FOOD

TRAVEL, FOOD, FASHION, ART

LEBANON GUIDE

I've been coming to Beirut for almost seven years and my love for this place keeps growing each time. My husband is Lebanese and the family still lives here and that's why we share our time between the US and Lebanon. Just like Brazil, this place has a special part in my heart and it makes me feel like home! It might be the rich culture, the kind people, the happy spirits even in times of adversity, the delicious food or the many different sceneries that cross the country. Lately, I've been discovering Lebanon like I never did before. Amazing days skiing followed by lunch on the beach, a visit to a Syrian refugee camp and the many schools built there, a gorgeous day at the Baalbek ruins and many other adventures. People often ask me if it's dangerous coming to Lebanon. My personal answer after being here more than 20 times is no. In fact, I feel more secure in this country than in other places. For this reason I'm sharing details of my favorite places and things to do. This was carefully put together based on my personal experiences and the help of close Lebanese friends. Enjoy and don't forget to take notes!

WHERE TO STAY IN BEIRUT

LE GRAY

FOUR SEASONS 

WHERE TO EAT IN BEIRUT

Lebanese cuisine is by far my favorite! The variety, the flavors, the richness, simply unbelievable. Expect to gain a few pounds while here (: Some of these restaurants are more traditional and others are more trendy but all of them are amazing. Note that some of them have the summer and the winter editons but I linked all places and if you click on their names it will direct you to their pages where you can get more information.

MOUNIR 

Amazing traditional fresh lebanese food located 20 minutes form Beirut in a beautiful hill. It's usually the first place I go for dinner when I arrive in Beirut. Make sure you have a light lunch before!

LA PARRILLA 

The summer edition has a gorgeous view of Beirut and a super cool atmosphere with a DJ on the rooftop. The winter edition is right next to my house and it's super cozy. Everything is good but the burger is amazing.

CAPITOLE

Great for dinner and drinks, the view is beautiful and the most popular night is Thursday. 

EM SHARIF

Located Downtown Beirut next to all the shops. The food is spectacular, definitely a must for lebanese food lovers.

CASABLANCA

You know when a restaurant is good when the locals are always there. It was the first place my husband took me 7 years ago and the food remains great. Simple and delicious.

MEAT THE FISH

It started as a small place the it was such a success that they keep expanding. Fresh and yummy choices  for a nice lunch or dinner with friends!

BABEL BAHR

Gorgeous place by the sea for lunch or dinner especially during the summer. Feels like you're in the south of France.

CENTRALE

This place is special. Summer or winter it has a great atmosphere and a super cool bar!

OTHER GREAT RESTAURANTS: La petit maison (french), Tavolina (Italian),  Kampai (Sushi), Cocteau (french), Balthus (french), Pacifico (mexican), Arts (fusion), Dirty Laundy, Baron (french).

WHERE TO WORKOUT/YOGA

Because I spend long periods of time in the city, I try to attend some yoga classes as well as boxing and spinning. I do my boxing/Muay Thai classes with Jihad (a Lebanese champion) at U ENERGY gym. My spinning classes are at EXHALE gym and my yoga at YOGA SOUK. 

WHERE TO SHOP 

It's hard to tell you where to shop in the city as there are endless boutique and hidden places all over Beirut but here are some of the places I go: All shops in the Downtown area, PLUM, Sarah's bag, L'artisan Du Liban, Orient 499, Elie Saab, Les 66, Aishty, Sandra Mansour, Andrea Wazen, Vanina and many other places around MAR MIKHAEL and Gemmayzé. If you need a shopping mall you can go to the new ABC Mall.

WHAT TO DO IN BEIRUT

Now that I gave you a list of the best restaurants to go in Beirut, I will also tell you what are my favorite things to do in the city and the "must do's" outside of Beirut. You can do everything by car and the roads are usually beautiful!

DOWNTOWN BEIRUT 

This is usually the first thing I do when I get to the city. Wear a comfortable pair of shoes and go walk around. You'll have a great sense of the city's eclectic architecture that has mostly been reconstructed but still carrying the 19th century feel. You will see churches, cathedrals and mosques. When walking around the SAIFI area you'll most probably see beautiful brides (christian and muslims) taking photographs with their grooms. You'll also see many shops and boutiques, from the fanciest names like Hèrmes and Chanel to amazing local shops. While walking around you'll stumble upon modern constructions and really old historical buildings, sometimes right next to each other. To me, this contrast is what makes Beirut extra special. Girls often ask me: "Can I walk around by myself? Is it safe"? Yes, you can definitely walk around alone without having to worry. Something I can't do in my country these days. So put your comfy shoes on and enjoy the journey!

GEMMAYZE AND MAR MIKHAEL

These are the two "coolest" areas of Beirut, I love walking around these streets and stopping by cafés and boutiques. At night the streets are filled with happening bars and restaurants!

ZAITUNAY BAY

Located at the Beirut Marina, the bay has several restaurants and cafes. Perfect for a nice walk, lunch or diner.

