The cre­ative di­rec­tor at Dubai Gar­den Centre talks about her love-hate re­la­tion­ship with Casablanca lilies and wak­ing up at the crack of dawn

Friday - - Contents -

Dubai-based Saresa An­thonis­sen, of the Dubai Gar­den Centre, on food, friends, flow­ers and Fri­day.

FOOD, FRIENDS, FRI­DAYS For­bid­den flower

Casablanca lilies are my favourite flow­ers but, un­for­tu­nately, they are also the ones I’m al­ler­gic to. Fri­day for me is spent with fam­ily and friends. I don’t get much time to so­cialise dur­ing the week, so I love invit­ing friends over for a big Mediter­ranean meal on a Fri­day af­ter­noon. I en­joy cook­ing, [but] I don’t spend the en­tire day pre­par­ing the meal. There’ll be huge Yo­tam Ot­tolenghistyle plat­ters of roasted veg­eta­bles, salad and fish or meat, all in­for­mally laid out on my big wooden din­ing ta­ble.


‘It’s not what you say to ev­ery­one else that de­ter­mines your life; it’s what you whis­per to your­self that has the great­est power,’ is a quote that has stayed with me for the long­est time. I can’t re­mem­ber where I read it, but it re­flects how im­por­tant be­ing true to my­self in every­thing I do is. At the end of the day, I am solely re­spon­si­ble for all my deeds and ac­tions.


I am usu­ally awake at 4 in the morn­ing. This is my quiet time that I use to walk our dog Simba, a minia­ture schnau­zer, and then spend time cook­ing and read­ing be­fore the rest of the house wakes up.


As a fam­ily, we re­cy­cle all our waste from home. I buy or­ganic prod­ucts when and wher­ever I can and try to waste less. I seem to be for­ever de­clut­ter­ing nowa­days. We also make sure we seg­re­gate all our waste into sep­a­rate bins for plas­tic, pa­per and glass. Also, we never throw away our old clothes; they are al­ways do­nated to cloth­ing banks.


I love trav­el­ling. Spend­ing time with my fam­ily as a child on hol­i­day in Elands­baai – a coastal town in South Africa – is my ear­li­est mem­ory of hap­pi­ness. A trip to Angkor Wat and see­ing the North­ern Lights are ul­ti­mate travel goals.

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