I’m doing something a little bit different for this travel post to Lebanon and showing you a little bit more raw and realness. We went to Beirut, Lebanon to visit family and for our cousin’s wedding, so instead of pulling out my 10 pound camera and lugging it all around, fixing the settings, and being out of the moment, I decided that we would mainly take iPhone pictures for this part of our trip abroad (France on the other hand is a completely different story). Raj took a majority of these, and he’s so great with candid shots (while I’m normally someone who needs to set the scene even for a candid shot). These are unedited, uploaded straight from the phone!
This definitely isn’t a normal travel guide you would typically see here on Oh So Glam — we stayed with family and ate most of our meals home, so I unfortunately can’t recommend any hotels or restaurants personally (although, I can certainly get some recommendations from the locals if you need them).
Our first full day in Beirut, we woke up to a (massive) traditional Lebanese spread. Raj and I aren’t typically breakfast people (we normally just drink coffee together in the morning), but that sure changed. Raja’s Aunt and Uncle’s house was stocked with all the good stuff — manaeesh, labneh, eggs with sumac, goat cheese, fresh veggies, olives, and fresh squeezed orange juice. My mouth is watering writing this. We then set out to explore the downtown with our tour guide (aka my mother-in-law) who grew up in Lebanon, and moved to the states with my father-in-law before starting their family. We started off on a walk through AUB (the school they attended), and ended up walking all the way down to the Corniche — a beautiful beach-front promenade where we took in the beautiful view of the Mediterranean Sea.
We stayed at our Aunt and Uncle’s house which is located in downtown Beirut, with the most beautiful view (and lemon trees growing on the terrace). We had a wonderful family dinner on the terrace since a lot of family was in town for the weekend wedding! It was a bit more fancy than our normal family dinners (you can see what I wore here), but it was a really beautiful night filled with a lot of traditional (yummy) Lebanese food (and lots of rosé)!
The next morning was Saturday — the big day for our cousin, Rayya. A bunch of the family headed to the Beirut Souks for the weekly farmers market where we shopped for nuts, herbs, and ate the most delicious wraps with zaatar for lunch. I wore this comfortable gingham dress that I dressed up a few weeks ago during NYFW — you can see that full post HERE.
Raja’s Aunt was dying to take us to a couple of her favorite shops in downtown Beirut while we were in town, so we headed over to Orient 499, where I proceeded live in decor heaven for over an hour. I’m normally someone who sticks to neutrals when it comes to decorating — this place made me want to redecorate our entire home. There were so many beautiful colors and textures, stacks of Moroccan wedding blankets and pillows, and we even started to play dress up with some accessories. Fun fact: our last name Tarabishy actually comes from the word, “Tarboosh” — which is the cute little hat that Aladdin wears. We found a few to try on (although, I learned girls don’t typically wear them). Whoops!
Rayya’s wedding was a dream. Her decor and venue slightly reminded us of ours — she had candles everywhere, beautiful greenery for flowers, and it had a very vintage rustic feel. It was such a beautiful night — thankfully, every night in Lebanon is beautiful and comfortable, so the weather was just perfect. I’m not going to lie, finding something to wear that I could fly with across the world was proving to be very difficult. Since we were heading on another trip from Lebanon, I didn’t want to sacrifice 15 pounds for a beaded or heavy dress, so I was looking for something a little slinky that could be easily transported. I ended up finding this gold silk wrap dress the week before we left and I LOVED it. It was so comfortable in the summer heat and was such a standout color — I really didn’t even need to accessorize it!
The night finished with that massive cupcake cake and sparklers falling from the sky. It. was. everything.
Rayya is truly one of my favorite people in the world. She has an amazing food blog and creates some delicious recipes — you should definitely check her out. She just married a well-known chef with a delicious restaurant in Beirut and Dubai called Couqley! We unfortunately didn’t get a chance to try it with all the wedding festivities, but the rest of our family raves about it — it’s on our list to go back!
Our last day in Beirut, we headed up to the mountain’s to Rayya’s parent’s home for a garden lunch. Their place is ridiculously beautiful — and seriously, Instagram heaven. Every single corner was beautiful with gorgeous decor and a lot of outdoor living space. On one of the terraces, you can see all the way down to downtown Beirut. A lot of you were asking about this dress on Instagram. I actually purchased it at H&M in Beirut (because I forgot THIS DRESS which I had planned on bringing). I found a really similar style for you — since so many of you were asking and bummed you couldn’t find it online! There’s also a short sleeve version of the dress too at H&M!
Natali KarppinenSeptember 28, 2017 at 2:40 pm
My two best friends are Lebanese and I can’t wait for the day when I’ll be able to visit their country!
Lebanon looks incredible and from their stories and photos and from tasting their home made
food, I’m in love with Beirut without even stepping in there.
BrianaSeptember 29, 2017 at 12:21 am
This seriously looks like a dream! I love it!
RayyaSeptember 30, 2017 at 3:12 am
This is such a lovely post and tribute to the family! Christina we LOVE you! Thank you for being here, thank you for documented the soul and culture of our family! I can’t wait for you to come back and take you to the hot spots! You are such a gem!