Manama Souq Makeover + Feast!

manama souq11

One of my favorite places in Bahrain, the Manama Souq, has gotten a makeover! The ‘Little India’ project was launched to commemorate the 4,000 year relationship enjoyed between Bahrain and India. It has added festive bursts of color throughout the area, like little jewels that hide around every corner, while preserving the beautiful, eclectic chaos that the souq is known and loved for. We decided to visit to see what we could discover…

View Full Post

Bahrain Beach Retreat

rotana36

Do you want to know the secret to a perfect weekend getaway in Bahrain? For me, it all comes down to three things:

  1. a gorgeous, glittering beach
  2. a luxuriously comfortable hotel with fantastic staff and delicious food
  3. location, location, location

Want to know a hotel that gets gold stars for all three…?

View Full Post

Bahrain: Old Bones & New BBQ

museum23

This weekend we started bright and early for a jaunt across the causeway to one of my favorite places – The Bahrain National Museum. For such a tiny island, Bahrain has a heck of a lot of history. For 8,000 years the island has been continually inhabited and for millennia it was a major hub in ancient trade routes. Home to the legendary Dilmun civilization and thousands of burial mounds, Bahrain has layers upon layers of rich history. The Bahrain National Museum does an excellent job of presenting this history in a fascinating and thought-provoking way…

View Full Post

Bahrain Definitions – Art, Music, and Culture

IMG_8206

To me, Bahrain means many things. It means, of course, swaying palm trees and warm sea breezes and scorching hot summer days. It also means meeting the most friendly, welcoming people you could imagine, and exploring ancient temples and crumbling forts beneath star-strewn skies. It means delicious feasts from tiny cafes deep in the winding alleys of the souq, spicy channa and crispy sambosa, all washed down with a cool, tangy lassi. Bahrain means thousands of years of history, of traditions and cultures and languages, that have all intermingled on the same tiny island for millennia. To me, Bahrain also means vivid creativity and inspiring artists that are always pushing the boundaries of their work and striving to express their most profound truth.

Malja Bahrain’s ‘Definitions’ exhibition was a perfect example, and I was honored to take part.

View Full Post

Birthday Breeze

I was born in the hottest part of summer, and when you live right next to the Arabian Gulf, that is saying something. This time of year, temperatures creep up to 120F/50C with sky-high humidity, which adds up to a heat index that is too ludicrous to comprehend.

After spending the past month melting into a puddle every time I even considered going outside, I was looking forward to a birthday that was relaxing, peaceful, and beautiful. And of course, being a birthday, it had to be special…

lafontaine20

View Full Post

Saturday at the Souq

saturdaysouq3

Some of my earliest memories are of toddling around the back alleys of Khobar, peeking into dusty shops, clambering up stacks of carpets, meeting laughing shopkeepers who always insisted on giving me little gifts, and, of course, eating all the delicious street food I could convince my parents to buy for me. Those days in the souqs and markets always felt like a grand adventure; I remember feeling that there was another surprise or treasure or tiny shop packed with magic trinkets just waiting around every corner, all I had to do was keeping walking and I would be sure to discover it.

Well, I have to admit, that feeling is still there. It’s one of the reasons why I still love to explore a good souq, especially the souqs in Bahrain. So, last Saturday, that is exactly what we did.

View Full Post

Meat Co. Feast

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

I remember the days when crossing the causeway between Saudi and Bahrain took 45 minutes. If it took more than a hour it was surprising. Taking two hours was a once in a blue moon catastrophe, more a thing of legend than something anyone regularly experienced. Well, sad to say, those days are long gone. In the past few years the causeway never takes less than an hour, usually more like an hour and a half, and regularly 2+ hours. Bahrain is still far and away one of my favorite places on the planet, but getting there has become something of a chore.

But, when a restaurant like Bahrain’s tremendously popular and much loved The Meat Company invites you round for a foodie lunch, you don’t even think of saying no! If there is one thing worth braving the causeway for, it’s a meal like this…

View Full Post