On the road: BeirutApril 4, 2016

Sarah Beydoun would laugh off suggestions that she’s responsible for Beirut’s new place in the style spotlight, but the evidence is mounting: the international press can’t get enough of the designer’s Lebanon-inspired handbags. Celebrities, too, are turning to Sarah’s Bag for the ultimate statement accessory. Amal Clooney reaches for the Dama or bespoke bags, while the Chill Pill clutch made a recent appearance in one of Eva Chen’s signature Instagram cab shots.

And it’s not just fashion insiders who are taking notice. This May, Sarah will travel to Oslo to accept a Business for Peace Award for her brand’s efforts to train and employ female prisoners and former inmates. The honor comes after a nomination from the UN and voting by a committee of Nobel Laureates. Beirut could hardly ask for a better representative.

Sarah is playing hometown tour guide for Bucolik, and showing us her favorite spots around Lebanon’s capital.

BEIRUT CITY GUIDE

1.The Salon Arabe. Credit. Nabû Productions

EXPLORE

A remnant from Beirut’s golden age, the Nicolas Ibrahim Sursock Museum recently reopened to international fanfare after a seven-year, $15 million renovation. One of Sarah’s go-to cultural destinations, the breathtaking space is home to over 800 works of modern and contemporary art from Lebanon and beyond.

sursock.museum

OH 127

ESCAPE

The Orange House Project is one of Lebanon’s hidden gems, located about an hour outside Beirut in El Mansouri. The guesthouse is known for its work protecting the endangered sea turtles that nest on its shore. Sarah visits as often as she can, not just because of its pristine beach or cozy rooms. Her aunt owns Orange House, and Sarah spent happy summers there as a kid.

The Orange House Project on Facebook

 

_MG_8746 copy

CHAT

Sarah isn’t one for long chats over coffee – she prefers to get together over lobster salad at Meat the Fish. The tiny, no-frills café is so popular that the weekend masses spill onto the cobblestone street out front. Wooden crates become makeshift tables, and its hipper-than-thou crowd sits on the sidewalk to sip wine with their grass-fed burgers.

meatthefish.com

M copy

SWEAT

If you’re a firm believer in breaking a sweat at the start of each day, then follow Sarah’s lead and head to Exhale. This training and cycling studio offers spinning, TRX, Tabata and other high-energy classes in a contemporary space in Beirut’s chic downtown.

Exhale on Facebook

lux

SIP

Lux is a great excuse to explore one of Beirut’s emerging neighborhoods, the compact Port District (it measures in at about one city block). The organic restaurant and lounge is laid-back during the week, but things pick up on Friday nights. The street-side terrace is Sarah’s go-to spot for sipping weekend cocktails.

Lux on Facebook

21.HOTEL ALBERGO BEIRUT. Suite Business

SLEEP

Sarah sends all out-of-town guests to this charming boutique hotel set in a 1930’s mansion. Like something out of a Wes Andersen movie, Hotel Albergo does quirky décor to perfection. The only thing that matches the beautifully eclectic interior is the hotel’s five-star service.

albergobeirut.com

Photography: Joe Kesrouani/Sursock Museum, Cyril Chemali/Orange House, Hotel Albergo, Exhale, Lux