Oman Road Trip 

Well hello there! 

We are now in March 2018 so it’s a little bit embarrassing to say HAPPY NEW YEAR now but since this is my first blog post of the year, I feel like I should?
Quick update since my last post:
-I went to Oman for a few days over Christmas and that’s what this post will be about!

-I went to Pakistan for 10 days after Oman because my mum was there for a few months and I had the best time spending quality time with her. 

-My sister and youngest brother came over recently to visit and we had a delightful time together. Please find below a carefully curated Hatta Dam photograph to give you an idea of the types of things we did together.-My Netflix obsession is still going strong and I am currently watching a Korean series called ‘Tomorrow’s Cantabile’. It’s daft, but I like it.-I have really lost my mojo for all things social media/blogging. I’m sure you can tell by my lack of posts on here and inconsistent posts on Instagram/Snapchat. I guess we all go through these phases but the Instagram algorithm nonsense and just the general rubbish that goes along with it, i.e. blogger pods, fake engagement and fake likes has really put me off posting. The sane part of me knows that it doesn’t matter if only one person reads my posts or sees my content but the other side of me does get frustrated when I spend time creating content and it doesn’t show up on the feeds of those who follow me. I refuse to use any of the methods that are being used to beat the algorithm so I’ve just stopped posting like I used to. Plus I’ve been super busy with a little thing called life too. I guess I need to find my love for writing again and take it back to why I even started this blog.

Right, Oman! 

Full disclosure: I wasn’t expecting much because a few people I spoke to said it was a little boring and they didn’t think it was amazing. My views after road tripping through some parts of Oman a few months ago are the total opposite! I was pleasantly surprised and just got a really good feeling there. I’m big on getting a feeling when you get to a new place. Sounds daft I know but if you trust my opinions here and there then trust my feeling on this one! I think if you go to the capital Muscat and just stay there then you will get bored because there isn’t that much to do there. We went to a few places in and around Muscat which gave us a real insight into the beauty of Oman and we both fell in love with the country. I can’t recommend it enough, ESPECIALLY to those of you who live in neighboring UAE and can drive over so easily!

How we got there

We decided to drive from Dubai to Oman as we knew that there would be a lot of driving around in Oman and it made sense to take our own car rather than hire one when we got there via plane. We took the Sharjah-Kalba road all the way to the Khatam Al Melaha Border crossing. Just do your research on the drive there before you head as there is one particular road which has a border crossing for GCC nationals only and if you’re not a GCC national then you will be sent back. I know a few people that this happened to and it added unnecessary stress and time on to their journey. The Sharjah-Kalba road was really scenic and once we passed the border it literally was a straight road all the way to Muscat. We got our visas at the border and I was going to say this can take some time but a few days ago I read online that getting visas at the border crossing is no longer an option and you have to do it online before you go? Don’t quote me on this but I’m pretty sure this is now the case. The whole visa process took about 45 minutes but can take much longer too during busy times from what I’ve heard. You get your visa in a little immigration office on the side of the road in a wee shed going and coming back. Tip: make sure you have the correct paper work for your car insurance to say that your UAE car insurance includes cover for Oman. Ours did and Atteeq got a letter from the insurance company just to be safe. I’m pretty sure you can purchase the insurance for your car at the border too but it would just be added hassle and being a little bit prepared will save you some time. We set off at 7am and reached our hotel in Muscat at 2pm. Now this included the 45 minutes at immigration and several breaks along the way. We were in no rush so took our time but honestly it really didn’t feel like it took that long because the journey was pretty fun. I would suggest setting off early to save time waiting in immigration queues.
Where we stayed 

Because we knew we wouldn’t be spending much time indoors in Oman we decided to go for a hotel that wasn’t all singing, all dancing/not too expensive. We found the City Seasons Muscat on the Entertainer app so paid for 2 nights instead of 3 which was handy! I’ve just checked the Entertainer and it doesn’t seem to be on it this year but there’s other hotels on there like the Intercontinental which is highly recommended by tourists usually! City Seasons was in a really good location in Sultan Qaboos Street and included a lovely buffet breakfast so we were pretty happy overall. It was only a 5 minute drive from The Avenues Mall and about 10-15 minutes from Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque so I would really recommend finding a hotel in this area just for convenience. Not the prettiest looking hotel from the outside but our room was huge, the Entertainer deal was great, it was in a fantastic location and we didn’t have any complaints. 

Day 1 – Early morning drive to Muscat. Rested in the hotel, dinner at the Avenues Mall and Mutrah Souq to finish off a tiring but fun day. Mutrah Souq isn’t anything amazing if you have been to the souqs in Dubai but is still worth a visit if you need to kill some time!

Day 2 – Bimah Sinkhole and Wadi Shab. We set off early morning for the sinkhole which was about an hour and a half drive away. The drive is absolutely breathtaking with sea and mountain views pretty much the whole way there! Wadi Shab is around another 20 minutes from the sinkhole so you should definitely do the two of these on the same day.​ I had my trusty playlist of songs to keep us going throughout the scenic drive and Atteeq loved my song choices. Okay, we kept switching playlists to make it fair because he kept moaning about my song choices. 

You may want to turn the volume up for these.

