a taste of qatari farm life at north Sedra farm
Honestly. It was more a feast with the amount of food our hosts Abdulla & his mum Maryam, the matriarch & absolute boss of North Sedra Farm, generously shared with us on our recent visit, but more of the food later.
I took a great portrait of a goat I need to share.
a window to Qatar's History, agriculture & culinary delights.
About 90 mins out of Doha, North Sedra Farm is a cracking day trip to have fun & learn about Qatari culture & heritage. A family run operation it has an authentic vibe & real personality.
We visited on the opening day in late October & even on the 1st day of the season it was in full swing, with the resident Oryx greeting you on arrival. If by greeting you mean glancing over whilst looking fabulous, then getting back to eating.
The corridor of windows & Qatari historical path is a great way to enter the site & Maryam & her family gave us a fabulous tour* setting the scene for the rest of the visit & giving us a view into the family & farms history.
Once you get outside it's a frenzy of feeding the goats, camels, fish, zebras & birds & keeping up with the kids (human not goat) on the train, mini boats, playgrounds & ponies. Architecturally it's a mix of traditional Qatari farm buildings, pop up food stalls, including a giant pineapple, shady tents & cabanas, so a real treat to explore & get some shots just before sunset.
A traditional Bedoun tent can be found by taking a trip on a farm truck through the fields growing strawberries & cucumber, which you can pick to take home when in season. While at the tent we enjoyed a Karak & very competitive round or 3 on the Carrom Board over looking the Sidr orchard. The orchard is home to thousands of Sidr trees growing the Kanar fruit and is also where the bees hang out before heading back to their hives to make Sedra Honey, which according to my daughter is the 3rd best honey in the world. (Manchester Printworks Honey is best, she is a bit elusive as to whats 2nd... I'll let you know if she ever tells me).
We ended the day chilling by the river in the Secret Garden enjoying coffee & a huge platter of traditional Qatari sweets.
I have not shown any pictures of the Secret Garden below or am even telling you where it is, because you need to visit the farm to explore & find it for yourself.
Then eat the sweets... all the sweets, especially the Lokma.
*tours are not a standard part of the visit, we had been invited by the family so had the VIP treatment.
FOOD & Drink - the really important bit.
I honestly wasn't sure what to expect on the food & drink front so packed a bag of crisps, fruit, sweets & drinks. Safe to say it all came back home as the food on offer at the farm is fabulous.
The main restaurant offers traditional Qatari food & we enjoyed a feast of Biriyani, Lentil Machboos, Spicy Pasta, Harees & Madhruba.
Madhruba basically a thick chickeny gravy porridge, but don't let that put you off it tastes absolutely amazing!
If you don't fancy a total carb fest, but I recommend you go hungry so you can, then there is a great selection of independent food trucks in the main square to cater for all tastes & budgets.
At The Tent we had bags of hot freshly fried samosas, spicy chickpeas & giant black beans which tasted like the best butter beans you will EVER eat.
For dessert at the Secret Garden we were treated to Arabic coffee & a platter of traditional sweets, the highlight being the Lokma, which are fried mini donuts soaked in honey, I struggled to share these.
So to the Honey. Any self respecting venue has a gift shop & North Sedra Farm is bang on it with frozen dates grown & harvested on site & their own honey to buy to take home. At 600QAR the honey is not cheap, but where else can you see the trees the bees get the pollen from, pick some of the fruit from the same trees & watch how the beekeepers look after the hives & extract the honey.
Oh & it tastes amazing & the bottle is massive.
The Farm is open on Friday & Saturdays from 12.30pm & midweek for private hire.
It's about 90 mins drive from downtown Doha & just off the main highway.
QAR 20 entry & kids under 2 are free.
Fruit & veg picking is usually late November, check their insta for dates, there is a English info section in the stories.
See you there over winter armed with a basket for the fruit & an empty belly for all the carbs!