We spend years discovering countries abroad, and we fail to notice that there are places in our country never been to. Discovering Lebanon should be a mission to every individual who doesn't know this amazing land of ours. Join me in this journey of culture, heritage and fine cuisine.
Before you start the journey with me I will tell the circumstances that led me to this trip. A few weeks ago I stumbled up a certain site that connects individuals interested in having a local guide to introduce them to new places. Not to go into more details I met via mentioned site and then connected through Instagram to a total stranger. The main common between us we are both bloggers, but the idea in itself to meet a total stranger and plan together a trip of approx. 8 to 9 hours seemed crazy at first. Yea crazy and apparently this year I was acting opposite of my usual character the shy and uptight.
So the journey to Batroun started around 9 heading from dbayeh, our first stop was at a Saj place called من بيتنا where we had our breakfast the place is cozy and amazing and they sell also homemade organic products like labneh,olives, makdous,honey and other stuff. After our light breakfast we visited one of the most famous houses in Rachana known for their sculpture work the basbous brothers, such an amazing art that tells volumes about the heritage and culture of Batroun.
Later we had a tour and wine tasting at one of the best wineries of Lebanon Ixisir. Such a huge place used resourcefully from having an enormous space for fine dining to Lab for testing, fermentation area, the barrels where they put the wine for a few months for the aging process before they send it's filled in the bottles. Along the way we found some time to visit this real nice and friendly lady that made pottery without any machine help, she had interesting varieties and she made from scratch as well some organic products which she sells either at her home or you find her in Souk El Tayeb Beirut just for the only lady Mrs. Sanaa Jabbour from Assia , Batroun.
Afterward, we visited a monastery in Kfifan where Fathers Hardini a saint and Estpan Nemhe from Lebanon are buried. A holy place worth visiting but what I admired most about the monastery was having a small for selling homemade products such as jams made by Kfifan locals. After this short visit, we had a very quick pass by Castle of Smar Jbeil which is sadly been disfigured by rebuilding certain areas which in my opinion ruined the authenticity of this castle. Later we had a very interesting stop at the only duck farm in Lebanon "La Ferme St Jacques" as explained by my knowledgeable guide. In this farm, they get the ducklings from Europe and raise and feed them until 75th day when they send them on their final trip.
With every long journey there's a major stop to have lunch and the place we went to was in Douma, such a charming village, a cozy place called 3al El bir على البير. We had a three course dishes of Salad, appetizer and main course. The salad consisted of peers,mango,duck meat , walnuts, and the usual salad ingredients with vinegar sauce the slight sweetness caused by the peers and the mango was just right. The appetizer dish was really nice the duck meat perfectly cooked with combination of assorted cooked vegetables with a flavor and texture reminds me of a traditional Chinese dish my mom used to prepare when I was younger. The final and the main course the duck leg with the potatoes, the meat was cooked to perfection which made the taste juicy.
If you happen to be somewhere in Batroun make sure to make a visit but I guess to make a call ahead of time. The address/Location I will give is of the Farm with the contact details you can contact them to arrange for the farm visit and the lunch later.
As any journey in such an astonishing place and after having an amazing lunch the finish should always be sweet and what's better than having the famous Lemonade of Batroun and along the way having a taste of Batroun sweets from a friendly and eccentric character at Patisserie RIM. At the end of this long but fruitful trip that couldn't have been possible without my companion and guide who I consider a friend Ms. Pia Abboud a fellow blogger please follow her blog: discoverybeyondborders