Category Archives: The Finest and The Famous

Mother’s Day Gift: Go Beyond the Ordinary!

MOTHER, mother-in-law, mother of your children… It’s a tough day for some men this lovely 21st of March Mother’s Day. But rest assured, it should all be worthwhile when you see the smiles, surprises and gratitude of the women in your lives. (Surely not the same is said about your mother-in-law, but let’s keep it diplomatic here!) And ladies, you’re not escaping this either. Your mum AND mum-in-law will be waiting to see some nice gestures from you!

So… Skipping the flowers, chocolates, bags, shoes, watches and scarves, we’ll take you right to the heavy duty stuff! Some of which are “practical”, and others are nice for home accessorizing and she’ll also be very delighted with.

Let’s take a tour on some of Egypt’s best Home Accessories, Lighting and Kitchen Ware shops, along with snippets of reviews by people on Trustious!

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the cribkarejar249265_220077814686438_5021639_npanorama_rd-lifestyleGot-All-you-Need

El Ebiary. “They have everything that concerns or is even remotely connected to kitchens & some bathroom accessories as well”, Danya Hammad.

Home Center. “Home Center is best at accessories and small details you’d add to your home that could make a difference”, Maiia Rasmi.

IKEA. “if you are looking for any and i mean any accessories for your home, this is a perfect place to find it“, Mohab Aloush.

Complete Kitchen Collection

Electro House. “The diversity is great, the quality is very nice and the prices are very reasonable”, Amena Nasser.

Helco Metals. “The designs are variable, some modern very sleek and chique and some classic, very vintage sort of”, Danya Hammad.

Star House. “U’ll enjoy visiting Star House, it’s a nice large store selling average to high quality home products at good prices, & their customer service is v.good”, Sandra El Dera.

Zahran. “Zahran really is the best place to go when buying cooking equipment simply because they have literally everything”, Nariman Lotfi.

Hisar. “They have some unique products for tea and coffee, remember, the Turks are coffee and tea fanatics. And they do have silicon bake-ware which are really useful and fun”, Sherif Tharwat.

Cool ‘n’ Trendy

Kalla. “Some things are just super cute. They are creative and like to mix matching colors which gives the place a really lively atmosphere”, Nour Naguib.

Kare. “if you’re looking for some nice little supplements to refresh your home’s look and feel, then you might like something”, Muhammed Atef.

Reflection. “Reflection is the kind of store that makes you feel like you’re visiting a mini museum, I stopped in to get special lights gift for a friend”, Ghada Essawy.

The Crib. “Very unique modern home accessories that you can’t find anywhere else. They have those statement pieces that are just what you need for your room”, Mariem Fayed.

Homey ‘n’ Lovely

Jar. “It’s perfect place to add a little green to your home .. the cutest and most innovative home decor store specialized in vases and flowers”, Ghada Essawy.

Lightology. “They do have some special pieces that you wouldn’t find anywhere with very reasonable prices”, Nivin Ashraf.

Tulipe. “Want a present for a newly wed bride? Go to tulip. Want to have a fancy plate set? Go to tulip. Mothers’ day? Go to tulip!”, MennatAllah Ghoneim.

Lavish ‘n’ Luxurious

Crystal Asfour. “They had a wide range of collection/styles… They do sell jewellery as well and actually have a nice/interesting collection.”, Mahitab Sayed.

Royal Doulton. “An amazing place for elegant home accessories and a great place to make a shower list”, Eman El Koshairy.

Tiffany. “They have a HUGE variety of indoor and outdoor lighting, modern and classic. Their designs are really AWESOME. They are simple and chic”, Salma Mahmoud.

Want to go beyond the gift?

Leave the kids at home and indulge your wife to a romantic dinner or lunch, check out our list of couples’ getaways; recommended by an expert reviewer on Trustious.

Or take a look at those kid-friendly restaurants and cafes and have a nice family outing with the children and grandparents and all.

Don’t forget to coat it all with love!

Image sources in order: IKEA, Electro House, The Crib, Kare, Jar, Reflection, Royal Doulton.

Brought to you by Trustious.

Mezza, Kebbah and Fattoush…a la Cairo!

IT’S NO SECRET! The Lebanese has been invading Cairo for a while now and we are loving it! The number of restaurants and cafes serving Lebanese food -not to mention the actual Lebanese chains- has doubled in the last few years and we can’t get enough of them! They are Cairo’s new subtle attractions. Let’s take a tour around them…

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Tamara. Who isn’t in love with this place? You admire the rich atmosphere, and then come one delicious dish after the other and you’re instantly hooked! They’ve somehow managed to build three levels within one single floor in City Stars, and decorated it in such a way that it looks sophisticated and elegant, yet warm and cozy. With old Lebanese and Egyptian music playing in the background, you can enjoy Chicken Fettah, Maqaneq (sausage), Shawerma and much more of Tamara’s exquisite menu.

