If you find yourself in Beirut, here is what you could be doing: an early morning stroll on the Corniche, followed by a break for breakfast, on a cafe overlooking the Pigeon Grotto (see pic)…then, maybe a couple hours of swimming at one of the private beaches nearby, such as the Sporting Club, which still looks the same 40 years later, charmingly run-down, but with a great saltwater pool and delicious frozen lemonades. A short stroll after your swim will get you close to the AUB campus: cross it while admiring the campus flora and trees and resident cats and make your way to Bliss st. There you will lunch at Kababji restaurant, for some of the best kebabs and mezzes in town in a clean and stylish atmosphere. Time now for a siesta or reading the paper, which can be done in Hamra at Cafe Younes.
Next, you can head to Basta, an old Beirut neighborhood filled with artisans. I have learned from a reliable source that Uma Thurman recently bought there a lovely old bracelet (her soon-to-be husband is Lebanese). To end the evening in style, I would head to the Centre-Ville (Beirut Downtown) for a stroll and a drink amongst the most stylish buildings renovated by Solidere, in one of the many cafes,such as Lina’s. And lastly, I would eat dinner on the terrace at Abdel-Wahab in Achrafieh, a fabulous traditional restaurant. And, for a nightcap and some music head to Gemmayze.
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