Category Archives: City Girl

Young, trendy, professional but mostly fun!

S Signature and What Would Have Been Different

I’ve had an active last month… I’ve been on several small vacation trips, with my family, my friends, for a wedding and for fun… And between these stops I managed to get home and get with everything I had left on the table… The thing is the table was full, and the vacation schedule quite tight! I thus thought again of Lea and S Signature and what would have been different if I had the luxury to be on her portfolio!

I would have had dinner in the famous Noma restaurant while in Copenhagen. (Apparently the restaurant is fully booked 6 months in advance. And while I was there “Tawlet Souk el Tayyib” was cooking. It’s one of my favorite lunch places in Lebanon).

I would have had a new interesting list of charming restaurants to try out in Paris and London.

I would have known that “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is a musical not to be missed.

I would have done a thousand things I don’t even know exist. But the cool thing about this woman and S Signature is that they have the ability to get into people’s minds and predict your desire and know your tastes…

I hope one day both you and I will get the chance to be on their list and will get to enjoy their exquisite services (so highly praised)…

Luxuriously yours,

Soraya

Poland, A Charm that Continues

In Sopot, everyone has a bicycle, eats on the streets and seems to be enjoying a lifestyle that would have suited me as well…

Poland is definitely worth at least 2 posts, not just because of the beauty of the country but also because of the laughs I had and the smiles I won’t forget…

Poland – Gdansk

I bet my brother wishes he was that guy somewhere hanging on a thread!

Poland – Sopot – the charming town we discovered

Poland – Sopot – the water seems cold

Poland – Sopot – Bicycle Time

Poland – Sopot – Haribo – Candy Stop

Poland – Sopot

Poland – Sopot – Lifestyle

Poland – Sopot

Warsaw’s Main Street Nowy Swiat

I can’t pass by a store like this and not share

Likus Concept Store in Warsaw! I liked it!

The Chopin Bronze Statue in the Royal Baths Park (Lazienki Park)

Stroll in Lazienki Park

The ones I love watching knowing they will never tell me everything

It’s super fun to fight with him and amazing to figure out what’s going on in his brain

Even though I spent  a great week in Poland, if I were to do it again or help a friend plan his/her trip to Poland I would first recommend he/she contacts Lea (from S Signature). I wish I did so before going, I’m sure she personally and S Signature (in an ideal world where I would be their client) could have planned a smarter itinerary…

I believe the result would have given something like this: (I’ve tried almost if not all the things mentioned here below, our schedule was just a bit messy)

- 2 nights in Warsaw in the beautiful Bristol Hotel

- 2 nights in Krakow in the Boutique Hotel Grodek (which is in the old town of Krakow)

- 2 nights in Sopot in either the Sheraton or The Sofitel (I didn’t sleep there but I’ve passed by them both; those two hotels are perfectly located, with a great view over the Baltic Sea)

In Warsaw I recommend to:

- Visit the Chopin museum and eat in Tamka 43 (right above)

- Have Polish Food in Dom Polski and U Fukiera

- Have Mediterranean food in trendy places like Nolita or Boathouse

- Have a luxurious diner in The Belvedere

- Have lunch in the small Foksal Street

- If you’re a patient person, stand in line for the Copernicus Museum (Science Center)

- Pass by the Likus Concept Store (In Bracka mall) and buy Polish accessories and food from there

- Bracka is a small mall with international brands. Still, I think it’s worth passing by there because it’s small and the choice is well done. (It’s a type of a small “Bon Marche” for those of you that like shopping in Paris)

  – Have a polish doughnut in the cafe A.Blikle (it survived 2 wars and communism)

- Visit the royal castle and the Chopin garden (Lazienki Park)

- Walk through the old town

- Visit the museum Powilon-X (an old prison)

But before doing all that, I recommend checking out this link: http://unlike.net/warsaw/guides/the-ten-best-things-to-do-in-warsaw

I found interesting stuff, that I did not have the chance to do… If you do, don’t forget to drop me a line.

