New Year’s Eve Dinner at Carisma


New Year’s Eve is one of my favorite holiday second to Christmas. Mainly due to the stunning fireworks display you see during this time and the blaring sound from the television as we watch the exciting countdown to the New Year. Of course, such an experience happens when I’m home in the Philippines, and for 6 years now, I have not been home during the holidays.

I know… it’s sad. ūüė¶

In¬†my previous “L’Occitane” post, I’ve mentioned that my father will be home to celebrate Christmas and New Year with the family, leaving me all by lonesome self during the holidays. (Ok, not entirely alone since I have friends and my Beau is still here, but you get the gist of it.) Seeing as there won’t be an actual celebration at my place here in Doha, I’ve decided to have a bit of a fine dining experience with Beau on New Year’s Eve and we chose¬†to try the Italian Restaurant, Carisma.

Carisma Restaurant is an Italian restaurant located in the first floor of Warwick Doha Hotel. It is basically next to the lobby and very easy to spot.

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Given that it‚Äôs New Year’s Eve, the Menu was not the usual. There is already a set of food choices prepared for a full-course meal and all you had to do is pick¬†between two choices of appetizers, entr√©e etc. The full-course meal, including drinks, is worth 199 QAR per person.

As always, I feel like clubbing myself for not taking a photo of the Menu. This must be one of the reasons why I won’t be an effective food blogger (especially one that does restaurant reviews). I simply forget to take the required pictures. Ha!

Anyway, I was looking forward to trying their pizza beforehand, but seeing that there was no pizza in the Menu, my beau and I asked if it’s possible to just order one full course meal for only one person plus one order of Pizza Carisma (even if it’s not on the night’s menu). The staff was very kind to accommodate us with the request.

So here are photos (and some appraisals) of our dinner.

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Focaccia Bread

The meal started with this focaccia bread. It was a nice start to the meal and actually feels light even after finishing 3 of them.

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This one I am calling the shrimp salad, since I have no idea what it was called on the menu. The shrimp in itself isn’t exactly packed with flavor,¬†but the overall dish¬†has that slight sweetness and zesty taste to it, which makes it delicious.

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Saffron Risotto

I was a bit disappointed with the Risotto, we didn’t like it very much, and is the only dish we weren’t able to finish. I guess this type of risotto just wasn’t my taste.

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Beef Tenderloin

I’m afraid to say that by the time we had the beef tenderloin we were so full we thought we’d explode. Ha! Anyway, I can’t accurately judge the taste of it, all I know is that it wasn’t as juicy as I wanted or expected it to be while I was cutting it in half..

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Our pretty dessert

This dessert was very pretty and festive-looking. However, I’m not jumping up and down for it. For me it¬†was good enough dessert that balances out the taste of everything we’ve eaten that night. It wasn’t too sweet, which was good, but for some reason I felt something lacking with it that I’m not sure of. Anyway, we still enjoyed it.¬†ūüėÄ

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Pizza Carisma (Tomato sauce with buffalo mozzarella cheese, chicken strips, spinach and truffle oil)

The pizza was served together with the risotto, which we were¬†thankful for after realizing that we didn’t like the risotto very much. The pizza was slightly thin crust and¬†tasty without overpowering sauce or¬†toppings.

Overall, the dinner was a 3.5 out of 5.

So that ends our New Year’s Eve dinner! Believe when I say that we were so full we end up sleeping straight away right¬†after the clock strikes 12.

Oh! Before I forget, the kind and very attentive staff gave us these…

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Carisma - Warwick Doha Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Welcoming 2017 with a blog name anew!


Hello 2017! Years have been flying faster than a shinkansen these days, I’m not sure if I can keep up, but heck if I will allow myself to get left behind. I’m not getting any younger and enjoying all the things life will throw at me is certainly my goal and resolution for this year. Hopefully my lucky stars this 2017 won’t fail me. *fingers-crossed*

So for the start of this year, I’ve decided to finally change my blog name. A lot of thought has definitely transpired before making this decision. I know it’s not a simple task to change something you’ve had since forever, but change is the only thing constant in this world and most of the time, change is a good thing.