​Now I won’t bore you with too many details on each place because I’m sure you could do your research on them but I did spend a lot of time looking into the places I wanted to see and the places that made the cut I would highly recommend. Oman is such a big country and we probably didn’t even see 10% of what it has to offer but I felt we saw enough to sell the place to us in a few days.

 The sinkhole was really cool and you can take a dip and swim in there if you like! Since both my husband and I can’t swim, we really missed out on all the water based activities Oman has to offer. We spent about an hour here just admiring the beauty of the place. Dress – Asos 

Shoes and hat – H&M

Wadi Shab – what can I day about this place? No words can describe how beautiful it is! 

Sensible clothing and footwear is a must. I changed into comfortable clothing for the hike but had real trouble with my trainers because they had zero grip and the rocks in the wadi were ridiculously slippy. I slipped so many times and even had one big fall which was pretty scary so learn from my mistake! When you get to Wadi Shab you park your car and get a little boat across to the actual Wadi. ​

Once you’re across, it’s just a case of hiking through the valley. We had SO much fun doing this! There were loads of other people walking with us and it wasn’t an easy hike so make sure you have plenty of water with you! Again, if you are able to swim then take your swimming gear with you to go for a quick swim. 

Tip: bring lunch with you, hike, swim and then lay in the sun to dry off. We skipped the swim part for obvious reasons and took pictures instead. Oh how adventurous I am. 

You know how all Pakistani kids have photos of their dad posing on mountains from their youth? Just gathering material for the future you see.

Day 3 – Nizwa Fort, Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat and dinner at Italian restaurant Tomato at the Intercontinental Hotel in Muscat.

Nizwa Fort was about a 2 hour drive from Muscat but well worth the drive in our opinion. I would say only go there if you are into historical buildings and history basically. If you are more into outdoor activities etc then opt for something else because this literally was looking around the fort and learning about the history of Nizwa. We really enjoyed it! One of the best memories I have of this place is Atteeq being greeted by locals every few minutes with ‘Salaam’ all around the fort. The people of Oman were SO kind and friendly that it really did take us aback a little, but in a good way. Dubai is such a busy place that strangers don’t ever really greet one another. Oman is SO chilled out and the way of life is a lot simpler – the people seem so relaxed and we noticed all men gave Salaam to one another as they walked past each other. We saw this happening in Muscat too but more so in Nizwa due to it being a quieter city where people seemed to have time to greet one another. Such a small thing but it really stuck with me. 

After we had explored he fort, we then drove back to Muscat and got to Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in time for Asr prayers. Again, I don’t think words can describe the peace we felt at this mosque. It truly is special and a must see in Muscat. 
On our last night we had dinner at Tomato. The food was delicious and the atmosphere was cosy so it was a good choice for our last night in Oman!

Day 4 – We drove back to Dubai because I had Pakistan the next day but you could easily see some more of Muscat before heading home! 

Overall, Oman surpassed my expectations and I look forward to going back to visit the coastal city of Salalah and other parts of the southern provinces in the future. Insha’Allah. 
The local people of Oman were probably some of the friendliest people we have encountered on our travels. I think what gave me that good feeling in this particular country was that the Omani culture shines through in all aspects of life there. I absolutely loved seeing a team of cheeky little boys on a school trip at Nizwa Fort wearing the national dress with the traditional Omani cap on their wee heads. They were mesmerized by my big Canon DSLR and watched me taking pictures of little details all around the fort. They giggled amongst themselves when I asked Atteeq to take a photo of me and started posing for some #ootd shots in this all Asos outfit. Boots are from Centrepoint!I will remember their wee faces and keep fond memories of our first trip to Oman in my heart forever. 


Miss Mulberry 


My Top 10 Pakistani Dramas 

So, it’s been a while eh? I always say this after a long sabbatical. I will be honest; it’s been an insanely busy few months. I always say this too don’t I? But, I have three weeks off work at the moment and I guess I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting. This year has literally FLOWN in to the point where I feel like I blinked and it’s almost 2018. I was thinking the other day, if this is what life will be like from now on. That as I get older, will every year fly by like this and before I know it I will have turned into my mum saying to my kids; “one day your kids will be grown up and have their own lives and it will happen before you know it”. We all have those chats with our mums and think yeah yeah mum, we know! But it’s quite scary to think that that time actually doesn’t seem as far away as it once did.

Anyhow, this is getting a little deep so let me get back to what today’s post is about.

I love watching TV and films. Everyone who knows me knows that I LOVE going to the cinema and love my Netflix membership almost as much as I love my husband. Just kidding. Kind of…HEHE.

Not only do I watch shows in English and Urdu but I also love watching TV shows from other countries. A while ago I was obsessed with Turkish TV shows (not the ones dubbed in Urdu) and more recently I’ve moved on to Korean TV dramas on Netflix. They are so over the top it’s hilarious but I love watching them! I really enjoy the fact that I have to pay attention to the subtitles to understand what’s going on whereas when you understand the language you sort of switch off. If you have any good Korean recommendations do send me them!

Right, anyway…Pakistani dramas! Now, if you aren’t someone who watches them let me make a few things clear before you go and watch some of these:

-Pakistani dramas can be over the top. Accept this, don’t question it and just go with the flow.

