x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

What we're loving: Art online, healthy takeaway and handbag hooks

Every week we give you a list of things we're loving.

Tourists walk along Dubai's historic Bastakiya area. The majority of buildings, wind towers and residences in Bastakiya comprise of gypsum and stone and are thought to date back to as far as 1890. The historic area is now home so many guest houses, art cafes and galleries. Razan Alzayani / The National
Tourists walk along Dubai's historic Bastakiya area. The majority of buildings, wind towers and residences in Bastakiya comprise of gypsum and stone and are thought to date back to as far as 1890. The historic area is now home so many guest houses, art cafes and galleries. Razan Alzayani / The National

Art online

Finding galleries in the UAE is a notorious headache, especially for first-timers curious to see some of the culture that's been squirrelled away in industrial areas. Artinthecity.com is a vital resource, with its interactive maps, snappy guide to what's on and listings in Qatar and Oman in addition to the Emirates. The maps show just how prolific Dubai's art boom has been, with galleries in all sorts of unlikely spots dotted around town - many you've likely never heard of before.

The community section is also quite helpful, allowing viewers to vent their thoughts on different shows and connect with other art lovers in town. User-friendly, lots of clickable content and a gallery-browser's best friend in the unforgiving back alleys of Al Quoz. Check out www.artinthecity.com.

* Christopher Lord

 

Healthy takeaway

I was over the moon to discover a takeaway earlier this year which allowed me to eat low-calorie, healthy but tasty and substantial food.

Kcal cafe in Jumeirah Lakes Towers prides itself on its menu of main courses, all at no more than 300 calories, so I was even more delighted, having worked my way through most of the menu, to hear it had added new items to its offerings.

My new favourite delivery dish is the tasty and filling rosemary chicken couscous to replace my old favourite - the huge chicken burrito (282kcals).

The whole concept of a takeaway for me is convenience, not totally ruining my hard work spent that morning in the gym or throwing money down the drain on expensive, unhealthy food.

New dessert items to add to my continued favourite - sweet banana sushi (224kcals) - now include 170 kcal low-fat muffins, to add a little variation for those sweet treats.

Just to top it all off, this cool little cafe will now be opening in Tecom and Business Bay next month. Since I just moved to Tecom, this really is the dressing on the salad.

* Melanie Swan

 

A favourite book

While sorting through accumulated clutter at my parents' house a couple of weeks ago, I stumbled upon a book that I remembered loving when I read it for the first time as a teenager.

Several years on, Donna Tartt's The Secret History is just as brilliant as it ever was. It tells the tale of a tight-knit group of classics students at an exclusive American college, who kill one of their friends. And no, I'm not spoiling the surprise here. Tartt subverts the conventions of the traditional murder mystery by revealing who is responsible for the death in the opening pages.

What makes this book so great is that it's completely gripping and filled with menace and suspense, but it is also an extremely intelligent piece of prose, written with enviable poise.

The Secret History might be a shade (or three) darker than your usual summer holiday read, but I don't think you'll regret picking it up.

Order from the Kinokuniya, Dubai website (www.kinokuniya.com/ae) for Dh59.

* Emily Shardlow

 

The handbag hook

After reading many reports about the number of germs that can find their merry way into our bags, the handbag hook helps keep things under control. It's a small, portable, cute and shiny little thing that uses its marvellous balancing act to stay put on any table or desk, and regardless of the size of your bag or how heavy it happens to be, it'll swing right off the hook safely and securely. That way, your precious bag - whether it costs Dh10 or well over Dh1,000, a handbag is always a girl's "precious" belonging - is kept off dirty floors. I recently came across a variety of designs at some of the stores lining the lanes in Souq Madinat Jumeirah. And as an added bonus, handbag hooks make great gifts.

* Maey El Shoush