I’m absolutely over the moon to be sharing these images with you. I haven’t visited my country in over 16 years (I know, I know, it’s so bad) but for whatever reason, I never found myself in Beirut and the last time I was there, I was 14 years old, so it was a bit of a long-awaited homecoming, to say the least.
I’ve always lived in different places, moved from country to country and city to city so I’ve never really felt my roots, I consider myself a Londoner for sure, and Dubai is definitely like a second home to me, but being in Beirut gave me a sense of home I’ve never felt before.
Natalya and I had a lot of excess images we didn’t post on Instagram so we decided to put together a mini guide to the city. This is literally just a scratch on the surface of what Beirut has to offer and we can’t wait to head back to Lebanon and offer you guys a more in-depth version of the below sometime soon, we hope, but for now, here’s a little list of where to stay, where to eat, what to see and do.
Ever since I can remember, the Phoenicia has always been the place to stay when in Beirut. We checked in for four nights and made ourselves at home immediately by the pool.
Natalya and I had a gorgeous view of Zaytoona Bay and spent a lot of time on our balcony basking in the atmosphere of the city below us.
Breakfasts were always the most vibrant part of our days. We’d meet our parents downstairs and the four of us would feast like nobodies business. The traditional saaj counter was probably my favourite, chefs would create fresh manakeesh in a traditional oven right in front of you and they were unbelievably delicious. There is no such thing as a small meal in Lebanon.
Besides the comfy beds, lovely service and delicious food, the pool at the Phoenicia was also a firm favourite. Natalya and I would turn the loungers into a temporary office as we basked in the Mediterranean sun and tackled emails at the same time.
One of the most memorable things I did in Beirut all those years ago during my last visit was driving to the mountains with my family for a huge lunch at Mounir. It’s a beautiful Lebanese restaurant located in Broumana overseeing the city below. The atmosphere is so vivid, the food is delicious and just the views you get along the drive there are worth the trip.
WHAT WE WORE
When you visit your home country for the first time in 16 years with the majority of your family in tow, it’s needless to say that there isn’t much time to do your own thing. We were so busy with family and friends commitments that we didn’t get a chance to explore properly, but that’s ok because it’s just another excuse to head back over and over again to really soak in everything Lebanon has to offer.
We’ve listed a few other places below to visit and things to do which aren’t pictured.
Just one of the areas of Beirut which make you realise why it’s nicknamed the Paris of the Middle East. It’s unbelievably beautiful. Of course, Lebanon has been through its fair share of problems, and the city hasn’t fully recovered yet aesthetically, but in my opinion, this just adds to Beirut’s character. I think downtown Beirut is one of the most beautiful places and so full of charm. We spent a lot of time here during our 5-day trip, shopping and eating.
WHAT WE WORE
Booking in a day at a beach club is essential, Lebanon sits on the Mediterranean sea so the weather is just incredible during the Summer. If you’re into tanning, you will get one of the best tans of your life in Beirut, and working on a tan from somewhere like Madame Bleu is ideal. It’s a little beach club not far from The Phoenicia and offers great vibes, good music, yummy food and incredible people watching.
WHAT WE WORE
Natalya and I had a huge family lunch in Ashrafieh, one of the oldest districts of Beirut. Just walking around here gave me such a great energy, the buildings are old and colourful, the streets are cobbled, there’s a hidden gem at every corner and it just feels like you’re somewhere that has a story to tell. I loved it.