Explore Clumber Park

NJD Clumber Park

NJD

This summer, little diva got introduced to some serious nature by her paternal aunt and Uncle….at Clumber Park which is set on the old country estate of the Dukes of Newcastle and is home to beautiful avenues, plants, wildlife and an amazing picturesque trail for walking.

We walked through gardens, woodlands, light forests and NJD even had a Winnie the Pooh moment throwing twigs in the river and watching them come on the other end of a bridge over a waterfall.

NJD Clumber

We took photos of the chapel, a masterpiece of gothic revival, standing tall in grandeur of the past.

NJD enjoyed feeding ducks and swans while skipping along stopping only for ice cream after 3 hours of blissful nature around a magnificent lake. I got a nettle attack only to be cured by a leaf growing nearby in minutes.

We even came across a bridge that looked much like the troll bridge in the series ‘Once Upon a Time’. The day ended with scones and tea from the Café…delightfully English!

Natasha Dury Clumber

Tash climbs her first tree
Tash climbs her first tree

Afternoon Tea with Jimmy Choo in Hong Kong

MO Bar Jimmy Choo Shereen Shabnam

First let me clarify that I still have mixed feelings about Jimmy Choo….my sexy red heels remain uncomfortable the last I felt it but I still love the white bag, which for Choo, is NOT BAD since I normally use Luis Vuitton as a benchmark. However, I am delighted with the look of The Landmark Mandarin Oriental and the MO Bar at the hotel, which also looks beautiful in photos, has organised its latest fashion tea in collaboration with Jimmy Choo.

Jimmy Choo shoes and handbags are often worn by style icons around the world, from celebrities to royalty, and from musicians to heads of state.  Until 5 May, MO Bar’s Jimmy Choo afternoon tea will take inspiration from Jimmy Choo’s Spring/Summer 2013 collections, which will highlight the haute gypsy glamour of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s and feature rich and vibrant colors and embossed leather, fringes and tassels, to reveal the fun-loving side of women.

Sidney Schutte, Executive Chef at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental says, “When creating this afternoon tea, we wanted to showcase Jimmy Choo’s Spring/Summer shoe wardrobe that is filled with bold and feminine shades. We have crafted edible miniature high heels and also took inspiration from the colours of the handbags and clutches, and have created some of the most fashionable-looking and delectable savoury and sweet items to convey their style.

Tea items include smoked salmon cucumber sandwiches made to resemble the design of the CAYLA clutch decorated with brightly coloured cream cheese pyramid studs; and the white chocolate bag based on one of Jimmy Choo’s signature leopard print designs.  “We are excited by this collaboration, which allows our guests to touch and feel the ‘Choo’s in a completely new way!” added Schutte.

MO Bar’s Jimmy Choo tea set will feature mouth-watering savoury bites such as Foie Gras High Heels on Crispy Brioche Bread, Ham Mousse Sandwiches with Savora Mustard, and Smoked Salmon Sandwiches with Cucumber and Cream Cheese.  Sweet temptations include Milk Chocolate High Heels filled with Lemon and Chocolate Biscuits, White Chocolate Bag filled with Lychee, Rose and Raspberry Mousse, Chupa Chup Macaroon filled with Passion Fruit and Mango Cream, and Green Tea, Strawberry, and Yuzu Mousse Shooter, as well as MO Bar’s signature light-as-a-feather Ginger and Raisin Scones.

Intimate, contemporary and ideally placed in the vortex of Hong Kong’s financial and luxury shopping districts, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong sets the standard for personal service and stylish sophistication.

It is time for Dubai Summer Surprises

NJD after a DSS face painting when she was young….she always chose a tiger design

Summer in Dubai these days are a lot different than 10 years ago thanks to the Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment, an agency under the Department of Economic Development of Dubai who have planned more than a 100 exciting shows and activities over 31 days set to cement Dubai’s reputation as the finest summer destination in the region through Dubai Summer Surprises 2012 (DSS).

DSS will run from June 14th to July 14th with the slogan “Dubai. Summer Fun and More”. I remember working with the DSF/DSS team in 2000 and had lots of fun at the DSF offices then with H.E. Laila Suhail who is now the CEO of DEPE and Ibrahim Saleh, Festivals Coordinator General and Deputy CEO of DEPE. Both of them are just as dynamic as I knew them 12 years ago and its great to see that they keep each year’s events fresh with new activities….I’m particularly excited with all the spa offers I’m about to experience – my body certainly needs it.

To know what you want to indulge in this year, check out the “Dubai Calendar” which gives visitors and residents a month-by-month line-up of the unique and entertaining events taking place in the city all year round and it is a great source of reference for anyone wanting to make the most of their time in Dubai….it is an awesome tool for people who have visitors all the time in Dubai.

This year’s partners and sponsors which includes Emirates Airlines, AW Rostamani, Al Futtaim Group, Emaar Malls Group, Emaar Properties, Majid Al Futtaim Properties, Al Ghurair City, Mercato, Paris Gallery, EPPCO and ENOC, Dubai World Trade Center, Dubai Duty Free in addition to Master card and Dubai Shopping Malls Group (DSMG), all of which, over the years, have played an important role in the success and continuing growth of DSS.

Malls across the city will play host to DSS signature events, such as World of Stories, Kids Fashion Week, Min Bladi Al Emarat, and the Sheila and Abaya Fashion Show, and kids can look forward to 8 highly popular international stage cartoon shows such as The Smurfs, Barbie, Hello Kitty, Sponge Bob, Charlie and Lola, Ice Age, and Teletubbies….man these bring memories of us going all over town with little diva. I must say I am glad she’s all grown up now and enjoys DSS the way I like – retail therapy!

