La Poire’s Ramadan Oriental Sweets Tin Container

The holy month of Ramadan is a time when oriental sweets are devoured like one would eat popcorn whilst watching a film. After fasting for sixteen hours, people will more often than not overcompensate for the lack of food with delicious sugary treats. Pâtisserie shops around Cairo will be buzzing with customers, either purchasing sweets and cakes for themselves or for friends and family who have invited them over for iftar.

La Poire is a high-end French pastry chain in Egypt. During Ramadan oriental sweets are sold like hot cakes. This Ramadan I decided to buy La Poire’s oriental sweets in a tin container.

Not much of a sweet-tooth person, the main reason I was drawn to the tin was that of how pretty the stripes and colors looked. I could use this tin container when the sweets have finished, I thought with excitement. (And of course my family will appreciate the sweet treat; so a win for everyone.)

It’s a medium-sized container with 1 kilogram each of four different oriental sweets, weighing a total of 3 kilograms. This is a pre-packed container, so customers will not have the chance to choose which sweets they would like to include or exclude. In pastry shops across Egypt, it is quite normal to make your own assortment of sweets that are placed in a round cardboard tray.

Most of these oriental sweets contain nuts and lots of syrup. They have a crunchy exterior and a nutty, syrupy interior. They are calorie-packed. Oriental sweets are best served with tea. I will usually have one sweet with a cup of milky tea after the spiritual night prayers at the mosque. This container contains Konafa, the round sweets in the middle with nuts; white and red Basboosa with almonds, and white Golash.

My favorite, the crunchy white Baklava or sweet Golash, is not as syrupy as it should be, but my blood sugar levels aren’t complaining. In my honest opinion, I have tasted better in other pastry shops, especially ones with a specialty in oriental sweets.

The Advantages to Buying the Tin Container from La Poire:

They’re pre-packed– convenient if you’re in a rush and can’t wait for one to be specially assembled for you;
you can use the container after the sweets are finished;
it looks pretty as a gift.

The Disadvantages of Buying the Tin Container from La Poire:

At 245 Egyptian pounds, this is an expensive treat;
You can assemble your own cardboard tray with the sweets you like and the quantity you want at a much lower price at most pastry shops. With this container, you’re stuck with what they have given you;
Because they are pre-packed, it’s not clear whether the sweets are freshly made or a few days old;
You may not have any use for the tin container; while you can dispose of cardboard trays with a peace of mind;
Although the container is 1 item, the receipt at La Poire will list 3 items with the price next to each kilogram – so they are selling you the sweets per kilogram. The Konafa is 125 Egyptian pounds; the Basboosa is 45 Egyptian pounds, and the Konafa with nuts is 75 Egyptian pounds. This was confusing. I had to ask them to explain why there were 3 items on the receipt when I had only bought one item. I later understood that this was a breakdown of the items in the box. But to avoid confusion and thinking one has been short-changed, I think this could have been written in a clearer way on the receipt.

Ramadan may look like the month of gorging on food and not the month of abstaining from it, but there are people who will use it as an opportunity to elevate their spirituality with God and exercise self-control, which is what the holy month is all about. This includes avoiding inducing oneself with a food coma when surrounded with a buffet of delicious food and sweets, no matter how hard the temptation.

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Golden Stars Cinema VIP

Approaching Golden Stars Cinema through a private entrance at City Stars mall, one can’t help but notice that the luxurious hall leading up to the ticket booth is a reflection of the all-exclusive, opulent atmosphere one is about to indulge in. The fact that popcorn is included is just a bonus.

Located in phase two on the ground floor of City Stars, Golden Stars Cinema has five business class cinemas (40 EGP per person), and three first-class VIP cinemas (100 EGP per person), making choosing your class of cinema much like choosing your airplane seat.

It isn’t as crowded at the Golden Stars cinema ticket booth like the regular cinema a few floors above, which is a welcoming change, and the man at the ticket booth was both helpful and attentive. We chose to watch The Iron Lady, a powerful film about the life of Margaret Thatcher, former female prime minister of Great Britain. Available films and their times are shown on screens above the ticket counters, further promoting the theme of luxury.

An usher greets us at the entrance of the Golden Stars cinema, checking our first class tickets, whilst another leads us inside. There is a lounge outside where people can wait before or after a film, and facilities. There is also a bar where popcorn, sandwiches, and other snacks can be ordered, catered and severed by the Intercontinental Hotel that is part of the City Stars complex.

The first class Golden Stars cinema has leather recliners that can go as far as the sleeping position. There are three recliners on the left, presumably for family and friends, and two recliners on the right, ideal for couples. A wooden table stands in the middle of these recliners, and a menu from the Intercontinental Hotel is placed for you to peruse. Because you can order drinks and food from the Intercontinental, prices are set at hotel-restaurant standard; a club sandwich will set you back 55 Egyptian pounds, for example.

The size of Golden Stars cinema is quite intimate, giving you a feeling of exclusivity. Because there were only a couple of other viewers, it felt like I was enjoying the film at a home cinema. However, the sound, when it came to dramatic music, was too loud for such an intimate room, and I felt the need to cover my ears. During quiet parts in the film, I could also hear the projector rolling because of the intimate size of the cinema, which was a little bit distracting, but I learned to ignore it, and it soon faded into the background.

At the start of the film, you can signal a waiter to take your order from the menu (or he will approach you). You could also order at the bar outside and have them bring it in for you. He will then place your order on the wooden table, and wait for you to pay.

If this film has already begun, you will have to fumble for your wallet in the dark, using your mobile phone’s flash to pay while the waiter stands politely on the side. This can be distracting if you don’t want to miss a thing in the film. It would be less-distracting to order and pay at the bar outside, only having the waiter momentarily distract you with your food an issue while you are watching the film. Otherwise one can arrive half an hour before the film to order before they dim the lights.

Experiencing first-class viewing at Golden Stars cinema is a lovely treat to indulge in once in a while, and Golden Stars provides it with comfort and style. I do think 100 Egyptian pounds is expensive, but I understand that the cinema is trying to provide a particular atmosphere by targeting a particular clientèle; professionals, foreigners from the hotels at City Stars, people over the age of 21, (there were no screaming children to distract you from the film) so as to not make it undesirably crowded and noisy with crowds of youth, like regular cinemas (where ticket prices are 15-30 EGP).

There were things that could have made it a better experience, like other viewers not taking a call in the middle of the film, but I understand that this is something outside the cinema’s control, and is instead just a lack of consideration cinema viewers suffer from worldwide.

VIP cinema viewing in Egypt is ideal for those who can afford to splash it out once in a while, and who want to enjoy a film in an exclusive, luxurious, quiet, and private setting.

With Golden Stars cinema, going to the cinema just became more exciting.

The latest films at Golden Stars cinema

City Stars
Omar Ibn El Khattab Street
Next to Holiday Inn
Level Zero
Phase Two

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