Season’s Greetings! (And a Giveaway of the Entertainer – Fine Dining Dubai 2013 )

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Artsy Christmas Tree
Artsy Christmas Tree @ Jumeirah Creekside Hotel

Christmas is nearly upon us with some stores in Dubai displaying their Christmas trees and window decorations since early November. Personally, that’s too early for me as I can’t even begin to think about Christmas until our Thanksgiving feasting was done and over with.

Due to Scotch’s work schedule we will be spending the Christmas holiday in Dubai and this past weekend we had a mini staycation at Jumeirah Creekside – a newly opened hotel right across from Irish Village in Garhoud.

Every Jumeirah hotel has its unique charm and this one presents an artsy and boutique-y look and feel. I was told that every piece of art in the hotel was commissioned and there is an in-house art director to guide guests through the hotel’s artwork.

Since my cooking class at Verre (now Table 9 by Scott Price and Nick Alvis), I have developed an interest in hotel cooking classes where I not only get to create fancy restaurant food (and eat it!), but also get a chance to learn new cooking techniques, use expensive gadgets, and watch professional chefs in action.

Every evening at 7 pm there is the option of participating in a cooking class at Creekside’s Blue Flame Grand Grill and Restaurant. Led by Chef Dannet D’Souza, Scotch and I took part in one of these classes (this actually happened a few weeks ago but I never got around to posting the photos) where we prepped and cooked Arctic char with smoked salsify, celery, sunchoke puree and truffle sauce.

Blue Flame Cooking Class
Blue Flame Cooking Class

We learned how to get perfectly crisp skin on the Artcic char, use a smoking gun to impart a smokey flavor to the salsify, and make sunchoke (aka Jerusalum artichoke) truffle puree in a Thermomix – all while sipping champagne and enjoying oysters from the raw bar.

Please visit the restaurant’s website to see the prices and schedule of cooking classes and you can see more photos from our class on my Facebook album here.

Blue Flame - Arctic Char Recipe
Blue Flame – Arctic Char Recipe

At the Friday brunch this weekend in Nomad, there was a kids activity area where Wee Scotch had fun decorating cookies and cupcakes with gummy candy and icing, jumping in the bouncy castle, and feeding the ducks in the pond.

He still shies away from the face painting station but he loves chasing the big boys in Spider-Man face-paint.

Nomad Brunch - Jumeirah Creekside Hotel
Wee Scotch at the Nomad Brunch


Duck Pond - Jumeirah Creekside Hotel
Duck Pond and Turtle House at Jumeirah Creekside (Irish Village in the background)

Scotch and Wee Scotch threw/kicked a rugby ball around while I sat on the picnic lawn engrossing myself in the Game of Thrones novels.

I would have enveloped myself in one of the hotels’s hammocks but for the life of me I couldn’t figure out how to keep myself on top of the darn things.

Lawn - Jumeirah Creekside Hotel
Lawn – Jumeirah Creekside Hotel

On Saturday evening, the hotel’s Festive Market debuted and we walked around the different chalets to soak up the holiday atmosphere while sipping lovely mulled wine and hot apple cider that we bought at one of the refreshment chalets.

The Festive Market is open from 4 pm – 11 pm on weekdays and 12 pm – 11 pm on weekends and will run until December 27th.

Christmas Market - Jumeirah Creekside Hotel
Christmas Market – Jumeirah Creekside Hotel

With the sound of ringing bells, Santa Claus made an appearance and drove all the children at the Christmas market into a state of excitement. Wee Scotch got to sit on Santa’s knee for the very first time.

Santa at Christmas Market - Jumeirah Creekside Hotel
Santa at Christmas Market – Jumeirah Creekside Hotel

Disclosure – We were guests of the Jumeirah Creekside hotel and the cooking class at Blue Flame but all views expressed here are our own.

*   *   *   *   *

After this weekend of mulled wine, Christmas markets, Santa Claus, and my first ever taste of goose confit (paired with goose liver – heavenly!) at Blue Flame, I feel very much in the Christmas mood and in the spirit of giving, I would like to offer you the chance to win an Entertainer – Fine Dining Dubai 2013. The value of this book is 395 dhs.

Entertainer - Fine Dining - Dubai 2013
Entertainer – Fine Dining – Dubai 2013

The Entertainer books contain hundreds of Buy one, Get one free coupons and Scotch and I use them quite often at outlets throughout Dubai. From the Fine Dining edition, we have used vouchers for Table 9 and Bice (Hilton), Blue Elephant (Al Bustan Rotana), Peppercrab (Grand Hyatt), Locatelli (Atlantis), and many other restaurants. To see participating outlets for 2013, please click here.

From the Family edition we have used vouchers at Da Shi Dai, Yo Sushi, Costa Coffee, Haagan Daaz, Mini Monsters, and more. Use just one voucher for a desert safari and the book practically pays for itself.

