Instagram and Qatar – Ten Most Instagrammable Places in Qatar

I am by no means an Insta-Expert but as a platform it’s one I am slowly getting to grips with and even more importantly falling in love with. There is no channel like it for giving me Wanderlust. One of the things that I have found is that finding the perfect location is one of the keys to Insta-success. Whether it be sweeping landscapes, high footfall or detail shots for me Instagram is about location, location, location. Qatar is a beautiful country that offers a lot of diversity when it comes to photography from sweeping sand dunes to amazing urban architecture Qatar has you covered. So here is my instaqatar guide to the Ten Most Instagrammable Places in Qatar. View Post

The Hidden and Not So Hidden Gems of Qatar

Qatar, not on everybody’s bucket list but it is gaining momentum on the tourist front especially through layover/stopover offers with Qatar Airways. I have lived in Qatar for over three years and have discovered that people’s perceptions of the country are limited and many people even expats don’t really head off the beaten track. So here are my hidden and not so hidden gems of Qatar! View Post

We have lived in Qatar for almost three years and think we’ve got to know it pretty well! I know there are a lot of misconceptions about Qatar and people think there aren’t many things to see and do in Doha. So here I have compiled my three years of knowledge into the ultimate A-Z list of Things to See and Things to Do in Qatar!  View Post

As we approached gymkhana in Souq waqif last night, it dawned on me that we had never set foot inside one of the many boutique hotels in Souq waqif! I wasn’t sure what to expect but if there instagram page was anything to go by we were in for a treat. 

When we entered we were greeted warmly and taken to a table with two large wicker chairs and a baby chair quickly followed. The decor makes it feel like you are in an old colonial hotel. Beautiful and impeccable. 

Great dinner view

The menus were brought and we decided to start with the gymkhana chaat. An unusual mix of paneer, chickpeas and pomegranate on a spiced biscuit base. It was very unusual but we loved the unique flavour. It was the closest thing we have had to our experience at Michelin starred Indian restaurant in London, Tamarind! 

Gymkhana chaat

For mains we thought we’d try something traditional and something more unusual so we opted for the home style chicken curry and the ghee roasted pepper mutton. The curry tasted similar to a dhansak minus the lentils, with sweet and sour notes. Absolutely delicious! While the lamb was pulled with a spicy kick! Neither was greasy and both packed with flavour. 

Mains

We finished with a chai creme brûlée which was spiced and rich and perfect for sharing. 

Chai creme brûlée

This is definitely my new favourite curry spot in Doha and I can’t wait to try more. But perhaps my favourite thing about gymkhana was exceptional service! It was flawless from start to finish. I feel like I’ve been missing g out not trying the boutique hotels before and definitely want to explore them more. 

The dinner with lassi and water cost around 300qar! 

Have you been to gymkhana? What did you think 

There are loads of great restaurants in Souq Waqif to eat at but one of my favourites is Parisa, an Iranian restaurant.

So why do I love it?

The decor at Parisa, Souq Waqif

I think this has to be the most opulent restaurant in the souq. From the moment you enter through the mirrored corridor you are transported somewhere else. The mirrored ceiling, the mural walls and the beautiful foundation in the center make this a really stunning setting.

The beautiful ceiling

The beautiful ceiling

the beautiful Parisa Souq Waif restaurant

the beautiful Parisa Souq Waif restaurant

Service at Parisa

The staff are always attentive and willing to bring out more bread even after I Have consumed my own body weight in the stuff! They are also really friendly and great with small talk and recommendations.

The food at Parisa

You can’t go wrong with a kebab but Parisa excels at them. We love getting the sharing platter so we can try them all as I can never decide which one to order!

I also love their sweet walnut and pomegranate chicken stew which is like nothing else I have ever eaten.

But the star of the show is their rice. They do different kinds, saffron and dill being my favourites. It is truly the fluffiest rice I have ever tasted.

Kebab

Atmosphere at Parisa, souq Waqif

In the evening there are usually a couple of musicians playing traditional music which really adds to the ambiance.

Desserts 

I usually haven’t left nearly enough room for pudding but I always managed to force myself to have one. I particularly love the pistachio ice cream with saffron biscuits

Yummy pudding – photo credit my lovely friend Jen

When to go 

Parisa is great all year round but can’t be beaten when it’s hot and you need interior seating. But in truth go anytime you won’t be disappointed!

There is a second branch of Souq Waqif at the Sharq hotel but Parisa Souq Waqif has to be my favourite.