Taboula. What can you say? Old really is Gold. This place has been open for years and it hasn’t lost its charm till now, people love it. With its dim lit interior, vintage furniture, accessories and wall paintings, and Fayrouz playing in your ears, you feel like you’ve time traveled to the past. In this comfy atmosphere, you can try their to-die-for rosemary chicken liver, as well as their eggplant fettah and cheese konafa, you won’t regret it! Their “taboula” is also very delicious but then, duh! :)

Ayadina. A recently opened tough competitor to the previous two, it has impressed us all with its bold, stylish interior design – a modern twist of arabesque – even before its official opening. Their grills are awesome; their kofta, Arayes sogo2 and Hommos among other things are must-tries. Basically people love everything about Ayadina, but they’ve also all mentioned that their prices are a little chili, so try to go with a full pocket ;)

Zeitouna. It offers a large variety of Lebanese delights served with creativity that makes you eager to dig in. The place is spacious and elegant, the fine-dining type of restaurant, located in the ground floor of Nile City Towers. They are huge fans of Fayrouz, who is always playing in the background :)

Cedars. Another one that’s been around for years, with some loyal fans. Its interior is comfortable and elegant, although with a different theme in each branch; and the open air terrace overlooking Tivoli Dome is beautiful. Their Mezza choices and Safiha are said to be delicious, and a specialty called “Shish Barak”. Cedars also serves a variety of non-Lebanese plates including molokheya, and pizza!

Leila. Now this has come right from the heart of Lebanon! Overlooking the dancing fountains in Mall of Arabia, a place called Leila prides itself in a chic, homey atmosphere and relaxing music. It serves authentic, delicious mezzat and desserts, with a few twists here and there; as well as nice main dishes.

You might also like these places; some are known for their spectacular view, some for their budget-friendly menus, while some are not “strictly” Lebanese. Always best to read the reviews first ;)

 

Been to any of those places? 

Share your review on Trustious!

Furnish your house like a Pro!

Tips and tricks from someone who’s been there and done that.

As the Arab saying goes, “Ask the experienced rather than the learned”. Well, guess what? We happen to know someone who combines both learning and experience, and we did the asking for you as well!

Introducing Nivin Ashraf; a furniture and product designer, and a wife who has accurately picked each piece herself, for every corner of her home. We asked her for general furniture advice to give to girls going through the process of furnishing their homes, and here are some tips she gave;

Where to start

  • Always start looking for a dining room first. If you decide on a customized one, it is going to take the most out of all the furniture to get manufactured, especially if it’s classic.

Colors and Identity

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  • Generally, try not to have an all-modern home; it screams “No Identity”. Add your personal touch around the house through stylish statement pieces. There should be at least ONE attractive piece of furniture in every room! It could be the bed in your bedroom, an iconic arm chair in the living room, a unique coffee table, or even dining chairs.
  • If you like colors, that’s cool; but be sure your house doesn’t end up looking like a rainbow or a child’s room. Express your love for colors in home accessories, cushions, or paintings. But stick to solid colors in the main furniture pieces like sofas. Think of it as a fun way to change colors every two years or so; replace the purple cushions with blue or orange ones for example. It wouldn’t be that easy if the sofa itself was red to begin with :)

Keep your eyes open ladies

  • Never buy from a furniture shop that you’ve never heard of, always always ask someone who has tried it before. Editor’s note: Always consult the reviews on Trustious ;)
  • For sofas, especially in living room; never buy the super soft kind, go for hard or medium because they do soften in a while. If you buy them soft to begin with, they flatten into a very thin no-support sheet.

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  • For the Seat cushions, ask what material is used on the inside. A big NO to the “all-fiber” ones. The alternative would be foam (safeng) or a mixture of both. You can have full fiber in the throw cushions where you don’t apply much pressure.
  • When you hear the word MDF, be very alert. Try to avoid it in the main furniture pieces. Here’s why; MDF is processed wood made up of all leftover wood particles glued together. It gives you a very strong wooden board that’s super heavy! But, since it’s made of tiny particles; when you add knobs or drawer rails, the movement and pulling in and out will end up causing the nails to move around inside the wood and these glued particles to fall apart, leaving you with a big -unfixable- hole! It’s fine for flat surfaces like table tops, or in the kitchen but in parts where there are no attached knobs.

