This Ramadan, Crowne Plaza Bahrain decided to take us all on a trip back in time to an era of traditional simplicity with their special Iftar at the Backyard. Layal El Mahmoud shares the grounding experience…

We had reached a point pre-Covid19 when competition among five-star hotels was raging hot to win the title of the most extravagant and luxurious Ramadan Tent. It was insane! Post-Covid19, the picture has changed and, to be frankly honest, I am quite happy that we were forced to drop the flashy appearances and go back to reasonable setups, effortless decoration, and to focussing on good food and warm hospitality. The Backyard at Crowne Plaza Bahrain is exemplary in this respect.

We navigated our way through the beautiful lobby into La Mosaique restaurant and out to what looks like a shisha lounge. Before I descended the few steps, I took few minutes to explore the view from above.

The paved area adjacent to the pool has been turned into an interesting bazaar-like food court. Wooden stalls on the edges selling Bahraini handicraft products, namely jewellery boxes, artistic mirrors, women’s accessories, traditional Bahraini dolls, printed coffee mugs… even paintings. For this Ramadan season, the hotel is celebrating Souqs of Bahrain with hints of storytellers and spice trails, hidden souvenirs and a sense of a bygone age that opens up the old Kingdom before your very eyes. A beautiful way to support the local craftspeople during the Holy Month!

The tables are carefully distributed, some in the open and some under shady pool pavilions, with total respect to social distancing and a maximum of six guests per table. Over white tablecloths, the traditional red tent material makes the perfect match to the waiters’ special outfits.

A corner for all the Ramadan drinks of Tamarind, Qamar-Eddin, Jallab, Karkadeh, and Laban, completes the Ramadan look, and they are well prepared and tasty. On one side, whole chickens are roasting slowly next to a shawarma station, and an experienced chef brushes on the tasteful marination every now and then for maximum flavour.

Food comes to you at the table like a set menu. A collection of standard cold Mezze, from Labneh, Hummus and Mutabbal to different kinds of salads, and a big plate of assorted hot appetisers, including spring rolls, and Kebbeh, in addition to mixed grill, fries, and Shawarma wraps. For the main course, we were offered Lamb Qouzi, roasted chicken and baby potatoes, vegetable Saloona, Shrimp Curry, and traditional Harees.

Sugar is always in demand in Ramadan, and the ending at Crowne Plaza is as sweet as their Um Ali and the platters of mixed Arabic sweets. Your need of vitamins is also taken care of with a colorful plate of fruits, namely kiwi, pineapple, grapes, and different kinds of melon. No doubt Ramadan this year is different, and hotels and food and beverage specialists are still learning and facing renewed challenges every day. Hats off to team Crowne Plaza Bahrain for successfully overcoming these challenges day after day. If you feel like taking your small family out for Iftar in the safety of the open air, try Ramadan at the Backyard at Crowne Plaza Bahrain. A different experience for a healthy, fun time during the tough social rules we are living under nowadays. ✤


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