

Dazzling Blue

Magenta Purple

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Paloma

We take a look at renowned designed who incorporated these colours into their Spring Summer 2014 collection.

BCBG Max Azria

Cool Chambrays and shades of pink feature prominently in the collection. Black and Cool Gret set the backdrop for colourful prints with a mixture of warm and cool tones such as Begonia Pink, Vine Green and Bright Yellow. Max’s pick for this season is a shirt-dress in Chambray Blue and White.

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Celosia Orange

Pamella Roland

Spring is a perfect opportunity to wear colour, especially after being covered up all winter. For spring 2014, the use of vibrant colours such as Flamingo, Candy Pink, Winter Sky, Peach Whip, Mellow Yellow and highlights of silver and gold. A must have according to Pamella is a Flamingo and Candy Pink t-shirt, perfect for any occasion.

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Violet Tulip

Tadashi Shoji

White being the most dominant colour this season, can be matched with any other colour of spring. It’s neutral and fresh. A must-have piece according to Tadashi is an ivory scalloped dress with a flared skirt. Other colours in Tadashi Shoji’s spring collection are Lavender and Frosted Jade.

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Cayenne

Tracy incorporated Cyan Blue into her Scarlet clothes. She believes that it’s classic and always works. Her collection is inspired from tribal cultures of Africa to the Caribbean and South America. Orchre mixed with all shades of Pink, from dusty to shocking. Her musthave for spring is a tropical slip dress in a moody Pink floral print.

Dazzling Blue

Tracy Reese

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What’s haute

Step out in style with these gorgeous picks of the Spring Summer 2014 collection

Filigree, Sergio Rossi

This is the heel to be in at any holiday gathering or a night on the town. Boasting open toe, black leather, adjustable buckle closure with this stunning gold and chromium butterfly embellishment.

Heavy metal, Zanotti This Giuseppe Zanotti sandal makes an unforgettable statement with a bevy of buckled straps. Boasting of open toe, black leather, silver hardware with ankle high shaft.

Vapour, Jimmy Choo These beauties are open-toed, matte and in metallic napa leather. They have faceted brass studs trim front.

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Tartufo, ZiGi Soho

Karin, Brian Atwood

Categorised as a ‘Shootie,’ the strappy silhouette is wrapped in a glossy nude patent while buckles work their way up the vamp.

Brian is still the King of the monster platform. This shoe has vibrant colours and artful details.

Antonio Berardi + Rupert Sanderson Apex Suede and PVC Sandals

Maitai, Jimmy Choo

Crafted in Italy, these black suede and clear PVC sandals feature a supportive adjustable ankle strap and beautiful crystal-embellished T-bar.

All elements are fused with perspex for a contemporary twist. We love the combination of red suede, silver and gold. Perfect for any occasion.

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Upbeat hair

A quick look at celebrities, that stunned us with their hair makeovers Pixie crop

Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence stunned at the premiere of the of ‘The Hunger Games’ trilogy, ‘Catching Fire.’ The leading lady showed off her choppy pixie cut at the film’s premiere in Berlin, Germany. The 23-year-old actress stole the spotlight with her modern and cool cropped hairdo. We think Jennifer Lawrence looks amazing. The pixie cut suites most faces but looks best on almond-shaped and round faces. It’s a trendy summer look.

Ombré blonde highlights Kim Kardashian

Last year was all about global, one-tone colours. This year, Kim Kardashian is giving blond hair a whirl. The new mom stepped out, with baby North West, sporting the flaxen hue. But instead of going all the way blonde, celebrity colourist George Papanikolas opted to leave her roots exposed, giving her hair a grown-out ombré effect. The new color is definitely a huge change for Kim. We must say that highlights are back this year.

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Short bob

Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer got about six inches cut off, which dramatically changed her appearance. The 44-year-old, looked cheerful as she showed off carefully groomed and chopped blonde locks in a selfie with her longtime hair stylist Chris McMillan. A spur-of-themoment decision, she said that she was just flipping through television channels and paused it to take a picture and sent it to Chris, her hair stylist.


Fresh hair

Spring is all about going natural, but will your hair survive the heat and humidity? Handle humidity

When a sudden humidity brings on the frizz, celebrity hairstylists suggest a surprising tip – hand cream. If you’re out and about and your hair is threatening to frizz, put on some hand lotion, then just run your hands through the ends of your hair, keeping away from the roots. The excess handcream will calm things down.

Perfectly poolside Ray of light

Not only is it enemy number one for skin, but the sun destroys hair, too. Sunlight will fade your colour and dehydrate your strands, so protection is a must. Look for a product that contains UV filters and is water-resistant if you’re swimming. Where possible, protect your hair with a hat or a fabulous headscarf. Wrap the scarf around your head, along the hairline, then tie it into a pretty knot at the back – instant glamour.

It might be cool, but the pool can wreak havoc on your hair. If you have chemical treatments done, whether it be colour, a perm, keratin treatments or a Brazillian blowout. Chlorine can kill your colour, turn your blonde green or bring your frizz back. The solution is adequate protection. Take a really good conditioning mask in your beach tote and slick it on your hair before you dive in, and again after you get out.

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Girl power

These gorgeous women are talented, and they are doing it all right

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ctress and television star Mila Kunis was born in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, in 1983. At the age of 7 she immigrated with her family to Los Angeles, where she began taking acting lessons. After appearing in several television commercials, Kunis landed a co-starring role in the Fox sitcom That '70s Show in 1998. She also did voice work for the cartoon series Family Guy. Kunis has since branched out into films. She's co-starred in Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008), Black Swan (2010), Friends with Benefits (2011) and Ted (2012). Mila Kunis was born Milena Kunis in the Ukrainian city of Chernivtsi on August 14, 1983. At the age of sevn, Kunis immigrated to the United States with her parents, Mark and Elvira, as well as her older brother, Michael, and eventually settled in Los Angeles. In an effort to help their young daughter meet other kids, Mark and Elvira Kunis enrolled Milena in a children's acting program at the Beverly Hills Studio. There, she met Susan Curtis, a talent manager, who took the reins of Kunis's career and soon landed the young actress in a number of high-profile TV commercials. In 1998, Kunis caught her first big break when, at 14, she landed the role of Jackie Burkhart in the new Fox sitcom That '70s Show. She was cast as a whiny, selfabsorbed rich girl, allowing her to perfect and showcase her comic timing. Her work on the program soon led her to Fox's Family Guy cartoon, where she supplied the voice for the character Meg Griffin. Following the end of That '70s Show in 2006, Kunis started taking on more film work. In 2008 she landed a breakout role as a hotel concierge named Rachel in the comedy hit Forgetting Sarah Marshall,

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In 1998, Kunis caught her first big break when, at 14, she landed the role of Jackie Burkhart in the new Fox sitcom That ‘70s Show which also starred Jason Segel and Russell Brand. Audiences and critics raved about her performance. More critical acclaim came her way for the 2010 thriller Black Swan, in which she co-starred with Natalie Portman. Her performance earned Kunis, who dropped a lot of weight and trained for seven weeks as a ballerina, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award nominations for best supporting actress. That same year, she teamed up with Denzel Washington in the post-apocalyptic Book of Eli. In 2011, Kunis was back giving audiences a laugh with the comedy Friends with Benefits, which paired the actress with Justin Timberlake. In 2012, she co-starred with Mark Wahlberg in another comedy film, Ted, directed by Seth MacFarlane, whom she's worked with for years on the set of Family Guy. Despite all of her success, Kunis, who didn't know a word of English when she first arrived in the United States, says she hasn't forgotten her roots. She lives in Los Angeles, not far from her parents, and when she visits, often speaks Russian with them.