Shop-specific advice:

  • If you want durable furniture pieces like the ones in your parents’ house that lived as long as you; do not look for those in IKEA. They do have amazing accessories and lighting pieces but the actual furniture you can buy for your summer house or the kids’ room (which you’ll change in a few years anyway), not for your everyday use.
  • Did you know that Oriental Weavers can customize any rug you want, literally ANY design you can think of, any print, any color, any design, and all for the same cost?

Now, we know for a fact that Nivin has a unique taste in things, so we asked her about the shops she thinks are nice, distinctive and not “mainstream”. Here are her favorites;

Classic furniture: Fayek, Fayek Maison de Charme, SM Gallery and Omar (Zamalek)

Modern furniture: Eklego, Karavan Serai, Mit Rehan, &Cairo

Lighting: Lightology, Reflection, Rashdan Light shop, Spiridon & Maha El Ghabrawy (sold at Eklego).

Fabrics: Damask, Texmar, Moderna Kabbani, Omash, Tanis

Nivin says that shops for Home Accessories and Lighting are endless and it’s okay to buy from any shop anywhere as long as the pieces look good and intact and you like them. However, be patient with buying because the variety is huge and the prices as well. You don’t want to buy a piece and then find another one that you like more and is much cheaper!

Her final words are; do listen to your mum’s advice, she’s probably right about most things! But do think about and love every piece you buy, because you will live with it…probably forever!

Brought to you by Trustious.

Images are taken off Pinterest and are the editor’s choice

Cafe’s Kids areas will save your outing, no need for a babysitter!

Parents! Do you really want to miss a hangout with friends just because you don’t know where to leave your kids? And wouldn’t you feel more at ease with them  playing around you anyway?

They are not many, but they do exist; the restaurants and cafes keen on putting your family at ease by having play areas so you can enjoy a good meal while keeping an eye on your little ones. Here’s a small list; (please feel free to comment on the article if you know of any others that we might have slipped)

Restaurants

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Capital Grill, New Cairo. They have a nice medium sized outdoor area with the usual playground slides, swings and castles to climb…etc.

Fuddruckers, Dokki and Maadi. Both branches have indoors kids’ area with several games.

Viking, Heliopolis.  They’ve got a small outdoor area – completely shaded with lots of plants around – with a few slides and the likes.

Chili’s, New Cairo, Genena Mall, Mohandessin and Sheikh Zayed branches. Well, we all know their nice big playgrounds.

Cafes

The MedleyDukes, New Cairo. They’re seating area is mostly outdoor, so the play area is also outside on the side of the cafe. It has a plastic house, slide, tube and a few other things. It’s pretty small though.

The Medley (photo left), Zamalek.  In a nice little indoors corner, they have a small tables and chairs for kids to sit and color. 

Oya Lounge, Mohandessin. One of the cafes thoughtful enough to have a whole big room for kids in the second floor! They have all the playground toys, only indoors.

Coffee Beanery, in Emerald Empire, New Cairo. Another place with a big play area in the upper floor, but only with chairs and tables for arts and crafts + a popcorn machine! You don’t even have to be sitting in the same cafe, could be one of the ones beside it, but you have to pay a small fee.

Sugar spell, Maadi. This place is basically the other way round. It’s sort of a candy store with a play ground and indoor games, as well as an upper floor to hold birthdays. And, they have an area for adults to relax and order food like a normal restaurant. I think it’s a perfect place for a family day of fun!

Sequoia, Zamalek. Now the play area here is not exactly in Sequoia but right beside it when you go down the stairs. It’s a “tree-house” with a few slide and swings around it, but parents are expected to accompany their children as there is no supervision from the place there. Well, it’s better than nothing.

Gosto, Nasr City. The cafe is both indoor and outdoor and a large part of the outdoor is a green floored play area with the usual slides, swings and the likes.

Beano’s, New Cairo. Right before Meeting Point there’s a big Beano’s branch with a large outdoor area, part of which is a nice play area with medium sized plastic toys; the house, slide, see-saw and the rest.

Food Courts and Malls

KiddlesThe Platform, Maadi. Those got Boomers, a huge playground complete with trampolines, ‘castles’ and slides as well as tables for painting and crafts. It’s run by professional nursery owners and serves the entire platform with an hourly fee. (first photo above)

Tivoli, Heliopolis. A small outdoor garden with a trampoline and the usual playground stuff and you pay and hourly fee. They also have the KidsDome booth where they hold many activities and workshops for kids on weekends and special occasions.