Do zobaczenia wkrótce, (see you soon),

Soraya

Poland, A Charm I Won’t Forget!

I just came back from a family trip… After long debates, and different opinions shared we ended up in the north of Europe! Poland was our first stop, and definitely one I recommend to all those that want to have a relaxing time, taste new yet simple snacks, smile to strangers and get to know a new culture.

Before sharing my experience  and pictures let me give you a very small overview of Poland:

Population: 38MM

Currency: Zloty

The Culture: A charming mix of Latin, byzantine and German cultures, with some extras of what is left from the communist period and the different European occupations.

Food and Drinks: They eat a lot of potatoes, cold cuts of meat and sausages (kiyelbasa), pyzy (meat filled dough balls, it’s a kind of polish dumplings. I loved them) and paski (a type of Polish doughnut) – Vodka (Belvedere) and beer

Polish: show interest in arts, classical music (maybe what is left from the communist period)

Most Important Figures: Pope Jean Paul II, The Astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, and the composer and pianist Frederic Chopin

Walking form the Old Town to the main street of Varsow: Nowy Swiat

The first time I saw someone getting this ice cream I got super excited, then I realized it’s the typical one that could be found literally every 10meters

Local deserts: filled with cherries. It’s a bit dry and has a biscuit-like texture!

Danish doughnuts. It’s “A. Blikle”‘s specialty

I wish Lebanon had more of these types of scenery. In Poland if feels so normal…

Down Town Krakow. The city where Pope Jean Paul the Second was archbishop for 25 years.

Krakow Old Gallery

=)

Krakow

Walking in Krakow

I think I’ll never have what it takes to run a full marathon! Here in Gdansk

The north of Poland, Gdansk

Fat, Onions, Fat, Meat, Fat, Bread and Fat

A Goat Cheese Polish Snack

Auschwitz

Arbeit Macht Frei – Work Makes Free – Welcome to Auschwitz

I will do my best to upload tomorrow the second part of my trip with recommendations and the itinerary I would follow if I were to revisit Poland!

Kisses from my Noisy Charming Grey Homey Sad and Tough Beirut,

Soraya

Bouyouti… I feel “Bi Beyti” (at home)

On our way in, this is what we saw with a big smile. Secretly we both hoped the other had a lot of fun stories to tell while relaxing around this pool

Sunday morning my close friend and I decided to spend the night in the Chouf area… Chouf is probably the most protected and authentic area of Lebanon… It’s green, the old houses are still as charming, the trees in the morning have a special smell and the people super welcoming…

But the most welcoming of them all are the 5 members of the Bouyouti Family… Let’s call them the Bouyoutis for now…

For those of you that don’t speak Arabic, Bouyouti mean “my homes”… But I ‘m sure if you had been there you would have figured it out on your own…

So anyway, now that I’ve put you in context, I would like to show you some pictures of my charming Sunday getaway hoping to give you some ideas of what to do next week-end in Lebanon…

Going down the stairs this is what was waiting for us

Eor the little lonely donkey

After a relaxing morning around the pool, the Bouyoutis invited us to share their yummy lunch, the Bouyouti’s son then nicely showed us around, needless to say I wanted to steal some fruits and my friend was tempted to kidnap two of their beautiful dogs (but it would be too boring to show you all the pictures, I need to keep some stuff secret to show after my second trip)…

That night we had diner in the Mir Amine Hotel (a house the Emir Bashir built for one of his three sons), enjoying a tasteful arguileh (chicha) and a breathtaking view…

With a lot of happy thoughts, a hug to the bouyoutis, and thousand kisses to my friend, I leave you hoping you will be smarter than me next you go and remember to take pretty pictures of the charming personalized breakfast,

Soraya

Vail or a Trip Called Jasmine

Today I had lunch with The Cousin… Our conversations are never long enough, lunch breaks pass too fast, neighbors are always too funny, and laughter is definitely everyday on the menu… I realized today though we haven’t traveled together for a while, and the United States is a destination I look forward to enjoying together. I tried convincing her to think of Colorado, but here I am trying again…

On our way to Colorado, we can stop by Frankfurt… I promise we’ll have a  German breakfast and smile to all the lovers kissing under the rain

or walking along side the Main River.