My favourite bit this DSS will be naturally be the spa offers program “Dubai Spas” with cool discounts at the cream of Dubai’s luxurious spas. I’m not big into raffles partly because I never win anything but DSS usually has some mega prizes.

I’m pretty sure there is a lot more news coming up for DSS but the taster activity schedule that landed in my inbox makes me want to just here all summer.


In Dubai We Trust

Ever since I got the Hard Rock Café worldwide loyalty card, I’ve become a huge fan of their merchandise and its now tradition for me and my babe to get some retail therapy everywhere we visit that has a Hard Rock cafe….the food and drinks are great but the retail is even better.

It is at Hard Rock Dubai where I met Salma and Khalid from ‘In Dubai We Trust’….a coincidence as I was there for something else and after a quick chat with them, I made up my mind that I will talk about their cool initiative….In Dubai We Trust.

As anyone will tell you, I am the biggest fan of the UAE and all the Emirates…. I constantly end up telling people who try to say anything bad about the country that they are welcome to go back home if they have issues with the UAE as there are plenty other people who appreciate the place and love to live and work here.

Although UAE and Dubai has nothing to prove to anyone as the place speaks for itself, it still is great for people who live here to talk about the best things that Dubai has to offer and show the many positive sides that people don’t usually pick up on because they are so involved in their own little worlds, they would rather stay on their sofas and complain instead of actually venturing out and enjoying the many amazing things one can do here.

‘In Dubai we trust’ is a non-profit organization striving to unify the multi-cultural population of Dubai by celebrating the emirate’s achievements. Their tag says…..’In Dubai we trust, with Dubai we bloom, in Dubai we see our future grow. Moving forth with strong will and determination, an economy with power & inspiration. With achievements across the borders untold, Dubai our land, where peace and love unfolds.’

The group since their inception has organised many events that show the different facets of the Emirates….they were also part of the Burj Khalifa opening, have organised events for mother’s day, brought women from different nationalities together in a spa environment and now they will also be part of the Walk of Beauty 2012 event. This is part of the amazingly popular exhibition Beautyworld Middle East 2012 starting on the 29th of May.

UAE and Dubai has become a second home to many….its about time we celebrated the many great opportunities the country has given us and make people aware of the many things they can do here that they would not be able to do elsewhere.

If you are a big fan of Dubai, you can join In Dubai We Trust’ on the following:

http://www.facebook.com/groups/188737619862/

Follow them on Twitter- http://twitter.com/indubaiwetrust

Youtube Videos:
(UAE 3-D Show @ Dubai Mall -Jan 2010 )
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23lnTiH3sHE

( IDWT Interview)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=we88TCCSqRU

Diva is smiling….HEAPS!!!

Diva in the Mercedes SLK350 convertible

This year I decided to celebrate my birthday one week ahead…..partly because the love of my life NJD is going away on a ski trip to Switzerland on my birthday so my focus will mainly be on her this week…afterall this is her first trip on her own with her friends and at the age of 11, she may be confident about travelling and sliding down an icy mountain with no qualms but this mama is having mini heart attacks every hour as the trip gets closer.

So,,,,after a hectic and heavy week last week that included heaps of mental stress, PMS and warning signs to everyone around me to watch their step if they value their life, I decided to go on a sabbatical….not just any sabbatical but where I would live the life that I have become very accustomed to…in pure luxury.

Thankfully my early birthday presents came in form of experiences – Nick of Daimler reckoned diva needed a HOT car so he arranged for me to have for a few days none other than the top of the range 2 door sports car Mercedes SLK350 which I realised when I signed my life away to him was worth close to US$68,000/- (AED248,000/- roughly). But it was all good when at the touch of a bottom the roof came down and my hair went all sorts. It was an awesome convertible and since I get to drive the most expensive cars as and when I want, it really means that it must be fabulous if I start crooning about it. I don’t normally write entire blogs on cars but this baby deserves a whole piece dedicated to the fabulousness of the SLK….watch this space!

To top it off, Sarah decided that since I was meditating and moping anyway with all the problems my mind and body was going through, why don’t I breeze down to Abu Dhabi in the Merc and she would arrange for me to stay at the Suite in Shangri-la that came with a fabulous balcony, and separate living and dining area. Now most of my Malaysian friends were in Abu Dhabi this Friday so I breezed in, picked little diva up for the weekend and we spent the most amazing time at the Shangri-la suite, spa and I got to catch up with my Malaysian friends on Friday at the ‘Glorious Malaysian Galore’ festival in Mushrif Mall (Amazing stuff every evening until the 3rd of March). Lots of dancing, Malay food & Tim Hortons…what more can a woman want???

So all in all, I had an awesome time Friday night and Saturday thanks to two amazing people plus my Malaysian friends (Sakina & Sally ++) at a time I really needed to wind down. I feel a lot better in terms of being chilled and physically…well….if my PMS gets any worse and if these herbal remedies from Abu Dhabi don’t work their magic, I am seriously thinking of becoming a hermit for a week next month. (I wouldn’t be surprised if all the men in my life have noted the dates down to make sure they disappear during that period…women tend to be a bit more understanding and supply loads of chocolates, luxury holidays, sinful food and sweet & sour snacks instead).

Anyway… Having such a great time has left me smiling heaps…. I can’t wait for Sakina to return again to Dubai as she encourages me to get out of my shell, travel to new areas in UAE and generally have fun. I just hope she gets here while NJD is away cos I will be missing the little tyke heaps when she leaves on the night of my birthday and be away the next 10 days. Or I shall distract myself and write about my 2 nights of living in luxury at Qaryat Al Beri indulging in all sorts of fun stuff.