The Portuguese label Parfois recently celebrated the arrival of its latest store in Abu Dhabi Mall. The accessories shop is a must before you go away this summer – from monochrome patent trolley bags to comfortable yet cool metal-toe ballet pumps in coral, black and beige – the shop is brimming with travel essentials. We were particularly happy to see this season’s trends dissected in a shopper-friendly way so that customers could obviously see each trend in a corner of the boutique. The python-printed shoes and studded pastel handbags were our favourites – perfect for day to evening dressing. Whether you’re after a practical overnight bag or a bohemian-inspired set of wedges, Parfois is a great place to find it all without breaking the bank.
Parfois, Abu Dhabi Mall, Level 2, 02 672 8155
* Nadia El Dasher
Aveen Oghana rings
I’m not much of a craft-fair type, but I found my latest “love” at Cafe Arabia’s recent arts and crafts souq: a chunky cocktail ring designed by Aveen Oghana. The orb-like band looks like trendy Perspex, but it’s actually fashioned from quartz and the black tourmaline, which has a moss-green undertone if you stare at it long enough (and believe me, I do), is set in a starburst of 18K-gold-electroplated sterling silver (Dh950). Next on my wish list is her black druzy agate ring (Dh700). The best thing? Oghana is based in Abu Dhabi and you can visit her studio by appointment or browse her collection at www.aveen.co.uk. Or watch for her at craft fairs in the future.
* Mo Gannon
Christopher Columbus famously called the papaya “the fruit of the angels”. The tropical fruit, also known as pawpaw, is like a taste of heaven for me every morning for breakfast. I am, quite simply, addicted to it.
Easy, cheap and deliciously healthy, the fruit’s reddish, orange flesh is a fantastic source of provitamin A, C and folate. But what is special about the papaya is that it is particularly rich in papain, an enzyme that helps the body digest proteins and break down tough meat fibres.
Papaya, which is native to Central America, also has a good amount of potassium, beta-carotene and vitamin E. Its high percentage of dietary fibre works as a good kick-starter for your digestive system in the mornings.
All this goodness and antioxidants work as a powerful prevention of heart disease and colon cancer. The fruit’s properties are also a great immune system booster and have anti-inflammatory effects.
The ripe fruit is eaten raw, while the unripe green fruit is used in many countries for cooking, such as in curries and salads. The papain in the fruit is also used as an ointment for cuts and rashes and, in some countries, even as a treatment for malaria.
Just slice it in half, scoop out the black, slimy seeds and – with a squeeze of lime – you are ready to eat your little slice of heaven.
* Marie-Louise Olson
Bought it, love it, can't live without it
Every so often we stumble across an item that was so worth it, we want to tell everyone about it.
Clarins Instant Smooth Crystal Lip Balm
I’m not the world’s biggest make-up aficionada. I am an au-natural kind of girl who doesn’t vary on a theme when it comes to her morning cosmetics ritual. I wear sunscreen, mascara, a dusting of powder and most of the time I am armed with a lip balm to give a sheen of freshness. However, I have to write about my recent impulse buy at the Clarins counter. It is called the Instant Smooth Crystal Lip Balm and it is basically a translucent lip balm surrounding a core of colour, or to take away the jargon, lipstick on one side and lip balm on the other. In the morning you can apply as a lipstick and then as the day goes by and you don’t have the inclination to go to the bathroom and carefully reapply, you can just use the other side as a lip balm. It is Dh109 and it is available in four colours as a limited edition for the summer. I guess it is the lipstick equivalent of two-in-one shampoos but for someone who doesn’t want to stray too far out of their comfort zone when it comes to make-up, I think it’s a winner.
* Anna Seaman
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