Kiddles (photo above), at Downtown Mall and Arkan Plaza. A professional activity center where you can leave your child for several hours, and he/she can find different fun/educational toys, games and activities. Teachers are available of course, for general supervision and assistance with games if needed. 

You can also find kids areas in;

Abou Shakra, Maadi and Dokki.
Andrea, El Haram.
Planet Africa, Heliopolis, Mohandessin and Dokki
Fish Market, New Cairo.
Spectra, Dokki, El Shagara (korniche), 6 October.

 

Waiting for your reviews on Trustious when you give those places a visit ;)

Image sources in order: Boomers, The Medley, Kiddles.

8 furniture shops that have it all

We did the research for you; all you have to do is start the trip!

We’ve all heard the famous argument between the engaged girl and her mother. Mother says; “Honey, you can’t use modern furniture for the whole house! It’s not durable and it doesn’t look very classy...” The girl thinks to herself that her mother probably knows best, but she doesn’t want furniture that looks too old fashioned or uptight. She wants to enjoy sitting in her reception comfortably, with her friends and her family! And the dilemma goes on…

Well girls; after checking 200 furniture shop reviews on Trustious and asking many newly-weds and engaged couples for recommendations, we’ve got this list of shops that we believe can give you exactly what you need; durability, comfort and a classy modern look depending on your preference and budget.

Here are the best furniture shops according to people’s choices:

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Pinocchio. One of the shops gaining more fans every day; they locally design and produce modern and stylish furniture with a flavor of the Egyptian heritage shown in the carvings in wood. Their furniture is of very high quality and with reasonable prices with regards to shops of the same style. Pinocchio’s collections include bedrooms, dining and living rooms, but bedrooms are their specialty. Pinocchio’s fans also say that they are very professional and organized; a rare commodity these days!

mehrez dining roomMehrez Krema. Another proudly-Egyptian store where two designers “Khaled Mehrez” and “Hanan Krema” fuse their work together to come up with bold stylish furniture inspired by Islamic calligraphy and some Pharaonic symbols. Their style is very unique might not suit all tastes, but we must salute them for their high quality and excellent finishing; they specialize in dining rooms, but they have a good collection of living rooms and bedrooms too. People who have dealt with them say that Mehrez Krema are perfect in on-time delivery and customer care. We can’t say that their prices are average, they are a little high, but you’ll definitely get your value for money.

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Apex. Along the same lines of bold designs and rich fabrics, here is another shop that we think you will love. Apex has unique ideas for dining and living rooms, and bedrooms. You’d find leather couches, mirror buffets, square dining tables, and sofa-like dining chairs. Their furniture is all very comfortable and their wood is strong, manufactured in Egypt, while their fabrics are imported. Apex, unlike Mehrez Krema, is moderately priced; and their after sale service is smooth and timely and their staff professional and helpful.

saloni livingSaloni. A Turkish brand known for their colors, comfort, and good quality of the fabrics and wood; they offer neo-classic “salons” – which means that their pieces are not for the everyday use of a living room. Their new branch in New Cairo is expected to have some bedrooms as well. Saloni uses natural wood (Counter wood) in their furniture pieces, all of which are made in Turkey and shipped to Egypt. Their prices are considered average, especially when comparing them to similar stores of somewhat less quality. People seem to be satisfied when dealing with Saloni, as their payment process is reasonable and their delivery is considerably fast, depending on whether the item you choose is available in the shop or not.

ashley livingAshley. Here’s a place where you can find variety and flexibility in high quality and reasonable prices. An American brand opening in Egypt recently, but with its star rising fast! It specializes in bedrooms and living rooms with a few scattered dining pieces and home accessories. Ashley’s furniture is mainly modern, but they try to add a classic touch – especially in bedrooms, through the wood carvings. The products are mostly imported, from the US and East Asia; however, they have a factory in Egypt if you want to exchange some pieces for custom-made ones, or add a closet to your bedroom as their bedrooms come with no closets. For all of that, Ashley’s prices are great and they have discounts and flexible payment options!

al cazar livingAl Cazar. Now that is one unique place to visit; talk about curves, fine wood, and perfect finishing! They really do have their own style, which can’t be called classic and is definitely not the regular “modern” pieces we see everywhere. They have mostly dining rooms and bedrooms, but you can also find salon sofas and tables. Al Cazar is an Egyptian brand and is quite expensive, but they hold nice sales every now and then and the prices drop significantly to reach the average rates of the market.

