This was an unusual week for us, in that we had a fair bit of free time in Doha. Generally, [like many other expats in Qatar], if we are around for four or more days we try and get out of town and jump on a plane somewhere. For various reasons we ended up staying in Qatar this week, and here’s what we got up to [well, other than watching Netflix of course]:
A big Jamie fan, I was super excited for the restaurant to open this month. I had actually never been to one of Jamie’s Italian restaurants, but throughly enjoyed the experience. The restaurant has opened in Doha Festival City, so is a little out of town, but to be honest this is probably my favourite mall in Doha anyway.
The restaurant was lively, but not as busy as I had expected for the second day of business. Although situated inside a mall, the restaurant doesn’t lack ambience, and the warm, slightly industrial decor makes for a nice setting to enjoy some Italian fare.
The food was delicious, and I definitely plan to eat there again [maybe next time Jamie’s in town!]. Given it’s a bit of a drive from West Bay, it wouldn’t be my first choice of restaurant when the pasta cravings hit [Lo Spaghetto is my faverouite local Italian FYI], but it’s a great option for when I’m at Festival City shopping.
By Wednesday the dust storm had pretty much subsided, and the haze that had clouded the city for a couple of days was beginning to clear. In need of some fresh air, we headed to MIA park [definitely one of my fave Doha spots], and hired some bikes.
The park was buzzing with activity – there were lots of children playing, and friends and families enjoying lunchtime picnics on the lush green grass.
The bicycles are available for rent by the carousel, and cost 25QAR an hour. We enjoyed cycling laps of the park for an hour, and although the bikes aren’t exactly top spec, it was a great way to enjoy some winter sunshine.
Always keen to explore new experiences in Qatar we headed north out of the city to check out Baladna farm. We were interested to learn more about the Qatari enterprise that since the blockade had been providing Qatar with milk from their hundreds of imported cows.
Honestly, the farm is more of an amusement park, and I think that there should have been more of a focus on the educational side of farming and milk production. There is a nice viewing platform that allows the public to see one of the barns where cows are kept and milked. However the rest of the farm seems to focus on a [fairly expensive] play area.
Once paying for General Admission to enter the amusement park [35QAR per person], you then need to purchase vouchers for each activity. The various activities did look fun, in particular the zip line and high ropes course, but as I said – not an inexpensive day out. There is a small zoo/animal corner in the park, however seeing animals in inappropriate enclosures was not a positive experience and really soured my opinion of the park.