-There are some dramas with amazing acting and there are some with some ridiculous acting and scenes that will really annoy you but again go with it. Some of the ones I have recommended did actually wind me up a little at some points whilst watching them but they are still worth a watch!

-Most of them are available on Youtube. I have watched so many over the last few years so if it’s on this list then give it a go because I’ve thought long and hard about this list over two weeks!!

-I don’t always watch every episode fully and sometimes binge watch a 30 episode drama in a weekend by forwarding boring bits. I know this is a bit of a cop out but some scenes in Pakistani dramas are pointless and don’t really add anything to the story.

-Those of you who watch Pakistani dramas all the time may disagree with my list but as with everything else, this is just my opinion. I won’t give you a synopsis for each one because knowing me I will end up giving away far too much and ruin the storyline for you!

Okay, enough disclaimers and drivel! Let’s get on with it!

1. Yakeen Ka Safar As with everyone else that watched this drama recently, I too had withdrawal symptoms after finishing it and didn’t know what direction to take my life in after it ended. Personally, I found the first 15 episodes pretty boring and didn’t know what the hype was all about. PERSEVERE and you will love the second half. Let’s just say there’s a certain doctor in there that will make the waiting worth it. The scenes that were shot in Neelam Valley in Pakistan were just absolutely breath-taking and I can’t wait to see all these parts of Pakistan one day! I cried a lot watching this one particularly because of the father daughter relationship plotline that is covered within it. Honestly, anything to do with parents and I just SOB. It’s ridiculous. My husband thought something bad had happened when he saw my swollen eyes but of course it was just me being a drama queen and crying my eyes out watching Yakeen Ka Safar.

2. MaatThis is actually quite an old drama but definitely worth a watch. I watched it a few years ago and it’s one of those ones that leaves a good message at the end!

3. MausamI will always remember this one because I watched it with my sister. We would record this on the Sky planner and sit every week with a load of food to watch it without fail adding in our commentary as we ate. Some of the characters annoyed me in this one but overall it’s a cute love story and I really enjoyed it. Not sure what Madiha’s opinion would be. I will wait for her to pipe in once this post goes live…

4. Mohobbat Subh Ka SitaraThis one is slightly slow but there’s just something about it that stuck with me. There’s a particular scene involving a fishtank that made me cry so much. Are you beginning to notice a pattern with me, soap operas and crying?

5. HumsafarNow I know many people will be offended that this isn’t at the top of my list! This particular drama is known as the drama that put Pakistani TV shows on the map again. It was a HUGE hit when it came out and has almost become a cult classic. It has everything that a typical Pakistani drama consists of. You have your romance, the mother in law/daughter in law dynamic, a load of emotional scenes and crying, a last wish made by a dying character and some stunning outfits that many a girl went and had remade for themselves by their own tailor. Get your girls together for this one – it’s defo one to watch in a group! Fun fact: my sister watched this when she lived in Paris and said she didn’t come out of her studio apartment for three days because she couldn’t stop watching it. Fully expect this sort of thing to happen to you too.

6. Bashar MominI really thought about whether to add this on to the list or not. My sister BEGGED me to watch this and I really wasn’t keen on watching it when she narrated the plotline to me. A lot of what happens in this drama is ridiculous and I feel like it sends out the wrong message to men and women in Pakistani society. Having said that it’s one of those ones you love to hate and I did end up binge watching it so popping it on this list for that reason. I was also aghast at myself for finding Faisal Qureshi good looking in this because the last time I had ever seen him in a drama was during his Boota from Toba Tek Singh days. In my defence, I must say that he’s evolved for the better since the 90s.

7. Aun ZaraThis one is a comedy and I found it hilarious! Very different from other mainstream Pakistani drama serials. Often Pakistan gets the genre of comedy wrong and I never find any of their comedy funny whatsoever. This genuinely did make me laugh and it’s a pretty sweet storyline without any huge social messages in there that will make you want to throw yourself off a building thinking about the cruel world that we live in.

8. Mere Qatil Mere DildaarAgain, this is a few years old and not one of the more recent ones but it kept me hooked throughout. If you’re into revenge plotlines then this is the one for you.

9. SammiBecause of my crying and the fact that I cry at ANYTHING remotely sad, I was reluctant to watch this when I heard what the story was based on. But, I highly recommend that you watch it because there are things that happen to girls in Pakistan and sadly around the world that girls brought up in the west will never even know about. This particular subject was one that I was not even aware of until I watched this drama and although the world we are living in is changing and modernising; sadly, for some it isn’t moving fast enough. There’s some brilliant acting in this but some parts of the plotline didn’t really work for me. Having said that it’s still a fantastic Pakistani drama so if you’re looking for something meaty to get into then this is the one for you. Get the box of tissues ready!

10. Dil Lagi I wasn’t too sure about adding this one in because I didn’t actually finish it. It’s one I keep meaning to get back to and just haven’t got round to it. I’m not in love with it or anything but it’s got some elements that warrant it place number 10 on this list!

I know many of you will be shocked that I haven’t included Zindagi Gulzar Hai on here but honestly I found it so boring. There’s a few others that are very well known that I just haven’t got round to watching yet so that may be the reason they aren’t on here.