The day we’ll go to Colorado (Aspen or Vail) I suggest we stop by Frankfurt for a thousand reasons but mainly to have a nice walk and get ready for the coming 10hours we will have to spend on the plane… We’ll most probably share a lot of little stories and play some intimidating games but we’ll be fine when reaching Denver’s Airport…

And if you bare with me 2 hours in a car, this is what we’ll see when we’ll reach Vail…

Vail top of the Mountain (Ski Slopes in Summer)

We’ll have nice morning walks

I will make sure we won’t miss the Sunday farmer’s market (that closes at 15:30) and if we’re lucky we’ll get to enjoy this view when walking towards the village’s shops and bars:

Vail Village

I bet we’ll both end up buying stupid stuff from this village. We’ll then look for some kid to whom we can offer our little useless toys (after taking some pictures of course :) )

I don’t promise we’ll rent bicycles but I do promise to smile when I see three of them lost  on a ski resort (remembering our summer of 2006).

I think we shouldn’t leave Vail before finding all these spots, going on a horse back ride, trying the cold waters while rafting, have one-too-many drink, dancing with strangers, making new friends, inventing a stupid dance and saying “I  Love You” in the most uncommon situations… I really hope you agree with me because as much as I cherish our old stories and  teenage secrets I miss doing new stuff with you…

We will always have the time to share yummy food in the Four Seasons. Something tells me I’ll laugh, cry and leave the diner table with a small pinch in the heart.

And don’t worry about the rest, if we have any problem we can always call Jasmine! I heard she’s everyone’s rescue buoy!

Warm kisses,

Love always,

Soraya

PS: If you want to do this, don’t count on me ;)

Lately I have been…

I’ve been having a blast, my days are super exciting and the nights long… Today I am tanned, have tired eyes and hundreds of new stories to tell since lately I was invited to a (one of my favorite) fun lunch in Zahle, spent the day on a friendly chic boat, discovered new biscuits in the South of Lebanon, found my new spot for this summer (Sud bar) and saw my favorite designers in Bashkir (where Jessica Khoueiri Achkar from Jessica, Yasmina Farah Massoud from February, Nada Talhame and Roula Dfouni exposed their new pieces)

Thank you Joanna for a great day

Jessica in action

Yasmina and February full of beauty and style

My charming little Lebanon – (South of )

“Bar Tatine”, in front of “Sud”. I want to try this next time I go there

Sophie’s Choice… A pretty choice

I had just started writing a blogpost about taking choices, looking back – or not- and I was on a very philosophical momentum when I received a phone call from Sophie. Sophie is not only the founder of the trendy “Sophie’s Choice” in Lebanon but definitely also an important member of the Lebanese fashion industry…So this afternoon’s choice was easy: Drop the philosophical thinking and share good news instead.

Pictures from Sophie’s Choice’s webstie

This Thursday – 25th of April from 4 to 8 pm-, “Sophie’s Choice” women’s clothing boutique and the trendy men’s clothing boutique “Slowear” will host a common event entitled “Boys meet Girls”. Even though I would personally have used the word “women” rather than girl and “men” rather than boys, I still believe this event will be a very successful one and I am looking forward to being there on that date and excitingly waiting to get a sneak peek at Jessics K’s new collection.

