Dazed Digital


Inside/Out: Roy McFarlane of Circle

January 17, 2012

The creative mind behind one of Dubai's most kitsch cafes shares his city with Satellite Voices

  • Text by Kate Hazell

If you've ever eaten at Circle Cafe and marveled at the kitsch and quirky interiors while gorging on the incredible lemon meringue pie or eclectic salads then you have Roy to thank. The creative South African is changing the face of eating in Dubai with his inspiring menus and eye for interiors.

Satellite Voices: What’s your occupation... a) during the day & b) at night?
Roy McFarlane: a) During the day I design shop interiors and food dishes, b) At night time I'm a carpenter and furniture maker.

SV: Where do you live and what inspires you about that area of town?
Roy McFarlane: I live in DIFC, we overlook Sheikh Mohammed's stables and get to watch his horsies going for a swim in the morning. Bonus!

SV: How long have you lived in your city and brought you there?
Roy McFarlane: I've lived in Dubai for six years before that I was in London and was made a job offer that I couldn't refuse; besides I was ready for a new challenge.

SV: What does your city mean to you?
Roy McFarlane: Love. It’s where I met my wife and realised that life makes sense the minute you have someone that you love body, mind and soul.

SV: Can you talk about the best creative youth cultures in your town? And what it is in your city that supports these in a special way?
Roy McFarlane: The freedom that young Emirati's are now getting to display their unique creativity in music, design and art. It’s a burgeoning area for a new youth that has managed to overcome religious barriers and believe in their expression. Art Dubai and DIFF are just the beginning of a very exciting phase in local culture.

SV: What are your plans for the weekend?
Roy McFarlane: Now that Australian Masterchef has finished, me and my wife are going to Wox on Thursday evening for el-cheapo Asian and cold Asahi beer. Friday we're hitting up Zuma for a birthday soiree and Saturday will most probably adopt a kitten and call it Frederich.

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