Silver Diamond Necklace At The Pommier Review

The Pommier is an accessory website that brings all the latest, best and most creative designers to you in the comfort of your home. From chic dresses and bold tops to beautiful bags and pretty scarves, they have all this and more. I'm always on the lookout for a new bag, so I loved the selection they had, but the jewellery caught my eye the most - surprise surprise!

The designers here are up and coming, and the quirky designs by Origami jewellery and Good After Nine really stood out. I've reviewed one of the designers featured before too Fei Liu Fine Jewellery and they also sell Adexe Watches which I own, so I was excited to see more designs and pick one for myself.   The emerging designers are sourced especially so you feel you are seeing stars in the making. It's this vibrancy and energy that sets The Pommier apart.

I settled on a design by Myia Bonner called the 'Classic Diamond Necklace'. 

The classic diamond necklace is just a gorgeous design. Made in sterling silver the pendant that dangles from the silver chain is in the shape of a diamond.  The geometric design is symmetrical and ever so pretty and the pendant is a good size, not too big or too small. There are no actual diamonds in the pendant so it's well priced too. 

I really like the simple chain. It's a curb chain of a decent thickness, so you know it will be strong but also it's dainty enough to look elegant. The chain is 41 cm in length but had an extender at the back so it will go to 45 cm. This is approximately 18 inches for those of us who still think in inches! Extender chains are a clever idea as you can adjust the necklace to suit what you are wearing and your neckline.

The necklace comes in two different finishes as well - gold plated on silver and black rhodium plated silver. If you are a gold lover but can't afford the real thing, this gold on silver version is well priced. If you want a slightly more modern look the black necklace would suit. In fact, why not have all three designs to ring the changes?

Priced at £75 for all the different finishes I think the price is affordable too and although it's not super cheap, you know you are getting quality sterling silver. If you want cool and quirky or fresh and wearable then check out the website and see if there are any designs you love as much as I love the diamond necklace above.

Connect yourself to a talent base of global designers by shopping on The Pommier website, go on, you know you want to!

Let me know, what do you think of the necklace I have chosen? Do you like to follow fashions trends?

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Fixes For Common Household Problems

When it comes to problems around the house, it can be tempting to call in the professionals to deal with them - although this can often be very expensive. Sometimes the problems can be easily fixed though - here are some fixes for common household problems that you can do yourself.

Fix Up Your Furniture

Furniture can be easily damaged in the house, especially if you have children and/or pets running around the place. Should you have some small scrapes on your wooden furniture, a shelled walnut is perfect for buffing them out thanks to the oil it deposits which makes scratches disappear. If the scrapes are a lot bigger, consider applying a damp washcloth and then using an iron on it for ten seconds - the wood should swell and push out any dents.

Boost Your Homes Water Pressure

One of the big problems in houses can be the lack of water pressure.  This can be easily rectified by boosting the pressure with a water booster pump such as the Complete Pump Supplies Water Booster Pump. No trickles from the tap any more.

Got A Hole In The Wall?

A hole in the wall is an utter nightmare but is more common than you think. It may seem like you need to call someone in but a hole can be easily sorted if you know what to do. Use a simple filler to fill the hole, if it's tiny you may need to make it slightly bigger so the filler can adhere. Other larger holes could be sanded flat and painted or for a final option, head to a hardware store and grab yourself a wall repair kit.

Blocked Drain Problems?

I think perhaps the worst problem in the household is a blocked drain - and it is something we often don’t want to deal with ourselves. Often we try ourselves with a chemical solution, it doesn’t work and we call someone out as it has actually made it worse. But a blocked drain can be simply sorted naturally.

A blocked drain is usually caused by a clog on the P-trap of the sink, the bit where the pipe curves underneath. Put a bucket below to catch any spills, unscrew the bottom part, clear the debris and screw it back - that should usually sort any drain blockage easily.

Are You Getting Rusty?

Rust can be a big problem in houses and it can seem really hard to get rid of. However, if you try using some cleaning powder and a mildy abrasive sponge, you should be able to buff it up shiny and new. Make sure the basin or whatever you are trying to sort out is completely dry, sprinkle the cleaning powder onto the rust and slightly dampen (do not make it soaking wet as this won’t work) the rough side of your abrasive sponge. Then scrub. The rust stains should flake off!

Can’t Get Into Your Drawers?