Mila Kunis

The Ukrainian beauty

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B

orn in Spain in 1974, actress Penelope Cruz studied classical ballet at a young age and later moved to Hollywood, California, to pursue acting. She soon landed roles opposite the likes of Matt Damon and Tom Cruise. She won an Academy Award—becoming the first Spanish actress to do so—for her performance in the film Vicky Christina Barcelona. Cruz married her co-star, Spanish actor Javier Bardem, in 2010. When she was 15 years old, Cruz found her true vocation after beating out 300 other girls at a talent agency competition. Following this early success, she landed several roles as a dancer for music videos, as well as a gig hosting Spanish TV’s La Quinta Marcha. Additionally, Cruz explored her more sensual side in the French TV series Serie Rose. Penelope Cruz made her film debut in 1992, in the dark film Jamón Jamón. The film’s director, who had been unable to cast Cruz as the lead in another film because of her young age, waited until she was old enough for his next film. Her performance earned her nominations for both the Spanish Actors Union Newcomer Award and the Goya Award (Spain’s Academy Award) for best lead actress. A year later, Cruz played Luz in The Age of Beauty (1992). The film won an Oscar (best foreign language film), virtually swept the Goya Awards and earned Cruz the Spanish Actors Union Award for best supporting performance. With an impressive apprenticeship to the craft, Cruz earned her place in Spanish cinema as a leading lady. Her resumé continued to grow over the following few years, clocking up three or four films each year. In 1997, Cruz took the role of Isabel Plaza Caballero in Carne Tremula— marking the first time that she worked with internationally renowned director Pedro Almodóvar, who, in turn, became a lifelong friend, as well as her vehicle for global fame. Cruz garnered further critical recognition for her performance in the film. Two years later, in 1999, Cruz landed a

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Fully in command and on top of her career, she took on the role of a control freak and successful chef in Woman on Top, a 2000 release role in another film directed by Almodóvar, Todo Sobre Mi Madre, which went on to win Oscar and a BAFTA (best foreign language film) awards. With a series of well-respected movies under her belt, by this time, Cruz was in demand on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. At the age of 25, Cruz made the bold decision to move to Hollywood, California. Fully in command and on top of her career, she took on the role of a control freak and successful chef in Woman on Top (2000). That same year, she played the romantic lead in Billy Bob Thornton’s Western All the Pretty Horses. Both films garnered critical success. Returning to Spanish-language filmes, Cruz appeared in Bandidas (2006) with friend and co-star Salma Hayek. That same year, she starred in Volver, another Almodóvar film; the director had held the role specifically for Cruz, and her performance earned her an Academy Award nomination for best actress. A year later, Cruz won her first Academy Award (best actress in a supporting role) for the Woody Allen film Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008). Turning to comedy, Cruz had a role in 2010’s Sex in the City 2, starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon. In 2011, she reunited with Johnny Depp for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.


Penelope Cruz

The Spanish bombshell

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L

ady Gaga was born as Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta on March 28, 1986 in Yonkers, New York. She attended New York University’s Tisch School for the Arts but left to find creative expression. She wrote songs for other artists until being discovered by R&B singer Akon. Her debut album, The Fame, was a huge success, and the single ‘Poker Face’ topped charts in almost every category, in almost every country. Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta was born on March 28, 1986 in Yonkers, New York, to Cynthia and Joseph Germanotta. Germanotta, now known as Lady Gaga (she has attributed the inspiration for her name to the Queen song ‘Radio Ga-Ga’), went on to become an international pop star.

Gaga learned to play the piano by the age of 4. At the age of 11, she was accepted to the Juilliard School in Manhattan, but instead attended a private Catholic school in the city. She continued studying music and performing, writing her first piano ballad at the age of 13, and she held her first performance in a New York nightclub at the age of 14. A few years later, Gaga was granted early admission to New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts—she was one of only 20 students in the world to receive the honor of early acceptance. While there, she studied music and worked on her songwriting skills. She later withdrew from school to find creative inspiration. To make ends meet, she took three jobs, including a stint as a gogo dancer, while she honed her performance-art act. In 2005, Lady Gaga was briefly signed by Def Jam Records, but was dropped just months later. Being dropped by the label propelled the singer to perform on her own in clubs and venues on New York City’s Lower East Side. There, she collaborated with several rock bands, and began her experimentation with fashion.

In 2007, at the age of 20, Gaga began work at Interscope Records as a songwriter for other artists on the label, including Britney Spears, New Kids on the Block, and

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Lady Gaga’s debut single, ‘Just Dance,’ was released to radio in early 2008, and received both popular and commercial acclaim The Pussycat Dolls. R&B singer Akon discovered Gaga while she was performing a burlesque show that she created, called ‘Lady Gaga and the Starlight Revue.’ Impressed, Akon signed the performer to his label under the Interscope umbrella, Kon Live. Through 2007 and 2008, Gaga wrote and recorded her debut album, The Fame. The record was received positive reviews and popular success in the United States. With the help of her own creative team, ‘Haus of Gaga,’ the performer also began to make a name for herself internationally. Lady Gaga’s debut single, ‘Just Dance,’ was released to radio in early 2008, and received both popular and commercial acclaim. The song was then nominated for a Grammy Award (for best dance recording) in 2008. The song lost to Daft Punk’s ‘Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger,’ but this didn’t keep Gaga from reaching No. 1 on the mainstream pop charts. Later in 2008, Lady Gaga opened for the newly reformed New Kids on the Block. She also collaborated with the group on the song ‘Big Girl Now’ from New Kids on the Block’s album The Block. The following year, Gaga released an album of eight songs, The Fame Monster, followed by 2011’s Born This Way.


Lady Gaga

The glam rock star

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JEWELLERY & GEMS


Contemporary baubles All that glitters is, in fact, not always gold At the Spring 2014 runways, see the gilded and beyond with what’s colourful, crystalised, subtle or impactful.

Altuzarra

This statement necklace complements both white and black outfits.

Balmain

An avant-gard gold choker always goes well with street wear.

CĂŠline

Primary colours are back in a bold and chunky avatar.

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Chanel

The Chanel collection sported a burst of colourful resin bangles.

Christian Dior

This exclusive semiprecious stone encrusted necklace is perfect of a night out.

Dolce & Gabbana

D&G always goes overthe-top, like it did with this giant gold coin medallion.

Givenchy

Layering multi-coloured bangles goes stylishly with printed dresses.

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Rocha

Pearls never go out of fashion, but this modern take on pearls is trendy.

Saint Laurent

This glittery necklace is elegant, timeless and minimalist, great for overthe top dresses.

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Jean Paul Gaultier

Matching tribal inspired necklaces make outfits fun and unique.

Rodarte

Linked necklaces and bracelets are timeless and can be layered with other accessories.


Making waves

It's not all football in Brazil right now as these rising stars of the jewellery world shine This new year, it’s time to look to the New World for jewels. And where better to cast our winter-weary eyes than toward Brazil. For starters it’s hard to say ‘joia’, the Portuguese for jewel, without smiling. It just sounds happy. And looking at these jewels from some of Brazil’s top designers, you can’t deny that there is a life-enhancing exuberance about them.

Black Label pastel earrings, Carla Amorim

Blessed with gold and almost every precious gem under the sun – the country supplies 65 per cent of the world’s coloured gems Brazil embraces jewels and makes them like no one else. Years of a protectionist government with high tariffs on imported luxury goods meant that along with an uninhibited nation with a predisposition to adorn itself, the Brazilian jewellery industry flourished. Going well beyond the stereotype of big coloured stones and Carmen Miranda overkill, these jewellers are the ones to watch. Carla Amorim, an enterprising woman from the capital Brasilia, founded a jewellery brand with her sister 20 years ago that is

Sunlight earrings, Carla Amorim

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Fluid Diamonds and Chrysoprase ring, Fernando Jorge


Cheeky hoops, Fernando Jorge

now well-established and stocked in key department stores and online jewellery boutiques around the world. The influence of Brazil – its richness of natural resources and its culture – is evident in her work. Amorim’s latest designs pick up her favourite parts of Rio de Janeiro including the cable car or ‘Bondinho’ to the Sugarloaf mountain, and the twin peaks that loom over the city. The Pantone range of jewels is just what it promises to be: saturated colours bursting with life. The egg-yolk yellow calcite Sunlight earrings are almost bright enough to merit wearing SPF. Fernando Jorge may be living and working from London but this São Paulo native who studied at Central Saint Martins still brings a Brazilian sensuality to hard rocks and metal. Our favourite collection is Cheeky named for the nation’s obsession with beauty – particularly women in swimsuits

Orange and Gold statement earrings, Silvia Furmanovich

Colourful scalloped earrings, Silvia Furmanovich

swaying along the beach. Who else but a Brazilian could dream up such a tribute to beauty? Jorge’s jewels are fluid, slinky and desirable and just dying to be worn. Seeing Silvia Furmanovich jewels is like walking into the sunshine after the rain. Slick, glossy bright colours and rippling textures are alive with rain-slicked promise. Orange chalcedony fan earrings look like fine slices of ripe mango held up against the light while a humble, blushing-pink cockle shell paired with a majestic emerald gives new life to both materials in a bracelet. From a family of jewellers the spontaneous eye-grabbing tropical joy of her pieces belies complex carving, gem-setting and construction techniques, for barefoot luxury at its finest.

