REVIEW: Breakfast at Bystro

It's friday morning and i’m wide awake. It's 7am.

I open facebook and see that Yorkie is also awake and, already, updating her status: 

Yorkie: 'Wake up Dubai! Who wants to go for breakfast?’

Yorkie loves breakfast.

I know that myself and Miss Y are the only girls from our squad not heading off into the desert to partake in some crazy marathon, so I know this status is directed at us. 

I retreat under the covers and turn myself into a 'human burrito' to try to block the sun from my eyes. My head is sore from too many Malbec’s at Play the night before - and Mr Sunshine, is not helping. 

It doesn't work. 

I stick my arm out of the 'burrito' and feebly feel around for my Virgin Atlantic eye mask. It proves to be a fruitless mission.

The struggle is real. 

My phone beeps. It’s Yorkie. 'Wake up! Wake up! And come for breakfast'

I rationalise that more sleep is not going to happen and that - well - a girls gotta eat!

It’s not long before, I'm picked up, and we are on our way to Bystro. I’ve heard great things about this place so I'm excited to check it out. 

Me: Can you take my picture and get the Bystro sign in??? #epicfail

We arrive. It's already busy. 

The venue is delightful. Open plan, lots of natural light, and a back wall that doubles as a black board. 

The restaurant is set back from Sheikh Zayed Road in Jumeirah. Not a location that will benefit from much footfall - so the fact that the place is already busy - and with the majority of empty tables reserved - speaks volumes.  

Luckily we find a table. We sit down and wait for the rest of our squad to arrive. 

The waiter descends and delivers the menus. Before I even manage to glance at the menu Yorkie has already ordered a detox ginger and lemon tea. 

Dang. She wastes no time. 

I decide to take my time and forgo my usual black Americano for something a little more adventurous. There is certainly a great choice – smoothies, fresh juices, infused water and fresh coffee. I am intrigued by the infusions and decide to go for the rosemary and watermelon water. For such an inventive menu … and a menu in Dubai... the prices are surprisingly reasonable.

Water infusions and home made juices

Our drinks arrive, and they are so cute. Look! 

Bystro Rosemary watermelon infused water
My pimped out water

The rosemary and watermelon infused water is lovely. Very fresh and they haven't added sugar like most places do.

Lemon Ginger Detox Tea

I go for a wander to inspect the place...

Can I have a bit of everything...?


Beware they have a strict 'No Alien Cowboy' entrance policy at the bathroom. do they pee outside? 

I return to the table. Yorkie informs me that Miss Y and Mr M are still 20 mins away - and, also, that this news, does not sit well with her stomach. I can see her mentally wrestling over whether to order something in the mean time. I ponder whether the kids on the table next would miss a slice of their french toast... 

Instead I suggest maybe she orders the beetroot humus (I love beetroot humus) 

She agrees. 

Our Beetroot Hummus & Pita starter

10 points for presentation ... and for taste .... also 10! The hummus is so fresh, and tastes amazing. The pita is nicely toasted and the oil and balsamic vinegar are a nice addition. We dig in. It's a divine, massive portion.

Miss Y and Mr M arrive. We air kiss. Then get down to serious business with the menu - it's quite extensive. 

I decide on potato wedges with braised lamb shank, fried leaks and a cheesy sauce. As does Mr M. 

Miss Y goes for the roast beef and Yorkie goes for the turkey sandwich.

We Eat
Beetroot Hummus with Flat Bread
Home Roast Turkey Club, Guacamole, Tomato Chilli Jam, Tomato, Lettuce, Alpha Sprouts on Granary Bread
Bystro “Poutine” Skin on Potato Wedges with Slow Braised Beef Shank, Cheesy Sauce & Crispy Leaks
Saturday Roast with all the trimmings

We Drink
Iced Cold Filter Coffee
Ginger Detox Tea
Iced Cold Brew Americano

The cutest cold brew coffee ever

There is beef under there somewhere

Perfect ratio of filling to toast

Yorkies' turkey sandwich is the star of the table. 1 part bread, 3 parts filling. The salad garnish was fresh and tasty and the chips come with a spicy powder which gives them a cajun kick – I know this because I stole 6 of them! #evilcackle

Cheesy and Meaty

The lamb shank is very tasty. The cheesy sauce really compliments the rich sauce. However, the wedges were rather mushy after being smothered in the gravy, and the dish could have done with more crispy leaks. 