CORNICHE - SEASIDE

I usually go for a walk or a run by the corniche during the sunset. I leave form Zaitunay bay and finish by the Pigeon Grotto (Raouché). When you get there you can sit by a cafeé and enjoy the view.

MUSEUMS

You can check a list of the best museums in Beirut HERE

THINGS TO DO IN LEBANON

BYBLOS

This was the first place I visited when I came to Lebanon and I still go there from time to time. the ruins are beautiful and they have amazing concerts during the summer. Byblos is the oldest port in the world so you'll breathe history all over the place. Have lunch at PEPE by the port.

JEITTA GROTTO

SKIING IN FARAYA

If you like skiing and the snow is good this is a must! Stay at the Intercontinental MZAAR HOTEL located on the slopes and have lunch or dinner at LE MONTAGNOU.

BEIT EL DINE PALACE AND SUMMER FESTIVAL

QANNOUBINE (TRACKING)

SAIDA (AND ITS SOUK)

OSCAR NIEMEYER LEGACY - TRIPOLI

I have not visited Tripoli yet but I was very surprised to know that the legendary Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer has designed 15 incredible structures in 1963 that were unfortunately unfinished due to the country's civil war in 1975. Read more about this incredible futuristic structures HERE

Still in Tripoli, I was told the the tour of the Hammans it's a must, more tham 1000 years of story. Make sure you contact an experienced and trustable team before visiting the area.

CHOWEN LAKE

BAALBEK RUINS

It took me six years to visit Baalbek! I don't know exactly what I was waiting for but I finaly made it happen during my last trip to Beirut. I took my friend and together with a guide (mattasalim@gmail.com) we explored the ruins and the vicinities. The day was incredible as Salim included some surprises such as a visit to the Lamartine Valley, a visit to the Ksara winery and a gorgeous sunset on a beautiful road surrounded by cedars. 

This is it! i could go on and on with more places and more tips so feel free to participate and help me add things to this precious list. This country is very dear to me and I couldn't be happier to be able to share my experiences with you (:

FOOD, TRAVEL

MILAN RESTAURANTS TOP #5

I just spent an incredible gastronomical week in Milan (: Normally when I come to the city during Fashion Week, my goal is to run around shows and events, giving little importance to my meals. But this time I decided to enjoy the most delicious cousin in the world like never before! With the help of my super friend that lives in Milan for yeeeeears (@lucianafrancioli) I put together a list of the restaurants that you should visit during your next trip to Milano!

 

Acabo de passar uma semana incrível em Milão (: Quando estou na cidade para a semana de moda, costumo correr de um lado para o outro e comer apenas nos rápidos intervalos entre os eventos. Mas dessa vez resolvi relaxar e conhecer restaurantes novos, Comer e beber bem, afinal, a cozinha italiana é para mim a melhor do mundo! Com a ajuda de uma amiga que mora em Milão há muuuuuitos anos (@lucianafrancioli) fiz uma listinha dos restaurantes que você precisa conhecer na sua próxima viagem a essa cidade que adoro.  

 

THE SMALL

Super cool and delicious charming place. The food was unbelievable and all the tables belonged to fashion people from US Vogue to Bazaar Brasil (: I will never forget the burrata bruschetta I had as a starter. I would go back just for that (midnight thoughts). The Small is definitely my favorite place in milan now.  

Gente, fiquei apaixonada por esse restaurante, O ambiente é único, como você pode ver pelas fotos. É pequeno e super cool, só tinha gente bacana. Nunca vou esquecer a bruschetta de burrata que comi lá, desmanchava na boca. Vale a pena voltar só por isso!!! O The Small é definitivamente o meu restaurante número 1 em Milão. 

THE SMALL

GIACOMO BISTROT

I was invited for an incredible Tod's dinner at Giacomo Bistrot. The place is so gorgeous and cozy that I felt like I was at a super chic library room (: From the crunchy bread to the limoncello (pausing for pasta, meat, wine, polenta…) my experience was fantastic.

Fui convidada para um jantar chiquérrimo da Tod's no Bistrot. O lugar é super aconchegante e a decoração faz você sentir como se estivesse em um "library room" de uma casa digna de filme! Do pãozinho ao limoncello (com pausas para a polenta, burrata, carne… ) minha experiência gastronómica não poderia ter sido melhor!   

TRATTORIA ARLATI

Com um estilo barroco e uma comida super tradicional, a Trattoria Arlati é sem dúvida uma parada obrigatória em Milão. A atmosfera é uma delicia mesmo com muita gente "business" e o serviço é impecável. 

With a Baroque Milanese style, this place has the most delicious traditional food and it's a "must visit, must eat" place in Milan! For a business meeting to a lunch or dinner with friends, it's the perfect place to enjoy food and good service. 

 

LANGOSTERIA

Jokes aside, this place has the best sea food and fish in the world! I just visited the website and the photo and music made me want to go back asap. The ambience is very relaxed and the quality of the food and service is perfection. Suitable also for a romantic dinner (;

Esse lugar tem o MELHOR peixe e frutos do mar do mundo. É de lamber os dedos mesmo, só de visitar o site agora fiquei com vontade de voltar! O ambiente é super relax e a qualidade da comida e do serviço é sem igual. Super recomendo também para um jantarzinho romântico.   

