Keys hidden all over Riyadh give foodies access to this unique Diriyah Season restaurant

At Parkers Farmhouse, a golden key is needed to gain entry. (AN photo/Noor Nugali)
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Updated 20 December 2019

Keys hidden all over Riyadh give foodies access to this unique Diriyah Season restaurant

A scavenger hunt for a golden key has come to Diriyah Season: Parkers Farmhouse, a unique themed restaurant co-owned by Deem Al-Bassam and Amal Al-Marri, has arrived at the festival.

The key to getting in is to find the golden key. Hidden in various parts in Riyadh, the restaurateurs offer a fun exclusive take on eating out in the open air — you have to follow Parkers’ Snapchat and Instagram stories for clues to locate the key, and gain access to the spacious outdoor dining area.

After the long hunt is over, scavangers may find themselves in a long queue to be served. But when the wait is over, customers are welcomed into the beautifully lit outdoor restaurant area and served Arabic coffee near the bonfire before being seated.

This is the second Parkers pop-up restaurant to open in Saudi Arabia. However, the concept was first implemented in Dubai and after its initial success, more restaurants followed. 

“Before we opened this Parkers Farmhouse, we had Parkers Lighthouse in Al-Rae’da for six months,” Sayed Hassan, the operations manager, said.

“We believe in quality ambiance. There is no compromise when it comes to the quality of food. It’s a combination of a beautiful concept with unmatchable food and top-quality service.” 

The food served at the restaurant is as unique as its concept. An interesting menu serves up a feast of choices, with the signature dish for Diriyah corn on the cob drizzled with sauce. Their famous spicy toffee shrimp, truffle burger and the oozing mac and cheese with spicy cheetos on top are also worth trying.

Their famous street fries are smothered with sauce and served steaming hot. Chicken and beef sliders are also beloved by customers, as is the Madeline chocolate cake, a three-layered masterpiece drizzled with sauce and flakes. The slices served are deliberately large, too, because, as Sayed says: “You can eat and take the rest home, so Parkers is always with you.”


UK Ambassador welcomes appointment of first Saudi woman as cultural attache

Updated 54 min 39 sec ago

UK Ambassador welcomes appointment of first Saudi woman as cultural attache

  • Fatani was appointed as one of the Kingdom’s first female cultural attaches
  • She holds a doctorate in pharmacology and toxicology from the University of Strathclyde

RIYADH: Britain’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia on Thursday welcomed the appointment of Dr. Amal bint Jameel Fatani as cultural attaché to the UK.

Fatani was appointed as one of the Kingdom’s first female cultural attaches by the Saudi Minister of Education Dr.Hamad bin Mohammed Al Al-Sheik earlier this month.

Ambassador Neil Crompton tweeted Thursday: “#Congratulations to Dr Fatani @FataniAmal for her appointment as Cultural Attaché to the #UK. Delighted she is a UK alumni herself. Wishing her the very best in her new role and looking forward to strengthening the people to people links between the UK and Saudi Arabia.”

Fatani holds a doctorate in pharmacology and toxicology from the University of Strathclyde. She obtained her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in pharmacology and toxicology from the College of Pharmacy at King Saud University (KSU), where she is currently an associate professor.

She has previously worked at the Ministry of Higher Education and KSU, and was among the first female pharmacy graduates in the Kingdom.

After receiving her doctorate she was appointed vice chair of the pharmacology and toxicology department. She is the first female dean of the nine scientific and medical colleges, and has worked with the rector, deputies, and deans of male colleges to build a unified strategic plan for gaining accreditation, a higher global ranking, and implementing best international practices in higher education.

Saudi Arabia and the UK have an important and long-standing relationship, strengthened through the strong individual connections that Saudis enjoy with the UK through their attendance at academic institutions. Hundreds of Saudi scholarship students have graduated from top UK educational institutions.

The two countries are key strategic partners in the Kingdom’s Saudi Vision 2030 reform plan, and have reaffirmed their commitment to building and developing trade and investment as well as achieving shared prosperity for their citizens.