Of Saturdates, Cherry Blossoms, Painting Exhibition, and a Wedding Proposal

When you have half a day of work and a big line up of activities ahead, then you’re definitely in for one amazing weekend.

SHADES CAFÉ AND EATERY

In the Philippines, an “eatery” refers to a small sidewalk restaurant offering fast food to its customers. But its definitely the extreme opposite for Shades Cafe and Eatery as  seen on Instagram photos which looks upscale and modern. And so we decided to give it a try since we heard that the prices are also very reasonable with the ambiance that looks pretty awesome (credit to @qatareats for the idea).

It is located  at the ground floor of Doha Tower, also known as Burj Doha (previously named as Burj Qatar) – or that thimble shaped iconic building in Westbay area. Parking is a bit of a concern especially during working days so the easiest access would be that side of Monoprix and Qatar Petroleum buildings near the new World Trade Center Doha. Enter any of the glass doors and you will easily find Shades Café, the first resto bar to open on this building.

The cafe can sit about 20 or so inside but there are more tables outside where you will be surrounded by plants and lush greeneries… giving diners quite a treat seeing such a setting in an area that is so crowded and busy. They are open from 7am-6pm on Sundays – Thursdays and from 10am-2pm only on Saturdays basically catering to the working professionals in the building/area.

They offer a variety of food choices from sandwiches and pasta to desserts and different kinds of juices and hot beverages. Below are some photos and a quick look at their menu:

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CHINESE FESTIVAL AT MIA PARK

I usually see myself lining up to an exhibition event on its last day… and so we are either stuck in traffic or have to hurry up for some more events for that day.

And as I saw it on my newsfeed, the Chinese Festival held from November 2-5, was well received by the different expat communities in Doha. Upon entering this massive ground turned into a picnic area, you will be greeted by everything quintessentially Chinese: A Paifang, also known as a pailou or the traditional Chinese architectural arch or gateway, a Panda Bear which is native to south central China, the beautifully crafted and air conditioned strip of Chinese bazaar, and a host of different stalls by prominent hotels in Doha offering Chinese foods to the delight of all the guests.

Everything was well planned and how they executed the venue setup left us in awe by their craftsmanship and creativity. I think the highlight of the festivities, aside from the food and the colorful performances, was that line of almost-real cherry blossom trees, recreated magnificently to depict a traditional eastern feel – perfect for Doha’s cooling weather. Cherry Blossoms are widely celebrated in China and other countries in East Asia and it’s exquisitely captured there at the Chinese Festival.

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DIA AZZAWI PAINTING EXHIBITION

Maybe not known to many, the prominent building on the left side of the parking opposite MIA Park is the Qatar Museum’s Al Riwaq Gallery – a state-of-the-art venue showcasing the works of leading local and international contemporary artists and designers. Among their many exhibitions featured are the controversial works by the British artist Damien Hirst’s involving preserved dead animals, and recently The Treasures of China including Terracotta soldiers from the First Emperor’s Terracotta Army.

From October 16, 2016 to April 16, 2017, Al Riwaq will put on display the famous works of Iraqi Artist Dia Al-Azzawi entitled Majnoun Layla (Temptation) showing over 500 works, in a range of media, billed as the biggest exhibition of the artist’s work to date.

You have to at least read some of the painting’s descriptions in order for you to understand the artist’s perspective. Since art is an expression that may seem vague to comprehend, just staring at a painting and trying to figure out the message could stretch out one’s imagination. There are also helpful staff who are willing to explain, as much as they can, about each piece of art.

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WILL YOU MARRY ME?

And what a great way to put a sparkling ending to a very long day than to see two of your friends giggling after that romantic roof top wedding proposal. Creatively organized by their very supportive friends from the church, their journey to forever started that night – the night when EMIL asked JAMIE’s hands in marriage infront of her mother and other family members watching via livestream. It’s when they finally decided to level up their relationship and seriously plan for their wedding and their life together.

It was a long preparation and the team behind this successful marriage proposal headed by the soon-to-be-groom had everything covered from food, flowers, music, beautiful tent, a candle lighted pathway, a collection of photos clipped nicely on a wooden board, and that cute paper bags, intricately cut out and lighted to form the proverbial question, WILL YOU MARRY ME?

Congratulations JAMIL! May this season of preparation not only make you busy with the wedding details but make you able to manage challenges and learn how to sort out any disagreements nicely. A day of wedding is nothing compared to your lifetime of togetherness.  More importantly, this is the best time to get more intimate with God and pray for his leading in your life. (photos courtesy of the event organizer: Amadeuz and Co.)

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