Friday, 30 October 2015

[TripAdvisor Contribution] Al Adhamiyah - Very good meal, enjoyed by all

Very good food coupled with helpful friendly staff made for a pleasant evening.

From the starters to the mains the food was abundant and tasty. So much food in fact, some of it came home in a doggy bag!

The cream of chicken soup was excellent and my daughter loved her lentil soup. The others had 'mixed appetizer' The mixed grills were also very tasty, although when I bit into the liver it reminded me of my childhood and my dad tucking into a plate of liver!

Pricing was very reasonable (in QAR);
Mixed appetizer 45, Baba Ghanouj 14, Lentil/Chicken Soups 14, Mixed Grill 55, Lamb Chops 52, Meat Kebab 48, Chicken Kebab 44, Kouzi Lamb 54, Kouzi Chicken 48, Mixed Kuba 38.

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[TripAdvisor Contribution] The Grill - Sadly disappointing for a Brunch

Had some family over from the UK and took them for Friday brunch here as this one was still on the 'to try' list.

For our guest they were still fine happy with it all as nothing to compare against, however my wife and I were both disappointed by it. There was just something missing, it was as if the heart was no longer in it.

I felt the grill selection was lacking and considering this place is called 'The Grill' is should have been the focus of the whole area, not just tucked away in a corner.

When we arrived, it took several requests before the bubbles actually turned up, repeatedly having to ask it not what you expect!

On the plus side, the roast beef was very good, and the puddings I picked up were very nice. Also they made the effort to find another fan for outside and this was definitely appreciated.

Even the children made comment about how it was lacking compared to the other brunch they have been to.

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Monday, 5 October 2015

Front Garden Furniture Time

Following on from the Front Garden Demolition Time post, this is going the other way, build time!

Having looked at several places at different styles and layouts we had settled on a outside sofa, while we were looking at this we also settled on a suitable gazebo as well. Having taken a trip out to the shop on the Tuesday and placed the order, the delivery was for the next day while I was at a work related workshop, and not forgetting I was still in the middle of demolishing the old stuff.

Nadia took receipt of the delivery and everything was just piled up in the front garden, so when I came back from the workshop to continue the destruct work, I first had to move all the new stuff.

After completing the destruct on the Wednesday evening, when I came back from the 2nd day of the workshop on the Thursday there was a compound BBQ at the poolside, so couldn't get anything done that day.

Friday morning came round and eventually got started on the build.

Assembling the main roof beams, it became apparent that the instructions were wrong, so had to take things apart again and shuffle things about to get the bits in the right place. When I noticed the 'extra' holes in the steel I thought something wasn't right, but kept going as per instructions.......time to think about things on how I thought they should go and not how the instructions should go!

Getting past the first hurdle, the second problem appeared, the instructions for the roof and curtain support required 2xD1 and 2xD2 parts, but the box only had 1xD1 and 3xD2....aaaarrrgghhh! These parts were different in the D1 parts had a box section that allowed all the sides to be bolted together to make a box that then bolted down onto the main structural beams. I gave the shop a phone, but being a Friday, there was no answer. I sent them an email in the meantime....

I had two options, a) wait until I get the correct parts or b) carry on and try and fabricate a work around so I can keep building.

Well, it was Friday, brunch day, it was now just after 11am and we were meeting some friends for brunch at 12.30, so it was going to have to wait.

.......a few hours pass..........brunch is over, I am a wee bit merry, I have building to do, so option 'b' it is!

Got back to the villa, got changed and picked up the tools. Having fabricated a corner support bracket out of a stainless steel support bars that I had taken out from the UK as a 'might be handy' parts, I also fabricated a roof support bar that could hold the roof attaching bracket. Bolting it all together it was rock solid and a definite winner!

I carried on with the construction, got it all finished and into place, next up all the furniture was unpacked and positioned where we wanted it to make sure it looked ok. Next the furniture was moved back out of the gazebo and built on its side vertically, this was to allow the underside bolting brackets that hold it all together to be fitted.

