Buying a bespoke suit is more than a business transaction. From the first measurements to picking fabrics, it's an experience. And there's perhaps no better place than Freddy's, one of the oldest tailors in Abu Dhabi. When Freddy Goveas arrived from India in 1968, he built his shop with concrete blocks and aluminium. Now the shop is located near Hamdan Street behind the Ahalia Hospital. Buildings in the neighbourhood have come and gone over the years, but not Freddy's suits. And experience counts. When a customer enters, Goveas and his nephew Henry Sequeira spring to action, plastic tape measures dangling from their necks. "It is good to have a proper fitting," Henry says. "There are general sizes in other places, and that is not good. Here it will fit much better." A suit, depending on your size and the style you choose, will cost between Dh550 and Dh650. A week after your first measurements, you will be invited back for a fitting, during which any alterations can be made. You can expect another week before the suit is fully prepared. Have a particular cut or style in mind? Freddy is receptive to requests. But the custom feel is just half of the suit's appeal. After you are measured, the next step is to pick your fabric. A good place to start is Al Tayeen Textiles, located on the other side of Hamdan Street past the green-domed Omir mosque. Inside, you'll find fabric catalogued along the walls like books in a library. There is material from Switzerland, India, China and Italy. There are also countless colours for inspiration. Italian material is the most expensive, running at about Dh200 per yard. Textiles from Thailand are the cheapest at around Dh75 per yard. Depending on your size, a suit requires approximately three to four yards of fabric. When you arrive, ask for Francis. I chose the Italian fabric. It's light, soft and has a brilliant sheen. In all, the suit cost about Dh1,200. It fits perfectly and looks great. Most importantly, the suit has a story. And I remember it each time I wear it. Jeffrey Todd
What we tried Bite Rite is a food delivery service. We had fantasies about being able to afford other food delivery programmes that would effortlessly enable us to eat a steady stream of healthy food. What we hoped for Really, we were just heading home for a wedding and wanted to look as slim as possible. Plus it is hard to cook while living in a hotel. If we are going to order takeaway, could it not be fresh, healthy and convenient too? What we experienced We had to visit Bite Rite's Muroor Road location to pay the Dh2,200 fee for a month's worth of three meals and two snacks per day. Then we were instructed to go online, register and select our meals for the coming week. Bite Rite would deliver them to wherever we instructed, up to three times per day. First, we had problems getting the registry to work. A helpful Bite Rite representative walked us through the process over the phone.
Once we got that sorted, we could not decide what to order. The menu is heavily Indian-themed, and frankly, we did not know what a lot of the items were. So we just randomly ordered things that looked good, like black-eyed beans curry with whole wheat chapatti. We were a little embarrassed at the thought of a large Bite Rite delivery bag being marched through the office every day, so we decided to get all our food delivered the night before and heat it up as we needed it. The food was delivered at night, and at first it was fun looking through it. There was not a day that we managed to eat everything that was sent. Things quickly got overwhelming.
We got tired of carting all the food containers around. Several times, when asked out for dinner, we cast our thoughts to the plastic boxes stacked in the refrigerator and quickly said yes. After 10 days, we cancelled. We were refunded less than half of the total cost, as per company policy. The final verdict Bite Rite only makes sense if you have the meals delivered as they are made. Many of the items were very tasty, but lost their lustre in reheating. And be realistic: are you really going to eat all the food? The affordable price structure turns unreasonable quickly if, like us, you end up drowning in plastic containers of food you do not want. Ann Marie McQueen
Part 3: Nicolas Cage face-off Because Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon is so 1990s Nicolas Cage face-off The premise is simple: outperform your companions in a feat of Nicolas Cage one-up-manship. With two or more players, take turns naming one of the 52 films featuring the actor. Players are eliminated when they are stumped for more than 30 seconds. Eventually, one person is crowned the Lord of Cage. Here are some sleeper roles to get you started: Fast Times At Ridgemont High (where he is credited as Nicolas Coppola), Peggy Sue Got Married, Captain Corelli's Mandolin and an uncredited role in Never On Tuesday. Thanks, IMDB.
Getty Images A couple Abu Dhabi hotels can help you prepare the Christmas turkey. ? The Sheraton Corniche offers a slow-roasted maple-glazed turkey prepared by their chefs in two different sizes - for six to eight people (Dh750) or for 10 to 12 people (Dh950). It comes with salad, roast pumpkin, mashed potatoes, glazed chestnuts, cranberry sauce, gravy and your choice of cakes. Call 02 697 0243 48 hours in advance. ? At the Beach Rotana, orders only need to be made 24 hours in advance. The turkey comes with glazed chestnuts, sausage, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, stuffing and vegetables. The cost is Dh540 for six to eight people and Dh600 for 12 to 14 people, plus a 6 per cent tourism fee. A variety of cakes can be ordered for Dh125 a kilogram. Call 02 697 9120. If you want to cook your own, Carrefour and Abu Dhabi Co-operative Society stock frozen turkeys. There are deadlines for ordering fresh ones: ? Dec 10: At Spinney's Khalidiya for fresh raw turkeys at Dh50 a kilo. ? Dec 21: At the deli counter at LuLu Hypermarket in Al Wahda Mall for cooked or uncooked birds at Dh35 a kilo.
AFP For many of Abu Dhabi's urban dwellers, tethering a lamb or goat to their flat's terrace in preparation for Eid al Adha and then finding a suitable patch of pavement to butcher the udhiya, or sacrificial animal, is simply unfeasible. Luckily, Abu Dhabi Municipality has a system in place for those of us who find ourselves in such impermissible housing situations. The Abu Dhabi Livestock Market, located in Mina, is selling sheep (Dh500-700) that have been certified as healthy to eat, and the market will be open for business throughout Eid, even tomorrow (Dec 7), Arafat Day, from 7am until 6pm. After the animal is purchased, it can be taken to the public slaughterhouse adjacent to the livestock market, where it will be properly slaughtered and divided into portions. The Red Crescent Society will also have a location set up at the butcher's, which makes it easy to donate an allocation of your meat for distribution to those in need. For information, call the Abu Dhabi Livestock Market and public slaughterhouse on 02 673 0200.
www.wolfgangsvault.com Wolfgang's Vault is an homage to the bygone days of rock'n'roll. The website offers T-shirts, memorabilia and recordings from concerts promoted by Bill Graham. Born Wolfgang Grajonca and described as the "midwife of the modern rock concert", Graham launched the careers of many of rock's greatest, including Otis Redding, Jefferson Airplane and Janis Joplin. At Wolfgang's Vault, customers can buy T-shirts, posters, backstage passes, tickets and photographs from his concerts, most of which cannot be found elsewhere. The best part is that the site delivers to the UAE. After paying only US$34 (Dh125) for a vintage 1976 Bob Marley T-shirt, we had no issue with coughing up an additional US$15 (Dh55) for the international delivery charge. For the non-consumer, the site has free recordings of live concerts in the concert vault, which features everything from classic Allman Brothers to modern Tokyo Police Club.