04 275 2555 Umm Suqeim

Set in a picture-perfect spot next to the Turtle Lagoon at Jumeirah Al Naseem, this classic Italian restaurant is simply stunning.

From the romantic waterfront terrace, to the formal yet not-at-all-stuffy dining room, your experience here won’t be less than excellent.

Interiors are all crisp creams and golds, while a white grand piano and olive trees act as charming centrepieces. Dine in the evening and you’ll enjoy a chic, classy vibe with slick white cloths adorning the tables. Choose lunch and the mood –- and setting – is more casual, with bare wood tables and the water outside sparkling in the sun.

Ingredients are sourced from the Il Borro estate in Tuscany, bringing a thousand years of history to your meal. The produce is fresh, seasonal and authentic, and this is reflected in the quality of the exquisite dishes that arrive before you.

You can’t go wrong with anything from the menu devised by chefs Andrea Campani and Maurizio Bosetti. If you want a pizza, have a pizza (they’re great), there’s no standing to attention here.

To start we opt for the burrata, which is sublime, creamy yet light, with a handful of cherry tomatoes and basil leaves scattered on top to cut through any richness.

The polpo alla brace is a showstopper. Flavoursome and perfectly cooked, the tender pieces of octopus sit atop a delicate pyramid of purple and yellow potatoes.

We move on to a risotto with tomato and burrata (we just can’t get enough), which is rich and fragrant, and red prawn spaghetti, which we slurp up eagerly. The flavours shine through in every dish we try.

Il Borro is unfailingly busy, as well it deserves to be, which leads to a warm, lively buzz.

From the elegant décor to dishes the original Italian estate can be proud of, Il Borro ticks every box, in the best of ways.

The bill (for two)
1x burrata di Andria Dhs88
1x polpo alla brace Dhs88
1x red prawn spaghetti Dhs135
1x risotto alla crema di pomodoro burrata Dhs98
1x large water Dhs28
Total (excl service) Dhs437

The bottom line
Book, now.

American 04 428 1331 Downtown Dubai


Originally a New York café, this cosy eatery in Burj Views has plenty of the Big Apple about it, from the shop front to the décor inside. The menu stays true to the source, too, with good coffee, baked goods and excellent egg dishes. Often thought of as a place to go for breakfast (we absolutely recommend that you do), there are lots of reasons to head down at all times of the day. As you might expect from an American joint, they do slow-cooked meat very well here, with the smoked beef rib being a particular highlight. We can also vouch for the buttermilk fried chicken and burgers. With food trucks popping up at Kite Beach and Last Exit and a second branch in City Walk, clearly we’re not the only ones who love a walk down Clinton Street.


04 443 5403 Dubai Media City

We’re geared up for a great atmosphere as we head up to one of the mainstays of the Dubai Media City bar scene.

Lofty ambitions, perhaps, but hopes are high when you venture to a venue with sweeping skyline views from the 43rd floor.

It certainly draws in the crowds. Office workers and groups of pals fill the comfy lounges close to the massive windows. The later it gets, so many people pack into the space you’ll barely notice the seats – or the views.

The dimly lit bar area is reminiscent of a New York-style nightspot, with all the suave sophistication that comes with it. Early on in the evening, music is more for background purposes, pierced occasionally by chatter and the clatter of billiard balls from the pool table area. Later on, though, it’s cranked up a good few notches for a crowd who are there to party.

The bar boasts a good range of hops and mixed drinks and the menu is a cut above the standard bar bites fare – think grilled prawns and braised beef cheeks alongside grills and burgers, but food still plays second fiddle here.

Q43 is all about a lively night out. If you’re wondering where the Media City party’s at, it’s probably here.

The bottom line
Great views and party vibes at this busy bar.

04 818 2245 Palm Jumeirah

The promise
The Regenerating Gold Plumping Facial is an anti-ageing treatment that aims to make your skin appear younger by eliminating fine lines and brightening up the area around your eyes.

Step by step
We’re shown to our VIP suite, which comes with private sauna, steam room and bath tub filled with warm water and rose petals. We’re given 30 minutes alone in here to enjoy the facilities, which open up our pores, preparing us for the facial. The treatment begins with a foot scrub, then lying on the treatment bed our face is deeply exfoliated with a copper-enriched peel to brighten up our complexion. An anti-inflammatory gold serum is then used to heal and regenerate our skin, and what feels (and sounds) like a crystal ball filled with cold water is rolled around our eyes, which, according to our therapist, will get rid of dark circles. It feels refreshing and rejuvenating. Our face, neck and shoulders are them massaged.

The result
After 80 blissful minutes we feel wonderfully relaxed and our face feels thoroughly cleansed and deeply clean. Looking in the mirror, our skin is visibly clearer and glowing.

The treatment is relaxing and thorough. You will feel revived afterwards.

We’re hard-pressed to find any.
Dhs855 (80 minutes), Dhs200 for VIP suite.


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