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Perfect setting Jewellery can say a lot about a person, and knowing what your jewellery says about you is vital In a business setting, less is usually more. Large, dangling earrings may catch the light just the way you like it, but they can be very distracting during conversations. If your position in your company is a power position, getting matching jewellery can increase a persona all that much more. Sleek, stylish, simple designs are preferable. In essence, you want a person to notice the necklace, watch, or ring for being unique, but not for being ostentatious or flamboyant. If you are having a hard time deciding whether an item is appropriate or not, wear it around in a casual setting and take note of how many comments you get on it and what people say. If you still aren’t sure, your best bet is to go with something that you are more confident is appropriate.

The Sylvia Ring Diamond ring in 18kt yellow gold

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The Niamh Ring for her

Diamond ring in 18kt yellow gold

The Juhi Bangle

Diamond bangle in 18kt yellow gold

The Isis Earrings

Diamond earring in 18kt yellow gold


The Aasna Bangle

Diamond bangle in 18kt white gold

The Arian Earrings

Diamond earring in 18kt yellow gold

In a casual setting, jewellery rules are much more lax, but the type of jewellery you wear will still send an impression. Feel free to express yourself in your choice of styles, but be aware that others are still subconsciously evaluating you.

The Kiana Pendant

Diamond pendant in 18kt white gold

For instance, at a party with either an influential co-worker or when going on a blind date, style is welcome to visually tell your story to your companions, but be conscientious. If opinions don’t matter in the least for your particular event, go for it! jewellery is designed to sparkle and grab attention, so don’t be afraid to go 100 per cent.

The Bellona Earrings

Diamond earring in 18kt white gold

The Simara Bangle

Diamond bangle in 18kt yellow gold

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BODY & MIND


At-home spa

Treat your achy muscles and stressed-out skin at home with these blissful do-it-yourself tricks Find ‘mist’ opportunities

Go from dry to dewy in a spritz. Floral and herbal waters hydrate skin and keep it glowing. Try a premade version or make your own: Add 1/6 cup dried lavender and 1/2 teaspoon dried sage to one cup boiling water. Remove from heat, add 25 rose petals (one large flower), and steep for two hours. Drain the mixture through a coffee filter, then refrigerate in a spray bottle.

Float away stress

Taking a bath before hitting the sack can help you snooze better, notes a study in the journal Sleep. Add a few drops of bath oil or a moisturising fizzy ball. For a more organic feel, toss in flower heads, such as those from roses and dahlias, and lime slices (as many as you like) while the tub is filling. The oils of the buds moisturise skin, and the vitamin C-rich fruit acts as an astringent.

Rub off wrinkles

A face massage not only feels fab, but it also relaxes muscle tension, smoothing away lines and increases luminosity. To do, apply a thin layer of lotion to your face, place your palms against your cheeks, and rub in fast up-and-down motions. Repeat along your forehead. Next, use your index and middle fingers to make small circular motions against the sides of your nose and around your mouth. Finally, press down on the area just under your brows and above the bridge of your nose for three seconds.

Sip super water

Get your eight glasses a day the spa way by adding five mint leaves and 10 thin cucumber slices to a pitcher of water, suggests Pam Ouellet, spa director of the Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Banff Springs in Alberta, Canada. Mint oil helps flush away complexion-dulling toxins, and vitamins A and C in cukes keep skin healthy.

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Paint one on

Use an artist's fan brush, not your fingers, to apply a face mask. The bristles lightly exfoliate, helping the mask's ingredients penetrate deeper. Mash half a banana and combine it with one tablespoon each orange juice and honey. Apply and rinse after 15 minutes.

Treat your feet

Fill a basin halfway with warm water, then add a few river rocks. Press your soles down on them, or use one to knead away pain caused by running. Afterward, paint your toes a deep blue, green, or lavender. These spa colors project feelings of calm.

Smooth it over

Body scrubs are a popular spa treatment, leaving skin silky. Achieve similar effects in the shower by wearing buffing mitts. Rub skin in circular motions, starting at the bottoms of your legs and moving up to your waist, then repeat from your wrists to your shoulders. Make clockwise circles around your tummy, and brush upward from your chest to your neck.

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Jumpstart fitness

Ready to get strong and slim? Use these tips to lose weight and look great in no time Police your portions

Curb your sweet tooth

Stock up on these

If your meal takes up more than half your plate, think about cutting your serving in half. That’s because it’s best to try and fill half your plate with veggies or a mixture of veggies and fresh fruit, so that it’s harder to overdo it on the more caloric dishes.

If you’ve got a late-night sugar craving that just won’t quit, satisfy your sweet tooth without pushing yourself over the calorie edge, even in the late night hours, think ‘fruit first.’ So resist that chocolate cake siren, and instead enjoy a sliced apple with a tablespoon of nut butter (like peanut or almond) or fresh fig halves spread with ricotta. Then sleep sweet, knowing you’re still on the right, healthy track.

While there are heaps of good-for-you foods out there, some key ingredients make it a lot easier to meet your weight-loss goals. Next grocery store run, be sure to place the top three diet-friendly items in your cart: balsamic vinegar (it adds a pop of low-calorie flavor to veggies and salads), in-shell nuts (their protein and fiber keep you satiated), and fat-free plain yogurt (a creamy, comforting source of protein). Plus, Greek yogurt also works wonders as a natural low-calorie base for dressings and dips.

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Pick your perfect tunes Running with music is a great way to get in a groove. To pick the ultimate iPod playlist, think about what gets you going. Several elite athletes that listen to what we’d consider ‘relaxing’ music, such as symphony music, while they do a hard workout. So don’t feel like you have to download Lady Gaga because her tunes are supposed to pump you up. Go with any music that you find uplifting.

Relieve those achy muscles After a grueling workout, there’s a good chance you’re going to be feeling it. We’re talking sore thighs, tight calves. Relieve post-fitness aches by submerging your lower body in a cold bath for 10 to 15 minutes. Many top athletes use this trick to help reduce soreness after training sessions. An athlete training for an important race should consider getting one to two massages per month to help aid in training recovery.

Find the best fitness friend A workout buddy is hugely helpful for keeping motivated, but it’s important to find someone who will inspire—not discourage. So make a list of all your exercise-loving friends, then see who fits this criteria. And last, your fitness friend has to be able to keep up with you or even push your limits in key workouts. If you’ve got someone that fits all three, make that phone call.

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Supercharged slim-down

Diet doesn’t have to be that kind of four-letter word. Ours lets you eat five times a day, which means you’ll feel satisfied, not starving

E

very meal and snack contains at least one energyboosting super food; you’ll have more than enough get-up-andgo for your workouts. Follow the plan and do the moves and you’ll drop 5kgs this month. Except for a celebratory ‘Oh yes!’ there will be no complains as you slide into your skinny jeans.

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Breakfast Each recipe clocks in around 300 calories. Get your morning started the right way.

Banana-Walnut Pancakes Combine one-third cup just-add-water wholegrain pancake mix and one-third cup water; stir in half banana, diced, and five chopped walnut halves. Mist a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Spoon batter into a skillet to make two pancakes. Cook for two minutes on each side, or until golden. Top with two tablespoons two percent plain Greek yogurt, two teaspoons maple syrup,

and one-eight teaspoon cinnamon.

poached egg; season with salt and pepper.

Mango-Oat Smoothie

Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

In a blender, puree one cup water, one 6-ounce container two per cent plain Greek yogurt, half cup fresh or frozen mango chunks, half cup fresh or frozen sliced strawberries, half cup chopped kale leaves, and one-third cup rolled oats until smooth.

Stir together half-cup warm cooked quinoa, half cup chopped pear, and two teaspoons honey or agave nectar. Sprinkle with two tablespoons sunflower seeds and one-forth teaspoon cinnamon.

Avocado Eggs Benedict Mash together one-third avocado, juice from half lemon, and one-eight teaspoon dried dill. Top half toasted whole-grain English muffin with avocado mixture, one tomato slice, one slice warmed Canadian bacon, and one

Kale-and-Egg Breakfast Wrap Mist a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Saute one-forth cup chopped onion and one cup thinly sliced kale leaves for four minutes. Beat one egg with one-eight teaspoon red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt and pepper and pour over kale; scramble until eggs are set. Spoon egg mixture into center of a warmed 8-inch whole-grain tortilla. Top with two sliced cherry tomatoes and one tablespoon crumbled goat cheese and fold like a burrito.

