May 11, 2018
A ski lodge in the heart of the UAE? Well, the Mall of the Emirates already has its own indoor ski centre, so why not? Apres is a huge Alpine lodge cum seventies lounge cum DJ bar that somehow manages to combine its various disparate inspirations in a happy, if slightly confusing, compromise that is both kitsch and contemporary at the same time. The bar itself is absurdly well-stocked and the staff claim to be able to make a cocktail to suit even the most fickle of customers a challenge if ever we’ve heard one to work your way through some of the most obscure drinks you can think of. There’s decent food on offer too; its contemporary European menu has been nominated more than once for the Time Out Restaurant Awards best bar food category. The small selection of stone-fired pizzas and traditional Swiss cheese fondue are particularly popular. And with windows looking out over the white expanse of the faux-slopes you could almost be in the Alps. Almost. There’s always going to be something slightly incongruous about a bar in the middle of a shopping mall/theme park but Apres just about pulls it off and a cocktail and fondue is a pretty appealing idea after hours of retail therapy. The crowd it attracts is heavy on expats, with a core of loyal regulars as well as a stream of curious newcomers. It’s all slightly insane but in a good way, and couldn’t exist anywhere other than Dubai. Undoubtedly an experience you’ll find hard to forget.