I hope you enjoying watching some of these with friends and family. Let me know what you think! 


Miss Mulberry


Ayesha Ziya 1 fragrance launch 

I’m sure you’ve all seen the iconic Ayesha Ziya perfume bottles all over Instagram over the last few years and more than likely smelt at least one of her fragrances. She started off with Irum (my favourite out of them all!) and then went on to release The Oud, Islah, Signature Oud and Royal Mirage. The brand has gone from strength to strength with the scents even being turned into candles and more recently refreshing towelettes. The signature black bottles with tassels and gold font have become synonymous with the Ayesha Ziya name but today I am bringing you something different from the brand; the new 1 fragrance.I recently received the new fragrance and the packaging has had a complete overhaul. The new bottle comes in polished glass with a textured gold gift box. This fragrance contains a combination of Sandalwood, Amber and of course Oud making this a very strong scent. One wee scoosh and I could smell it on me all day!I spoke with Ayesha about the inspiration behind this new scent and she said that she wanted to create something unique with a luxurious design that you can proudly carry with you wherever you go. You certainly can do that and I think this one will sit firmly in my handbag but I will definitely use it sparingly because like I said earlier, with this one, a little bit goes a long way. I believe that 1 marks the beginning of a whole new numbers collection so I wonder what 2 will bring us?

The bottle comes in 100ml, is priced at £99 and you can purchase yours here:

I absolutely love the new design and like the fact that Ayesha has moved on to using glass for her bottles. I remember her showing me a graphic for the new bottle at the beginning of the year when we she was in Dubai when it was just at the design process so it was really cool actually seeing it all made in person! Yes, the bottle is different but make no mistake; 1 is an Ayesha Ziya fragrance through and through. I look forward to seeing where she goes with her brand next and can’t wait to see number 2 in the near future.

Let me know what you guys think when you get yours!


Miss Mulberry 


A summer holiday in Italy – part 4 in Venice. 

Finally, I bring you…VENICE.

This was the last stop on our Italy trip and it definitely didn’t disappoint. We took the train again from Florence to Venice and the journey lasted around 2 hours. Tickets cost around €70 each but depending on when you book them, you could probably get them cheaper too. This journey wasn’t as pleasant as the Rome to Florence one because the first hour or so was spent going through tunnels. A lot of dark tunnels. After a while I started to feel really anxious because there was nothing to see outside the windows other than pitch black darkness. Every so often the train would peep out into the sunshine and I would see green fields and get excited but alas there would be another tunnel to follow. Of course my husband was not bothered by this in the slightest and was sleeping soundly in the seat next to me. Just to make you aware of this if like me the whole tunnel thing would bother you. Download something on Netflix if you don’t really like being on a train going through a dark tunnel for an hour – it will keep your mind off it! Thankfully I had downloaded Ojka on to my iPad and it kept me occupied…such an amazing film, by the way! But that’s another story.

After the two hour journey we got to Venice and it was truly something special. As the train pulls into the station you can see this great big canal right in front of you; a sight that you don’t see every day as you walk out of a train station. I’m used to Glasgow Central Station which has the Bank of Scotland opposite it. Wild.

Because of where Venice is geographically located it is pretty much surrounded by water which means there are no roads with cars. Now, I knew this before I went but it wasn’t until I got there that I thought about it practically. The main form of transport in Venice is by water. A private taxi boat or the public water bus. When I got there and saw the canal in front of me it sort of hit me then – oh wait, I have to sit on a boat. GULP. I should insert in here that I can’t swim therefore hate going on boats. I will go on them if they are quite big but small boats literally freak me out so I’m sure you’ve guessed that this caused a slight issue later on in this story. But, let me start with some practical advice about Venice!

As soon as you come out of the train station you will find an ACTV ticket kiosk right in front of you which is super handy. The ACTV is a vaporetto water bus which is the equivalent of buses and subways on dry land! You could also get a private water taxi to your hotel but they are absolutely extortionate. I had already found this out whilst looking up prices on the internet so we had decided that the vaporetto would be fine. Now, let me tell you that if we thought Rome was busy – Venice was twice as congested with tourists everywhere. We realised this within the first ten minutes! We bought a two day ACTV pass which allowed us to go on any of the water buses for 48 hours including the boats that go to other islands such as Burano and Murano! The 24 hour pass is €40 and the 48 hour was for €30. This genuinely was the best money we spent because we went to Burano and back and went all around Venice loads during the two days that we were there.Once we bought tickets we took the ACTV to St Mark’s Square (St Marco) stop as our hotel was just a 5 minute walk from there.

Few things to note about this experience:

· We had to wait around 45 minutes to get on to the water bus because of just how many people were waiting to do the same. I’m assuming it’s not like this when it’s not peak summer holiday season.

· It was absolutely roasting and we were all squished up together in this little hut that serves as the water bus stop. Kids crying, mothers screaming and me and Atteeq standing there with our three suitcases sweating our wee faces off.

· Once we got on to the water bus we couldn’t find a seat as again it was just packed so it wasn’t ideal because we were super tired but because it literally is a water BUS you don’t feel it moving around or anything so I was quite happy with the fact that although I had worked myself up about getting on to a boat, it was absolutely fine.