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Lunch Avoid a midday slump with these lunches. Each meal is about 400 calories.

Kale Grilled Cheese Mist a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Saute half teaspoon minced garlic, one chopped artichoke heart, and one cup thinly sliced kale leaves for four minutes, or until kale wilts. Top each of two slices sprouted whole-grain bread with one slice two percent cheddar and divide kale mixture between the two. Mist same skillet with cooking spray, heat over medium heat, add bread and cook for three minutes, or until cheese melts and underside is golden. Press slices together to make a sandwich and serve with 14 baby carrots and one-

tablespoon hummus.

Shrimp Tacos with Avocado Dressing In a nonstick skillet, heat one-teaspoon coconut or canola oil and one-eight teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes over medium heat. Add six peeled and deveined large shrimp and saute for two to three minutes, or until opaque. Mash together one-third avocado, juice of one lime, and one-forth cup chopped cilantro; season with salt and pepper. Divide shrimp, half-cup broccoli slaw, and avocado dressing between two warmed corn tortillas. Serve with half mango, cubed.

Edamame Sushi Bowl Whisk together two teaspoons reduced-sodium

soy sauce, one-teaspoon honey, one-teaspoon rice wine vinegar and one-forth teaspoon minced ginger. Arrange half cup warm cooked brown rice, half cup warm shelled edamame, half cup shredded carrots, half cup cucumber slices cut into matchsticks, and one-third avocado, diced, in a bowl. Top with soy sauce mixture and one sheet toasted nori seaweed cut into one-forth-inch strips.

Chickpea-WalnutStuffed Pita Combine one-third cup two percent plain Greek yogurt, one-third cup grated English cucumber, two teaspoons fresh lemon juice, and one teaspoon dried dill; season with salt and pepper. Toss together one cup chopped romaine lettuce, one-third cup rinsed and drained canned chickpeas, two tablespoons finely diced red onion, and two tablespoons chopped walnuts. Cut a whole-grain pita in half; fill each half with salad mixture and top with yogurt sauce.

Chicken, Feta Strawberry Salad Whisk together one tablespoon two percent plain Greek yogurt, one teaspoon Dijon mustard, one-teaspoon honey, and one-teaspoon fresh lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Toss together three cups baby spinach, three ounces sliced grilled chicken breast, one cup sliced strawberries, two tablespoons sunflower seeds, one tablespoon crumbled feta, and yogurt dressing until well combined.

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Dinner Ace your evening meal with these 500-calorie recipes.

Kale Caesar Chicken Salad Whisk together two tablespoons of two per cent plain Greek yogurt, 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar, one-forth teaspoon minced garlic, one-forth teaspoon Dijon mustard, and one-forth teaspoon Worcestershire sauce. Toss together three cups thinly sliced kale leaves, two tablespoons shredded Parmesan, three ounces sliced grilled chicken breast, and yogurt dressing. Top with one toasted whole-grain pita torn into small pieces.

Peanutty Soba Edamame Noodles

Cook two ounces soba noodles according to package directions. Heat oneteaspoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add one-forth cup red bell pepper strips, half cup thinly sliced carrot, half cup broccoli florets, and one-forth cup shelled frozen edamame and cook for six minutes, or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Whisk together one and a half tablespoons smooth natural peanut butter, one and a half tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Toss together noodles, vegetables, and peanut butter mixture. Garnish with half-teaspoon sesame seeds.

Turkey Chili Fries Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mist a baking sheet with cooking spray. Cut one medium potato into half-inch-thick strips, arrange in a single layer

on baking sheet, mist with cooking spray and bake for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. In a skillet over medium heat, cook four ounces 99 per cent fat-free ground turkey, one tablespoon taco seasoning, and two tablespoons water for four minutes, or until turkey is cooked through, breaking up chunks with a wooden spoon. Add half cup diced green bell pepper and one-forth cup rinsed and drained canned kidney beans and saute for four minutes more. Top potatoes with turkey mixture; oneforth cup shredded cheddar; half cup diced tomato; half green onion, thinly sliced; and two tablespoons two per cent plain Greek yogurt.

Walnut Tilapia, Green Beans Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place five ounces of tilapia on a foil-lined baking sheet. Spread two teaspoons honey Dijon mustard over fish and press one tablespoon finely chopped walnuts into mustard. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Meanwhile, toss three-

forth cup warm cooked barley with one teaspoon apple cider vinegar, one tablespoon dried cranberries, and half green onion, thinly sliced. Heat two teaspoons olive oil and one teaspoon minced garlic in a skillet over medium heat. Add one cup green beans and saute for six minutes, or until crisp-tender; season with salt and pepper.

Apricot beef with Vegetables Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mist a baking sheet with cooking spray; arrange one cup quartered brussels sprouts and one cup quartered fingerling potatoes in a single layer on sheet. Mist with cooking spray, season with salt and pepper, and bake for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add four ounces lean beef tenderloin and cook for three to four minutes a side, or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Coat meat with an apricot and balsamic vinegar mixture and cook for two minutes more.

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HOMES & DÉCOR


Creative living

Uncommongoods.com ships to Oman and we’ve featured the products we can’t wait to order Aqua Farm

RO25 The double-decker combination of garden and fish bowl creates a symbiotic ecosystem. In the top tray, basil, mint, spinach, baby greens, and other edible or decorative plants thrive as nutrient-rich water is circulated past their roots. That process purifies the water, which is then sent back to the 3-gallon tank below, creating a happy, healthy habitat for a Betta fish.

Cat Tao Glasses

RO15 Cat lovers will reach owner-enlightenment with these four-sided glasses featuring yin and yang images exploring feline duality. Corresponding cat wisdom floats near each good and bad kitty portrait, while the secret of true harmony. “The Tao of Cat is to do your thing and leave the kitty alone” runs along the side of each glass.

Barbeque Briefcase

RO34 Fire up a feast with this portable, grill-side case of 20 stainless steel utensils topped with heat-resistant handles. Perfect for the on-thego grill master, this traveling case transforms day trips, parks and backyards with its fully-equipped set of flame-retardant cooking tools. Whether you’re flipping kababs or charring fresh corn, you’ll always have the right tool for the job. It’s outdoor entertaining in a two snaps of its case.

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Deep Sea Sand Art

Man Candle

RO35 Ever changing, this sand art is an awesome microcosm of natural elements and landscapes. Simply rotate the glass ring and marvel as the delicate light and dark sands shift into deserts, mountains, clouds, rain, oceans and smoke, all ebbing and flowing into one another. There is an eternal and yet fleeting quality about this interactive art, and the sparkling sand will mesmerise as it becomes a tiny primordial universe.

RO6 A young entrepreneur combined his passion for helping his community with his interest in making a bolder breed of candle by donating to local soup kitchens. Hart and his family collaborate with local chandlers to craft soy-wax-blend candles that possess the kinds of familiar aromas that no man (or woman) would turn their nose up at. Hart’s current lineup includes natural, nostalgic and savory scents. Each comes individually packed in a gift box.

Algate Coasters

Shower Squids

RO26 Formed when silica-laden groundwater passes through air pockets in cooling lava, agate is an exceptionally unique mineral that was once thought to protect its owners from danger and even produce delightful dreams. These sets are made in the USA with agate from southern Brazil, and while they may not bring you any dreams, they will bring beautiful nature and warmth.

RO15 Go 20,000 leagues under the shower with this friendly squid, equipped with nine, adjustable tentacles for gripping your shampoo, soap and washing extras, without disappearing into the bathroom void. Wildly convenient and made of natural latex, this functional creature even holds your bottles upside down, so you conquer every last drop.

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Playable Art Cube

RO8 Unpack some inspiration and good vibes as you arrange these interconnected wooden blocks into sculptural works of your own imagining. There may be only one way to assemble these twelve, colorful wood slices into a cube, but the goal is to explore and define your own structures as you soothe away the stress. Feel free to build out of the box, even a random configuration adds intrigue to your desk or coffee table and can look inspiring and elegant.

