I’m not a very big fan of “blogger events”. Unless I know that at least one of my friends will be attending (or be my plus one), I prefer to sit these events out. The reason is that they’re usually poorly managed and have far too many people for them to make an intimate experience. However, when I got invited for a blogger dinner at The Restaurant at The Address Boulevard, I knew there’s no way out of this (even though I didn’t know who else was attending and all my plus ones were busy that night), because I can never say no to the person who invited me: Imane, their Senior Marketing Manager.
M was out out of town that night, so I decided to head out a little earlier, and swing by Dubai Mall for a while before heading to the dinner. I did my usual round of Fortnum & Mason, TWG and Holland & Barret. Then I walked -the million miles one has to walk within Dubai Mall regardless of the destination- to get to the taxi stand, where I had to wait in line for a good 20 minutes before I got a taxi. Here’s the funny part: as soon as I exited Dubai Mall, I saw The Address Boulevard right across the street, and there I was, stuck in traffic, waiting for the taxi to make the necessary U-Turn. At this point I realized it would have been quicker for me to have just walked. I later learnt that there is actually a connecting bridge that pedestrians can take directly from Dubai Mall to The Address Boulevard. Face Palm.
As soon as the taxi pulled up to the main entrance, I knew that The Address Boulevard will be a game changer for The Address Hotels. It was clearly, visibly, more extravagant. The traditionally modern architecture that is synonymous with The Address Hotels was met with explicit grandeur at The Address Boulevard. I couldn’t help but draw a similarity between this property and Palazzo Versace, and that was mainly because of how luminous and white this hotel was on the inside. A closer look revealed a lot more Khaleeji influences here as compared to Palazzo Versace.
I headed up to the 3rd floor, where The Restaurant is located. Very much to my excitement, right after meeting Imane (who is always a breath of fresh air), I saw Courtney of AtoZaatar! YAY! She then told me Zoe Bowker is also on her way, and that’s when I knew the night was going to be a blast- and it was 🙂 We sat out on the terrace, with the most breathtaking view of Burj Khalifa standing tall. A cool summer breeze, welcome drinks (mocktail in my case), lightly seasoned nuts started the night off on a high note. In case you’re wondering, there were only about 9 bloggers, so rest assured, this was an intimate, classy event.
The Restaurant is a new concept. Yes, they’re not the pioneers in the whole “loft-like” feel (in Dubai, the pioneer is The Experience). They are, however, the first to do it on such a large scale. This is the most chic 24-hour restaurant cum lounge that I have ever seen in a hotel. This is not your all-day-diner. This is way too chic for that. There are no buffets here, only ala carte. The best part? The Restaurant is sprawled across a huge area, to actually resemble a massive Parisian apartment. As you walk through The Restaurant, you feel like you’re walking through an actual, stylishly decorated, very large apartment; the only difference is that admist the decor, are dining tables, coffee tables, lounge tables, and plenty of space for people to eat, drink and have a good time with friends.
There was something for everyone there, as far as ambience is concerned. From a proper, formal dining room, through a library, walk-in closet, study, kitchen, lounge, terrace, collection room, a game room, to even a secret hidden room where 3 proposals have already taken place, The Restaurant is truly breathtaking. We ate at a long table in the “Kitchen”, and suffice to say, the food was beautifully presented and went down easy. I’ll do a more detailed review on the menu itself later. All I’ll say for now is that we enjoyed an array of options ranging from the sophisticated to the hearty and comforting.
Dessert was served in the Game Room, on a massive chess board. All eyes were on said chess board, and I was clapping my hands like a seal (only on the inside, I promise I was poised on the outside), and there were lots of oohs and aahs all around. The server told me they stock TWG teas (but of course though, it’s Emaar, they never let me down), so I called for a pot and told him to keep them coming because the night was still young! All the desserts were absolutely exquisite, and I learnt that these are offered with the Afternoon Tea.
After about two pots of tea and more dessert than any sane person should have, I headed out to the terrace and pulled up a chair with Zoe and Courtney, to have another dozen pots of tea. We talked, joked, laughed, and had a really, really good time until -wait for it- 3 a.m! The evening (turned night) made for a truly pleasant and unforgettable one. That, my friends, is an event well- executed. Carefully hand-picked guest list, exquisite food, welcoming ambience and warm hospitality.
Keep rocking, Emaar. The Restaurant and The Address Boulevard are here to stay.