· The private water taxis driving past were literally ZOOMING past and I thought I would rather wait in scorching sunshine to get on to a water bus than to get a private water taxi that would bob around and I would probably just die on the boat.

· The water taxi took around 40 minutes to get to St Mark’s Square stop and a water taxi probably would have taken half that time. No regrets though. Of course the water bus takes much longer wherever you are going so if you have a tonne of money and aren’t afraid of going on small boats then the private water taxi is for you.

Venice is all cobbled streets and bridges and like I said there’s no cars to take you place to place so book your hotel wisely so you don’t have to lug your luggage around. Thankfully we got on to the water bus right out of the station and when we came off our hotel wasn’t a long walk away! We had booked the Westin Europa which is literally in the best location in Venice in my opinion because you get the most amazing view.

This view.We booked this hotel because it had almost perfect Tripadvisor reviews and the place certainly lived up to expectations. It was very central meaning we could walk to all the main sites or walk to the water bus station and get around that way. We spent a little while exploring the hotel and then went off to see Venice.

There are so many narrow winding streets that it does almost get a little claustrophobic when you’re walking through them just because of the amount of people that are there during the summer months. Other than this, I absolutely loved Venice and it was the perfect stop to end our holiday. We spent our last night in Italy sitting on the Grand Canal watching the sunset and it was just pure bliss.

Outfit details:

Top and trousers – Zara

Shoes – H&M

Sunglasses – Aldo

Okay, so here’s the part about the boats that caused the problem. Our flight back to Amsterdam (on the way back to Dubai) from Venice was at 6.30am which meant that we needed to be there by 4.30am at the latest. We spoke to the Westin on the first night about how we could get to the airport and were told that the only way to get there from our hotel to the airport that early in the morning would be by private water taxi. Uh oh. Going on a super-fast boat in the DARK? Uh uh. Not happening. Other options were getting the ACTV back to the other end of Venice and getting a regular bus to the airport because there is a road there. BUT, the ACTV wasn’t running so early in the morning. I know it may sound silly but the thought of being on a small boat so early in the morning in the dark just freaked me out and it literally was the only way we could get to the airport at that time so we checked out of the Westin Europa after the first night and moved to another hotel in the Piazzale Roma area. It is right next to the bus station and it meant that we could wake up in the morning and get an actual car transfer to the airport on the morning that we left. We were gutted to leave the Westin Europa because it was such a lovely hotel but I was glad we changed because had I thought about the whole boat issue I would have booked a hotel in the Piazzale Roma area in the first place and just taken the ACTV to St Mark’s Square every day. Yes, it would have been around 45 minutes to get there every day but Piazzela Roma is the tiniest walk away from the train station. Hence, if you stay in this area then you are close to the train station and the roads to get back out of Venice via car or bus but if you stay in central Venice then you will be right in the heart of the city and won’t have to travel too far to get to the main places. FYI the private 30 minute water taxi from the Westin Europa to the airport would have been €180. Absolutely crazy right? The private car transfer from the hotel on the second night was €70.

My advice would be that staying near St Mark’s square is good if you’re there for a few days and want to be in the hub of everything. If you are there for a day or two then maybe it would be more sensible to stay near the train station or Piazzale Roma just so you can get in and out the city more conveniently.

A lot of you asked me about halal food too and let’s just say it’s again pretty much non-existent in Venice. We did however find a greasy kebab shop which was halal certified. I had lasagne on a disposable plate with a disposable fork and it was actually pretty good! Funny how normally I wouldn’t go near a place like that but after a week of Penne Arrabiata and Margherita pizza our hygiene standards dropped significantly. We needed MEAT!

I’m sure all those of you who follow me on Instagram and Snapchat know that I didn’t go on a gondola whilst I was in Venice. DUN DUN DUNNNNN!!!! I had absolutely every intention of going on one and getting that ‘sitting on a gondola on the Grand Canal’ picture but when I got there and saw those things rocking side to side I chickened out. I know, I know, I should have just faced my fear but I honestly don’t regret it. It looked so romantic but I was quite happy just watching other people sit in them.Overall, I loved Venice. It is exactly how it looks in pictures, if not even better.It’s quite an expensive city so prepare to spend a little more here than some other European cities. What I didn’t like about Venice was how water transport was the main form of transport and that if you’re staying in the centre of Venice and have an early flight, getting a car to the airport isn’t an option. It may sound silly to some of you but that is actually the main thing I didn’t like about the city. I know it’s silly because of course that’s just where it is located geographically so there’s not much we can do about it other than like it or lump it! I definitely liked it. Just next time, I will make sure we get a hotel at the edge of Venice next to a road where cars can drive around. On land.


Miss Mulberry


A summer holiday in Italy – Part 3 in Burano

Hello everyone! 

Before I publish the piece on our final destination, I thought I would do a quick blog post on a little island called Burano just outside of Venice. We took a day trip here whilst we were in Venice and had so much fun! 

‘Ohhhhh this place’, I hear you all say to yourself! Burano is one of those places you’ve all seen on Instagram and thought I want a picture with that pink house! 

