Fall is every bit the season of the lands, as temperatures cool down, the landscape’s colors melt, leaves fall and the time of harvest is upon us. Traditionally it’s a festive time for Lebanon’s rural parts – when villagers come together to make their yearly harvest, from picking the olives of ancient trees to make that golden olive oil, to plucking apples and bringing in the grapes for wine and arak; all ending in hearty village feasts. Plenty of groups of fer harvesting daytrips (NEOS Kids, 03 733818, neoslb.com; Auberge Hadath El Jebbeh, 01
680222, hadatheljebbeh.com), where you can work with farmers to bring in the year’s growth, it’s the perfect way to celebrate the season and connect to nature. This issue we speak to the director of the Beiteddine Festival, Nora Joumblatt, to find out about the new “Authentic Shouf” campaign, to boost tour ism to the region and promote its local traditions. We explore Lebanon’s national dr ink, arak, and meet the women behind the countr y’s rural cooperatives who are preser ving local food traditions. We visit the Bekaa Valley’s Qab Elias, taking in the town’s histor ical landmarks and stop at independent music producer, Zeid Hamdan’s Shouf escape; a home inter twined with histor y. There’s a healthy fix of Beirut culture too; from architect Galal Mahmoud’s redesign of the Beirut institution, Le Br istol Hotel, to the histor ic antique distr ict, Basta. As always, we deliver your practical hands-on guide to Lebanon tracking down the exper ts to br ing you the best places to stay, eat and visit around the countr y.