williams living 2WilliamsThis very elegant store is known for its unique designs and add-on pieces and mechanisms in their furniture. Their specialty is living room and reception sofas but they have bedrooms and dining rooms as well. They are very flexible if you want to pick out pieces from here and there, and you can also customize the pieces themselves; different fabrics and sizes…etc. Williams is quite overpriced, but you get good value for money and the shopping experience there is just too lovely to miss!

in & out 2In & Out. This is your place for simple, comfortable furniture with very modest prices. They work with manufactured wood, which is of less quality than natural wood, but they offer you a 10 years guarantee on the wood, which makes you somewhat comfortable. In & Out has a huge variety of living rooms and bedrooms and their designs are simple and can fit many tastes. Most people who have reviewed it though, recommend it for summer houses/chalets or second bedrooms at home, but not for your main house and especially not your master bedroom. Their delivery is said to be smooth and on time, with good after sale service.

You might also want to check out:

Image; known for their amazing quality and durable furniture; a mixture or modern, classic and contemporary designs with a specialty in living rooms. They have a great variety of fabrics to choose from and their prices are slightly above the average.

Verinno; a large variety of classic and modern furniture of great quality and chili prices, very high –imported pieces, slightly high – locally made ones. Their designs are very unique but don’t necessarily fit all tastes.

Divano; reasonably priced strictly modern living rooms and bedrooms, imported from Turkey with simple designs that are comfortable to the eye. Dining rooms and wall-units for the living room are also available.

Home Center; an abundant variety of all you can ever need at home, not highly recommended for actual furniture, but all else is recommended and in great prices as well.

IKEA; we decided to let this one speak for itself! ;)

At the end girls, remember to go through your furniture hunt with patience, try not to rush into buying anything, you don’t get to furnish your house every week!

And don’t forget to write your reviews on Trustious when you receive your orders ;)

Brought to you by Trustious!

Where to take your partner on a special occasion: An expert’s recommendations!

Psyched about your partner’s birthday and want to take them to a new place? Maybe your anniversary is coming up and you’re planning something special? We’ve got some answers for you!

Here are some nice spots you can take your loved one to, recommended by Nour Naguib; one of Trustious’s Stars who has written over 250 restaurant and food reviews, receiving endless Helpful votes by other Trustians. We basically consider her an expert on restaurants!

If you’re early risers and have a plan for the whole day, you can start with a refreshing breakfast at Tempo in 6th of October. Overlooking a huge golf court at Allegria, it provides a small indoor and huge outdoor seating area with excellent food, friendly staff and of course, amazing view.

For lunch, and could also serve as a breakfast place;

There’s Paul in Downtown, New Cairo. It has a classic French style to it and a real French cuisine with high quality food. The staff is friendly, and it’s a little expensive. However, you’ll find the whole experience is very pleasant and worth your money.

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Then there’s Left Bank in Zamalek right next to Sequoia. It’s surrounded by full-length glass windows overlooking the Nile, so it gives a shiny open air feeling, minus the too hot or too cold weather. The interior is nice and the food is great as well.

Now let’s come to the more luxurious, cozy and private ones, where you can dine and relax;

Little Swiss in Maadi is perfect for a romantic getaway. There’s a warm feeling there, like you’re sitting in a small farm – thanks to the cow theme all over the place :) but the experience is nice and though the place is small you can still have some privacy. The owner runs the place herself and is extremely welcoming. The food is awesome, you grill the meat yourself and the cheese and chocolate fondue is amazing. It’s also cheaper than “The Fondue Pot”.

…which brings us to The Fondue Pot! It’s quite the same as Little Swiss, but the ambiance is very elegant and it’s more expensive. However the service is very good and the food is of very high quality. This one’s in Heliopolis, off Nozha street.

Then comes one of Nour’s favorite restaurants; Blackstone Bistro! The place is simply high on everything; service, food quality, cuisine diversity, atmosphere elegancy; everything! It has a branch in Maadi and one in Zamalek and it is said to be a must-try by several food experts on Trustious.

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For Italian food lovers there’s Rocca Razzo (photo above) in New Cairo, where the food is good, the place is elegant yet comfortable, and you can also get some privacy.

And lastly, Filini in Radisson Blu Hotel in Heliopolis. Quoting Nour; it’s one of the best Italian restaurants in town, although it doesn’t seem to get much notice. She says the place is also very elegant and the staff is friendly. Be sure to give it a visit!

Nour also recommends these places for regular couple-y outings;

We hope you enjoy your time, and waiting for your reviews afterwards ;)

Sending out a special thanks to our star Nour Naguib for her recommendations. We love you Nour!

Brought to you by Trustious!