Quite frankly that is genuinely one of the main selling points of Burano. It’s a tiny island and there’s not much to do other than relax, eat food (lots of gelato of course) and then head back to Venice. It’s a must see if you are in Venice because of what a unique place it is though! We took a ACTV waterbus over to Burano and back (more on the transport of Venice in my next post!) and it was pretty easy to get there! 

The brightly painted houses are just so cute and my outfit on that day just happened to be bright yellow with flowers on it. Of course. Promise it wasn’t planned. 

Interesting fact about the houses; if someone wishes to paint their home, they must send a request to the government who will then respond by letting them know which colours are permitted for their particular house. We actually saw one of the houses getting a top up and it made me think it must be quite annoying for the people living there to not be able to choose the colour of their house and also that there’s thousands of tourists during peak times hanging off their doors trying to get the perfect Instagram shot. There were so many people there, some even queuing up for certain houses to get photographs! But then again, I guess tourism is the main way for the island to make money so it’s a catch 22.

Outfit details: dress – ASOS, Bag – Tory Butch 

I think these are the types of pictures I will look back at one day and think I was so cool im my 20s but really it’s the surroundings I tell you! 

On an aside, you can also visit the island of Murano which is famous for its glass making if you are in Venice.We didn’t get a chance but were pretty happy with Burano. 

Have you guys been here? Let me know what you thought! 

I leave you with some more photos of this beautiful island and hope you are all well!


Miss Mulberry 


A summer holiday in Italy – part 2 in Florence! 

Hola amigos!

Let’s just say I have been watching Narcos for the last six hours and basically think I’m Colombian now and want to learn Spanish. Si. Right, so my last post was a bit of a monster so I’m going to keep it brief and to the point today. Okay, I will TRY to keep it brief and to the point today!

From Rome we set off early morning and got a train from Roma Termini Station which is the main train station there to Santa Maria Novella train station in Florence. We bookedout  train tickets from the actual station (about a 20 minute walk from Hotel Degli Artisti) the night before. We booked first class train tickets which only cost us around 40euros each which was pretty good. The train took around an hour and a half and was a really pleasant journey overall. The Venice one was a little trickier but will explain why in my next post! Getting the train from Rome to Florence is pretty easy but the only annoying thing for us was that we had three suitcases of luggage as this trip was on the way back to Dubai. Although, to be fair I’m pretty sure I would have accumulated that much luggage even if this was a trip straight to Italy. Hehe.

Because we were only in Florence for one day and night we set off pretty early for C-Hotels Ambasciatori. This hotel was literally OUTSIDE the train station. As in, step outside the train station and there it is right in front of you across the road. Super handy if you have luggage with you. We got there around 11.30am and the hotel were happy to keep our stuff whilst we explored as check in was around 2pm I think. Honestly, I can’t recommend this hotel enough because of how practical the location it was. The actual hotel was really nice too, very modern and just what you need for one day and night in Florence.

Everything in Florence other than Piazella Michelangelo is within walking distance. The Duomo of Florence was around a ten minute walk from the hotel so we set off with our maps! We wanted to go to the top of the Duomo which is the main thing to do there but hadn’t booked in advance and there were no more slots left. We were pretty gutted but it just wasn’t meant to be so we saw the Duomo from the inside, explored the area around the Duomo and took of course took some pictures of course. 

Dress – ASOS

Shoes – H&M

Bag – Charles & Keith

Watch – Daniel Wellington 

Sunglasses – Aldo 

Again, it was SO busy that you couldn’t even move half the time!

Florence is such a beautiful part of the region of Tuscany that you just end up staring at every building that looks like a work of art. The amount of detail that has gone into the buildings is unbelievable. We walked around all of the main sites including the infamous bridges and of course ate a lot of gelato whilst enjoying the Italian sun. Bellisimo!Florence is much smaller than Rome and you definitely don’t feel like you are in a big city like you do when in Romaaaa. One night was definitely enough here and overall Florence was probably the most relaxing part of our trip! We had decided that we would go and watch the sunset at the Piazzela Michelangelo which is on a hill and gives you a panoramic view of Florence. Lots of websites online comment on this and it is said to be a site not to be missed if you are in Florence. A taxi there from our hotel would cost around 20 Euros and then 20 Euros back so instead we got the bus which cost around 1.20 each for a return ticket. I kid you not. The bus although busy was absolutely fine and you will literally get it from outside the train station all the way up to the square. I would recommend getting the bus if you have time and don’t want to fork out 40 Euros for around an hour or so up there.This was an amazing experience and pretty romantic. Aren’t all sunsets? Especially so when you’re watching a Tuscan sunset.  

Until next time readers when I will take you on a journey to Venice!


Miss Mulberry


A summer holiday in Italy – Part 1 in Rome! 

Hey girlies!!!!

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I did this. It’s been one crazy summer for me and boy has it just flown right in! The first three weeks of my summer was spent in the UK mainly celebrating my younger brother’s wedding. It was an absolutely amazing time but an extremely busy one also and the days just sort of blended into one another with us all busy running around for all the wedding events. I didn’t really get a chance to do normal things like sit in my PJs with my sister watching endless TV or lay down with my head in my mummy’s lap. That one I’m really gutted about to be perfectly honest. 