Garlic Rocker

RO6 This elegant device makes cooking with fresh garlic an effortless and robust experience. Press the tool down with a rocking motion and the design’s natural leverage crushes garlic instantly. Pushed up through the mesh of holes, the garlic is held in the upper basin of the tool, ready to be scraped into your pan. Stainless steel has natural odor fighting properties, so cleaning the tool actually helps remove any residual garlic odour from your hands.

Liquid Glass Thinking Putty Press And Measure Herb Infuser

RO8 Add a refreshing touch of cilantro to your salad dressing, a hint of basil to pasta sauces, or an unexpected taste of rosemary to your seafood dishes. Essential for quantity-conscious diners and flavorobsessed gourmets, this glass bottle infuses essences from your own herb garden into your favorite olive oils. When the fresh flavours are blended, press the button and measure.

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RO6 A cooler version of the goop you grew up with, this translucent thinking putty outperforms juvenile paste with a consistency that’s springier, less sticky and more fun to knead. Roll this handful into a rubber ball (did we mention it bounces?), temporary sculpture or into a desktop game. It’s easy to tear, fuse and bounce into shape. It also melts back tidily.


Lumen Led Shadow Projectors

Rok Espresso Maker

RO83 Just because you’re at your desk or even camping doesn’t mean you should go without your morning cup. Enjoy freshly brewed espresso without electricity using this innovative espresso maker, powered by you and nothing else. Pack your favorite grounds into the metal filter, fill the water chamber with water fresh off the boil, and press down the arms to release a hot, aromatic brew, complete with the crema on top.

RO28 A new, LED-illuminated variation on Brooklynbased artist Adam Frank’s original Lumen Oil Candle Shadow Projectors, this batterypowered flameless candle casts an enchanting shadow from a tiny, stainless steel pine tree. The shadow’s intensity and size will be affected by additional light in the room – the darker the room, the more dramatic the results. The Lumen’s built-in LED light source is both long-lasting and energy-efficient while a single set of batteries will last for approximately six months of daily use.

Unzipped Glass Zipper Bag

RO7 A temporary item becomes a functional and contemporary art piece in this glass homage to the zippered bag. Perfect for holding just about everything - just like its disposable muse. Hand blown in China.

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Summer drama

Transform your home instantly with these easy yet helpful tips To embrace the blissful, mellow season of summer, one must sweep through their home, gather up winter's rich, intricate layers and replacing them with light and breezy accents that let the rooms breathe. Giving your home a summer makeover can be as simple as weaving in a few key pieces of seasonal decor. Here are some ideas:

Live plants lend energy

We love what live houseplants do for the home in the summer. They refresh each room, bringing in new energy. All you need to do when decorating with houseplants is to add them to an existing display or create a simple summer arrangement that combines a plant with a few summer accents. You'll be amazed by how poking in a plant will amp up the impact of a display. Consider adding a few pots of ivy to take a tables cape to the next level. It's extremely easy to create.

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For example, you may place a silver candelabra in the center of a miniature concrete birdbath and rest a wire globe over it. With the structure of the centerpiece in place, fill in the perimeter with pots of ivy. With its winding and twisting vines reaching out in all directions, the ivy centerpiece looks more exotic. Maidenhair ferns work great when decorating for summer. We’re smitten by their lacy, romantic fronds, a great contrast to the sleek, modern styling of the white pottery used in lots of summer displays. Start with a base, like a light, bright mirrored tray. Bring in dramatic height using a few taller pieces, like inexpensive but fetching pottery. Tuck a potted plant in the middle ground. Then, finish with a few interesting


details, like a stack of books, plates and beverage service. In the summer, you can tuck plants into likely and unlikely spots throughout my home. You must always have something live on your windowsills, like a line of three small African violets in cute cachepots. Place palms on the center table in my living room and on a pedestal next to the stairway entry. In addition to putting a Boston fern on the marble-top table in your dining room, feature potted succulents at the center of your dining table. All these plants will look amazing and fresh and fun -- until you forget to water them.

Pretty pillows perk up upholstered furnishings It’s important to have as many accent pillows in different sizes.I actually have fewer than it appears. Here's a secret to getting twice the mileage from your pillows: Keep two sets of pillow covers made -- one for the warm months, one for the cold months. When the seasons change, unzip the pillow covers and replace them with the other set. Presto! Your living room will look as if it's redecorated for the season just by

changing out the accent pillows. You won't believe what a difference just swapping out your pillows will make. You can bring it to life with accent pillows. Mix up pillows covered in tangerine, lemon yellow, apple green and hot pink. Mix up patterns that weave in these perennial favorites, like blue ticking trimmed in a red flange. Others like to float away on a summer dream, picking washed linens and the softest cottons in a delicate bouquet of creamy pastels.

Wicker, bamboo bring in beauty of nature When you’re reworking the decor for summer, replace your formal serving pieces, like silver trays, with informal pieces made from natural materials, like wicker and bamboo. We like how the irregular, organic textures and lines bring the unpredictable beauty of nature into a home. For a quick summer remake, lighten up an existing display by tucking in something that celebrates nature. Maybe it's setting your table with wicker chargers. When

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decorating your mantel for summer, weave in a few natural pieces.

Add interesting touches with new summer accents Rustic metal trays add a charming country feel to summer displays. You could use them to showcase pots of fern, a cluster of vases filled with hydrangeas or a hurricane displaying seashells from your vacation. Nothing says summer like an old-fashioned picnic basket packed

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with bright summer dishes. It's great to have ribbon on hand to hang a wreath on your door or suspend glass votive holders from trees and bushes in your garden. Old-fashioned Mason jars look adorable holding treasures like rocks and sea shells from your family outdoor trip. Get creative as you enjoy a fresher, cleaner look in your home this summer.


cut clutter

Declutter your home and get organised with our best tips and tricks

An organised home is about more than having places to put everything. It's about having a strategy, too, and it's easier than you think. Keep these three things in mind.

Declutter

Jumbled piles of stuff, without any logic to their arrangement, are the first roadblocks to an organised home. But conquering the clutter is easy. Adapt these simple principles for deciding what can stay and what can go.

Organise

After you’ve cleared out what you don’t need, the next step is deciding what to do with what remains. The key to this step is not simply putting things away, but deciding how those things should be stored so the flow is logical and you can find what you’re looking for.

Store

Finally, once the clutter is cleared and items are organised, it’s time to find homes for everything. How you store items should be conducive to each item itself, as well as make sense for how you use the item and where you use it. Baskets, containers, labels, and shelves are keys to success for this step.

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Sunlit bathrooms

We ask rather a lot from our bathrooms; after all, what other rooms do we demand so much?

We want our bathrooms to perform at peak levels of efficiency and reliability, the instant we want to use them, and yet we also want comfortable, relaxing environments, in which we can enjoy spending time and relaxing. It’s a curious balance, and one that hasn’t always been achievable in the past, but with bathroom designers and suppliers now creating more diverse and varied products than ever before, as well as utilising constantly improved and refined manufacturing processes and materials, the ideal, multifunctional bathroom is now more easily attainable than we might have thought possible just a few years ago. With regards to better quality materials and improvements in manufacturing processes, there have been a huge number of subtle changes to just about every fixture and fitting of the modern bathroom, all of which have resulted in enhanced performance and durability. For example, wooden bathroom furniture which is delivered pre-treated with a moisture-resistant coating, in order to

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better withstand the steam-filled rigours of daily bathroom life, is becoming the industry standard. As is the use of ceramic disc technology in taps and mixers, allowing for greater control of water temperature flow rate. The freestanding, roll-top bath, the epitome of luxurious bathing, will now usually be manufactured from high quality acrylic and stone resin, making it easier to clean, more scratch and stain resistant and better at retaining heat than its predecessors, without comprising at all where style and comfort are concerned. Enhanced safety features have also gone a long way to improving daily bathroom use. Not only will soft-close doors and drawers in your bathroom furniture, and soft-close toilet seats, eradicate disturbing accidental slams, but it will eradicate the risk of trapped fingers if you’re a family with young children. Other child-friendly safety improvements include thermostatic controllers which only allow water to be heated to a certain temperature, so as


to avoid any accidental scalding. Then we come to more common efficiencies that are becoming standards fixtures of any new bathroom suite. 60 per cent of domestic water consumption takes place in the bathroom, so more efficient fittings reduce not only our impact

on the environment, but our utility bills as well. Dual flush toilets, ceramic disc technology and reduced capacity cisterns are all simple and achievable ways to reduce water consumption, and yet none of these advances require any compromise on aesthetics.

