I went with Majid Sirhan to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to start work on a film for The National Guard. Majid was my interpreter.
We stayed at the Saudia Hotel. The highlight of the food on offer was, strangely, for me, a dessert. It was a chocolate sponge about the size of a tennis ball, quite firm on the outside with liquid chocolate in the centre. It was delicious and I have never found anything quite like it since.
We returned home separately. I went on to Abu Dhabi to meet up with a crew I had sent to film along the Gulf. We were staying at the Sheraton which is situated by the sea.
In the evening of the first day in Abu Dhabi, we gathered at the bar for drinks. In Saudi Arabia, there were no alcoholic drinks, that is to say, that I could get hold of, and I was offered an alcohol-free lager in my mini bar in the Saudia Hotel in Riyadh. It gave me a headache and I have never tried it since.
The Sheraton is one of the finest hotels in the Middle East. The accommodation was luxurious and the restaurants would compare with any in the world. The range of items on offer made it difficult to choose a meal. It was only when we stayed there for a week or two that we could “go through the card” and sample most of what was on offer. Seafoods were prominent on the menu, offering Clams, squid and prawns fresh from the Gulf. There were some excellent dishes of lamb, such as Qouzi Mahshi, stuffed roast lamb.
We always enjoyed our stay there.
Next chapter: Chapter 80: The Most Expensive Olive in the World