A bedside drawer that won’t open is a nightmare but this too can be easily sorted. I
f they are on a metal track, remove the drawers and apply WD-40 before putting the drawers back in. Easy peasy. If they aren’t on a metal track, try this trick of rubbing the flat side of a candle onto the bottom corners of the base of the drawer. This should make it much easier to slide in and out.

Mould Making You Mad?

My final tip is to get rid of mould. Now usually this is quite easy to keep away from if you have a regular cleaning routine but all houses end up with some mould at some points. Try mixing one part bleach to nine parts water and apply to the spot with a non-abrasive sponge. Leave for 30 seconds and then be sure to rinse thoroughly.

What fixes do you have for common household problems?

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Simple Tips And Tricks To Stop Your Flowers Dying This Winter

It’s always a worry in the winter months whether your plants will survive. After all, the poor weather can often cause the flowers to deteriorate and die, and spending less time in the garden means you don’t tend to the plants as often as you should. In fact, a lot of gardeners have to then replenish their flowers when spring arrives. However, the winter months doesn’t mean the end for your flowers if you do prepare in advance. There are some easy ways to ensure they stay alive so your garden stays looking beautiful during the winter. Here are some simple tips and tricks to stop your flowers dying this winter.

Make sure they are situated in the shade

One of the top reasons why flowers often end up dying during the winter months is the fact that the cold weather affects them. The heavy rainfall and snow can cause the flowers to die in the cold weather. If you want to stop your flowers dying this winter, you should make sure they have significant shade during the cold months. It might be the case they are placed in some form of polytunnel or greenhouse during the winter. This will provide them with the shade and warmth they need to still grow well. You can also use some form of garden fabric or blanket which will cover the flowers during winter. That way, the fabric will get wet rather than the flowers when there is heavy rainfall or snowfall. If the flowers are in pots, you can place them well underneath furniture like a bench from Sloane and Sons Garden Benches, which will give protection and significant cover from the bad weather.

Put the flowers in pots inside the home

It’s also a good idea to bring more sensitive plants inside your home in a pot to ensure it doesn’t die during the winter. As Cnet explains, you should really try to bring the plant in before the temperature drops below 45 degrees (7 degrees c) at night. Replant the flower in a good-sized pot which will allow room for it to stay healthy and grow well, then place it in a warm area of your home where it will have access to some form of sunlight. You can buy an indoor plant light which can give it the sufficient sunlight it needs to grow well in the winter months. Remember to only water it when needed as flowers don’t need as much watering in the winter months.

Do some winter mulching

Another thing you can do to your flowers to ensure they last during the winter months is to do some mulching before the frost and snow arrive. For example, you can use compost, straw, dry leaves, newspaper clippings and wood chips to place it all around the
 base of the plants. As this article reveals, try to place it 4 to 6 inches around the base of the flowers. This will ensure that the flowers are protected from the harshest winds and freezing conditions during this winter. Just make sure you remember to remove it when the warmer weather arrives so that the flowers can get access to the sunlight. As well as providing protection, it can help to insulate the plants and help the flowers to get their much-needed necessary nutrients in the winter.

Top Five Favourite Christmas Vacations

Have you ever thought of going away for Christmas? I must admit, it is very tempting, to leave the hassle of Christmas preparations and whisk myself and my family off somewhere else, stress-free. So whether you want to go somewhere hot and get away from it all, or somewhere cold and have all the trimmings of Christmas but in a different country, here is my top five favourite Christmas vacations. 

1. A beach holiday somewhere hot 

There are a number of countries that have hot weather in the Winter and if you are tired of the cold and wet UK Winter why not jet off somewhere hot at this time of year?  The Canary Islands, Aruba, Mexico, South Africa and Australia all have great weather in December. 

Instead of having a Christmas dinner why not embrace the culture and have the local cuisine, how much fun would it be to have a barbecue in Australia or burritos in Mexico on Christmas Day? Floating on this amazing gold unicorn pool floatie would be so relaxing.  Not for everyone maybe but I would love some sun at Christmas for sure.

2 A festive break somewhere cold

A holiday away from the UK but somewhere festive and cold would be another option.  Nowhere does Christmas markets like Germany for example, so visit Hamburg, Frankfurt or Berlin and nosh down on sausages and mulled wine whilst shopping for Christmas decorations. Be wary if you stumble upon the 'adult'' Christmas market in Hamburg though as you could be in for a shock!

