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Saifi Village: Perfect day

Saifi Village, also known as Quartier des Arts, lies just off Beirut’s Central District. This elegant residential area hosts a wide variety of antique stores, artisan shops and speciality boutiques, against a charming backdrop of reconstructed and restored traditional architecture

City Guide

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Saifi Village
Saifi Village

9am
If it’s Saturday, head straight for Beirut’s Souk el Tayeb farmers’ market in the main Saifi parking lot and sample different local products or fresh manakeesh; these flatbreads have variety of topping options and are a traditional breakfast favourite. Any other day of the week, hop into the eccentric Balima, just across the street, for a café latte, a quiche or perhaps a fabulous croque monsieur

10am
Take a walk down Mkhalassiyeh Street and snap up trendy items created by local designers at the array of exclusive Beirut boutiques that dot the thoroughfare. Stop in at Cream for one-of-a-kind dresses, Y.knot for anything and everything hand-knitted and Sunflowers for exquisite accessories

12pm
Cutting-edge clothing is a must in Beirut, so stop at Starch in Quartier des Arts to stay one step ahead. This boutique is the creation of internationally acclaimed couturier Rabih Kayrouz, who hand-picks promising young Lebanese designers and exhibits their debut collections. Buy away; each collection is available for six months to a year, before the next groups of emerging designers are selected

1pm
Break for a light lunch at La Posta Gourmet on Gouraud Street, a speciality store and delicatessen that opened in the wake of the success of the La Posta restaurant in the Achrafieh area. The fare is epicurean and Italian, a great place to stock up on fresh home-made pasta, balsamic vinegars from Modena and rustic Roman cheeses before snacking on panini filled with artisan meats, fresh salads or the plat du jour

3pm
Give your habitat a treat and head to Kezako on Said Akl Street, where high-end furnishing knick-knacks are stocked in opulent abundance; this two-storey space carries a range of imported and exquisite home accents from plates and vases to paintings

4PM
Next, perk up your bedroom at Eve & Yves, also on Said Akl Street, where you will find a sumptuous collection of bed linens, quilts, pillow cases and even nightwear. The cherry on top is that everything can be customised by owner and designer Lina Mroue, who is also behind the well-known Beirut café chain of the same name

5pm
Locals may dress to the nines for most occasions but when it’s the right time to be casual, Converse footwear is a must. Pick out your pair of Chuck Taylors at the Saifi branch, just down from the corner of Mkhalassiyeh Street

6pm

End the day at Birdcage in Mekbel Building on Dabass Street, where the owner’s Mojo line of handbags is highly desirable and the rest of the collection is just as fresh; a seamless mix of local designs and the crème de la crème of international high-street fashion

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