People, places and things on our hot list this week.
Dec 6 to Dec 12
The only thing we hate about owning a priceless bag is having to sit it on the floor in a restaurant. Now we have a stylish solution: bag hooks. The decorated base rests on the tabletop, and your bag dangles on the hook beneath. The hooks hold up to 10lb, and they come in their own little pink bags. Dh195-250, Candella, The Village Mall, Dubai (04 342 1961)
Another problem solved - where to put our rings. Dh64 on sale (rings not included), Pier Import, Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi (02 6818717)
A colourful ceramic drawers from India meant for spice add a splash of colour to any kitchen, but you can use them as little treasure troves for anything, really. Dh125, Marina, Abu Dhabi Mall (02 644 3395)
If you're looking to make your pad look like Hemingway's hideway, the head of an antelope would make an ideal centrepiece. Now, a real head would be positively grotesque but we liked the teddy-bear quality of this faux antelope so much, we bought it for our own abode. An added bonus: the antlers are a perfect place to hang our hats. Dh644, The One, Khalidiya Mall, Abu Dhabi (02 681 6500)
To continue with the Hemingway hideaway look, check out Bois & Chiffon's serving counter and matching stool set. Made from waxed teak with five compartments and two drawers, it would make an ideal focal point for that tiki-themed party. Hawaiian shirts not included. Counter Dh7,423, stools Dh1,155 each, Bois & Chiffon, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai (04 341 0519)
iPod fanatics will love the rotating speaker dock by Logic3, which allows you to play your tunes upright, or watch videos by tilting it over on the side. We tried watching a movie on it, and the big sound made up for the small speaker, although it also has video output for viewing on bigger screens. This, and the fact it allows you to take it on the road with a carrying case and batteries, makes it stand out from the crowd of iPod docks. Dh429, Virgin, Abu Dhabi Mall (02 644 7882)
Nicole Hill / The National Alfresco dining is one of our very favourite things at this time of year, so the arrival of Left Bank in Abu Dhabi could not have been better timed. Situated on the waterfront behind the Souk at the Shangri-La with a terrace table offering wonderful views across to the Grand Mosque, this new bar and restaurant has an air of easy sophistication of which its Parisian namesake would approve. Inside, it's all white leather, sleek black marble and low-lit Studio 54-style chic, but its relaxed, unpretentious ambience instantly puts comfort before cool. Now, the inventive creations of the bar's mixologist would in themselves be enough of a talking point here, but then there is the food.
The "contemporary European" cuisine - think Spicy Chorizo Cazoulet, Mixed Souvlaki and Oven Baked Hammour with Aubergine Caviar - is not only reasonably priced, but quite honestly among the best we've sampled in the capital. As for the perfect ending to our Left Bank evenings, we're still undecided as to whether it's a serving of the sublime Chocolate and Hazelnut Cake with Toffee Sauce, or retiring to the leafy, lantern-lit rear terrace to watch the stars. Life is tough, non? Left Bank, at the Souk Qaryat Al Beri, Shangri-La hotel, Between Two Bridges, Abu Dhabi. For reservations, call 02 558 1680 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Left Bank is currently offering diners free membership, with 20 per cent discount on all food and drinks.