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Bed guide

With these helpful tips find the perfect bed for your bedroom

A bed is one of the biggest purchases that we make for our homes. We also know that we spend a third of our lives in it, so it definitely pays to weigh up all the options and find the perfect design. From classic divans and French-style bedsteads to lift-ups and truckles, the possibilities are endless. Start by establishing which style you’d like to create and how it will work with your scheme. If you long for clutterfree simplicity, a bed with hidden drawers is sure to appeal, whereas if drama and making a big impression is your intention, go for a bold leather bed or an intricately shaped metal bedstead for the wow factor. When it comes to sizes, in general, you should invest in the biggest bed that you can afford for the space you have. While a double may be the obvious choice, a king-size gives couples a bit more room to relax and stretch out during sleep. So whether you’re looking for a storage solution, a style statement, or you need a great design for your child, our guide has it covered.

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Top tip

Check dimensions before you buy to make sure there’s room for you to lie down comfortably

Types of bed Bedsteads

Storage beds

Sofa beds

Divans

Folding beds

Cabin beds

Tend to create a more decorative look. A sprung slat bedstead will provide more cushioned support than solid slats.

Act as a base for your mattress and either have a solid top or springs to allow the mattress to adapt to your body. Many designs have drawers.

Choose from beds that feature built-in drawers or lift-up designs that have a large storage area underneath.

Provide flexible solutions for when guests come to stay and can be folded out of the way when not in use.

Multi-purpose products that double up for sleeping and seating. Ideal for living spaces and guest rooms.

Great for children who share a room, many cabin and bunk bed units can be split into single beds and include integrated desk units.

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Happy hues

It’s time to stop with the boring white. We list the six best paint colours that work If you’ve lived with white walls for a bit too long, yet kind of panic when presented with paint colour choices, we know that you’re not suddenly going to go for dramatic black walls. That’s why we’ve rounded up some no-fail paint colours that can fit in any home no matter what style. These hues may be on the safe side, but they’re a great step towards more colourful living. It’s almost off-white, not grey or cold, neither boring beige. It’s a great colour for someone who is scared of real colour.

Try it in

The kitchen

Blue is a crowdpleaser, the go-to choice when someone wants to try real colour. This soft blue has slight hints of gray, which lends sophisticated appeal. It especially works for small spaces.

Try it in

s and Bedroom ha llways

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Gray is timeless, but can often skew too cold. This version has warmer undertones, which create a cozier feeling. It also makes for a great backdrop for art or framed photographs.

Try it in

ms and Living roo offices home

Sage green hues are perennially popular because they work like a neutral while still adding a little color to a space. They also come across as soothing. This particular shade has a touch more green without going muddy.

Try it in

s and Bedroom ms d ining roo

Try it in

A sma ll bathrooM

A golden apricot flatters every skin tone. It instantly brightens the mood of the room. The key trick is to add this burst of colour to tiny areas of the house. For example, it illuminates the bottom of a staircase or one wall of a small bathroom.

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TOURS & TRAVEL


Big adventures

The wonders of South America set the stage for an incredible holiday South America From the snow-capped peaks of the Andes to the undulating waterways of the Amazon, South America spreads a dazzling array of natural wonders. This is a continent of lush rainforests, towering volcanoes, misty cloud forests, bone-dry deserts, red-rock canyons, ice-blue glaciers and sunkissed beaches. As landscapes go, there aren’t many other places on earth that offer so much range – or so many opportunities for adventure. You can hike past ancient temples first laid down by the Incas, contemplate the awe-inspiring power of Iguazú Falls or spend the day watching wildlife from a dugout canoe on one of the Amazon’s countless igarapés (narrow waterways). You can barrel down Andean roads by mountain bike, go white-water rafting on class-five rivers and surf amazing breaks off both coasts. And once you think you’ve experienced it all, head to the dramatic landscapes in Tierra del Fuego, go eye-to-eye with extraordinary creatures in the Galápagos, and scramble up tableland mountains in the Gran Sabana for a panorama that seems straight out of the Mesozoic era.

Cultural Treasures South America’s great diversity doesn’t end with geography. Across the continent you’ll find magnificent colonial towns where cobblestone streets lead past gilded churches and stately plazas – a scene little changed since the 18th century. Elsewhere, you can haggle over colorful textiles at indigenous markets, share meals with traditional dwellers of the rainforest and follow the pounding rhythms laid down by AfroBrazilian drums corps. South America is home to an astounding variety of living and ancient cultures, and experiencing it all first-hand is as easy as showing up.

La Vida Musical Welcome to one of the world’s great music destinations. Colombian salsa, 68

Brazilian samba, Argentine tango and Andean folk music all receive airtime across the globe, but nothing quite compares to hearing those rhythms in the place where they were born. Sultry milongas (tango clubs) in Buenos Aires, simmering garrafeiras (dance halls) in Rio, salsotecas (salsa clubs) in Quito – all great places to chase the heart of Saturday night. Yet this is only the beginning of a great musical odyssey that encompasses poetic Peruvian trovas, soulful Ecuadorian passillos, fast-stepping Brazilian forró, whirling Venezuelan merengue, steel-pan Guyanese drumming, Paraguayan harp music and scores of other regional styles. The best way to experience it is to simply plunge in – though you might want to take a dance class along the way!


Iguaรงu Falls, Paranรก The falls are divided between Brazil and Argentina. The best time to visit is between August and November.

Machu Picchu, Peru For many visitors to Peru and even South America, a visit to the Inca city of Machu Picchu is the long-anticipated highpoint of their trip.

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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

A mountain view of the goegeous and bustling city

Stairway Selaron

It’s world-famous work of Chilean artist Jorge Selaron who declared it as “my tribute to the Brazilian people.” Photo by Catarina Belova / Shutterstock.com

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Christ the Redeemer statue on the top of a mountain, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Cordiliera Huayhuash, Peru

Trek through the mountains. A view of the landscape in Cordiliera Huayhuash, Peru, South America.

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The escapist

These getaways not only make you feel small, they’ll revive your senses

Rub’ al-Khali (Empty Quarter), Oman

If the Inuit really have a blizzard of words for snow, the Bedu of Arabia must have likewise for sand, so utterly is their world consumed and ruled by it. Smothering a fifth of the Arabian peninsula, the Rub’ al-Khali (‘quarter of emptiness’) is the largest sand sea in the world. Its ripples – tinged red-orange by abundant feldspar – carpet more than 580,000 sq km of Oman, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Stand atop a dune, with nowt but the most perfect of deserts visible in every direction, and you’ll feel as microscopic as one of those many grains of sand. One of the easiest ways to access the Empty Quarter is by guided expedition from Salalah, Southern Oman.

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Daintree Rainforent, Cape Tribulation, Australia Take a day trip from Cairns along one of Australia’s most scenic coastal roads to Daintree National Park. Along the way you’ll visit Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas. Walk through Mossman George National Park, take a cruise on the Daintree River then explore Cape Tribulation on a guided rainforest walk. After pickup from your Cairns, Northern Beaches or Port Douglas accommodation travel by comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle north along one of the most scenic coastal roads in Australia towards the World Heritage Listed Cape Tribulation and Daintree National Parks. Your first stop

is Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas for the opportunity to see rare and endangered species of native Australian wildlife close-up, including cassowaries and treekangaroos, as well as crocodiles, koalas and a huge variety of native birds. Continue north along the Captain Cook Highway to the majestic Mossman Gorge National Park, Your guide will enlighten you to the secrets of the rainforest with informative interpretation of the rainforest, its foods, its medicines and history during your guided walk Then enjoy a spectacular drive over the rainforest clad mountains.

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Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Wrapped around a small bay with postcard-worthy snugness, Ocho Rios is a former fishing village that the Jamaica Tourist Board earmarked for tourism in the 1960s and developed in the mid-1980s. With Main St lined with shopping plazas, craft markets and fast-food emporiums, its appeal is not immediately obvious to the more adventurous traveler, but others welcome this ‘Jamaica Lite’ – the opportunity to experience the country without straying too far from the comforts and conveniences of home. The frequent docking of cruise ships at the central pier that commands the town’s focus gives ‘Ochi’ a

decidedly ‘packaged’ feel, spiced up by the incessant entreaties of ‘guides’ and souvenir sellers. However, it has also endowed the town with an international eating scene and two distinct kinds of nightlife: rough-andready dancehall clubs and beach soundsystems versus karaoke nights and all-you-can-drink swimwear parties. The choice is yours. Those who come to Ochi expecting peace and solitude are likely to be disappointed, but the town makes an excellent base for active, solvent travelers who wish to explore the scenic north coast and to partake in slick, well-managed adventures.