You could also visit Vienna or why not visit Prague with a fabulous Christmas market in the Old Town Square? There are lots of choices of where to visit in Europe in Europe for a festive Christmas.

3. A Christmas shopping trip

I can't imagine anything more exciting than combining a Christmas break with going shopping,  especially when it's somewhere you don't go every day. Paris is beautiful at Christmas and there are a number of Christmas markets selling Parisian gifts.

For the ultimate Christmas shopping trip though, New York must be the most popular. At the centre of the festivities is the Rockefeller Centre with its famous Christmas ice rink, and not far away is Central Park with its market with over 100 vendors. Of course shops such as Macy's are a must see too for their infamous Christmas displays. Tell me who wouldn't want to go to New York at Christmas?

4. A staycation in a luxury hotel 

If you don't want to fly anywhere or travel long distances at Christmas, you could just pack all the family up and go to a luxury hotel... why you could just leave the family at home and go to a luxury hotel on your own!

Seriously, although Christmas dinner can be expensive, you won't have to shop, prepare and cook Christmas dinner, and hotels in the UK are good at Christmas festivities. We went away to a hotel only a short distance away a few years ago and the combination of a stay in a luxury hotel with the use of the spa and pool and Christmas dinner all cooked for us, made for a relaxing break. 

5. A Christmas ski holiday 

Whether you are an expert skier or a novice, a Christmas ski holiday always looks a lot of fun. Perfect for families you can combine the fun of a snow-filled break with skiing, snowboarding and all sorts of snow-based activities. 

Mark Warner have some lovely sounding ski holidays in European destinations such as Austria and France with Christmas festivities thrown in. Enjoy mulled wine and mince pies for afternoon tea and Christmas dinner with all the trimmings.  You may even see Santa himself! With many resorts having festivities on and off the slopes it can be a fun way of celebrating Christmas.

Tell me have you ever thought of going away for Christmas? Where would you idea Christmas vacation be?

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Fixing Up Your Bathroom For The Festive Season

Before long it will be Christmas, the time for family and friends to get together and celebrate. With all the festivities happening you may have people staying with you, and then its the time to ...panic! Ok, not really but you may start to think about sprucing up your home in time for your guests. Key rooms are the lounge, kitchen and the bathroom. You may not be able to focus on more than one room so here is my guide to fixing up your bathroom for the festive season.

Refresh the grouting

Grout can yellow with age and over time even get mouldy in the warm conditions of the bathroom. There are a couple of things you can do to refresh your grouting and make your bathroom look clean again. Firstly try the simple fix of mixing some baking soda with water to a paste and apply to the grouting, gently working in with a toothbrush, leave for a few minutes, then rinse off with water.  If the grout is still looking yellow try a grout renew or grout rescue product instead.

Change the shower curtain

Shower curtains, if not looked after can get mouldy which can give off a musty odour. Of course, you can buy products to remove the mould, but why not buy a shower curtain, many priced under £20 and replace it to get a fresh look straight away. If you need a new shower curtain rail, some of the best ones are Stainless Steel by companies such as Byretech as they don't rust and they will look perfect for years.

Replace or upcycle the cabinets

If you have got old marked cabinets, there are a few things you can do. Upcycle an old wooden cabinet, by sanding it down, using a primer and then giving it a fresh coat of paint. If you have the budget you can replace them too, why not look in the Black Friday sales for bargains? Online sites such as Argos, Homebase or Victoria Plump will have a range in stock. Even catalogues like J D Williams have bathroom cabinets and if you order you can spread the cost near Christmas. Be careful of choosing metal cabinets that can rust in the damp conditions though, instead choose a wood cabinet which can be surprisingly cost cheap to buy. 

Get new accessories

Splashing out on some new accessories can make the bathroom look great in no time. Replace the scratchy towels with plush fluffy new ones, tidy away the toothbrushes with a smart new toothbrush holder, even replacing a mirror can add a different look. To give the feel of a hotel, order some soft robes ready for your guests to stay. For the finishing touch, some fresh flowers will set your bathroom off to perfection.

Upgrade the floor

If you have a wood floor, painting it can give it a whole new lease of life. Make sure you clean it well first and use a primer so the paint, will adhere and last longer. Use a proper floor paint that is hard wearing and can take the footfall, or why not put down water-resistant laminate which is relatively cheap and can give your bathroom a whole new look instantly?

Do you have people staying over the festive season? 

