Privé Cheese and Wine - Hyatt Capital Gate, Abu Dhabi

In popular culture mice are apparently obsessed with cheese. Not sure if mice actually enjoy it. Is it a myth in the same way that we portray cats liking milk when they actually don't? Whatever the answer, if mice really enjoy cheese, I can see why: it evokes all the senses. Furthermore, the sheer variety can also be overwhelming. Charles De Gaulle famously remarked: "How can anyone govern a nation that has two hundred and forty-six different kinds of cheese?" 

A cheese and wine evening is a personal favourite of mine, up there with High Tea. Why wouldn't it be when two of life's great indulgences, cheese and wine, are brought together?

Hyatt Capital Gate
The Wednesday Cheese and Wine at Hyatt Capital Gate has been around for a while  now, and has breathed much needed soul into Prive, a lounge on the Mezzanine level of the iconic building. My relationship with Hyatt Capital Gate started a little over a year and half ago when I went for a tour of the rooms. The moment I walked in I felt sterility. Maybe it was a slow week and there was no exhibition at the adjacent ADNEC resulting in the hotel being deathly quiet, but I remember thinking, "Why would you stay here unless you were part of an exhibition?". Then, on two subsequent occasions a friend and I stopped by for drinks at Prive, and there was not a soul there, except for a waitress who seemed thrilled when she saw us approaching. I kind of knew at that moment what people who have been stranded on an island, away from human contact, felt like when suddenly seeing a human being.

Thankfully, the marketing gods at the hotel saw the dilemma they faced, namely that they would have to offer something that would entice people to visit them for a night out. A tough sell if you consider the other options in close proximity; other hotels which exude warmth and do not feel like business hotels. Hence, the Cheese and Wine evening at a fantastic rate of Dhs130.

Prive,  a lovely venue.

Prive is a relaxing lounge with great mood lighting and some uber cool seating options. The earthy tones are indeed very tranquil. It is quite small, and this lends itself to a feeling of intimacy. This is indeed one of the things that makes this a great place.

So what do you get for your Dhs130? Prive offers a Prosecco, a South African Rose, an Australian red and white. The wines are pretty good it must be said, consdering what you are paying  However, the real attraction is the cheese. They offer a selction of mainly French and Italian cheeses with Brique de Chevre, Stilton, Waxed mature Cheddar, Elemental and Parmesan some of the fair available. The cheeses are accompanied by some mouthwatering jams. While I was sceptical when I tried it on my first visit, the recommended pairing of the parmesan and dark chocolate actually worked really well. Try it.

The service is another aspect that made this an enjoyable experience. Sleek and professional.

 So, all in all, it was a great evening. Apart from the obvious taste feast, Prive's Cheese and Wine gives us a glimpse of a hotel that has certainly come to life. It is now a venue worth visiting.

"Give me a good sharp knife and a good sharp cheese and I'm a happy man." - George R.R. Martin

I am defintely a happy man right now.