All in all it was an amazing three weeks with my husband joining me for the final week of my trip. After the wedding events were over we had one day to recover (it really wasn’t enough time whatsoever) before it was time to head off for a week’s holiday in Italy on the way back to Dubai.

Now, our summer holiday plan was something we had started working on months ago and the idea of going straight after the wedding was something we hummed and hawed about for weeks before we booked up. Sadly, Atteeq only gets a limited number of holidays from work a year and he had already used up the majority of this year’s holidays for two sibling weddings between us so we didn’t have many options in terms of the timing of our summer holiday. So, when we booked our flights to Glasgow we booked via KLM (they were actually a really good airline) which meant we stopped in Amsterdam on the way to Glasgow for a couple of hours but on the way back we changed the stopover to 8 days ahead instead. This actually cost the exact same as the two hour stopover and it meant that we were able to get very reasonable flights (also with KLM) from Amsterdam to Rome. Planning the trip in this way meant that rather than going back to Dubai and then going to Italy (much more expensive) we did the hour long flight from Glasgow to Amsterdam and then boarded another flight for Rome which was about 3 hours or so. This meant our flights to Italy and back to Amsterdam only cost us around 150GBP. The flights to Dubai and back were already booked anyway so because of this we saved a bit of money and booked better quality hotels for the entire trip.

Having said this, I must say I don’t know if I would do another holiday on the way back to Dubai again for two reasons. Firstly, we were absolutely shattered from the wedding period and at that point felt like we would have much rather have had another week with family. Secondly, when we got to Rome we were so homesick (this always happens after we leave family) for the first day or two and just in general felt a little down after the high that was Armaan and Saarah’s wedding! Nevertheless, by like day 3 we were absolutely loving our holiday and were glad that we did it.

Why have I just written such a long paragraph on the logistics of our flight bookings and timings? Well, a lot of people don’t seem to realise that if you book a flight that is a stopover flight anyway then you can extend the stopover for a week or even two weeks to explore there or onwards even. For example, the Emirates flight to Islamabad and Lahore from Glasgow isn’t a direct flight and stops off in Dubai anyway so say you wanted to fly into the Maldives (only 3 hours from Dubai) on the way back from a trip to Pakistan you could extend your stopover to a week instead of the usual few hours and book a flight from Dubai to Maldives or wherever else you wanted. It ends up working out very well financially, however, be aware these types of stopover holidays are a bit of a pain when you have a lot of luggage etc. and are kind of tiring but while you’re young you can do all these things eh! I know some people reading this might think this is common sense but a lot of girls were really surprised at the whole stopping in Amsterdam and going to Italy from there so thought I would share this little money saving tip. Would I do it again? I would definitely but instead of on the way back to Dubai I would do it on the way Glasgow or London so that at the end of the week long holiday we have our whole family to look forward to. This time that just wasn’t possible because of the dates of the wedding.

Right, how about I get to the actual Italy part? So, we decided that we would break up our week long trip in Italy in three parts with three nights in Rome, one night in Florence and two nights in Venice. We started off in Rome then took trains to Florence and Venice with a final flight from Venice back to Amsterdam to then head off to Dubai. This worked the best geographically because each place was between and hour and a half to two hours away from each other by train. More on the trains in my next post!

Where did we stay in Rome?

We used for all of the hotels that we booked and honestly I really can’t fault them. I’ve been using them for years and there’s no other website I’d use for booking hotels to be honest! For Rome, we booked Hotel Degli Artisti which was just a short walk away from the Spanish Steps.

The location of this hotel was absolutely amazing and I would really recommend staying here if you are in Rome.

Some positives to note about this hotel:

-Super bright and airy, very modern and new with a nice lift. I say this because many hotels in Rome have very old, rickety and tiny lifts that you do not want to be in.

-The hotel had 3 pin socket points! A small point but very handy if you forget your two pin plugs. Don’t forget them though because our other two hotels were the European plugs and it was a constant battle between charging phones and wanting to plug in straighteners, the camera charger…you get the drift.

-The location was just everything. Most of the main sights are walking distance other than the Colosseum and the Vatican but there is a metro stop just a short walk away. The local Sephora is maybe a 4 minute walk away. You’re welcome.

-There’s an amazing rooftop that we sat on our second evening with a great view.

The breakfast is pretty basic and seems even more basic when you compare it to the breakfasts in the UAE with live omelette stations and what have you. Expect some fruit, some random pieces of bread and some cereal. That’s your lot! If your hotel doesn’t include breakfast then it might be an idea to just eat breakfast out before you begin your day. We added it on thinking it would be useful eating in the hotel each day and then starting the day but in hindsight I can’t remember how much extra we paid for the breakfast but it was so not worth it! It was the same in all of the hotels that we stayed in even though they were 5* so we realised it was just the standard in Italy. 


On our first evening we just explored as we got into Rome around 6pm, had some dinner and went to bed so we would be bright eyed and bushy tailed for the next day. We were still cream crackered from the wedding so had a good number of zzzzzzz’s that night!

A massive FYI by the way!

