1 WHERE Afya at Traders (next to the Shangri-La) HOW MUCH Dh145 THE DEAL Choice of one main course and dessert from the weekly Red and White menu, plus a large salad bowl appetiser and unlimited house wine, beer, juices and soft drinks. WHEN 6.30pm-11.30pm every night until August. Call 02 510 8888 2 WHERE The Yacht Club or The Belgian Beer Cafe at The Intercontinental HOW MUCH Dh165
THE DEAL The Friday Brunch. A three-course meal from the à la carte menu, plus free-flowing mojitos at The Yacht Club. Or a three-course à la carte meal with a glass of beer at The Belgian Cafe. WHEN From 2-6pm (Yacht Club), 11am-3pm (Belgian Beer Cafe). Call 02 666 6888 3 WHERE Holiday Inn HOW MUCH Dh75 THE DEAL Salad bar appetiser, choice of three main dishes and three desserts from the business lunch menu (changes daily and always includes a vegetarian option).
WHEN 12-2.30pm. Call 02 657 4888 4 WHERE Sho Cho at The Souk Qaryat Al Beri HOW MUCH Dh110 THE DEAL Unlimited buffet of sushi, sashimi, maki, soup, rice, appetisers and desserts. WHEN Sunday, 6.30pm-11.45pm. Call 02 558 1117 5 WHERE Amalfi at Le Royal Meridien HOW MUCH Dh75 THE DEAL Choice of two courses from the business lunch menu at the Amalfi Italian restaurant. WHEN 12pm-3pm every day. Call 02 674 2020
WHAT I TRIED The Talise Wellness Signature Integrated Consultation at the Talise Spa Madinat Jumeirah. WHAT I EXPECTED As the blurb says, "a single holistic solution to your health and wellbeing". Despite my husband's description of all things outside traditional medicine as "hokum", I am rather fond of the holistic approach and would much rather go for an acupuncture session than take a painkiller. So I was thrilled when I was told that this health MOT includes not only a general practitioner's view of your health but diagnoses from a naturopath and an ayurvedic doctor, too.
WHAT I EXPERIENCED First was a meeting with Marvin. I liked him until he said, "I'm very sorry to do this but I need your blood," and stuck something sharp into my index finger. This was apparently for a live blood analysis, which shows if you are oxidised or dehydrated. Predictably, I am both. I then have a chat with Nancy, the GP, who spots my bracelet and asks: "Is that for pain?" "No, actually it was for Christmas," I reply. Tiffany's would be horrified. But maybe in these credit-crunch times, that's not a bad idea.
Nancy asks me lots of questions about my health and my parents' health. Everything from asthma to anger is covered. Then it is the turn of Jaclyn, the naturopathic doctor. This was by far my favourite bit. The "hokum" consisted of talking about myself in vast detail. My sleeping patterns (bad), my anger management (also bad) and my stress management (even worse). But the good news is that none of it is my fault. As we discovered from the iridology (a technique that uses the patterns, colours and characteristics of the iris to conclude things about your health) and further blood tests, I have "suboptimal absorption and elimination", which basically means I don't eliminate toxins efficiently enough. This results in an inflammatory response (hence bad back and neck) and stress on all sorts of things that then result in bad sleep and a bad temper.
So without this affliction I am a perfectly sane, calm person. It is only elements beyond my control that turn me into an insomniac short-tempered lunatic. THE VERDICT This is private medicine at its very best. It takes place in a spa for a start, which means you can go for a relaxing massage after the bloodletting. In addition, it all happens within three days and there is no waiting around for hours while you watch for your number to come up on an electric display that seems to be going the wrong way. One of the most important things medically is that they have a lab on-site, which means they can analyse your blood while it is still "live" and pick up all sorts of abnormalities that may otherwise be missed. The results were easy to understand and all made perfect sense.
I have been given five easy-to-follow instructions, including a menu plan, that will make me feel immeasurably better. The service is professional and anything but hokum. To double check this, I took my results to a doctor at the New Medical Centre where the focus is very much on traditional medicine. He declared the Talise people bona fide and wants to invest in an iridology machine. I will be going back to the Talise spa for an annual MOT.
The Integrated Medical Consultation costs Dh599 initially, and Dh499 for a follow-up. Call 04 366 6818 or see www.jumeirah.com/talise *Helena Frith Powell