Miss Y's roast is super fresh, but as a card carrying Brit, I can report that it's not hitting 'Sunday Roast' territory. Also, who wants a roast without a glass of wine or cold beer?

I felt like I ordered wrong and had major food envy watching other peoples dishes go by. Bystro is definitely a breakfast/ brunch place as their star dishes seem to be the inventive, as well as traditional, egg dishes.  I can't eat poached eggs so it's all wasted on me – However, the parade of food that went past our table looked amazing.

Crowd favourites seemed to be:

Smashed Avocado, Feta, Shredded Mint & Poached Egg
French Toast with Banoffee Sauce & Caramelised Walnuts
Smoked Beef Benedict

The selection of drinks is huge and the presentation? - well you can see the pictures. The service is faultless and every staff member is polite, articulate and seemed genuinely happy to help us. There is 'limitless free wifi, and gluten free versions of selected dishes are on offer.

I loved Bystro. It's a fun, family friendly place with a great vibe. I'm already looking forward to coming back and sampling their other dishes. So, who wants to go with me?


Al Manara, Dubai
Facebook: BystroDubai
Twitter: @BystroDubai
Instagram: @BystroDubai
Opening times:
Sunday 8am - 5pm
Monday - Thursday 8am - 10pm
Friday - Saturday 8:30am - 10pm

My First Zoodles

I love food. 

I can spend hours, pouring over pictures of food.

Instagram is my go to place for culinary inspiration. I seek to find healthy, clean and tasty dishes I can cook in less than 30 minutes. 

It was during one of those Instagram binges that I discovered ‘The Zoodle.’ 

What is a zoodle I hear you cry? Well, a zoodle is created by passing a zucchini through a spiralizer producing a ribbon like noodle shapes. Zoodles are a healthier, low carb option to pasta and a great way to increase your vegetable intake. I have a variety of allergies, and don't do well with wheat so this sounded perfect for me. 

Belgium Part 2 :: Frites, Furries & Downward-Facing Dogs

If you haven't seen the first part of my Belgian Blog then CLICK HERE to read all about it.

Miss A knows how much I love yoga so she suggests I come to her Vinyasa yoga class. A quick google and I learn that Vinyasa is a style of yoga that links the body movements with your breath.

I'm sold.

A good ol' stretch is exactly what I need after all my travelling.

London >>> Belgium (Part 1)

So the first new country I visited in 2016 was ...Belgium! 

New Country? New Hat!

I was very excited to see the home of waffles and luxury chocolates but even more so to experience it with my lovely friend, Miss A. Myself and Miss A met whilst in Dubai … at a BBQ .. and well the rest is history! I was super grateful – and so happy she invited me to stay with her for a few days.

Coffee :: How I get 'stuff' done

I'm in London … and I'm freezing. I am sat wearing leg warmers two tops and a cardigan. I do not do well in the cold. I'm downing cups of mint tea to try and warm myself from the inside out.

My brother is at work so coffee is out of the question.

Coffee is taken very, very seriously in Jon's apartment.

His carefully selected beans are ground and mailed to his door each month to unsure he is never without the latest trend in coffee couture.

I have no idea how to work the coffee machine. Jon has refused to teach me – I think its a subtle way of deterring my from pinching his coffee. 


It's not a big deal, as living in Dubai i'm an 'iced Americano kinda girl.' Straight up. No milk. No sugar. I like it hard core. I've also had the pleasure of trying the most expensive coffee in the world whilst in Bali. Yes, we are talking about coffee made from beans that've passed through a small 'cat like' animals intestines. Don't knock, till you've tried it. It's the s**t.

Mr Luwak ready to take your order he won't spell your name wrong on your cup #lookingatyouStarbucks.

