Ur­ban trail Hamra

Dur­ing the ‘50s and ‘60s, Hamra was the Mid­dle East’s com­mer­cial hotspot and to­day it still brims with ac­tiv­ity. From lo­cal de­sign to the distr ict’s street cul­ture, Le­banese map­ping com­pany Zawarib has cho­sen the prime places to ex­pe­ri­ence Hamra at its b

Lebanon Traveler - - TRAIL -

Begin your day at Café Younes

with a lo­cally brewed cup of cof fee – find your­self a seat out­side on their side­walk ter­race where you can peo­ple-watch and see first hand the neigh­bor­hood’s dy­namism. The nearby fruit and veg­etable mar­kets begin to get busy around 10am, and cars and pedestr ians fill the streets. Be­fore leav­ing, take a look at the Café Younes cof fee roaster , on the ad­ja­cent street, where a wide se­lec­tion of cof fee beans is on sale. Around the cor­ner, the well-known Sa­dat Street will en­ter tain with its many an­tique shops. Here you can see tai­lors, patisser ies, baker ies and choco­late shops that date back to the ‘50s, many of which fea­ture ar t deco and Bauhaus-styled shop signs.

Con­tinue to Bar jis De­sign

, an eclec­tic fur­ni­ture galler y lo­cated at the ver y be­gin­ning of Sa­dat Street. If you’re lucky, you might catch the designer her­self, Hala Habib, get­ting cre­ative at the back of the shop where cas­cad­ing fabr ics and mater ials await to be trans­formed into beau­ti­ful home pieces.

The Map­ping Com­pany Quench your thirst for ar t on Si­dani Street where an abun­dance of graf­fiti dec­o­rates the city’s walls. In­side the May­fair Dorms build­ing, en­ter AUB’S ar t galler y

and ex­plore a col­lec­tion of fine and con­tem­po­rar y ar t from the re­gion. Should your cre­ative juices star t flow­ing, en­ter the hid­den world of Art scape , a space ded­i­cated to those who wish to ex­press them­selves via the won­der­ful world of paint­ing and drawing. Ex­pect to be se­duced with the aro­mas of baked goods and fresh sand­wiches on your Hamra stroll, though hold of f for a gourmet lunch of Euro­pean fu­sion cui­sine at Ba­gatelle

. En­ter Jabre Doumit Street, of f Jean D’arc Street and you’ll find the ro­man­ti­cally de­signed restau­rant in­side a re­stored 1930s house. If you’re feel­ing ad­ven­tur­ous, make your way to Ab­del Aziz Street to dis­cover a house dat­ing back to the be­gin­ning of the 20th Cen­tur y. Push open a red door and walk into a beau­ti­ful se­cret gar­den with a fish­pond. Af­ter­wards, a tr ip to the nearby Ma­nara is al­ways fun, es­pe­cially when the lo­cal fish­er­men are around for a chat. Learn how the fish­er­men use dough to get their daily catch and cre­ate jew­elr y from the items they reel in, such as neck­laces from tiny sea­horses. Take a stroll along the pic­turesque Ma­nara and pop by the old black and white str iped light­house, also known as the Ma­nara Light­house, where the friendly light­house keeper Vic­tor, might be kind enough to take you on a tr ip to the top! Af ter climb­ing the steep in­cline back to Hamra, re­ward your­self with a sweet treat from Par­ti­c­ulier Choco­latier

, where home­made choco­late and de­li­cious desser ts await. Nearer to sun­set, rest your feet over a game of backgam­mon at the won­der­fully Le­banese T-mar­bouta restau­rant . Sit on the ter­race amongst a crowd of jour­nal­ists, stu­dents and lo­cals where you can cool of f with a de­li­cious lemon­ade or . They also of fer an ex­ten­sive and de­li­cious menu of Le­banese cui­sine. By night­fall, slowly make your way to CRU wine bar where the own­ers will wel­come you with a won­der­ful se­lec­tion of wine, in­clud­ing a range of lo­cal bou­tique wines, such as Do­maine Wardy, Do­maine de Baal and Chateau Khour y. Com­plete the evening at Fer­di­nand ,a friendly lounge-style pub with an ar t-deco in­ter ior and set­tle in for some cock­tails.

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