The ever-expanding Abu Dhabi neighbourhood around the Al Mamoura Building has a new dining option, and c'ést magnifique, especially for the thoroughly charming decor. Alouette Crêperie, the latest restaurant in the area to challenge Jones the Grocer, offers not only crêpes, both savoury and sweet, for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert, but also a wide range of other dishes, including salads, waffles and Parisian fries. Alouette's Emirati owner, Majed Al Marzouqi, clearly prides himself on being a Francophile, as he has kitted out his cafe with Eiffel Tower replicas, Parisian street signs and all manner of French knick-knacks. Don a black beret and bring your joi de vivre.
Alouette Crêperie, Green Emirates Building, Block A, ground floor, off Muroor Road near 15th Street, 7am-11pm daily, 02 643 3310
When the invitation states that the beach party is accessible by car, helicopter or yacht, you know the dress code calls for more than cheap flip-flops. The UAE's glossiest are expected to turn out in their finest when the legendary Blue Marlin Ibiza beach club makes the Al Jazira Hotel Resort on Ghantoot its second home. Boasting two restaurants, private cabanas and hidden VIP areas with dip pools, the Blue Marlin UAE opening party will be a two-day event with international DJs, hip-hop dancers and acrobats all scheduled to perform. The white sands of the "dance floor" will be the place to be seen.
Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE opening party, March 16-17, Al Jazira Hotel Resort, Ghantoot; entry by membership, invitation or hotel bookings. For more information, call 056 113 3400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
A made-to-measure suit is one of those things every man should have. Whether it's from your local tailor or a bespoke suitmaker, a custom-made suit stands out from the store-bought variety. Thus, a made-to-measure Ermenegildo Zegna piece from one of the brand's best tailors is worth the hefty investment. The legendary menswear brand is flying in Massimo Fantinato, its master tailor, from Milan, for appointment-only visits in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Fantinato will be in Rodeo Drive on Khalifa Street in the capital on March 11 and 12, and in the Ermenegildo Zegna Boutique in Dubai Mall from March 13 to 15. To book an appointment, call the store of your choice as early as possible.
Rodeo Drive, Khalifa Street, 02 626 4800; Ermenegildo Zegna, Dubai Mall, 04 330 8811
Calling all foodies
Taste of Dubai, the food, drink and music festival, returns for its fifth year and its line-up of chefs and restaurants doesn't disappoint. A food lover's paradise, the festival brings together some of the city's highly acclaimed restaurants, such as Gaucho, Nobu, Ronda Locatelli, Saffron and The Ivy, plus celebrity chefs, including Gary Rhodes, Suzanne Husseini and the two-star Michelin chef Atul Kochhar. Whether you drift from one gastronomic exhibitor to another, take part in a cooking class or simply enjoy the live entertainment, it's sure to be a feast for the senses.
Taste of Dubai Festival runs from March 15-17 at Dubai Media City's Amphitheatre. Standard tickets are Dh60; the early bird offer (two VIP tickets) is Dh399; children under the age of 12 go free. For further information and to buy tickets online, see www.tasteofdubaifestival.com
Only the best for your little ones
Designer children's clothing has got out of control - monogrammed Dh1,500 blankets, Swarovski-encrusted dummies and the like are now the norm for kids as young as six months. If you're not willing to splash some serious (and unnecessary) cash on a 15-inch swash of fabric with three holes, then look no further than American high street giant Gap. The brains behind the company have collaborated with the designer Diane von Furstenberg for a fresh and fun collection for kids. We are particularly fond of the bright yellow get-up with the bee motif as well as the bang-on-trend high-top trainers.
Available in stores from March 15, from Dh85-475, Gap, Al Wahda Mall, 02 443 7270; Dubai Mall, 04 339 8784; and elsewhere
If you're hunting for a new bag this season, be sure to follow these guidelines: the smaller the better (oversized shoulder-breakers are a thing of the past), bright colour, across the body (optional) and, if possible, floral. When we spotted this perfect specimen from Sarah's Bag we couldn't help but melt over the rich yellow fabric topped with delicate white crocheting. The chain strap and the sweet clasp were the cherry on top.
Dh3,150, S*uce, Marina Mall, 02 681 8650; Village Mall, 04 344 7270; Dubai Mall, 04 339 9696
WEBSITE OF THE WEEK
Fitness meets fashion
Funky gym wear is often one sure way to keep us motivated in our spin and circuit classes. So we are delighted to hear that SheMovesOnline.com is the exclusive retailer in the UAE of many US and UK fitness brands, such as Danskin and Bluefish Sport (Kim Kardashian can often be spotted in a pair of Bluefish Sport Goddess Pants). We love their dance and active wear collection, which boasts clothes that are bang-on-trend, uncannily durable, can be washed over and over again and support all those jiggly bits we ladies worry about.