There are a number of blog names I can think of for my site, but I’ve decided that this is the perfect one for me.

QUINTESSENTIALLY WHIMSICAL by Purplemunchkim

I’ve always wanted a fanciful name for my blog and amazingly another name for fanciful is “whimsical”. Yes, my imagination knows no bounds. Ha!

Anyways, I first thought of using my Instagram and Twitter caption “Wanderlust and Pixie Dust”, since this is something I’ve originally coined that I feel describes the real me¬†perfectly. However, I was disappointed when I saw another blog with almost the same name, except hers was “Pixie Dust & Wanderlust”. And here I thought I was being original. Never did I realize there’s someone out there who thinks similarly and would think of using it as a blog name as well.

Oh well, I’ve moved on from the disappointment and now I’m sticking with “Quintessentially Whimsical”.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!! ‚̧

L’Occitane Holiday Giveaway!


A few weeks ago, Miss Karen of clumsychic, in collaboration with L’Occitane, had¬†a holiday giveaway for interested participants. The prize, of course, were L’Occitane products. Yay!

Mechanics of the giveaway was simple, head over to Ms. Karen’s IG account @clumsyandchic, repost L’Occitane photos marked as a giveaway by Ms. Karen, put the Hashtag #JustForYou, and tag your special someone in the comments below said photo. Simple right?

Trying my hand on luck, I reposted two of the photos she posted on her IG.

L'Occitane Aromachologie
L’Occitane Aromachologie
L'occitane's Verveine Collection
L’occitane’s Verveine Collection

If I remember correctly, she posted at least 4 photos, each with a different set reserved for that special someone. Of course, it’s totally up to you if¬†you want to give it as a gift or if you prefer to¬†have it all to¬†yourself, but with Christmas just around the corner, these are definitely perfect gifts for family and friends. I’ve especially chosen above products because my mom does deserve a little or a lot of relaxation being such a hardworking mom. Also,¬†my best friend does like lemony scents, so the Verveine products would be perfect for her.

Considering that my dad will be having his vacation to the Philippines on the 24th, if I win any of them, it would be one less thing to worry about what to give them and they’ll be able to receive my gift right on time for Christmas.

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And so on the 7th of December, winners of the giveaway were announced. I was pretty disappointed that I wasn’t able to come on the event since it clashed with my work schedule, not to mention that my work ends at 8pm. Work does hinder me from attending events I wish I could be a part of. Anyway, I have no idea who won that day until I received this message…

DM from @clumsyandchic
DM from @clumsyandchic

This is the second time, in a matter of weeks, that I got lucky in draws. Anyway, my best friend was excited when I told her the news. As for my mom, she was just as happy that I won, but asked me to buy her 2 bottles of Jergens lotion, a bottle of olive oil and pistachios instead.

I LOVE MY MOM!

Verveine Collection (left to right): Shower Gel, Salt Scrub, Body Lotion.
Verveine Collection (left to right): Shower Gel, Salt Scrub, Body Lotion.

The 2nd Chance Christmas Fair!


It was one of those days at work were the time moves in a snail pace and browsing Facebook is your immediate remedy to ennui. And as I was continuously scrolling down my news feed, I found this post about a Christmas fair happening on the 2nd of December.

15369788_10209010102423437_1550890078_oThe event was to be held¬†at Parkview Pet Center in Madinat Khalifa¬†where market stalls that sells handcrafted stuffs are set up. There would be¬†face painting for children, raffle draw with great prizes, a selfie with Santa, a book sale, and a lot of fun and games. I don’t know with anybody else, but the mere mention of a book sale got me¬†sold! ūüėÄ

Seeing that I might have friends in Doha who would be interested,  I shared said post in my Facebook page and tagged most of them just in case anyone wants to join. Funnily, one of those friends who replied was a bookworm like myself and she was very much interested with the book sale as I am. So we set up a time to meet and we went together that day.