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5 Valleys Aparthotel with Michael Paul Holidays

Earlier this month I was invited to review an apartment in Stroud with a group of local bloggers.  Stroud is a market town in Gloucestershire England, in the middle of the Cotswolds, brimming with cafes, galleries and independent shops and home to one of the best farmer's markets in England.

The 5 Valleys Aparthotel is situated a 15-minute stroll along the canal from Stroud. The aparthotel looks like a large home but there is a large sign so you won't miss it from the road. Prior to check in, we were emailed a key code for the outer door and apartment. I liked this idea as we didn't have to worry about collecting keys and there is no chance of losing them.

The apartment consisted of a large double bedroom, with a lounge/kitchen/diner and a shower room.  The bedroom had a large double bed with wood pallet headboard, a small TV on the wall, full-length mirror, hairdryer and small chest unit. There was no wardrobe, instead, there were coat hooks and hangers in a space reserved for clothing. It was nice to see USB points next to the bedroom by the powerpoint.

The whole apartment was clean and fresh looking with white walls, and a decor of beige and cream, with the odd pop of colour from wall prints and accessories. The carpet in the bedroom looked a great quality and there was laminate flooring in the lounge and bathroom. The apartments were totally refurbished in June of this year and it showed, everything was spotless and there were no marks on the walls or scruffy furnishings.

The lounge consisted of a two seater settee, with table, large wall mounted flat screen TV and a small table with two chairs. 

It was nice to have a DAB radio to listen to music in the lounge area.

The kitchen area was small but had most things you would need for a short stay. The usual dishes, cutlery and cups, as well as a microwave, fridge, small dishwasher, toaster, kettle and a two ring hob but no oven. 

There is an ironing board that is hidden away and pulls out in a nifty way and also an iron.

Dishwasher tablets, eco-friendly handwash and Ecover washing up liquid were provided and it was nice to see that the owners care about the environment.

I was pleased to see a safe, something I rarely see in apartments. 

Everything was spotless and of a good quality. The hob did take a little getting used to but instructions were in the welcome booklet provided. Also in the welcome book was contact numbers and information on what to do in the local area.

It was nice to see fresh milk in the fridge, as well as tea and coffee and simple supplies for breakfast, such as pain au chocolate and porridge. 

I always wonder if I should take shower gel when I stay in an apartment but here I needn't have worried as a large shower gel was provided as well as handwash. You may want to bring some conditioner if you have long hair.

Again the bathroom was spotless and in excellent condition. All fresh and clean looking and I liked the shower design of faux brick. Fluffy towels were left for us in the bedroom, large bath towels as well as smaller hand towels, two each.

Another plus point of staying at the 5 Valley Aparthotel is the free onsite parking, and the town is only a short walk away too. It's also great to get free and fast complimentary Wi-Fi, which I think is essential these days. 

We had a chance to look around another room, and every room has the same style but was slightly different and unique. The photos on the wall were taken by Simon, the owner, and were of the local area. If you are a dog lover you will be pleased to know that they even take well-behaved dogs, and pride themselves on the cleaning service after so you know the apartments will be spotless, like we found it.

You can book the 5 Valley Aparthotel through Michael Paul Holidays, who personally vet the accommodation they showcase on their website. From self-catering lodges and villas to traditional cottages and sleek modern apartments, it's reassuring that the staff personally vet the accommodation so you know you will get a great stay. 

The stroll into Stroud along the canals was lovely and we even got to see some swans.

With rooms starting at £65 a night low season, I think for this price you get quality spacious accommodation at a bargain price. I am not the only one who liked the apartment, here is another review of the 5 Valleys Aparthotel from Leanne The Globetrotting GP. You can also check out what to do in Stroud from Heather On Her Travels and where to stay and what to do in Stroud from Ladies What Travel.

I would definitely stay at the 5 Valleys Aparthotel again if I wanted to explore the area more. Simon the owner has done a great job with refurbishment too. Check out this apartment hotel if you want to explore the Cotswolds.


*We were given a complimentary stay but all words and opinions are my own 

Add A Personal Touch To Your Christmas Wish List

When it comes to Christmas gifts, it can be hard to decide what to get certain people. Sure, you will have ideas - but whether they will actually like it is another matter. You also want to ensure that you aren’t getting them something that someone else is getting because that could be super awkward. Why not consider giving them a gift with a personal touch this festive season? We’ve got you covered with this selection of personalised gift ideas for your loved ones.

