THOUM, Batroun; The Guesthouse, The Old Village, Clean Beaches, Fish, Seafood, and Summer Vibes!
It’s 7 am. What a beautiful feeling! What a beautiful way to start your day! I woke up at 7 am and swam. And now it’s time for breakfast. I imagined this breakfast to be an original Lebanese one in this setup. I was surprised with amazing colors. Mankoushe of course and thyme, Labneh and cheese As if one has traveled to the south of France in the middle of the field. Amazing!! Great weather and a breeze of air is coming from the sea! I’m not letting you talk (laughing) but you, Silvannah, should tell me where we are and what are we doing and what this great idea is Thank you because we are one of the first to visit this place. I am pleases that you are the first ones to come here The idea is that we want people to get to know Thoum village as much as we can. Because it’s such a beautiful village It’s known for its old houses made of stones. It’s known for its calmness and its view which is the sea Every house in Thoum faces the sea and every foreigner -from outside this village- asks us if they can rent any of the houses So my husband and I came up with the idea of finding a house for guests to rent We’ll have breakfast and then tour in Thoum. The journey starts now! I am so happy with my breakfast that I forgot to tell you what happened yesterday. The experience started yesterday night. Let’s see what happened yesterday before today’s journey starts. Wow! The guesthouse! It has been open for only 3 days. The location on google maps is still not available. It is so beautiful. It consists of 7 rooms, 2 among them are under the vaulting. This house is so old and has been there for hundreds of years and some are more modern. Let’s go have a tour before we continue the tour. Wow! 2 rooms with a vaulting 4 regular rooms, so a total of 6. That is in addition to the 7th room which is a suite. A very big suite with a kitchen and a double size king bed and glass surrounding it all. The view is the sunset and the pool downstairs. I will sleep here! I have arrived to Thoum and I am hungry. Remember Mershek of Batroun. A seafood dinner and then we’ll go sleep. And tomorrow morning, we’ll do a very long tour. We’ll have dinner now. Michelle, I know Mershek does Mankoushe, but how come it does fish now? We wanted to eat fish and decided that we want to get our own fresh fish. You’ll see them now in a bit. We have arrived to Mershek by the sea. We’re having great licorice drinks. It is now the second. The vibes are amazing! It is now 10:30 pm and the place is crowded. The sound of the sea is amazing. And what I am seeing are unconventional seafood places. Do you always go fish at night? Everyday! Anything that you get? Yes And then they directly go the freezer. Check this out, they’re still moving. So whoever comes to eat here, the fish is fresh. / Look, they are jumping! Calamar They are not chewy whatsoever. The oil and lemon without garlic are amazing! with tartar sauce. We are holding a seafood party tonight I think from all kinds. So we have 2 kinds of Octopus, 2 kinds of shrimps, 2 kinds of calamar And the fish is not here yet. The food is extremely delicious! So that we don’t burn our tongues. Amazing! Chef, can we get introduced to you? The chef has been checking up on me since the morning to know my food preferences. He made sure that the food doesn’t have garlic or onions First of all, I tried to remove the garlic and I replaced with ginger. Didn’t you like them more?! Change them on the menu then.. (laughing) Today, we’ll get introduced to Joe. We coordinated with each other and he told me he will introduce me to my village – called Thoum. Joe, thank you for welcoming us here. Tell us more about Thoum and what we should expect to see today. And this village that people might not know its name But there is something called “Hajez l Madfoun”, everyone knows this You reach the Hajez (Division), you look on your right. All the mountain is Thoum All of the mountain, from the coast (sea) till you reach the end of it Then you reach other villages Thoum is the first village in the North after the division Thoum is well-known for many things. It is known for its sea. and the stones that it contains and the houses that are made form old stones. / I am really excited! Let’s go! We have now arrived to Saint Estephan church in Thoum, which is the main church here in the village. This village was built in 1800. And of course has been renovated throughout the years. The last renovation was 2 years ago. The field outside was enlarged. And as you can notice, the altar is still traditional Our father still turns his back when he goes up He does everything with his back facing us. For those who don’t know, most churches in Lebanon, the system has been changed. The altar is now in front and the father doesn’t have to turn his back. He started looking at people to give them lectures and address them. So the old churches are still following this method. And they are beautiful! This mountain is a road that leads you to Rafa. Joe, tell me a bit. There is a gathering and an association that is calling people to come to Thoum. What is Thoum up to? Thoum, as we have shown you, has ancient houses and we’ll see the sea in a bit. Tell me more about Thoum and your association. The association is Friends of Thoum. We are guys from the village and we decided to do this association to market Thoum on many levels- Tourism and religion for example. We have the Darb Rafa’ road. This valley is called Wade Harba. As you can see, our association – Friends of Wade Harba – has organized it. You can hike and you can reach Saint Rafa’ all the way to the top. For those who want to know more about the valley, they can accompany you and hike with you in March They can follow you on Instagram and the other social media platforms The organization is the association of Wade Harba On Facebook and Instagram They take care of everything and allow those who are interested in going on those hikes I really wanted to walk, but not today. I passed by to say hi. The program was a bit late and we arrived here at 11:30 am and we came to say hi. Because I love this guy. So we are going to have another breakfast. Thyme, cheese, eggs, keshek. All of this table, for the record, is for just the both of us. Remember when I was telling you yesterday night about the famous Mershek Mankoushe That is so thick and so soft. People come from different places just to eat it. Thyme, and of course, tomatoes, mint, and labneh. We have