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Honeymoon destinations This is the time to shoot for the moon: travel and bring home a lifetime’s worth of memories

Cappadocia, Turkey

The fairy chimneys of Cappadocia are spectacularly peculiar, a sight that needs to be shared. The region offers plenty of opportunities to explore on foot or by car, but the best way is to wake up before dawn for a balloon ride over the jagged landscape and fantastic dwellings. Post-afternoon-nap, climb the stairs up to Uchisar Castle to watch the sunset from the top of the area’s tallest fairy chimney, where Cappadocia mingles with the clouds and everything from Mt Erciyes to the Pigeon Valley is in view. Stay at Argos in Cappadocia, a former monastery that’s been turned into the sweetest and chicest cave hotel in the area. 76


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Andalucía, Spain

Few things are dreamier than an alfresco lunch under the sunny skies at the olive orchards of southern Spain. Think jamón ibérico, olives, manchego cheese and local Jerez sherry on a handwoven blanket, followed by a languorous siesta. The wild mountains outside Seville provide the perfect setting for idyllic, isolated feasts. By night see flamenco, the dance of love and passion, some of whose brightest stars – Joaquin Cortes, Miguel Rios, Rocio Jurado, Isabel Pantoja and Joaquin Sabina – hail from Andalucía. Trasierra (trasierra.co.uk), a quirky hotel an hour from Seville, does delicious picnics. Corral del Rey is a boutique town hotel close to Seville’s best tapas bars and flamenco clubs.

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Bali, Indonesia

Juicy mangoes, technicolor sunsets, nightblooming jasmine: Bali is quite possibly the most seductive island on earth. This is a culture where days begin with offerings of flowers to Hindu deities at roadside temples and where every visitor is greeted with a smile, but sensual undercurrents flow. It’s also the place for indulgent spa treatments, like floral baths and spice body scrubs, and of course couples’ massages. Hotel Tugu (in Canggu) is filled with art and antiques that bring back to life forgotten tales of the romance of Bali and Java.

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FOOD & EATERIES


Quick and healthy

Perfect for a mid-week meal, these recipes are fast and filling without the side helping of guilt

Preparation time: 10m Cooking time: 15m Serves: 15 Per-serving calories/fat: 42kcal/2g

Chicken Skewers with Satay Dip INGREDIENTS

2

Mix them with the soy and sweet chilli sauces.

3

Thread the fillets onto skewers, then place them on a baking tray lined with baking parchment, cover with cling film and freeze.

4

To serve, defrost in the fridge overnight and cook at 200 C for

5

Ten to 12 minutes or until cooked through.

6

For the dip, combine the peanut butter and coconut milk.

7

Scatter the skewers with coriander leaves and chopped peanuts, if you like.

8

Serve with the dip and lemon wedges.

Mini chicken fillets 220g Soy sauce 28g Sweet chilli sauce 28g Peanut butter 55g Coconut milk 55ml Coriander leaves Chopped peanuts Lemon wedges

DIRECTIONS 1

Slice the mini chicken fillets into finger length sizes. 84


Preparation time: 25m Cooking time: 20m Serves: 12 Per-serving calories/fat: 88kcal/8g

Stuffed Mushrooms INGREDIENTS

4

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

5

Add the garlic and chopped mushroom stems to the skillet.

Whole fresh mushrooms 12 Vegetable oil 15ml Minced garlic 8g

6

Softened cream cheese 225g Grated parmesan cheese 20g

7

Ground black pepper 0.5g Onion powder 0.5g Ground cayenne powder 0.4g

8

DIRECTIONS 1

Preheat oven to 175 C.

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2

Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

10

3

Clean the mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Carefully break off their stems. Chop stems extremely fine and discard the tough end of stems.

Fry until any moisture has disappeared, taking care not to burn the garlic. Set aside to cool. When the garlic and mushroom mixture is no longer hot; stir in the cream cheese, parmesan cheese, black pepper, onion powder and cayenne pepper. The resulting mixture should be very thick. Using a little spoon, fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of stuffing. Arrange the mushroom caps on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the mushrooms are piping hot and liquid starts to form under the caps.

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Preparation time: 5m Cooking time: 10m Serves: 2 Per-serving calories/fat: 320kcal/20g

Salmon and Spinach with Tartare Cream INGREDIENTS Sunflower or vegetable oil 7ml

3

Skinless salmon fillets 2 Spinach 250g

4

Reduced-fat crème fraîche 28g Lemon juice 15ml

Spoon the spinach onto plates and top it with the salmon.

6

Gently heat the crème fraîche in a pan, with a squeeze of the lemon juice, the capers and parsley and season it to taste. Be careful not to let it boil.

Flat-leaf chopped parsley 28g Lemon wedges

1 2

Heat the oil in a pan. Season the salmon on both sides and then fry for four minutes on each side until it turns golden in colour and the flesh flakes easily. 86

Add the spinach leaves to the hot pan, season well, cover and then leave to wilt for one minute, stirring once or twice.

5

Drained caper 7g

DIRECTIONS

Leave it to rest on a plate while you cook the spinach.

7

Spoon the sauce over the fish and serve with lemon wedges.


PREMIUM GELATO & FINE DESSERTS

Sugar-free and regular gelato ice cream European design cakes for all occasions Pastries and cupcakes Premium cheesecakes and chocolate cakes Ice cream cakes and rolls

Zakher Mall, Al Khuwair, Muscat | Call: 24475068 / 99774525 | Email: bestburgeroman@gmail.com Jawahar Al Shatti Complex, Sultanate of Oman WE DO CATERINGS & SPECIAL FUNCTIONS, BIRTHDAY PARTIES & MEETING RESERVATIONS


R E S T A U R A N T

R E V I E W S

Al Sabla

Sifawy Boutique Hotel An hour’s drive from the city is the most recent five-star hotel to come up in Muscat. Sifawy Boutique Hotel, in Sifah, is situated in the East coast of Oman with lovely camping spots along the white coast. The Sifawy Boutique Hotel has two restaurants Al Sabla and As Sammak, and a lounge aptly called The Captain’s Lounge and Bar. All of which host distinctive themes and cuisines. For a multi-dining experience both indoor and outdoor, Al Sabla, offers a great way to enjoy good food in a calm and serene environment with family or close friends. The restaurant’s name is a term used to describe the social centre of an Omani village. Dinner would be well complemented by the view of the marina with beautifully lit date palm and reflection of the moon on the sea. Although it’s probably the farthest fine-dining spot, the journey to Sifah is pleasant with idyllic views and a break from the monotony. Dimly lit and set in earthy colours, we walk through the outdoor seating area

Beef carpaccio

Spaghetti arabiatta

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with wooden chairs and sunshades. Warm and congenial staff greeted us as they ushered us to our table for two. As we settled in, we observed that the restaurant is well lit with white and yellow canvas pendant lamps. The restaurants colour pallet consists of just Ivory and Grey, but you can’t help but notice its bold, monochromatic, patterned wallpaper. At dinner, the contrast you see is the purple glassware. Although the restaurant has ample space, its beams and dividers give you your share of privacy. It has wenge wood furniture that blends exquisitely with the

Cold oriental mezzeh platter


ambience.Although Al Sabla has an Arabic name, they have the best of international dishes on their menu. It has something for everyone, and is also suitable for vegetarians. We started off with the fresh and succulent Beef Carpaccio, a Venetian dish made with thinly sliced rare beef, slivers of parmesan, arugula, pickled red radish and capers. We also ordered the cold Oriental Mezzeh platter, perfect for two people, served with pita bread, humus, babaghanoug, fattoush and vine leaves. The vine leaves were undoubtedly the best we’ve had in Muscat. For our main course, we called for Grilled herb-garlic Tiger prawns with black ink linguini pasta, semi-dried cherry tomatoes and fresh lemon foam. The prawns were presented beautifully; they were fresh, juicy and perfectly cooked. We also ordered