Consider eco-friendly options

You don’t need to opt for plastic tatt for personalised gift options. Think about eco-friendly options that you can use again. Hessian is a great item that is both high quality and environmentally friendly so what about a hessian jute bag for Santa's sack. They are very popular right now - for personalised hessian bags.

Add to the kitchenware

Whilst everyone seems to have a personalised mug in their cupboards at home, did you know you can get so much more kitchenware personalised with the name or quote of your choice? If the person you are buying for loves cheese and often has a cheese platter out for guests, why not consider a personalised cheese board? A budding chef may appreciate a personalised set of knives with their initials like proper chefs have, whilst if you are buying for kids, they may love a personalised breakfast set.

Something truly unique to them may be key

Something that could be really special is a personalised newspaper from the day that they were born or a picture made up of words that mean the most to them such as family names, football teams, pet names and things like that.

Think about your homeware

Pretty much anything can be personalised now, including homeware. You can get some beautiful cushions, personalised with your favourite quotes or photos of the people you love. You can get personalised candles as gifts which are great because who doesn’t love a candle? You can even get doormats and personalised and engraved glassware - a tankard for your real ale loving father or an extra-large wine glass for your sister may make an amazing gift.

What about some consumables?

Something that seems to have also grown in popularity in recent years is the personalised consumables. You can get marshmallows with pictures printed on them (a lovely gift idea for someone with a sweet tooth), you can get bottles of alcohol with a special message for your loved one engraved into the label, you can get food hampers personalised with the name of the person you love. If the person you are buying for is a big food and drink lover, a consumable gift may be the perfect one for them!

It can be so tempting to head online and buy from the big companies this festive season but try to consider the smaller businesses this Christmas - they will truly appreciate your custom and you will often find that their products are not only much better quality but also more affordable too. Why not give your gifts the personal touch this Christmas - the recipient will surely appreciate it too.

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Cool Cocktails For The Festive Season

Do you love a tipple at Christmas time? I love to indulge in a festive drink with family and friends over Yuletide and have a selection of cocktail recipes I keep going back to. I love hosting Christmas get-togethers and meeting up at my friends' parties too. I also love to attend local Christmas events where I may indulge in a cocktail or two too. Here are some cool cocktails you can try this festive season.

Mulled Wine For A Taste Of Christmas

Let’s start with perhaps one of the most festive drinks you can get - mulled wine! Well, technically not a cocktail as it has no spirits in it, its just the most festive drink you can get, usually made with red wine and various mulling spices! I often enjoy it when looking around Christmas markets. If you want a winter warmer drink, then mulled wine might be the one for you.

Eggnog For Everyone

The other festive tipple we all enjoy, eggnog is always a popular choice. A rich, chilled and sweetened dairy-based beverage, some people really love it and some absolutely hate it! Traditionally made with milk, cream, sugar, whipped egg whites and egg yolks, it occasionally contains some distilled spirits such as brandy, rum, whisky or bourbon. I don’t mind an eggnog over Christmas but it isn’t my tipple of choice.

Make Mine A Martini

Perhaps the coolest and most chic cocktail on this list, the Martini is a popular choice in my house. We always have some gin on hand, whether it be a full-size bottle or a collection of miniatures like what Just Miniatures have to offer. A gin martini is one of my favourite cocktails. Containing gin, vermouth and a zest of lemon, it is absolutely delicious and something I will certainly be enjoying this year.

The Classic Mojito

Ask everyone to name a cocktail and a mojito will often come up high in the list. It is a cocktail that plenty of people enjoy and consists of five ingredients - white rum, sugar, lime juice, soda and mint. It is a super popular drink during the summer but it can also be enjoyed during winter too. This is the perfect cocktail to introduce people to cocktails if they haven’t really had one before - they are flavourful and refreshing.

Mimosa In The Morning

A mimosa is the perfect choice for Christmas morning. It is composed of one part champagne and one part chilled citrus juice, usually orange juice. You’ll often find this served at weddings but this is also a popular choice when it comes to Christmas Day breakfasts. Many people don’t really eat a proper breakfast on Christmas Day due to the large meal they will be consuming just a few hours later but they might enjoy some light food and a mimosa each. You may have seen it has become the official drink of brunch!

These are my recommended cocktails for the festive season but you may have others you prefer. With all the Christmas parties and events coming up, it is guaranteed that there will be cocktails flowing aplenty - what will you be drinking?