agreed to this. Check it out! I have to sit! This is the second breakfast. At lunch and the journey continues! We will now continue the tour via a golf cart. I am preparing the microphone that doesn’t display the sound of air. And we’ll do a tour of the shores in Thoum. We will screech our tires and enter via that corner and turn to reach the end of the village and come back The train’s railway The plan is to go and show you the bridge over there Unfortunately, the thorns are preventing us from going there. And I’m not willing to go through them, sorry. We can try! There you go, I will be waiting for you here. I’m kidding, we’re going back. I wasn’t able to reach the train’s railway but we will go see the first sea in the north which is the public beach of Thoum under the famous “Madfoun” bridge. White Beach! Edmond and Nabil are 2 brothers and are the owners. You have been here since 1988. Tell me how everything started from that small kiosk We started from a small kiosk by the sea that sells 7 up and a little bit of fish and do small things. My mom (May her soul rest in peace) started cooking. Then things started to develop from 1988 till 1996. And we started growing. In 1996, we renovated the place. We renovated it and made it bigger. And we started catching up on big restaurants and serving more up-to-date food including seafood. Lebanese food, pub, and sea. It’s called white beach because everything is white. Let’s start having lunch together. A nice gathering and Lebanese food Kebbeh, kebbeh of fish, fries, tabbouleh, seafood and raw fish and so many other things Chief, what are we doing? We are preparing a fresh fruit martini Something sweet It’s really delicious Wow. Good job, I’m impressed! Passion fruit, no ice, and no water. The cup is really cold and it tastes really good on the lips Then you can taste the sweetness, the acidity and the strong flavor of alcohol without it being too strong. It’s doesn’t burn your throat. Very refreshing! Gin and berries. It’s easy and quick to prepare. And because it doesn’t have a lot, it doesn’t cause headaches. Very nice, cheers! Thank you again! A small stop under the sun facing this beautiful sea. And we’ll continue the tour! Salmon sashimi, tuna sashimi Light sauce and light mayyonaise and the rice doesn’t stick Great crunchiness Crispy on the top They crunch properly The tour continues to a place that is too known to be introduced I cannot introduce you to Pierre and friends And what’s nice is that Pierre is here, but Jad – his son – will continue via the same path. Since 2003, Pierre and friends During summer, by the sea and during winter, you don’t close. You move up. I would like to introduce you to the dishes. Let’s start! We have Salmon Salmon sashimi Grilled calamar, grilled octopus and Fresh Calamar with our own spices and breading Fattoush and tabbouleh Wow, are you sure this is an octopus, it melts like butter. It is not chewy whatsoever. It must have been hit properly. Calamar Not everyone who has prepared seafood has done a good job And what’s nice is that seafood is seafood and what differs is how you prepare them and the passion put into making them It’s obvious that your growth since 2003 is not by mistake And there are clear great family vibes! The tent is falling but nothing will happen to us. We have a mission in Lebanon that has to be continued. I will continue eating my lunch and enjoying it. I really like the octopus! We’re spicing up things today! I’m glad I has a haircut yesterday. We’ll continue the tour before the last stop. Funky fish A nice place that has been open for only 2 weeks. Colors, wood, bar in the middle of the water. How beautiful. If I hadn’t eaten today, the air would’ve blown me away. Taste of Italy: fizzy, sparkling, sweet You can’t feel the taste of alcohol. Very refreshing by the sea. Sunset on the way, in almost an hour. Hisham, only 2 weeks?! Only 2 weeks! Funky fish! Tell me about it. The vibes are great! Funky, colors, the guys are wearing blue and yellow The colors and music are nice! Tell me about it. The concept of Funky fish is for people to come chilled and relaxed There’s a free entrance to the sea, deck, international cocktails international menu. And there’s a new seafood menu coming soon. So there’s a mix and match of everything. Very affordable prices. It’s a very relaxing setting. As you can see, a setting in the middle of the island is amazing and great taste of food of course. I have been craving a burger since the morning. How did you find it? Mini burger: Balanced flavors juicy meat and soft bread and is not chewy at all I will eat my food calmly and continue my tour. That’s the mood. This is Thoum! Great vibes! Say hi to mama (laughing) Thank you for your visit. Taking it with happiness. We get stuck in the elevator I did Sauna and I enjoyed it. It ended nicely. We should always look at the bright side of everything. We did sports and went up the stairs. I burnt the calories of the food I ate. Let’s go! The tour continues! It was a beautiful day! I will say this again, I was not expecting Thoum to take up a whole day, till 6pm This is Thoum! This is Thoum! Joe, Thank you and I promise you this not going to be the last time I visit this place. You promised me to come next year There would be more pastry shops (Furn) and the boulevard down there would be done by then We will come and shoot another film and we’ll spice things up even more! Thank you Anthony for accepting our invitation. The day we spent with you was amazing. We, as an association, thank you and promise you year by year to visit us and find nicer things Don’t forget to follow on Instagram: Friends of Thoum. You can contact us at anytime. Ready to guide you! I traveled while staying in Lebanon. We ate sushi, pizza, burger, seafood, hummus, mankoushe, croissant, and others as well. We drank amazing drinks. A very long day, I showed you Lebanon. Lebanon as it is. The summer in Lebanon, Lebanon’s sea, Lebanon’s sun Lebanon’s vibes, Lebanon’s water. You name it. This is Lebanon! A small village called Thoum. A village in the North, the minute you reach the Madfoun division From here, you go up toward the mountain and you can see the old houses You can go down to the sea and swim in this great day. This is Lebanon! The journey ends now But it won’t stop till we tour the entire villages in Lebanon The journey continues on Youtube, Instagram, Facebook We want to spice things up and show people the most beautiful country in the world Come on, let’s see the whole village altogether.