I might bump into some of you ;)

Warm regards,

Soraya

Picture from Sophie’s Choice’s wesbsite

This is the Good Life… Enjoy Lebanon

I have for the past month experienced stuff/feelings/food/moments I never thought existed… And the best part is I did all this without taking a plane to anywhere, without changing my physical location and without having to spend ridiculous hours wondering whether or not to change my wardrobe…

Still, I have had amazing vacations in my little Lebanon. So first I would like to thank everyone who made this possible: My Mexican crazy friend, My favorite traveling partner, Boston the Dog, Montse the cat, Nikos our new Greek friend, the 24hour-cousin, Jack the champ and of course everyone who barred with me my low-battery phone and my recent absences…

The truth is from each and everyone I just named (except for the pets) I learned something I will always carry in my heart, so today I decided to share with you my small list… I hesitated for a while since I know my dad reads my blog (Hello Dad ;) ) but then again, it already got way more intimate in the past…

1. Mexican Chilaquiles (Martha Stewart Recipe here) is nor the best remedy for a hangover, nor the yummiest breakfast on earth.

2. The Mexican is always right: If  your heart said “Boum Boum” then “Boum” it should be.

3. Don’t be Stupid!

4. The new-greek-friend reminded me how nice it is to be surrounded by easy-going people.

5. Always kiss those you love goodnight! A virtual or imaginary kiss would do.

6. If you have to tell someone: “Please keep it as a secret” then you probably shouldn’t be telling it to them to start with.

7. Traveling partners are those you don’t have to talk to everyday but know that it will always be a true pleasure to share, a pizza, a laughter, a bed, dirty secrets, and untold fears.

8. It’s better to bond over an ice-cream.

9. You should always have a mascot.  It keeps the bound stronger.

10. Every family wonders: Are we the only crazy ones?!

11. We don’t need 8 hours of sleep. It’s a fallacy!

12. Vacation is a mode not a time frame.

I’m in Beirut now writing while none of those I shared with my lasts weeks are here, and I can guarantee you all nor the wine, nor the best Rum, nor finger-licking-good ice cream taste half as good.

Love always,

Soraya

 

PS: For those wondering what to do in 5 days in Lebanon, this is how you can fix your heart, paint over the ugly parts in our lives and destroy your health: Enjoy!

1. Go clubbing in: Momo, BO, MAD, Music Hall, Mandaloun. Don;t forget to stop by Zaatar w Zeit or Falamanki for a hearty breakfast afterwards!

2. Have a drink in : Myu, Momo, Centrale, for more artsy places: Hamra Street or Mar Mkhael Street

3. Have a Coffee in: Balima in Saifi, and/or Zaytouna Bay

4. Spend the day in the Bekaa Valley, visit the Roman Ruins of Baalbeck and have lunch in the Massaya winery.

5. Attend a crazy Lebanese family lunch.

6. Visit the Jeita Grotto.

7. Eat Fish on the sea side and indulge an Almaza beer.

8. Walk in the Byblos Souk and smoke a chicha.

While having fish in “Chez Sami”

9. Find a Mascot.

Monste the Cat and the Mascot.

From Beirut to Milano: A Warm Thought on Women’s Day

Milano lifestyle

Today is Women’s Day…

Last year I wrote a post for all the women I love but this year I am dedicating this day to a woman I agreed with this week on only one thing that of disagreeing on almost everything. And I even never noticed this before.

I grew up with this woman and with time we became very close and never realized we have completely opposite ways of seeing life, love, men, food, and friendships. Still, and until today I know we both wish for one another nothing but everything that will make each happy.

So for her on this day I will post some pictures that I hope will make her smile of corners and areas of charming Milano…

Maria and I wondered what they were talking about

Feeding the birds

Artsy students Italian style

Brera is where I think I would like to live if I were to move to Milano

At California Bakery in Milano

At Corso Como 10 for an interesting and yummy diner

I thought of a very special woman when seeing this adorable balcony

Romantic chairs with a view to the Duomo

 

Food Market: My favorite spots

My everyday snake

Students in Milano

I wanted to steal it

When the doors opens: always pretty stuff appear

Bloggers in Milano: And a warm kiss to you my friend-more-than-cousin from Sunny Beirut