How To Give Your Bathroom A New Look

They say your kitchen is the heart of the home but the bathroom is where we spend a surprising amount of time too, getting ready for the day, making ourselves look presentable or winding down and relaxing at the end of it in a bath or shower. However, if your bathroom is grotty and in need of a revamp it can make us not to want to spend time in there, so here are some ways on how to give your bathroom a new look, whether you can afford to spend thousands of pounds or only a few pennies.

The clever use of tiles

You can create a big style statement with the use of tiles in a bathroom. Tiles are also hygienic and easier to keep clean than carpet that can attract mould. A gorgeous mosaic tile can be so pretty, and white tiles along the wall can make the bathroom appear super clean, and give it a hotel feel. If you can't afford to do a complete tile makeover, it's important to fix any broken tiles and revamp the grouting, as this can make the bathroom looked unloved. 

Companies like Tiles and Bathrooms can be a one-stop shop for all your bathroom needs and can be very competitive on price too.

Updating fixtures and fittings

Replacing your fixtures and fittings can give your bathroom a new look for the fraction of the price of a total bathroom refit. Go for clean lines and classic fixtures and fittings that won't date, like sleek
 new taps. You could also consider a new radiator like a modern ladder radiator to bring your bathroom up to date and bring a luxury bathroom feel. 

Paint for a simple refresh

One of the simplest ways to refresh your bathroom is with a lick of paint. It's also relatively affordable too. Firstly be sure to clean the wall properly so that there is no soap scum and that the paint will adhere properly. Use an undercoat, and then moisture-resistant paint as it's the best type for a bathroom. Go for a light colour for a small space if you want to make it look bigger, or if you want to create an impact, paint one wall in a bright cheerful colour. It's totally up to you!

Accessorise accessorise

Consider replacing everything that is moveable. A new bath mat and soft fluffy towels can make the room look fresh and clean. Replace toothbrush holders, soap dishes and kids bath toys with nice new ones - they may be getting old and mouldy anyway. A new shower curtain can help change the look of a bathroom in no time and aren't expensive, and buying a wall-mounted mirror can add the feeling of light and space.

Light up the way

Bathroom lighting has to be bright enough to illuminate properly but you can update your lighting by creating some ambient lighting with a mix of lighting options.  Consider bright lighting by the mirror for shaving or makeup applying, candles around the bath for a relaxing soak and downlighting by the shower or bath. Check out your local homeware store for some fresh bathroom options.

So let me know, what do you think of these ideas?  Have you ever revamped a bathroom?

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What To Do In Doha Qatar In 48 Hours

Doha is a destination in the Middle East you may not have thought of visiting but if you want a cultural and foodie destination it's an interesting place to explore. The capital city of the State Of Qatar it's a destination with great weather all year round and is particularly good for a Winter break between November to April when it is still warm. 

With new flights from Cardiff Airport to Doha with Qatar Airways making it an easy stopover destination, it's also becoming a destination in its own right. Cardiff Airport and Qatar Airways invited me to spend 48 hours there recently with a group of bloggers and journalists, so this is what I got up to. Here is what to do in Doha Qatar in 48 hours.

Admire the architecture

Doha is a young city and many buildings are very modern and almost futuristic, think tall sleek hotels and offices dotting the skyline, which makes for an amazing lit up landscape at night.  Other buildings take their design inspiration from the Islamic culture, with geometric and interlaced patterns and archways being design features.

The Katara Blue Mosque (Katara Masjid) is one of the most beautiful mosques in the city with a gorgeous decoration of purple and turquoise mosaic tiles and a glamorous interior designed by Zainab Fadil Oglu, an internationally renowned Turkish mosque designer.  If you are a woman you need to have your shoulders, head and knees covered for entry, however, they will give you trousers and a scarf if you do not come prepared. 

Visit The Katara Cultural Village
The Katara Cultural Village is home to many art and cultural venues such halls and galleries that house art exhibitions, conferences, seminars and workshops an opera house, an amphitheatre and drama theatre, a beach and gardens. It's also home to the aforementioned Katara Blue Mosque and the Golden Mosque.

We spent a few minutes watching the water fountains at the Ampitheatre. 

Close by there is also a beach that has a variety of watersports, such as waterskiing, parasailing and boat rides as well as children's play area and an inflatable playground in the water. Entrance to the beach is currently free but activities are chargeable. There is a dress code for the beach, and bikinis and Speedos are not allowed, instead, shorts and rash vests are encouraged.