PACIFICO

This was by far my biggest surprise during my stay in Mialn. I had a fantastic peruvian experience at this super cool restaurant. The place is brand new and I cannot wait to go back! From the ceviche to the Pisco drinks, everything was amazing.

Esse restaurante foi uma grande surpresa durante minha estadia em Milão. Ele acabou de abrir, e fui convidada para um jantar durante a semana da moda que juntou muita gente bonita! Da Ceviche ao pisco sour, foi tudo maravilhoso e não vejo a hora de voltar!

FASHION, TRAVEL

RIDING MY WAY

I cannot tell you how much fun I've been having here at my hotel in Playa Del Carmen. I would suggest the Banyan Tree for people who want to relax and have a great time without having to leave the hotel (love places like this). I did go to town, and I also went to some clubs to listen to DJ's, but at the end, the most relaxing and fun times were around my gorgeous hotel hotel. My villa was beautiful and it overlooked the lake. It also had a great private swimming pool, a hammock and an outdoor bath. When I wanted to get out of my room and go to the beach, I had a cute bicycle waiting for me right at my door. Today I took my bike, had a healthy yummy breakfast, and headed to the SPA for a balinese massage. What else could I ask for?!?! This gorgeous colorful dress I'm wearing it's from NASTY GAL (I'm not sure they still have it). My bracelets are from JEWEL BE MINE  and sunglasses RAY BAN.  

 

Não tenho como descrever como tem sido divertida essa rápida viagem à Playa Del Carmen. Não da vontade de deixar as dependências do hotel Banyan Tree por um minute que seja. Super mega recomendo esse lugar para os viajantes que buscam um refúgio no paraíso para relaxar. É claro que fui ao centro de Playa e também fui ver alguns DJ's tocarem durante o festival. Mas o que mais curti mesmo nessa viagem foi explorar esse resort lindo.  Minha Villa tem uma vista linda para o rio, um piscina deliciosa e uma banheira ao ar livre com velas ao redor. Sem contar uma bicicleta fofa ao meu dispor para que eu possa explorar esse resort enorme. Hoje de manhã tomei um café da manha lindo e fui curtir minha massagem Balinesa no SPA. Isso tudo eé um sonho (: Usei um vestido de tricô que compre na NASTY GAL, mas não tenho certeza se eles ainda tem esse modelo. Os braceletes são da JEWEL BE MINE e os oculos RAY BAN.   

TRAVEL

TOURING AROUND BEIRUT

After spending more than a month in Ibiza enjoying the beach, the sun and friends, I feel like doing different things while in Beirut. Luckily I have great friends and members of my new family that are happy to show me around. Today I had lunch with Joanna Seikaly (gallery owner), at Ginnete. This place is really coo and differential. It's a restaurant, bakery and concept store that attracts the nicest people of Beirut as well as tourists.  I had a great bresaola, a pannini sandwich and after lunch I even got a new iPhone case! Then we headed to Joanna's GALLERY right across the street, where I saw some real nice paintings like the ones I photographed. These series from a Lebanese painter, really caught my eye and I would definitely hang it on my wall (: After that, Joanna took me up the street's stairs and amazed me with beautiful residences (including Elie Saab's house), and private gardens. Totally unexpected! Walking around Gemmayze on my way back to the hotel, I  visited URBANISTA, a new "in" place to go in Beirut. The vibe was great, so I sat to have a coffee and a deser.! To end my day, I visited Kitsch, another cute concept store/café/book shop also in the area of Gemmayze. It feels good to explore a city this way, highly advice! 

 

Depois de passar mais de um mês em Ibiza aproveitando as praias e os amigos, me sinto quase que na obrigação de fazer coisas diferentes na minha estada em Beirute. Quero conhecer novos lugares, ver de perto como as pessoas vivem. Por sorte tenho amigos e membros da  minha nova família que me carregam com o maior prazer (: Uma especialidade dos libaneses é receber. Hoje almocei com a Joanna Seikaly que tem uma das galerias mais bacanas de Beirut. Ela me levou ao Ginette, um restaurante super diferente que amei conhecer. Eles servem comida saudável e gostosa, saladas, panninis… São também uma bakery com bolos e cupcakes  maravilhosos, estilo Magnolia. Saindo do restaurante, atravessamos a rua e fui conhecer a Galeria da Joanna. Simplesmente amei os quadros desse artista libanês que fotografei. Colocaria já na minha parede! Subindo a escadaria dessa mesmo rua, conheci uma área residencial suoer charmosa com jardins privados, um sonho. Caminhando de volta para o hotel passei por um café moderno chamado URBANISTA. Vale a pena conhecer, é o novo "in place" daqui. Há duas quadras dali, passei pela Kitsch, uma loja/restaurante/cafe/livraria super charmosa! Fiz tudo isso em duas horas e na mesma rua, Gemmayze. Amo Beirut cada vez mais (: