this one’s for the foodies in the house

Well that’s a long title.

But yes, this one’s for the foodies in the house.

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I had the juiciest burgers with my friend Viola at About Thyme last Saturday on the last day of the Nairobi Burger Festival. We hadn’t even planned for it, it just happened. Life is quite funny in that way; When we plan things they don’t work out, but somehow spontaneity tends to work in our favour! The idea was to have some girl time together and catch up on life. We start off light and then into heavier topics – work, life goals, books, music and TV shows.

What are you reading? What are you watching? How is your heart? Work? Family? Tell me about your dreams. Maybe with time we’ll talk more about money and finances, I just love such real conversations. I digress. Back to my foodies.

I’m salivating just typing this out because I’m remembering my teeth sinking into that juicy burger! Slurp!

About Thyme Big, Beefy, Fully Loaded Bacon Cheese Burgers

Charcoal grilled aged ‘Morendat Farm’ beef burger on a toasted sesame bun with bacon, lettuce, tomatoes & gherkins with a choice of toppings.

Had mine without the bacon of course.

Toppings: Mushroom Swiss

With emmental cheese & sautéed mushrooms

All burgers are served with fries & ‘kale-slaw’ (Ni coleslaw ile iko na sukuma na si cabbage!)

All this yumminess for Kshs. 1,500/-

Downed it with a ‘Very berry’ smoothie which was as good as it sounds.

Want to know how to top off a killer burger? Grab some donuts from Donuts World in Westlands. HEH! Acha tu!

My favourite was the cinnamon one, yumm.

Sema food coma?!

PS. Mama Rocks is still my number 1 go-to burger spot in Nairobi *drool*

block 338

“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” — Mary Lou Cook.

 

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Editing these pictures reminded me of the feeling I got walking from the parking lot into the squares of Block 338, Adliya in Bahrain. It truly is a treat for sore eyes, with colour, landscaping and art at every turn. The focus of the planning is on the pedestrian’s experience, with ample parking spaces at the edges and side roads of the district and continuous pedestrian space thereafter – loved it!

My cousin Seif was driving us somewhere I can’t remember now, but decided to take a detour for ‘a few minutes’ stating, ‘Fatma, you’ll love this place’. What was supposed to be a thirty minute walk-through turned into a one and a half hour excursion into sunset. I bet you my cousins wanted to drag me away, because if you know me and my animated mind even flowers and fallen leaves are a photogenic affair.

The walls are covered in art by local artists, not restricted to just paintings but sculptures of varying scales too. Not understanding much about the Bahrain culture and politics, a few pieces seemed to have a deeper meaning, a statement of sorts, which made me question what the artist’s message truly was. For example, these cute houses all falling into a blue bin by Ali Hussein Merza. Is this a message about the abundant social housing around Bahrain? I loved their housing! But probably it was a political message I need to look into a bit more to understand. And then the ethereal paintings against black walls by an unnamed artist. On a lighter note, cartoon looking characters and random positive messages in corners were a sweet surprise. Artistic freedom in its most evident form, in my opinion. Everyone’s style is so different, and each one has qualities that are admirable and for an artist to share their work it takes courage – I respect that. Makes me think that’s how life should be – we all have something unique to contribute and that’s one of the beauties of life – the variety.

Speaking of sweet surprises, the district seems to comprise mostly of the cutest restaurants – street after street. I wish I had time to pop by each and every one as each had its own distinct character. It’s always a great idea to see and try to understand new things we come across – to soak up how other creatives interpret space and interiors. The interesting thing is although each building had it’s own character, they all seem to marry well together, forming a balanced yet eclectic mix.

I’ve mentioned before how one of my favourite things is art galleries with integrated coffee-shop/  restaurants. Well, the Al Riwaq Gallery was a page out of my fantasy art gallery mood board. I had the pleasure of interviewing Wafa al Ghatam who is a research architect currently having an exhibition at the gallery titled, ‘The Village in the City’, while I was there which I’ll share in the next post on here. I got to interact with a few other creatives and lady architects in that short period. They recommended that I try the peach iced tea from the gallery’s cafè which seems to be a hit with the customers. Peach iced tea, need I say more? (I loved it).

Not too far from Block 338 are more ‘traditional’ stores selling Persian carpets, oriental scarves, dresses and basically the ‘old school’ Arab experience. Oh and the best darn shawarma/ malghoum shops too, at a great bargain. Cravings!

Also, I feel like I’ve said gallery too much. Need to dust off a few books and grow my writing skills further.

Favourite pilgrim spots at 338?

Al-Riwaq Art Space (pictures coming up in a separate post).
Florence de Mediteranee, which is the cutest French restaurant at the edge of the district (also coming up in a post. Need to get more hours in my day!)
And uhm, basically the whole place! Wish I had more time to explore 🙂

Google maps location pin here.

Useful links to check out when visiting Bahrain:

Bahrain Authority for Culture and Authenticity.

Visit Bahrain.

Time Out Bahrain.

Take me back already, yah? 🙂

more life

“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.”
― Anaïs Nin.

 

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Today Yesterday, I got to watch the sun rise from an airplane window. This is also the first post on my blog that I’m writing away from home, in a new country. It is ironic that it all seems so surreal after months of endless planning. Maybe it’s because technically, I am home – with my uncle’s family who I see about once a year. Whatever it is, I’m trying to be grateful and soak in every single moment – whether I believe what I’m experiencing is true, or a dream.

You see the thing is I’ve been planning on taking a trip outside Kenya for over a year now, and finally it seems to have magically worked out. Life these past few months have been as unpredictable as the weather. I’ve always had to think of plan B’s, C’s and D’s to back up my moves at all times – always preparing for a disaster to happen. It is a terrible habit that encourages anxiety, while convincing yourself that it’s all somehow for your own good. Fixing problems even before they happen. I can’t describe the feeling I had after my little brother’s and my passport got stamped and we found ourselves walking into the arrivals hall at the Bahrain International Airport.

My cousins picked us up and agreed to take the long route home to show us around the financial district of Manama. Very Middle-Eastern statement skyscrapers plonked into the landscape, with a panoramic view of the Arabian Sea, listening to Kendrick Lamar’s track ‘Humble’ on repeat. My brother and I had a three hour nap and then we all went out for dinner at Muhammed Noor Restaurant. We had bukhari rice and grilled chicken, which is the definition of generous portions. Sema tamu? We then stopped at a bridge in the middle of the city to get a view of the skyline, and later walked around the City Center mall where I got to ogle at some yummy cameras – wishing I could take them all! *insert crying emoji*

It was a lovely day, and somehow today topped it up. I can’t wait to share more with you.

In other news, we got nominated as Best Travel Blog at this year’s BAKE Awards! There’s four other very worthy nominees in this category so I’m truly humbled to just be on the list, and would appreciate every single vote I can get. I’ve learnt to take nothing for granted, so here I am saying how thankful I am to each one of you. It would mean so much to me if I won, so please vote for me and spread the word. I tear up just thinking about actually winning!

For about two weeks now, I’ve been listening to Drake’s playlist ‘More Life’ on repeat, day dreaming about listening to it in another part of the world and looking back to this little girl who always dreamed of ‘traveling around the world’. And here I am, following through with the fantasy. So whichever part of the world you’re reading this from, good morning, good afternoon, good night! I’m here to talk about More Life.

PS. Forgive the blurry pictures in some of the shots, I tend to get too excited sometimes and it shows in the pictures haha.