According to Italian law you are not allowed an iron in your hotel room. LIKE WHAT?! We thought reception were joking at first when we asked them to give us an iron and were told sorry we aren’t allowed to give you one because it’s the law. So, if like me you are OCD about wearing ironed clothes then please take your own small iron with you if you’re heading to Italy because it was a pain having to give things in and then waiting for them to be ironed by the hotel staff. I ended up using my GHD’s the majority of the time to iron my tops and stuff. Desperate times! I also ended up not wearing a lot of the outfits I had bought for this holiday because they were so creased that the GHD was no good and I’d realise I wanted to wear the super creased item in the evening when the ironing facilities weren’t available. Euch. 

Day 2

We spent most of the day visiting the Colosseum which is arguably one of the most famous attractions in Roma! After this you can walk over to the Palatino Hill and the Roman Forum where you will see landmarks such as the Arch of Constantine and also a bird’s eye view of the Colosseum from the top of the hill. We spent most of the day in this area. You could do more but we were super tired and ended up going back to the hotel to relax, shower and head out again for our two year wedding anniversary dinner! J Yes, we spent our two year wedding anniversary in Rome and it was amazing! Pictures coming up soon, I promise. This blog post is so long…

Just thought I’d stick a selfie in here…

Rome is absolutely heaving in the summer, is VERY hot and the queues for the Colosseum were insanely long. My advice is go for opening time but even then the lines are so long. Thankfully I had a special QR code through which meant I could go to a much smaller queue and get tickets there using my special QR code. You can also book your tickets online before you head. My advice is if you’re going to the Colosseum and the Vatican then definitely book in advance. The Colosseum you will get into if you haven’t booked but prepare to stand in the scorching heat for hours on end. The Vatican genuinely gets booked up in advance and we tried booking the night before and couldn’t get anything so we ended up missing that out this trip. You can of course go with a tour guide but prepare to pay A LOT more if you go for this option.

Right, enough chatter! I think I have covered most of the main practical things I wanted to cover about heading to Rome.

Day 2 outfit:Dress – Asos Tall

LOVE this from ASOS!
They only seem to have a size 10 left girls!

Shoes – Charles & Keith

Watch – Daniel Wellington

Sunglasses – Quay Australia

I mentioned on Instagram how I have been buying midi dresses from the Asos Tall section and they literally end up being ankle length on me which is perfect if you’re wanting longer dresses without the hassle of having to wear tights. Such a simple idea but wish I had thought of it sooner!

Day 2 evening outfitA random one put together because of the no irons in your room situation but it turned out pretty cute eh!

Top – Boohoo

LOVE this from ASOS!

Jeans – Forever 21

Slides – A random shop from Deira (total Miu Miu rip offs but quite good ones I’d say!)

Bag – Tory Burch

Choker – AldoThe street vendors selling roses at the Spanish Steps do totally hound you and it can get a little annoying but of course when the husband said yeah okay I will take one I was beyond delighted and chose a white one since it matched my outfit better.We watched the sun set on the Spanish Steps which is absolutely amazing and just sat on the steps for a good hour people watching. I’d really recommend this! We finished off with dinner and then went for a walk to the Trevi Fountain which again is a must and I think we went there nearly every day because again it was walking distance!

Be prepared for A LOT of walking in Rome. Wear sensible shoes! The roads and streets are cobbled and there is just endless walking everywhere so your feet do end up wrecked. I had sensible shoes on most of the day but changed for photos. I was also carrying a floral backpack most of the day which didn’t go with my outfit whatsoever but it was handy for my camera etc. and again I just took it off for photos. I’m a pro style blogger/traveller now I tell you!

Day 3

I’m going to keep this short and sweet and show you my outfit. We literally went to 6 different landmarks on this day using our trusty map including the Pantheon and the Vittoriano building. I know I haven’t gone into detail about every single thing that we did but genuinely you will get a map in your hotel reception which will have 3 day itineraries all planned out on there for you. It’s one of those cities you can just get lost in and can decide each morning what you want to see next but just be prepared by booking the Colosseum and the Vatican tours in advance as I said previously. The rest you can figure out yourself because that’s the whole fun of Rome!

Day 3 outfit:Top – Asos Maternity (yes I buy things from Maternity by just going down a size when they are super cheap like this top which was like 4 quid?!…I am on it with the Asos tips tonight I tell you!)

LOVE this from ASOS!
Sorry, this one seems to be out of stock 😞

Trousers – Zara

Shoes – Primark

Watch – Daniel WellingtonOverall, Rome was absolutely amazing and definitely our favourite city out of the three that we went to! We definitely would have liked more time there. I would recommend between 4-5 days in Rome as there is enough to see. It’s very busy this time of year so maybe choose a time that isn’t so busy. One other thing to note is that halal food is very difficult to come across in Rome and is virtually non-existent other than dodgy kebab shops. No halal fine dining Italian places sadly but the food in Italy is AMAZING. The best pasta and pizza you will ever eat but you would expect that in Italy. Wouldn’t you?

Arrivederci for now ladies! In my next post I will talk about getting the train from Rome to Florence and how you can cover Florence in one day.

Hope you enjoyed this one!

P.S. it’s my sister Madiha’s birthday today so so wish her a happy birthday and tell her I sent you! 


Miss Mulberry