TA­NIA KAS­SIS

Shares her Le­banon loves

Lebanon Traveler - - FRONT PAGE - tani­akas­sis.com

IF SOME­ONE WERE VIS­IT­ING LE­BANON FOR 24 HOURS WHERE WOULD YOU TAKE THEM?

I would star t by tak­ing them to visit the Jeitta grotto – a trea­sure of Le­banon not to be missed – then Harissa to en­joy the mag­nif­i­cent view over the bay of Jounieh and tell them about our Lady of Le­banon, who is wor­shiped by both Chr is­tians and Mus­lims. I would take them to visit the won­der­ful arche­o­log­i­cal site of By­b­los in the af ter­noon, with a nice walk through the old Souks, and end the day with a de­li­cious Le­banese fish din­ner in one of the restau­rants of By­b­los har­bor.

NAME YOUR THREE FA­VORITE PLACES TO GO FOR SUN­DAY BRUNCH?

My fa­vor ite one is Al Fala­manki (01 323456, al­fala­manki.com, Monot Street) for a typ­i­cal Le­banese brunch, fol­lowed by the great in­ter­na­tional buf fet at the Four Sea­sons Ho­tel (01 761000, Minet El Hosn) or Al Man­daloun Café (01 321600/700, al­man­daloun.com, Charles Malek Ave, Tabar is).

WHAT IS YOUR FA­VORITE LE­BANESE WINE OR ARAK?

I’m a big fan of Le­banese wine; my fa­vor ite is Ke­fraya’s Comte de M.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR HID­DEN GEM IN LE­BANON; ONE DES­TI­NA­TION AWAIT­ING DIS­COV­ERY.

Qanat Baqish’s nat­u­ral set­ting and mag­nif­i­cent view of the val­ley is a quiet place for a nice mo­ment of soli­tude.

NAME ONE VIL­LAGE OR RE­GION THAT FEELS LIKE HOME.

I have al­ways re­gret­ted not be­long­ing to a vil­lage – our fam­ily is from Beirut. How­ever Faqra is def­i­nitely my fa­vorite place. I spend sum­mer there ev­ery year and en­joy great win­ter mo­ments too. I like the na­ture, the flow­ers, the trees, the col­ors, the calm, the sunset, the snow and the won­der­ful scenery.

WHAT’S YOUR FA­VORITE OUT­DOOR AC­TIVIT Y IN LE­BANON?

I like to swim and en­joy sunny days on the beach. I usu­ally go to L’au­to­mo­bile et Tour ing Club du Liban (ATCL, 09 640567, atcl.org, Jounieh), Spor ting (01 742481, Ma­nara) or to one of our beau­ti­ful beaches in Jiyeh, Damour or Jbeil.

WHERE WOULD YOU GO FOR THE PER­FECT COZY WIN­TER WEEK­END GET­AWAY IN LE­BANON?

The In­ter­con­ti­nen­tal Moun­tain Re­sort & Spa, Mzaar (09 340100, icmzaar.com, Mzaar, Kfarde­bian) is a place I love dur­ing win­ter. It’s won­der­ful to en­joy the slopes. I’m a big fan of skiing, as well as the af ter-ski plea­sures, with the spa ac­cess at The In­ter­con­ti­nen­tal and the res­tau­rant of fer­ing fon­due and ra­clette with a good wine.

NAME ONE OF YOUR UR­BAN SE­CRETS.

At the sim­ple restau­rants around the Pi­geon Rocks at Raouche you can en­joy a nice cof fee in the morn­ing or a glass of wine at sunset.

ARE YOU A MOUN­TAIN OR SEA KIND OF GIRL?

I’m a lit­tle bit of both but my pref­er­ence is for the sea. Look­ing at the hori­zon gives me a won­der­ful feel­ing of free­dom. My fa­vorite spot is the rock strip at ATCL where I of ten sit alone lis­ten­ing to chill out mu­sic, look­ing at the bay of Jounieh and our Lady of Le­banon, with whom I have a very spe­cial re­la­tion­ship.

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