Make sure you follow LiveLoveMzaar as they are taking some great shots this winter.
Update: The picture was not taken recently but in 2008. Thank you Melissa!
I got invited to attend the reveal of the new Mustang 2015 (#MustangRises) which is taking place today near Burj Khalifa in Dubai. This is the first time I actually get invited to attend an event outside Lebanon and I am loving every single bit of it. Dubai is great, the Address downtown hotel where I’m staying is the best here, and most of the events are taking place in cool venues.
I can’t believe it’s my first time in Dubai as I’ve been planning to come here forever. Too bad I have to come back on Thursday so I won’t be able to explore the city properly but I will be back soon for sure.
Colorful Beirut by Matteo el Khodr
It will snow this Christmas – Picture by Haig Melikian
Raouche sea-level by Sacha
On the road to Ammiq Antonio
Clear night before the storm – Picture by Kali
My friend Salma tweeted yesterday that air conditioners are not working at the Rafic Hariri Airport and I’ve read a report a week ago about the same matter. I don’t know what the problem is but it’s a good thing winter is almost here.
Unfortunately, the slogan “Where East meets West” no longer applies.
Beirut is the only Arab city that made it to the CNTraveler Top 25 cities of the world list of 2014. Florence came first, followed by Charleston in South Carolina and Budapest in third position.
Here’s the [full list].
PS: It would be nice if they stop using the same picture of Harissa when talking about Beirut.
Though the Middle East’s current political climate is volatile (and, admittedly, has been for much of the last three millennia), Beirut remains a popular port of call for seasoned and in-the-know travelers. As editor David Jefferys says, “it’s simply a city that won’t die.” This immortality is buttressed by a thriving dining and shopping scene—try Tawlet, the ‘farmers’ kitchen’ of Souk el Tayeb (every day, a different regional Lebanese chef is showcased) and Artisan du Liban et d’Orient for traditional local garments and crafts. Adding to Beirut’s appeal as a top world city is the presence of numerous fabulous hotels: Four Seasons Hotel Beirut, Le Gray, and Hotel Albergo come to mind.
The first edition of the Salon Du Chocolat Beirut will be held between the 6th and 8th of November 2014 at Biel along with the 4th Beirut Cooking Festival. It’s an event fully dedicated to chocolate where you will learn how to incorporate chocolate into any recipe. One of the best chocolate places I’ve ever visited was Fassbender & Rausch in Berlin last year where they mix chocolate with almost everything, including salads, chicken and even soups, so I will be looking forward to such recipes at the Salon Du Chocolat.
You can check out more info about the Salon Du Chocolat [Here].
I went with a group of friends to Tawlet Ammiq a couple of weeks ago to celebrate a friend’s birthday. I’ve been hearing a lot about Tawlet Ammiq and I remember posting once a really cool video about it, so I was excited to try it out and see how the day goes.
Tawlet Ammiq or the eco-restaurant of the biosphere is an eco-friendly place characterized by the use of green construction techniques adapted to the climate of the area and the usage profile of the facility. It’s one of the greenest projects in Lebanon as it reduces energy consumption when compared to similar buildings, reduces greenhouse gas emissions by around 85%, recycles over 60% of solid waste and promotes tourism in the area. [More]
In order to get to Ammiq, which is a beautiful village located in the West Beqaa area, you have to take the Dahr el Baydar road and then go right towards Qab Elias once you reach Chtaura [Google Maps]. The road in Qab Elias is not that good but once you reach Ammiq, the road is nicely paved with trees and greenery all around it. Once there, you will drive for around 8 or 10 minutes before you spot a Tawlet Ammiq sign. The venue is 2 minutes away from the main road.
PS: If you are planning to go during the weekend, leave very early specially on Saturday and try to be done by 3 or 4 pm to avoid the traffic on your way back to Beirut.
There’s a small unpaved road that gets you to Tawlet Ammiq but I thought I got lost at first as the venue was really small and not what I had in mind, but then I saw people parking and going down so I did the same. Once you walk in, there’s a table with all drinks on it, mainly beer (961 and Beirut Beer only), juices and Arak then there’s the indoor restaurant. Facing them, there’s a nice outdoor area with tables as well and long chairs where you can sit and tan or just have a drink, enjoy the nice Beqaa view and relax. There’s also a small room with bird paintings in it and some artwork.
We got there around 11:30 am as we were told breakfast is served starting 11, which consisted of small Saj Manakish mixed with cheese, thyme and kechek. There was one guy doing the whole work so we had to wait a bit to get a couple of Manakish but I didn’t mind it as I was enjoying the breathtaking view and having a beer. The place was half empty when we got there, but it was packed by lunch time.
At around 1pm, there’s an open buffet with all sorts of Lebanese dishes and four salads. Everything tastes fresh and the dishes are really good, specially the Chich Barak and Mafroukeh. I loved the tomato jam with the white Baladi cheese and the “kechek akhdar” which I’ve never tasted before. There’s also Kafta, fish and fwerigh.
The dessert buffet was also rich and delicious, and I enjoyed most the Achta Knefe and fruit salad.
After lunch we sat on the long chairs and enjoyed the sun and the view for an hour or so but by 2:30, there was nothing to do anymore. I walked around the venue but unlike the green valleys all over Ammiq, there’s nothing to see or explore. We had a Frisbee with us so we played a bit but that’s about it. I know that it’s an eco-friendly venue but it wouldn’t hurt to have some green spaces around it or at least put some music on to keep us entertained.
All in all, it’s a very nice cozy restaurant with amazing food and a nice setting but I wouldn’t recommend going there to spend the day. Going there for lunch is more than enough to enjoy the venue, the food and the view.