With the beginning of the olive tree season, this event will take you to a place filled a mesmerizing and beautiful scenery of Batroun’s Olive Trees.
Date: Sunday 15 October
Time: 10am – 4pm
Location: La Maison du Maquis, Ebrine, Batroûn
From Danniyeh’s renovated “Zahlan Grotto” with its Indiana Jones Bridge, to its breathtaking “Qasr El-Ahlam” in Bakhoun, beauty seekers, this one is for you.
Time: 7am – 8pm
Location: Miniyeh, Danniyeh District
If you’re a Nightmare Before Christmas fan and have a crafty hand for making dolls, then Joon on the Moon has the perfect event for you to attend this October.
Date: Tuesday 17 October
Time: 6pm – 10pm
Location: Joon on the Moon, Achrafieh
This one is for all the beer lovers out there. Oktoberfest is coming to Cantina this October. Bring your friends and stomach and enjoy their tasty beer and barbecued sausages!
Date: Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 October
Time: Starting 7pm
Location: Cantina Sociale, Independence Street, Ashrafieh
The Orionid meteor shower is one of two meteor showers created by debris from Comet Halley. BeirutVersus presents an observation night for all the family to enjoy.
Date: Friday 20 October
Time: Starting 8pm – 11:30pm
Location: Kfardebian, Mont Lebanon
This one is for all the fashion fanatics out there – a fashion show collection of 2017-2018 Haute Couture bridals and evening dresses.
Date: Saturday 28 October
Time: Starting at 7:30pm
Location: Forum de Beyrouth, Charles Relou Avenue, Beirut
When I think of wine, particularly fine wine, my first thought is of sipping a cold glass of Cote du Rhone on the Champs-Elysees, or an elegant Chianti in Tuscany, mulling its fruity taste and enjoying its robust bitter finish while I gaze at sprawling vineyards and contemplate life’s bigger questions. But therein lies the problem: I am not a wine drinker, nor have I earned the experience and knowledge to deem myself worthy of understanding or analyzing the sophisticated spirit. My immediate thoughts of wine are spawns of preconceived notions conditioned by the mainstream culture of what wine is. What online survey or cultural magazine does not include places such as Central Italy, Paris, Spain, and Argentina on the top of their lists? And rightfully so, these places have earned their legitimacy as the top growers and sellers, and their vineyards and products speak for themselves; however, I cannot deny that I, like many others who sip their wine rather than chug only because etiquette demands it and not because of an educated sense, have fallen victim to the favorable consensus and forgotten the small finesses that other, lesser-known wineries may possess.
The same can be true about wine culture in Lebanon. Local giants such as Ksara, Kefraya, and Musar have transcended anonymity and have become some of the country’s biggest exports to the Gulf and even the West, forsaking the people’s need to dig deeper and explore and instead settling us down with the popular and familiar.
This is not to discredit these brands. Their fame and reputation are more than justified, and we are proud to have them. But like in any competitive business, the underdog must be sought out and acknowledged.
And so, in seeking out these answers, my girlfriend and I decided to take a trip to wine country, both for romantic and educational purposes.
We ventured northeast off the coast, to the small towns of Edde and Smar Jbeil in Batroun District and cruised along the beautiful road that leads up to the churches of Saint Rafka and Saint Hardini. We stopped at all the local wineries, all of which were closed, including the popular IXSIR, which was busy prepping a wedding ceremony. Feeling defeated, we made one last attempt and stopped at Clos du Phoenix, a small winery situated by the main road.
Oblivious to the inconveniencies of others and driven by youthful resilience, we knocked on the door of a house near the winery and were luckily and undeservedly greeted by a friendly old woman who introduced us to her daughter Ayda, the winery’s official guide. Ayda explained to us, the ignorants that we were, that wineries must be contacted beforehand to ensure a guide is available and that we were lucky to have found her on such a short notice. We nodded agreeably, feeling foolish at our unannounced visit and grateful for her patience and hospitality. She directed us to their humble cellar, wrought with the deep and intoxicating fragrance of fermented grapes, and gave us a step-by-step guide of the process from harvest and picking to sorting, crushing and fermentation; the white and rose grapes heaped together while the red given its own distinct process. We mounted up the ladders to the containers and stared down, mindful not to ruin the precious batch with our drool.
For the tasting, we went up a spiral of stairs to a rooftop with a lovely view and were treated to samples concocted from Marsanne, Chardonnay, Syrah, and Grenache among other varietals expertly supervised by Burgundian winemaker Yvan Jobard. Ayda recounted a story of a sommelier who was dining at a Lebanese restaurant and who ordered a glass of Syrah only to be given a glass of Ksara instead. The somm, expert that he is, tasted the difference and made a point of exposing it. Ayda, a promising somm herself, expressed the same disappointment in the mainstream but was hopeful of the expansion of the culture.
Finally, with the sun setting over the water, we were escorted out of the winery, a little tipsier and a little prouder. We thanked Ayda for her generosity as you would a family member, and that’s what the Clos du Phoenix is: a family rather than a corporation.
We left with a bottle of white Emiresse and made a vow to drink it only on occasion. The next day, it was gone.