Having started with only a few merchants in Dubai in 2001, the Entertainer now offers 2 for 1 incentives in every country in the GCC, and now Cyprus, Singapore, South Africa, Lebanon, Eqypt and soon the US and UK.

So now, how to enter this giveaway for a free Entertainer – Fine Dining Dubai 2013?

  • First, leave a comment on this blog post telling me what you love most about Ginger and Scotch blog and what you would like to see more of in the future.
  • To increase your chances of winning, you can also tweet about this giveaway (this option can be completed once per day for additional entries. The twitter text should automatically appear when you click the “Tweet” button in Rafflecopter below. If it does not, here is the text to tweet: {Giveaway} Enter to win a FREE Entertainer “Fine Dining Dubai 2013” via @gingerandscotch here:

What’s in the fine print?

  • Very important: This promotion is open to anyone who can accept delivery of the giveaway in person in Dubai.
  • Deadline for this giveaway is December 31st, 2012 at 11:59 pm EST.
  • Winner will be selected via on January 1, 2013 and will be notified by email and on the blog. Should the winner not respond within 5 days, I will select another winner via

Good luck and don’t forget to leave a comment below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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  1. I have narrowed down my blog reading list quite a bit but Ginger and Scotch remains near the top. I love the way you take us on a journey of exploration every time – I always learn something. Your writing is polished but effortless to read – your images simple but stunning. I also read to see wee Scotch’s smiling face 🙂
    I had no idea about that festive market – would have visited…hopefully next year.
    The travel posts are always interesting, and I love the Chinese recipes too. More of the same please. Happy New Year.

    1. Sally – that is such a nice thing to say, I feel so honored! Although my writing will never be as polished as yours. Sorry for the late reply – hope to catch up in person again soon.

  2. I absolutely love the photos that you take and I wish I was there trying the dishes. I would love to see more restaurant reviews in the future.

  3. Looking at your images of the Christmas market one would not think it was in Dubai. It could be here in Weimar LOL! What a lovely idea “staycation” My best friend form here stayed at the Jumeirah Creekside in October and found it fantastic. I’ll have to visit myself when I come down next time. Wishing you and your boys a very Merry Christmas and I think sometimes it can be a blessing in disguise … not traveling but enjoying the time with your boys. Hugs

  4. Love everything about your blog 🙂 From the way you write reviews & all other posts to how user friendly your website is. Love all the pictures, your recipes, the way you section all your posts using tags which makes it very easy to access around. Other than that, I also love that you just do not concentrate on food, there is a little bit of everything that is available in Dubai on your blog.

  5. Hi Ginger! i found your blog through Meeta’s blog- in the comment section. I was just there at Jumeirah creekside hotel on Friday, and clicked a similar picture of the lobby. :D.. I am glad to find another Dubai food blogger. I am loving the names Ginger, scotch and Wee scotch.. You will definitely see more of me around. 🙂

  6. Hi Sandy! Have entered the Raffle… I love the Travel Posts the most in your blog. Specially your posts on the East. Keep churning some lovely travel posts.

    BTW Sandy, in my last competition I had used Rafflecopter – I saw a lot of people had entered the contest but hadn’t left a comment on my post (even though that was the main criterion). Today while entering the Raffle I understood what must have happened. just realised that when I click on the leave a comment – I automatically got one point. Even if I hadn’t left any comment I would have got a point!!!

  7. Your arctic char looks so classy!

    I remember finding my way to your blog looking for UAE recipes, and I must say yours is the best there is online. I hope we get to learn more local recipes on your blog soon 🙂

    1. I’ve been flipping through a new Emirati cooking that Sally lent me. Lots of nice recipes – hoping to try a few myself and post about them next year.

  8. What I love about the blog has to be pictures of Wee Scotch. Too cute!

    On a more serious note, I did enjoy your Cooking Local project. Would love to see more of them in the coming year.

  9. I love Ginger & Scotch from all the other blogs because of the family factor. I have 4 kids so I find it hard to visit many of the restaurants and places reviewed in other blogs. Your blog includes both things for adults and the kids !

    I guess I would like to see more recipes for asian food. Other than that, your blog is pretty much awesome !

  10. Best website for expats. I love the recipes posted on this web page. It has something different all the time. Gives us to try something new.

  11. I love your blog because we’re a cross-ethnic family as well (from the States) and we’re adventurous foodies who also enjoy traveling. You’ve been everywhere we love, so I’ve come to rely on your recommendations! Also, we just moved to Dubai so your blog has been helpful in acquainting us with everything we’re interested in: activities, arts, food, adventure!

    What I love most is the range of activities, restaurants and places you write about! Being from the States, your perspective is refreshing! Can’t WAIT to try the things you’ve posted about! Happy Holidays Ginger & Scotch!

  12. Hello Ginger & Scotch, What I like about your blog is your are my GO-TO source of everything ASIAN cooking here in Dubai (where to get ingredients, recipes etc); In 2013; More Asian cooking recipes and tips etc 🙂