Words and selected images by Lynsey Riach
Additional photography by Valeria Marinova
A trip to Venice may not be as far-flung as you would think now we have our very own dedication to the ancient city (in true Qatari style!) at Qanat Quartier, The Pearl.
Let’s imagine it’s Saturday and the sun is shining! We can start this day with an injection of electrolytes by slurping a fresh coconut (through a bamboo straw) at Evergreen Organics and, if you really fancy it, a bite of their raw cacao balls too. Feeling fruity, head next door to Niya Yoga to unroll your mat and move your body to the flow of one of their classes. If you feel the need, meditate on it after.
Feeling zen, your tummy tells you it’s time to eat! A short stroll through the brightly-coloured buildings and canals of QQ will lead you to the replica Rialto bridge from which you can cross and settle into a window seat at The Breakfast Club. Did you read that right? Black velvet pancakes? Order them on the iPad menu and remind yourself you’ve earned it after yoga this morning. Too sweet? Opt for their all-American breakfast instead then. After, pop past Waffles & Coffee on the bridge for a takeaway cup to accompany you on your stroll down to the breezy beach where sun-worshippers lay and kite-surfers play.
(Lemonade with activated charcoal at Evergreen Organics)
Take a splash in the water or, what about a go one of the bicycle pedalos? Feeling that you’ve clocked up significant tan-time, you can take a wander around the marina district where you catch sight of the magnificent beauty that is the Marsa Malaz Kempinski rising from the water. Take some time to enjoy the view before heading back through the maze and wonder of QQ.
You might stumble upon Melia Flowers with their beautiful bouquets and floral aroma. Next door, sit down to enjoy a cup of tea and slice of cake at Artist Café while you paint on your very own canvas whatever you may like.
After that cake, a little more exercise is on the agenda, so cross the Piazza and hit Gymmitto to try one of their many classes; think spin, Body-Pump or Zumba. Feeling those legs a little shaky, stumble across the courtyard to Diva Lounge for a quick shoulder and back massage before you start to feel peckish again. Esmer Chef has your name on it, Italian and Turkish cuisine with homemade pizzas and a canal-side seat leave you feeling that this could very well be the real Venice minus the gondolas (but they’ll be appearing soon enough). And, of course, after every meal a sweet treat is needed, so you walk around the corner to Mr. Blend for one of his crazy concoctions – let’s opt for the Brownie Overload!
(Harley Quinn says 'Hi' at Doha Comics)
If the geek in you shines through, Doha Comics awaits. Trawl through their extensive collection before taking a trip up the steep steps to Fashion Outlet for a bit of retail therapy. Did you read that right? Crepa Crepa? Yup…more sweetness awaits! If you’re feeling suitably stacked full of food, then an Iced Chocolate surely couldn’t hurt right?
Take a further stroll up and over the Venetian stairs, wind through beautiful terraces with ever-flowing fountains, passing Burger Street on your way back to the Rialto. Stop at the designated ‘Selfie Spot’ and snap to your heart’s content before browsing through Nobolla for organic wooden sunglasses and watches direct from Lebanon. Need some supplies for home? Crop Mart has it all.
As the sun begins to set as you take a well-deserved rest on the many benches facing the canal near N.Zain Café, Baskin Robbins, and Chimney Cake. Reflecting on your destination day, a variety of music pipes out – and then, you catch sight of a pug working out on its very own doggy treadmill at The Furr Camp and you can’t resist a peek into this designer doggy showroom!
(Pamper your pet at The Furr Camp)
If you fancy one final treat for the day as you stroll on back to the car valet…a true Italian cappuccino from Antibassi, and a bowl of pasta carbonara to feast on later from Casa Luna will do just the trick!
Have you stopped by the revived and revitalized Qanat Quartier lately? If so, tell us your favourite spots to browse, dine, or shop in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to give us a like and a share – it keeps us going!
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