I love the British. They have the Ministry of Sound, Hogwarts and A Clockwork Orange. The British Embassy in Beirut has also been really cool with us for the past few years, with Margaret Guy and now Tom Fletcher being active members of our humble local twitosphere.
The British Embassy has decided to hold the celebrations in ABC Dbayeh and Ashrafieh, and I was there for the first day. The one thing I can say, is that they’ve thought of everyone. Kids, girls, boys, parents, grandparents, petrolheads, fashionistas, entrepreneurs and even geeks have something to be excited about.
Perhaps the most interesting segments are the vintage car show, all of which are from private collections and function normally, complete with a white Lebanese license plate. There are Jaguards, Aston Martins, Lotuses, Rolls Royce and Land Rovers among others I haven’t heard of before like Sunbeam.
There’s also a mini-museum where you put a clay model of something, and get all the info you need on a big touch screen. Models of Big Ben and other monuments and symbols are all available to anyone passing by. There are also real models of first or second generation TVs, cameras, radios and even an ancient Mac!
There’s a corner for kids arts and crafts, and do-it-yourself fashion from rubbish. A Beatles cover band was also playing, which had everyone in the mall peer out to watch and sing along with.
But, if I had to recommend something, it would be the awesome cars and museum. So, if you’re a petrolhead and geek, check out ABC. It’s all free and it’s fun. Keep up with their schedule on their page to know the exact schedules.
Here are a few shots I took!
I spent a good portion of my childhood weekends in Jbeil (Byblos) and the city is very dear to my heart. In the past few years, Jbeil’s food and entertainment industry in summer has boomed and joined the ranks of other summertime party hubs across Lebanon.
Locanda is one of my favorite restaurants in the area. It lands itself fair and square in my top places to go on a date. It’s location is perfect, right across the street from the world’s oldest city’s ruins: the Byblos Citadel. On the other side, it has an uninterrupted view of the Mediterranean Sea and the few orchards that still exist in the port city.
The food is a mix of local Lebanese cuisine with a certain twist as well as a selection of salads, pastas, pizzas and steaks. What I love about this place is there menu. It’s one item per page, with the photo of the item included. This is awesome when you’re not sure what your order would look like, in terms of size, presentation, etc. So the menu really helps. I wish more places do the same!
Lori and I had the mtabbal, shrimp salad and chicken on a skewer. The shrimp salad was massive and easily fed us both. I’m not really a fan of mtabbal, but Lori loved it. As for the chicken, they were perfectly marinated and still moist enough on the inside, something tough to achieve with grilled chicken breasts.
The waiters were very nice and courteous, the view was spectacular during the sunset, the other guests were also mostly couples, making it as I said before, one of my favorite date spots. You could probably go and enjoy your day with the family there on Sunday, but I’d advise you to reserve.
Verdict: Love it. If you have a date, don’t mind the 20-minute drive, this place is perfect all year round
Price: 70-100 USD should be enough for you and your date (appetizer, main course and drinks)
Location: Right across the street from the Byblos citadel, overlooking the sea
Atmosphere: Cozy, romantic setting inside and on the terrace of a traditional Lebanese mansion
Staff: Very nice and courteous
So, several of you guys asked me about the big, black building being completed near Cyan somewhere. I didn’t really think much of it for the past few months, but just the other day, I was lucky enough to be there and get practically a personalized tour from someone I am good friends with and happens to work for the upcoming place.
Before you go into the album, it might be important to note that the official grand opening won’t be till next summer 2013. However, the pool area, restaurants, bungalows and access to the sea are all almost complete.
Perhaps the awesomest features?
- You can rent one of those duplex bungalows for a night or two, you get your own jacuzzi and one of those infinity/aquarium pools with the glass, all to yourself.
- The wooden decks that extent to the pool aren’t just for parties and jacuzzis, they’re underwater rooms you can book complete with beds, showers and a window into the pool where you can see others, but not be seen
- The sound system is beyond epic. Just look at it, and those are permanent. You usually see this EV set up for a stadium event for one night, and then it’s gone. These guys bought them!
That’s all I could gather. They’re openning up the pool area, bar, restaurant and bungalows sometime in mid-July. I expect the fees will be a bit high, but then again this place is nothing like the surrounding resorts.