I've been super busy since the beginning of the year so hot black coffee has proved necessary to jump start (and warm) my brain and body. I really should buy stocks in Costa...

The other way I like my coffee is in an espresso Martini. I'd experienced this cocktail numerous times, but it wasn't until a party filled week in DXB with Mr B did I become particularly enamoured to this concoction - You may remember Mr B from my Abu Dhabi Grand Prix diary. It was his 'go-to drink' when he felt our party pants were running out of steam – and it always did the trick. The coffee fix, combined with the vodka shot and sweetness of the Patron is a winning combination.

Espresso Martini Recipe

Bit of Ol' History
The Espresso Martini was invented in 80's Soho by cocktail legend Dick Bradsell. The story goes, that a delightful young lady entered his bar and requested he makes her a drink that 'wakes me up, and then f*** me up'


My favourite 'at home recipe' is as follows:

50 ml Ketel One Vodka
35 ml Cafe Patron
1 shoot of good quality espresso

Pour the Ketel One Vodka, Cafe Patron and espresso into a cocktail shaker.
Fill the Martini glass with ice and leave to chill.
Fill the cocktail shaker with ice, put lid on, and shake vigorously

Empty the ice out of the Martini glass, then place the strainer on top of the shaker and pour the 'coffee vodka goodness' into the glass.

Garnish with three coffee beans.

Welcome to heaven.


Currently Coveting :: Playful Pastels

Hello all, 

I am writing this post from my brother's apartment in sunny ol' London. Yes, that was a joke. I am freezing. I'm told it's warm for this time of year, but I've never been good with cold weather, and after 18 months in Asia, it feels like the arctic.

I am sat wearing leg warmers and a fluffy Russian hat. (in edition to regular winter clothes #keepitclean) as it is cold, cold, COLD! I won't have to worry about styling any resort wear for myself for the next few weeks. But ...if … like a lot of my friends you happen to be in warmer climates – this post is for you!

I've had such great feed back from my styling posts on instagram that I decided to expand them to a blog post, and include more details about the products. 

So, here we go... 

I am currently coveting - pastels!

Playful Pastels

I adore this Dolce & Gabbana swimsuit. The piece is lined and structured in a retro style. It reminds me of a ballet leotard and therefore fond memories from my childhood ballet lessons.

Dolce and Gabbana Swimwear

Check the double stitching.

Dolce and Gabbana Swimwear

The shorts are Rag & Bone's cotton-chambray shorts. They have an adjustable drawstring, elasticated waist and convenient side pockets. making them perfect to throw over swimwear to cover up whilst eating or en route to your adventure. 

The shoes are by Manebi, a Spanish company, that specialises in handmade espadrilles with unique designs. I love the colour of these shoes, and the laces give them a 'sporty twist' that espadrilles don't usually have. You could definitely rock these shoes during the day, and well into the night. 

You can wear two swim pieces in one day right? I think you could - a quick costume change never hurt anyone. The colours of this Etro bikini are so pretty, and would coordinate fabulously with the accessories. I also like that it has an adjustable back and bottoms so you can ensure a great fit.

This bikini is also reversible. You have the above Etro signature print, plus a green and blue graphic print. It's two bikinis in one!

I've also included this beautiful bag by Kara - an NYC based brand that I recently discovered. It's made from lavender leather and has two straps; so you could wear it as a back pack, or just slung over one shoulder. So elegant and perfect for storing your sunglasses, purse and other necessities.

The sweat shirt is Adidas by Stella McCartney. This Antique Rose piece would be perfect to throw on once the temperature starts to drop. That way you can sport the 'preppy' look into the evening. It would also work well as a post gym jacket.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post. All constructive feed back is welcome, just comment below!

SWIMSUIT :: Dolce & Gabbana   BIKINI :: Etro   SHORTS :: Rag & Bone  
Bag  :: Kara  SWEATSHIRT :: Adidas by Stella McCartney

If you would like a glimpse into my life then feel free to add me on instagram - this is my personal page It mainly features pictures of food I've cooked / ordered, and pictures of me and my friends enjoying life. 

My lifestyle page is  @lifeofhaylanhall This is where I post pictures related to luxury living, resort wear, high end design and motivational quotes for fellow boss babes. That is until my own bikini collection launches early 2016, then this will be the business page. So follow me and join my adventure!



Top tips to make your flight more awesome

I love to travel.

But I hate to fly.

The thought of hurtling through the sky encased in a metal tube, 1000's of feet above the ground terrifies me. I hate knowing that my life is in someone else's hands, and if something goes wrong, there's not a lot I can do about it.

I know statistically that if anything were to go wrong, it's most likely to happen during take off. Once we are at cruising level and the seat belt sign turns off - my anxiety returns to a somewhat normal level.

I recently read Travis Barkers autobiography which detailed his experience of surviving a plane crash where he lost four friends. Amazing book from one of the worlds best drummers – but as I am flying home this weekend, I wish I'd chosen a different week to pick it up.

Many people love flying, I'm just not one of those people. So this blog post is all about the little things I do to make the flying experience as stress free as possible.

Seat Guru
Enter your flight details on this website and you can view the seating plan for your plane, and read individual reviews for each seat. Reviews include details of the proximity to the toilets and gallery, missing windows, and compromised leg room – all aspects that may decrease your flight enjoyment. With this information, you will never pick a bad seat again. Unfortunately there is no prediction where the screaming babies will sit - or where the single hotties will be. They should look into this...

Unfortunately it doesn't show who you will be sitting next to

Upgrade Yourself
If you are flying long haul, then business and first class are the best ways to fly. If you have yet to make your millions or your company is on the cheap side you can always try your hand at 'blagging' a free upgrade. I followed this advice and got upgraded to business class on my flight from Dubai to Bangkok. #score If economy is full, they will start bumping people up to business class. Make sure you always collect your air miles as frequent flyers will always be looked on more favourably – it also helps to dress the part. Not convinced? Just ask Jennifer Aniston...

The Airport Lounges
I am a member of Priority Pass. This is a subscription service that gives you access to over 850 airport lounges world wide. The lounges are the perfect place to relax and refresh before a flight and take advantage of the complimentary drinks and food. As a nervous flyer I find a drink (or two) helps relieve my air plane anxiety and tones down the feeling of impending doom. I'm not a fan of airplane food either so having a tasty meal before I fly means I don't have to play Russian roulette with the in flight meal menu. The lounges are also a great place to shower if you've had a long journey to the airport or just want to take advantage of the spa and beauty treatments on offer. 

Facial Wipes
As soon as I get on a flight I like to take my make up off. The air craft atmosphere is incredibly dehydrating so this allows your skin to breathe and ensures you don't touch down with dried out 'cake-y' make up. The wipes are also great to have to combat sticky fingers, or any spills that occur during turbulence.

Herb Day Cleansing Tissues, The Face Shop

Facial Mist
I always like to have a facial mist handy. It keeps your skin from drying out as well as a welcome 'pick me up' during long flights. This L'Occitane spray is my favourite as it has a lovely aromatic smell. 

Angelica Hydration Facial Mist, L'Occitane

Comfy Clothing
If you are going to be sitting down for an extended amount of time, comfortable clothes are a must. My flying uniform is leggings and a comfy top. I get cold very easily so I always bring a cardigan in case the air con is overpowering. Thick woolly socks are a favourite of mine too as they keep my feet toasty and I find sitting without shoes more comfortable. I bring the socks in my handbag and put them on once airborne, just in case flight socks aren't provided. 

Falke Knee High Socks
Falke Ladies Striggings Cable Knee High Socks

Coconut Water
I love coconut water. It's even more hydrating then regular water so perfect to replenish your liquid levels whilst flying – think about it – less time will be spent in the airplane lavatories or queuing for the lavatories – plus it tastes great I always pick up a few cartons before boarding. Don't do it before security or you will be asked to toss your coconuts. 

Vita Coco, Coconut Water
Vita Coco, Coconut Water

If you have any other flying tips then please comment below. I am wishing you a safe and pleasant flight for all those travelling home for the holidays.