Photography by Sarka Babicka
Positioned between the glistening Mediterranean and exotic charm of the Middle East, Lebanon still remains much misunderstood in the West. However, while it may be easier to sell terrorism than tourism to newspapers, this tiny country is ripe for exploring. It’s also a country where food plays a role in society which borders on the obsessive and there are few ways of really getting to know the culture as well as by eating your way from border to border. From upmarket restaurants set amongst the glitz and glamour of Beirut, traditional bakeries beneath the towering ruins of Ba’albek, the wild Za’atar fields of the eerily peaceful Litani river, to freshly caught seafood, washed down with a few bottles of local wine, in the picturesque seaside town of Batroun, Taste Lebanon shows you a unique side to the country, taking in places that you wouldn’t know if you were travelling on your own. Indeed, as Kamal Mouzawak has famously said, in Lebanon ‘food is the greatest expression of our traditions,’ and this idea is paramount to the tour.
Furthermore, the trip isn’t just about eating, it’s about discovering how things are made and the importance of food in the Lebanese culture. It’s also about meeting both those who are sticking to traditions, people who have been using the same techniques for hundreds of years and also the new generation. Those young Lebanese who left for France or perhaps the US and returned to the motherland, eager to embrace modernity. Ultimately though, it’s also about having fun – a holiday experience of a lifetime where you’ll return with new perceptions, ingredients, friends and unforgettable memories.
The iconic Phoenicia Hotel, which has recently celebrated its 50th Anniversary, nestled in the vibrant downtown discrict and minutes from Zeitouna Bay, the chic new marina development, has generously offered complimentary half-board in five star luxury. All expenses including food, wine and on the ground transport will be covered. Flights excluded.
To enter the giveaway:
Blogposts: create a Lebanese inspired recipe based on a Lebanese Pantry ingredient or write a Lebanese restaurant review, or a researched piece on most intriguing travel aspects of Lebanon up to 700 words max.
Follow @tastelebanon and @phoeniciabeirut on Twitter and tweet about the giveaway and blogpost making sure to include the @tastelebanon @phoeniciabeirut #foodtrek