As written on the notice, tickets for adults are 50QR each, which are sold at the entrance. Once we enter the gate, we were welcomed with food – and that, I believe, is a very very good sign. Because who wouldn’t want to be welcomed with food? ūüėÄ

Anyway, the place feels pretty festive. Reds and greens are abundant everywhere you look. There’s a person in a lion costume (or i think it was a lion) walking all over the place. Children are taking pictures with Santa, who is sitting near a Christmas Tree, and giving gifts to the children after taking photos. Of course we plan of having a photo with Santa as well, but at that moment – just near the tree – was the stall we’ve been looking for… A long table filled with books!

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Our eyes were practically dancing from the sight! And when we asked how much each of the books cost – their answer just made Christmas come early in Doha. Would you believe that each of these books, both soft bound and hardbound, is just for the price of 10 QAR? Most of them are even virtually new!

Anyway, you can say that we shopped to our heart’s content on this one. ūüėÄ

Cute neck straps for your dogs and cats
Cute neck straps for your dogs and cats
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PAWS RESCUE Shirts
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Some Christmas Handcrafts and candies ‚̧
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Framed Souvenirs
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Handcrafted Bracelets and Keychains

While looking around, we also found a spot where a lady does some henna tattoos,¬†and we can’t help but have one. It was my first time and I was ecstatic about it.

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As promised, we¬†ended the day with a Santa picture! The kids in us won’t miss the chance! Ha! ūüėÄ

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Also, FYI, all proceeds of the event has helped raise urgently needed funds to feed 200+ rescued dogs and cats and contributed towards facility maintenance cost.

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PARKVIEW PET CENTER

What a perfect¬†way¬†to both enjoy and contribute to society. ‚̧

I Hop at IHOP


It’s December! Time to do some late shopping for gifts and whatnots.¬†

Last Thursday, my beau¬†and I went to do some bit of window shopping for Christmas gifts and to find something “royal blue” to wear for our coming Christmas Party on the 22nd. Unfortunately, I was having a hard time finding the perfect outfit, or at least the required color. It seems that fall colors are still more prominent inside clothing shops… or maybe I just need to check out more. Anyway, we walked for a very long time until such excursion ends up making me hungry. Ha! ūüėÄ

Given that we were at Gulf Mall when I started to get¬†hungry (we were at Landmark first), the first place I thought of to eat was at IHOP. It’s been almost a year when I last visited the place so I convinced my beau to eat there again.

And here’s what we ordered…

Tropical Island Twist (left) and Splashberry (right)

A cocktail of lemonade, lemon-lime, strawberries, mango syrup etc. These refreshing IHOP splashers are all that!

Volcano Shrimp

My beau and I love to eat shrimp. So we always order at least one shrimp dish on every menu if available. In this case, we ordered the Volcanic Shrimp, which is their version of PF Chang’s Dynamite Shrimp and Red Lobster’s Sweet Chili Shrimp. But I think it’s taste is more similar to the latter.

Jambalaya pasta (i forgot the exact name. :( )
Jambalaya pasta (i forgot the exact name. ūüė¶ )

I honestly forgot the name of this pasta dish and I can’t find it in Zomato’s menu, all I remember is that it has “Jambalaya” in it’s name. Anyway, I love the pasta! It was very well-seasoned which is what I liked best.

Big Steak Omellette
Big Steak Omelette

Speaking of well-seasoned, the omelette isn’t that. Despite it’s very tasty appearance, the omelette just feels bland. It wasn’t the first time I ordered an omelette at IHOP and find it lacking in the salt department. Anyway,¬†it must be the way they cook their omelettes, but I really prefer my meal well-seasoned.

And last but not the least… an IHOP experience is never complete without their signature buttermilk pancakes! The 3¬†pancakes are free, by the way, since we ordered one of their omelettes.

Buttermilk Pancakes ‚̧

Here’s also a photo of the pancake’s complementary syrups. I prefer the “Old Fashioned” one. I think nothing beats a classic taste! ‚̧

Old Fashion, Blueberry, Butter Pecan, Strawberry
Old Fashioned, Blueberry, Butter Pecan, Strawberry

So there you have it! Our very scrumptious meal. ‚̧

IHOP Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato