Farmtek 2014

Going to Farmtek felt a little like slipping into a hidden world filled with dreamlike music and fantastical artwork tucked within the folds of a forgotten garden. A few days before the event the up-till-then-secret location was finally announced. On a gorgeous winter day we drove down the winding streets of Saar, trying to figure out if we were on the right track or hopelessly lost. Towering on either side of our car were compound walls covered in razor wire and tumbling curtains of bougainvillea.

“There!” I shouted, spotting a twinkling sign around the next corner.

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A Sofitel Escape

Have I mentioned that my husband Cody is a rock star? By day he looks like your average (although dashingly handsome) office working company man, but by night he brings the rock and dazzles the masses with his brilliant bass riffs and swaggering rock-god machismo. Back in December he and his band 26 North had a big performance in Bahrain. They were playing at the National Day celebrations at the F1 Track. The whole band and its entourage (read: wives and friends) were planning to stay the weekend at the Sofitel since it is only 5 minutes from the track. So, feeling like a traitor to our usual home-away-from-home, the Ritz, we ventured across the causeway for a weekend at the Sofitel.

I’d never been there before (I fear change!) but when I saw this view I figured things might be alright after all.

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Traditional Bahraini Breakfast at Emmawash

It was 7:30am. I rolled over in bed and blinked groggily at Cody. He was sleeping peacefully, the room was still dark, our bed still warm. But after a restless night I was wide awake. It was January 1st and we had been at a NYE party all night and hadn’t crawled into bed until 3am. But the bed we crawled into wasn’t ours; we were staying at the Ritz, and I’m cursed with hotel insomnia. At home in my own bed I sleep like a baby, but whenever we stay at a hotel, no matter how tired I am, no matter how comfortable the bed, for at least the first few nights I struggle to sleep.

“Cody,” I whispered. “Are you awake?”

No response. I gave him the gentlest of shoves. “Cody, I’m hungry.”

“You’re always hungry,” came the muffled response from under the pile of blankets.

I had to concede he was right. “Yes, but now I’m really hungry.”

His lack of response elicited another of my gentle shoves and maybe a tickle or two. When it comes to food I’m ruthless.

Some begging and pleading and tickle harassment later, we ended up happily (in my case) heading to Emmawash.

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Adliya Street Bazaar

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Back in December we ventured to Bahrain to take part in an event designed for hungry bloggers like me – the Adliya Taste Tour, a restaurant tour of the trendy Adliya 338 district. More than a dozen of Bahrain’s best loved restaurants participated in this event, where diners took their ‘culinary passports’ from spot to spot to enjoy taster plates of each restaurant’s most popular dishes.

When we arrived outside of La Vinoteca Barcelona to catch our ride in one of the golf carts that ferried diners from venue to venue, we quickly realized we were in for much more than a night of fine dining. Music bubbled from around every corner, throngs of happy people moved through the narrow streets, and down every alley we could see funky art displays and the twinkling lights of small booths filled with tantalizing treasures.

So before we even went to our first restaurant we took a peek down a few of the streets and realized we had luckily hit upon the Adliya Street Bazaar, a week of festivities taking place as part of Bahrain’s Noor El Ain festival.

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