Check out the Clos Du Phoenix website for more information.
Photo credit: Clos Du Phoenix Facebook page
The party doesn’t stop in Beirut, so we’ve got plenty of festivals lined up for you this month.
Ay caliente! With over 90 professional artists, 15 DJs, 100 workshops, and endless pool parties, whether you’re a beginner or the sexiest tango dancer out there, Eddé Sands is really bringing the heat this year with their annual Latin Festival – a great way to spice up your date night or mingle with sexy singles.
See their website for more details.
The Shtrumpf Beer Fest needs no introduction. At “25 Beers Old”, their Beer Fest has become a milestone in the Lebanese calendar. Head their way this month for open beer and great food – keep an eye out on their Facebook page for fun offers (aged 25? Pay just LL25,000! Is your name Abeer? Win free entry!).
There’s something for everyone in Beirut – even horror and fantasy lovers. The Maskoon Film Festival has a rich programme boasting a variety of internationally acclaimed films of the horror/thriller/fantasy/action genres that have not been released before in Lebanon. Held at Metropolis Empire Sofil and Music Hall, the programme also includes master classes, family screenings, conferences, and more.
See their Facebook page for more details.
After all the partying, beer, thrills, and chills, what better way to relax than some yoga? Head down to the Hippodrome for some spiritual and physical cleansing with international and local yoga and meditation teachers and speakers, covering a variety of topics and workshops for both adults and children.
See their website for more details.
End the month by supporting the much-loved local Lebanese band Adonis. Celebrate the release of their third studio album, ‘Nour’, as they perform new tracks and older favourites at RAW Beirut, spinning ‘soulful lyrics over vibrant colourful tunes’.
See their event for more details.
Looking for an adventure?
The newly formed travel bundle starts your journey from beautiful Zaarour to Mount Sannine.
Once at Mount Sanine, you will go on an exciting and sight filled 2 hours ATV expedition followed by a delicious lunch that is accommodated. After a long day of adventure, we will stay on our allocated campground that will serve free breakfast.
The Wild Zaarour offers an experience like no other, professionally designed bungalows surrounded by a beautiful landscape and forest is sure to impress.
Some other activities at Wild Zaarour include day hikes in the beautiful scenery.
ATV rental based on 2 persons/machine
Track For Kids
Campground for an overnight stay and an amazing Lebanese breakfast.
Don’t forget to pack accordingly!
Amongst beautiful olive groves, old stone terraces and gardens, discover the secrets of silk at The Silk Museum, Bsous, Caza Aley.
Visit the Silk Museum and its gardens from early May until early November.
Shop at the Boutique for artisanal and local produce whilst enjoying a drink, coffee or mini snack. Buy a wide range of beautiful and aromatic plants that you see in the gardens.
Find ways throughout the Museum to link with the scented spice routes,
the famous ‘Silk Road’ and the ancient exchanges of silk between the land of the Cedar and the East and the West.
The Breakout offers you an exciting real-life escape experience, bringing the increasingly popular escape the room games to Jbeil.
What are escape the room games? Locked in a room with a group of 3 to 5 people, participants have 60 minutes to solve challenging puzzles to escape the room.
Prior booking is advised.
“Swings” is a large camping, picnic and activity space, to reconnect people with nature. It is located in a beautiful pine forest in Zaraaoun, an area with mild and breezy summer weather. After spending years with children teaching physical education.
They have managed to make the ordinary outdoors addictive to everyone, with their not so ordinary activities. Swings! Of course, but not like you imagine, one swing is huge and carries 2 people simultaneously. Then there are the 360 swings, which don’t just swing back and forth but do a complete 360 turn if you swing ‘em right! Tree climbing, crate climbing, archery, biking, rope course, human baby foot…the list goes on and on, and you can check it out on their website.
Another twist by swings, flying tents! These tents are hung in the air wrapped around trees and can carry up to 3 people. There are also regular tents in their large camping space and picnic tables in the picnic space. For those of you who like their food prepared, their cafeteria serves snacks, burgers and sandwiches.
There are organized group activities, such as GeoCaching, team building activities, and outdoor education for children 4+ and these are just a few of many. As they say at swings, it’s Simply Outdoors!
Souk el Tayeb’s vision is to celebrate food & traditions that unite communities and support small-scale farmers and producers.
It is held every:
– Saturday from 9AM to 2PM at Beirut Souks in Downtown Beirut, Lebanon (facing Medgulf building, Trablos Street)
-Gefinor Centre (Clemenceau) every Wednesday 12PM to 6PM.
The Rene Mouawad Sanayeh Garden is the ideal place to visit if you want to unwind amongst mother nature or chill next to the historic water fountain. The 22,000 sqm public garden was renovated by Azadea Foundation.
The garden is equipped with shock resistant jogging lanes, specialized bicycle tracks, stretching bars and three fun children’s playgrounds. An amphitheatre, two exhibition areas and a wall of fame were all installed after the renovations allowing artists, activists and environmentalist to use the space for their creative work and activities. The Sanayeh Garden offers its visitors free Wi-Fi, disabled access and clean bathrooms at all times.
It is the perfect place to escape from Beirut’s buzz while staying close to home.