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Back in August, we decided with my sister to spend a long weekend in Prague. We’d never seen the city and its always been on my list, so off we went! In the weeks leading to our trip, we infinitely pinned things to do and places to see in one of Europes most magical cities. One pin led me to a food tour. I’d always wanted to see cities through the eyes of locals and discover how they spend their time, their weekends and holidays. After a bit of research, I found a tour called Prague Food Tour. From their website, we saw that it was something simple, fun and truly local. The guides were Leona and Georges and we were set for a few hours around local places.

If you’re faithful readers of this blog, you’ll know that half of my heart lives in London, the city of my childhood travels and last student year. What’s more, is that my sister’s been living there for the last four years so I’ve been visiting frequently. Inspiration strikes when I’m there and we constantly find loads of things worth sharing. So if you frequently visit London for work or to visit family and friends, here’s a series destined to give you a glimpse of the city through our eyes.

Ten years ago, I went on a road trip from London to Amsterdam then Paris with friends. I was studying in Exeter at the time, and short trips around Europe were a must. So off we went, in the middle of the night. While on the bus from Amsterdam to Paris, we passed by Brussels. I got to see the Manneken Piss (peeing boy statue) and thought it was enough for Belgium. I had heard from people that the manneken was the only thing to see there, so I was content I could check Brussels off my list.

That was until my mom and her friend returned from a Euro trip last week, having spent two days in Brussels.

As promised, contributors to Breadonbutter will be sharing more of their experiences on the blog. The first article is a Travel one by the talented and bubbly Carla Richa, a multimedia journalism student at LAU. She writes about her days in Barcelona and how it felt to go back after visiting when she was young. Enjoy the read as she takes you through the streets of this colorful city, its culture and the 3 p’s.

We visited Athens on the last week of October for a mix of personal business and pleasure. The city is great for a quick getaway not far from home (1h15 flight). As we planned our trip before our departure, I still had in mind the Athens I once knew as vibrant, full of life and happy people, and in keep-up with trends. In my head, it was still a mix of Beirut and organized European countries. The last time I was there, it was 2013. The economic crisis had just hit but it wasn’t quite obvious yet. This time around, it was pretty palpable. What the economy had done to this vibrant city was a complete shock. 

If you’re faithful readers of this blog, you’ll know that half of my heart lives in London, the city of my childhood travels and last student year. What’s more, is that my sister’s been living there for the last three years so I’ve been visiting frequently. Inspiration strikes when I’m there and we constantly find loads of things worth sharing. So if you frequently visit London for work or to visit family and friends, here’s a series destined to give you a glimpse of the city through our eyes. 

Fall weather is fast approaching. This means the movies are the best place to be. Here are 5 small and cozy cinemas in London.

Mykonos or any other Greek island for that matter 🙂

Last week, I had the most relaxing time in Mykonos with my aunt, mom and sister. It felt so refreshing to be on a trip where all we could do was laze by the sea and walk around a town full of happy people on holiday.

We basically perfected our tan, swam in the freezing, clear water of the Aegean sea and walked around the cutest and most preserved island town I’ve ever seen.

If you’re faithful readers of this blog, you’ll know that half of my heart lives in London, the city of my childhood travels and last student year. What’s more, is that my sister’s been living there for the last three years so I’ve been visiting frequently. Inspiration strikes when I’m there and we constantly find loads of things worth sharing. So if you frequently visit London for work or to visit family and friends, here’s a series destined to give you a glimpse of the city through our eyes. 

This week, it’s all about workweek lunch. Here are 5 places to grab a quick lunch in Soho/Covent Garden.