Gently lowering it all back towards the ground, making sure that the brackets took the strain and not allowing them to bend, the whole lot was back on the ground and shuffled into the tent.

Job done!

Finished Seating Area
The shop then contacted me on the Saturday to say they were sending out some of their guys with the right bits the next day.
Sunday afternoon they turned up, and were both curious as to how I managed to complete it and then quite impressed with my work around!

It was simply a case of, taking down one curtain side, undoing a couple of bolts, releasing the brackets I had made, then dropping out the wrong D2 and replacing it with the correct D1 and then bolting everything back in place and putting the curtain back on.

Next up is to think about maybe a dinning table for the area.....

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Front Garden Demolition Time!

With the weather reaching the point it is possible to sit outside in the evenings, it was time to have a think about having actually something to sit on!

In the front garden there was a tin roofed wooden framed sun shelter, but it had seen better days and the wood was looking a bit tired. The most annoying bit about the structure however was the posts, they were in places that restricted the use of the space and it would be quite hard to actually get a decent sized table or seating area by working round them.

So that was it, I had decided in my mind to rip it down!

Before Starting
Before Starting - will need to move the BBQ!
Before Starting

I reached for the step ladder and a hammer and took a look at how the structure was built and just got down to business.

First step was to go up onto the roof and rip out all the roof nails holding down the metal corrugated sheets, then simply pulled all the sheets off the roof. After this alone I was absolutely dripping, it was still in the low 40's and the humidity was up, and really took it's toll.

Under the metal sheets was a green plastic stretchy netting which was absolutely covered in leaves and heavily impregnated with dust, cutting that back made it easier to start ripping out the timbers. After a few thumps with the hammer, the front facing broke free and the inner roof members started to drop down making it easy to simply pull them off. With all the dust combining with the sweat, I was minging, and had a thick layer of paste on my skin, even had to throw my trainers in the washing machine to clean them.

After about 2.5 hours it was starting to get late and no doubt the neighbours would be complaining with me making a racket as they were trying to sleep, so called it quits for the day.

The following day, I had a workshop with work during the day, so had to wait until I got back in the evening and got straight back down to business again.

After another couple of hours the whole thing was down! The area looked so much bigger now. After moving everything out of the garden and across the road to the 'dump' (a magical area in the compound where you just leave things and they disappear usually the next day, no phoning the local council or anything like that to come and remove stuff).

Job done! Total destruction time about 4.5 hours,

Site all cleared!

Saturday, 3 October 2015

[TripAdvisor Contribution] Katara Cultural Village - Show and Fireworks for Eid Holiday

We took the children out to Katara to see the fireworks display that was on for the Eid holidays.

On a recommendation to be there early as the traffic is chaos, we arrived about 6.30 for the shows starting at 7pm and the fireworks at 9.30pm

After following the traffic in to the village, and parking up in the underground car park, we walked towards the atheneum and though out to the front where there was a stage setup. There was a seating area and also plenty of places around to sit/stand. Having found our spot, we settled down to watch the shadow show. The show lasted about 30 minutes and then there was a 30 minute break between performances. The show was done 3 times and then the fireworks started.

Between the shows, they were distributing gifts to the children, these were things like colouring books, yoyo's, toy cars etc. This bit was a bit chaotic and there was a lot of pushing and shoving by some of the crowd to get to the front of the queue. This bit definitely could have been more organised for the safety of the children.

There were also a few stalls for food and ice cream. We stopped for ice-cream and a small tub cost 10Qr (£1.80/$2.75) which was reasonable. We also took a walk along the front while waiting for the fireworks and then just before they were due to start, parked ourselves in front of one of the restaurants. The fireworks were out over the sea, so you could see them from anywhere around the area.

The fireworks lasted just under 10 minutes and were not too bad.

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