Pasta Arabiatta with Spaghetti, grilled vegetables, tomato sauce and green chillies. The portion was sizeable and the flavours were well-balanced. For dessert, Sous Chef Varun Varghese presented us an avocado cheesecake with lychee ice cream. It was delectable and quite different from the other cheesecakes we tried. While one may be apprehensive about the combination, they are well-suited together. Its nutty flavour and texture truly made Al Sabla, our favourite restaurant of the ones we reviewed. Overall, Al Sabla is a great restaurant. The menu reflects an amalgamation of various Mediterranean influences. Our attendants were presentable and refined while the ambience and vibe of the boutique hotel added to our pleasant experience. The portions were generous too. We strongly recommend you try the Avocado Cheesecake. Verdict Service Ambience Food Price Location

Avocado cheesecake

Overall

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Mokha Café Grand Hyatt Muscat

Mokha Café, Grand Hyatt’s all day dining restaurant serves international fare and also specialises in Arabic cuisine. A relaxed setting overlooking the hotels gardens is offered with both buffet and à la carte options presented by Executive Chef Marin Leuthard and his staff. The Café has also won Oman Today’s best buffet award. The restaurant hosts special theme nights throughout the year featuring cuisines from around the globe. The Friday brunch at Mokha is great for families as special activities are arranged for children to keep them entertained. Both indoor and outdoor seating is available depending on the season. As you walk down two levels from the lobby, the Café blends beautifully with Grand Hyatt’s over-the-top Arabian theme. Breakfast and lunch at Mokha is distinct as the stained-glass windows give you a bright and lovely view of the hotel’s Mediterranean exterior and garden. When seated outdoors, the sound of the sea complements well with good company and food. We began with a fresh orange juice and Piña Colada, a refreshing drink made with cream of coconut, and pineapple juice. For appetisers we called for Baked Ricotta Salad, with kalamata olives, sun dried tomatoes and rocca. The ricotta was baked to perfection and the rest of the

Penne arabiata

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elements of the dish blended quite well. We also ordered Sautéed Omani shrimp with lemon, garlic and capers. The highlight of our lunch, the shrimp was cooked well and the sauce was flavoursome. However, it could be less creamy. For our main course, we ordered Braised beef cheeks with cremolata and potato puree. The meat was wellcooked and the potato puree had an flawless consistency. Our other main dish, the corn-fed chicken breast was marinated beautifully although we wished it wasn’t overcooked and the meat was slightly chewy. The Penna Arabiata was plated well, however, it had too many overpowering flavours. We called for a divine chocolate fudge cake with walnuts and a strawberry cheesecake. Grand Hyatt has always been popular for their pastries, and surely, Mokha’s dessert didn’t disappoint us.

Braised beef cheeks

Corn-fed chicken breast


The café is busy with corporate groups during lunch hours, as the Mokha buffet always stands out. At Mokha Café, we had a pleasant lunch experience. The staff was warm, friendly and well versed with the café’s menu. We recommend that you try this restaurant as it’s calm and the

service is exemplary. It weighs high in terms of both its à la carte and buffet. The ambience and vibe of the café too is unruffled. Mokha Café is one of our favourite cafés in the city and is also a must visit.

Verdict Service Ambience Food Price Location Chocolate fudge cake

Overall

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Olivos Café Radisson Blu

Muscat city has many cafés that offer top quality and convenience. They are all-day dining restaurants that offer tantalising breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets as well as an international à la carte. Olivos Café at the Radisson Blu hotel, Al Khuwair, is one of those few reasonable eateries. Olivos hosts themed meals throughout the week, including a delicious Barbeque Bazaar dinner on Wednesdays and a lively brunch every Thursday. The Café features a Mediterranean ambience and gives guests an opportunity to enjoy al fresco dining on a shaded terrace overlooking a beautiful garden and poolside. The restaurant lets in abundance of natural light and makes brunch enjoyable. The open, bustling kitchen adds to the café’s laid-back atmosphere as you can interact with the chef whilst watching your meal being cooked. Although the restaurant rates high on its location, vibe and themed buffets, Olivos could improve in terms of its service and à la carte. The waiters were unsophisticated

Ryan’z pineapple juice

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and ambivalent of what the menu had to offer. As we enquired, they were unsure of a particular dish or beverage’s availability. We started off with a refreshing Ryan’z Pineapple juice with orange juice and grenadine syrup, and an intensely sweet and syrupy Strawberry Delight with chunks of strawberry, lemon juice and diet 7Up. The Strawberry Delight was too sweet for our taste and so we called for a glass of fresh watermelon juice to wash it down.

Spaghetti al pesto


We requested for the Italian Bruschetta and Smoked Salmon with mascarpone on toasted bread to start with. The bruschetta’s bread was good, however, the tomato and onion topping was overwhelmingly acidic. The smoked salmon was delightful as the bread was crisp and salmon, fresh enough to melt in our mouths. For the main course, we called for Spaghetti Al Pesto with Fresh basil and parmesan cheese, and Asian Stir fried rice with vegetables. The overall presentation was excellent, however, the two didn’t taste as good as they looked. The spaghetti’s sauce was too buttery and creamy, while the stir fried rice was quite greasy. We thought our main course had overpowering flavours and was heavy.

Though our main course disappointed us, Olivos’s dessert didn’t let us down. We quickly called for the New York cheesecake, drizzled with strawberry sauce and chocolate cake with raspberry sauce. The cheesecake had perfect consistency and cream cheese texture, with a crumbly base. On the other hand, the chocolate cake tasted heavenly with rich, dark chocolate ganache that complemented beautifully with the ordinary chocolate sponge. The overall experience at Olivos Café was pleasant despite the heavy main course. The portions were generous and dishes where reasonably priced. Olivos is great for their themed buffets, but not so much for their à la carte. Verdict Service Ambience Food Price Location

Italian bruschetta

Overall

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The SteakCompany The SteakCompany is a steakhouse located in Bareeq Al Shatti Mall on the same spot as the now nonfunctional Abala. The SteakCompany is one of the few restaurants that not many people know about, yet those who do, keep going back. Maintaining the looks and feel of the old restaurant, it has a modern setting with sleek transparent furniture and metallic globe lights. Black and red is dominant with few colourful floral chairs. The only element that didn’t go with The Steak House’s theme was the brown pillar, as it seemed quite out of the ordinary. We recommend that you reserve one of the four booths and it’s comfortable and cosy. The restaurant does offer outdoor seating, but since it’s at the entrance of the complex and doesn’t offer the best view, dining outside almost isn’t an option. We went at lunch and the restaurant wasn’t crowded, however it does get busy at dinner.

Carpaccio wasn’t the best we’ve had. The Boerewor sausages on the other hand were flavoursome, grilled to perfection and went well with the salsa. For our main course, we were recommended the signature Wagyu Rib Eye with mashed potatoes and vegetables. We requested for our steak to be medium rare and must say that the beef was cooked just the way we wanted. The other dish we ordered was flame grilled chicken breast marinated in herb and lemon, with creamy mashed potatoes and vegetables. With a spicy sauce to go with it and well-grilled chicken, we absolutely loved its flavours.

From South African Prime to Australian Black Angus, The SteakCompany’s easy-to-read menu offers all that a steak devotee needs. To begin with, we ordered two cocktails, Planter’s Punch and She Said Red. With interesting names and flavour combinations, it was a good start. For appetisers, we went for Caesar salad, Carpaccio and Boerewors, a plate of homemade South African sausages, grilled and served in smoked tomato salsa. The Caesar Salad was good, while the

Boerewors

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Carpaccio


For dessert The SteakCompany offers Chocolate Fondant, Cheesecake, and Date Cake. We thoroughly enjoyed the Chocolate Fondant that came with ice cream on the side. Surprisingly, we were disappointed with the Strawberry Cheesecake, as it didn’t have the right consistency, neither did it taste good.

Wagyu rib eye

Overall, we thought that the service at The SteakCompany was very good. The staff seemed to be friendly and helpful, and our food did not take a lot of time to arrive. The SteakCompany scored high in terms of its quality, service, presentation and main course. Though dessert was unsatisfactory, we are sure we will go back to The Steak Company for its steak. Verdict Service Ambience Food Price Location

Chocolate fondant

Overall

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It’s more than just a burger!

Burgers, pasta, sandwiches, salad, fresh juices and more! DELIVERY 24475068 Zakher Mall, Al Khuwair, Muscat | Call: 24475068 / 99774525 | Email: bestburgeroman@gmail.com Jawahar Al Shatti Complex, Sultanate of Oman WE DO CATERINGS & SPECIAL FUNCTIONS, BIRTHDAY PARTIES & MEETING RESERVATIONS


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