Grabbing a cheap and delicious lunch in soho / covent garden can be a bit of a struggle when you’re indecisive and looking for a good value and satisfying meal. The overwhelming choices and the fear of falling into a tourist trap can be paralysing (too dramatic?) next thing you know, it’s 2 pm and you still haven’t decided where to eat!
After months of exploring, we bring you 5 great places to eat a cheap (ish) and exciting lunch:

Koshari st (A small Egyptian shop on St Martin’s Lane which serves only a couple of dishes – perfect for a filling and cheap meal. Try the hot sauce which is not killer hot and will add flavour to your dish!)
Wellbeing kitchen (A low budget korean cafe in covent garden which serves a number of Korean favourites for a surprisingly low price. The chicken katsu curry is one of the best we’ve ever had. The free miso soup that comes with almost every meal is a real treat.)
Smack lobster (A small cafe style space on Dean street that serves a variety of lobster rolls and lobster chowder. The seven samurai lobster roll is a must. The buttery soft but slightly crunchy bun is heavenly)
Pepe (An all time favorite, also on St Martin’s Lane, serves a variety of italian food. Get a box with a combination of two different pastas and thank us later. Unless you’re on a diet, then we’re really sorry)
Tobiko (Although slightly on the more expensive side, this small sushi shop on Garrick street is well worth it. Their hand rolls are honestly the best, with a proper crispy seaweed wrap – as it should be! The crab and avocado hand roll is so good you’ll feel a bit sad when it’s over.)
Bon appetit!

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Don’t forget to tag us if you try our recipes and tips: #breadonbutter

When we need an escape from our routine and a change of scenery, we immediately plan a trip to explore a new country. Yet, we more often than not stop right in the middle of that booking because we think twice about the budget.

What we rarely think of is a weekend away in our own country that has many places left to explore. Places you never thought existed a few kilometers away.

Last weekend, the lovely people of Via Mina Hotel in Tripoli, invited us over for a relaxing stay. Believe me when I tell you I woke up on Sunday morning not sure of where in the world I was. The old souks of Tripoli are the miniature reproduction of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar. The pubs we visited at night were the reflection of Rome’s laid-back Trastevere. The streets around Al Mina region resemble the Old Croatian towns. This can give you a clear picture of the mixed feelings you get during your two-day stay.

That weekend was a huge eye-opener on the possibility of things to do in Lebanon. Here’s what you can do during a weekend in Tripoli.

Where to Stay:

Via Mina Hotel. This refreshing and cozy Bed & Breakfast is all you need to relax and unwind away from work and busy Beirut. What was an old inhabited house became the coziest place to stay. Just that smell of organic green tea soap gives your mind peace the entire time.

weekend in tripoli | breadonbutter weekend in tripoli | breadonbutter weekend in tripoli | breadonbutter weekend in tripoli | breadonbutter

What to do:

Visit the souks in the center of Tripoli. You’ll get the same experience as visiting the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul if you’ve been. Make sure you go to “Khan el Saboun” (i.e. the soap market), where you’ll find loads of organic soaps.

weekend in tripoli | breadonbutter weekend in tripoli | breadonbutter

weekend in tripoli | breadonbutter

Take a walk along the Mina. If you’re staying at the Via Mina Hotel, the Mina is a three-minute walk away. If you’re an early riser, you can visit the fish market  where people place bids on the freshest fish. You can also walk around the Mino area in the morning and witness fresh bread-making, live foul and hommos cooking and a joyful atmosphere.

weekend in tripoli | breadonbutter weekend in tripoli | breadonbutter

weekend in tripoli | breadonbutter

In the evening, there are pubs two minutes away from the hotel. Timmy’s is one of the crowdiest. Its architecture is also something you don’t see every day.

weekend in tripoli | breadonbutter

If you’re craving for a nice seafood meal, Borj El Samak (which is right next to Via Mina) is a good choice.

Lately, I’ve been pessimistic about Lebanon and long to travel the world.  The most important lesson I learnt that weekend is to never make up your mind about something before you experience it yourself. We all have our made-up ideas about certain places and it’s easy to get influenced by the media, our parents’ anxieties, and even our own stubbornness.  But I promise myself, here and now, to be more positive and appreciate what we have.

Thoughts? 🙂

Click HERE to follow our foodie and travel journey on INSTAGRAM @breadonbutter_

and HERE to get your daily Breadonbutter news on FACEBOOK

Don’t forget to tag us if you try our recipes and tips: #breadonbutter

Our wanderlust levels have been kind of fine lately, what with the business of Christmas and the new house. Then again, like any chronic condition humans have, it has strike again. My sister Mia went to Morocco not long ago and she succeeded in awakening the wanderlust beast in me again. Here’s a summary of her trip.