Shop in a souk

There are modern shopping malls in Qatar but for the really authentic experience, a visit to Souq Waqif is a must. It was founded hundreds of years ago but fell into decline until 2006 when it was sympathetically restored.  Haggling is encouraged but remember to have cash on you as many places won't take cards.

The spice market and fabric market here is a feast for the senses, and why not visit a shisha cafe or one of the local restaurants in the area when you are here? There is also a gold market specialising in high end 18 ct and 22ct jewellery, which I would have loved to have seen but didn't have time for- maybe next time!

World Cup 2022

When I was Qatar we were shown around the headquarters of the Qatar Football Federation. Qatar is the venue for the 22nd FIFA World Cup in 2022 so if you aren't already familiar with this country you soon will be.

The stadiums, many of them new will incorporate solar panelling. All 12 stadiums are within driving distance of each other and the new stadiums being built will be carbon neutral as well as fitted with air conditioning. They will have fan zones were drinking alcohol will be allowed too, as currently alcohol is only allowed in hotels. Plans for what to do with the stadiums after the world cup have already been thought about, with a hospital, community centres and hotels being discussed.

Tour Al Shaqab

Al Shaqab is a huge equestrian centre in the city known for its prize Arabian horses. These beautiful animals have been part of Qatari daily life for hundreds of years. The centre is fitted with state of the art facilities to look after and train the horses and promote the rich equestrian heritage of Qatar. It even has a swimming pool for the horses to help with the rehabilitation of injured horses.  

The complex is designed in a giant horseshoe shape. You can tour the facility but this needs to be booked in advance on their website, or check out when the events are on to see the horses perform in various shows.

Devour the food

Doha has many restaurants serving traditional Arabic food and also a number of cosmopolitan restaurants serving world-class cuisine.  We ate at Al Terrace, part of the Al Mirqab Boutique Hotel. This restaurant serves a mix of Lebanese and Arabic cuisine.  Good sized portions and an overindulgence in the delicious starters meant that when the grilled meat came we had so much food we thought we would burst!

On our second night, we ate at Nobu Doha, the Japanese high-end restaurant chain, part of The Four Season Hotel, and the largest Nobu in the world.

Right on the water's edge of the Arabian Gulf, the rooftop had amazing views of the city. The food was simply sublime, a mix of Japanese dishes such as sushi, sashimi and teriyaki. The presentation was beautiful and the flavours exceptional.

Where to stay

We stayed at the Four Seasons Hotel Doha. This luxury five-star hotel, part of the Four Seasons chain is a fabulous place to stay. Rooms are large, understated and elegant and the service is exceptional. We had a suite with a separate living area, and complimentary water and fruit every day as well as fresh roses in our room.

We also had this tasty treat above awaiting us, it was almost like a work of art.

The breakfasts were amazing, from freshly squeezed fruit juice made in front of you to a variety of Middle Eastern, Asian and Western dishes, including Arabic breads, Indian dosa, Chinese dumplings, pancakes, frittata, waffles, French toast and omelettes made to order. Everything you could wish for really and more.
The view from our room was to die for. I mean look at it!  We relaxed on the beach on the first afternoon, and after liberally applying the water-resistant suncream (it was over 35 degrees), we had a dip in the warm water of the Persian Gulf. Dozing on a sunbed as the sun went down was sheer bliss. With a relaxing spa, a variety of dining options, and its wonderful location on its own private beach,  I can highly recommend a stay here.

What to wear

Doha is an Islamic country. If you are a woman I would advise that you dress conservatively outside of hotels and private beaches. If you are going to the souks or out and about shoulders should be covered and short skirts and skin-tight shorts frowned upon. To visit a mosque then your head, as well as your knees and shoulders, should be covered. When we visited the Blue Mosque we were given trousers and head scarves to wear.

Pin for later

So this is my 48 hours in Doha in Qatar. If I had longer I would definitely have taken a tour into the desert, seen the sand dunes, and visited the Islamic Museum of Art.  Doha is certainly an interesting place to explore, a mix of modern and traditional culture that makes for a beautiful and unique destination.  

For further information check out what I thought about flying business class to Doha on my Qatar Airways flight and I can recommend Visit Qatar as a useful resource to plan your trip.

* I was given a complimentary press trip but was not paid for my content. All opinions are my own.