Books play such an important part in our lives – it’s an escape from reality to a wonderful world of fiction, adventure, thrill or romance. It’s a hotly discussed topic on the group as mums love sharing their latest finds and chatting through their favourite story plots. Based on this, we’ve launched two monthly book clubs in Dubai, exclusive for British Mums and hosted by our lovely friends at Hillhouse Brasserie in Dubai Hills.
Breakfast Book Club
The British Mums Breakfast Book Club takes place on the second Wednesday of every month from 9am-11am and offers mums the chance to come together and discuss literature, whilst enjoying a delicious breakfast and making new friends.
Join a bunch of other mums who also love reading and chat through the latest book whilst enjoying a delicious breakfast prepared by the talented chefs consisting of one of a choice of fresh seasonal fruit, pastries, yoghurt, granola, scrambled egg on toast or smashed avocado on toast. There’s also unlimited tea, coffee and water from 9am-11am to ensure you have a brilliant and energised start to the day. Please note there is an AED 60 charge for each breakfast book club meeting to cover the food and drinks.
Meet Kate, Breakfast Book Club Chair
Kate Littler chairs the Breakfast Book Club and only arrive in Dubai at the start of 2020. As a relative newbie, she loved the idea of a book club and happily volunteered to run the Breakfast Book Club on behalf of the British Mums community.
We asked Kate her favourite book and as a true literature buff she couldn’t choose one. From childhood her fave is ‘Ballet Shoes’ by Noel Streatfield. This is a wonderful story of the three adopted ‘Fossil’ sisters, Pauline, Petrova and Posy, so-named because they were ‘collected’ by Great Uncle Matthew, otherwise known as Gum, on his travels as a palaeontologist. As a child Kate was utterly entranced by the story which follows the girls in their search for fulfilment on the stage and screen and her memories of the book are made even more special as she was lucky enough to have Noel Streatfield herself read some of the book to Kate and her own sisters (she was a friend of Kate’s grandmother).
However, the book Kate reads again and again is ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen. Kate describes this as the perfect novel – perfectly formed characters, a perfect love story, perfect prose and a perfect ending (plus the best opening line of any book, ever!). And finally, Kate’s favourite author, William Boyd, whom she’s only recently discovered and is now in the process of trying to read everything he’s ever written. All of his books are a joy but the story of Logan Mountstuart in ‘Any Human Heart’, from his birth in Montevideo in 1906 to his death in France in aged 85, is a tale that encompasses periods of elation, disappointment, richness and poverty. Each chapter holds new delights and at almost 500 pages Kate still deems it too short, as she could have read on and on.
Evening Book Club
The British Mums Evening Book Club takes place on the fourth Wednesday of every month. Coinciding with Hillhouse Brasserie’s amazing ladies’ night (win), the Book Club offers mums the chance to get out in the evening when the kids are in bed and enjoy some tapas style dishes and drinks while discussing the latest novel.
Book Club attendees will be treated to a choice of 5 yummy tapas style dishes (come hungry) and 3 drinks for AED 115 per person. Admire the amazing view of Burj Khalifa, whilst sipping on Aperol Spritz, Hillhouse Fizz, Prosecco, Wine, select Spirits, beers and cider, whilst chatting with other mums on all things book-related! As regulars, we thoroughly recommend the duck salad, tuna ceviche, mushroom risotto and crab crumpets. There are even 5 dessert options on the menu including custard doughnuts, chocolate brownie and tiramisu – so if you wanted, you could order 5 desserts – no judgement from us! Please note there is an AED 115 charge per evening book club meeting to cover the food and drinks.
Meet Nicola, Evening Book Club Chair
The lovely Nicola Wood chairs the Evening Book Club on behalf of British Mums, despite working full time and having three kids under the age of 5. Her love for books and desire to meet other mums and chat literature means she kindly makes time to host the meeting every month.
Nicola’s favourite book of all time is “The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. This book showed Nicola exactly why she loves reading, as she doesn’t feel like she’s just reading this book, she feels like she’s actually living it. Nicola fell in love with this book immediately, and in terms of its quality as a piece of literature it is truly outstanding. It’s written so beautifully, almost poetic. This is a modern-day classic crossing a lot of genres, part romance, part historical fiction, part literacy thriller, part adventure, perfect for someone who reads so widely. Nicola recommends this novel to everyone but especially for lovers of stories upon stories.
Join the British Mums Book Club
If you would like to join either Book Club, please send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and phone number and we’ll add you to the relevant Book Club WhatsApp (058 560 4862) group. If you’re keen you can join both as they’ll be reading different books each month!
We’d like to take this opportunity to remind all mums that masks must be worn at all times in Hillhouse Brasserie except for when seated and social distancing measures will be in place. We also ask that if you or anyone in your family is displaying symptoms to not attend the meeting as a courtesy to other mums.