If you’re planning a short three-day trip to Morocco, the best itinerary would include Marrakesh and its surroundings. The ideal would be to book a nice atypical hotel in Marrakesh and visit the surroundings based from there.

Where to stay

La maison des oliviers is a small oasis of peace full of flowers and a nice pool located along a rural road just outside of Marrakesh. The house is called a “riad” which means a big villa surrounded by a wall. It’s a traditional house with passages and lots of beautifully-designed common areas and a traditional Moroccan decor. The pool is amazing, surrounded by flowers and  a bar area. The weather was beautiful in December (23-25 degrees celsius during the day and 7-10 degrees celsius at night).

What to do, what to see and where to eat

Jemaa el fna.

morocco | breadonbutter

Do that twice: once during the day and once at night because the square transforms into two different scenes.

During the day, you’ll see snake charmers and henne tattoo women, monkeys (not dangerous), orange juice stands (a must-try), merchants, and other exotic sights. Make sure you have an ice coffee or mint tea at one of the terraces overlooking the square (Les Terrasses de l’Alhambra is recommended by Lonely Planet and tried by us).

During the night, it transforms into a street food paradise with grilling smoke everywhere, lanterns and tents with benches to sit, and barbecues to grill a million things. You’ll often see huge trays of tea with all kinds of spices in a huge barrel, and mountains of weird-looking chocolate cakes.

morocco | breadonbutter

morocco | breadonbutter

Souks of el medina.

That’s the place where you’ll find lots of merchants for all your needs. You’ll see olive merchants selling succulent olives that you mus try. In the spice market, they sell spices and oils, chameleons and water turtles. There, you have to eat at Cafe des Epices or on the other side of the square at NOMAD, a very cool and trendy restaurant with a nice authentic view and a really cool terrace. Book yourself a table in the evening, cover yourself with a cape because it gets cold at night, and have a lamb Tagine – delicious!

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For leather lovers, you can visit Les Tanneries where they make leather goods.

morocco | breadonbutter

Jardin Majorelle.

It’s a huge garden where the artist Majorelle planted all types of green from all over the world. He bought this house and made it his Art studio and grew exotic plants. Later on, Yves Saint Laurent renovated it and lived in that house which, when the great couturier died, became the Yves Saint Laurent memorial. In the Jardin, there’s the Berberian museum that is quite interesting if you have the time to visit. You can find cool Yves Saint Laurent postal cards at the museum shop. Jardin Majorelle is like a paradise in the middle of Moroccan chaos.

You can also grab a bite at the restaurant (taste the kefta, tomato and egg tagine, it’s to die for).

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Camel ride.

When at the Medina, book a camel ride in any little shop that organizes them. They’ll come and get you from your hotel and take you for an hour ride on a camel.

Tourism

Madrasa.

You can visit the largest Islamic college in Morocco to get a sense of the culture and heritage. Tile lovers, get ready to be amazed.

Koutoubia Mosque.

The largest mosque in Marrakesh.

Bahia Palace.

A Palace built in the late 19th century with a set of gardens.

La Mamounia.

The most luxurious hotel in Marrakesh is definitely worth a visit.

Day Trip

Essouira is a three-hour car-ride away from Marrakesh. When you get there, you absolutely must get a surf lesson then head to the port where you’ll find a fresh fish market. Instead of going to a restaurant, choose your own fish from the market then head to a small stand where they will grill it and give it to you with bread and salad. You’ll end up with a perfect and very affordable lunch! You can book this day trip with the same guide who took you for a camel ride.

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Relax

Enjoy the pool and the hammam at your hotel when you find the time!

morocco | breadonbutter morocco | breadonbutter morocco | breadonbutter

 Have you ever been? Anything we might have missed?

Click HERE to follow our foodie and travel journey on INSTAGRAM @breadonbutter_

and HERE to get your daily Breadonbutter news on FACEBOOK

Don’t forget to tag us if you try our recipes and tips: #breadonbutter