Thursday, December 8, 2016

An Unforgettable Trip to Cairo with Intercontinental Cairo Semiramis

When I started planning my trip to Cairo lots of my acquaintances and friends didn't agree with me that Egypt should be on my bucket list. Nevertheless I was persistent and everyone was dazzled and eagerly waiting for a chance to visit this metropolis city after covering it on my social media platforms.
I stayed at the iconic Semiramis Intercontinental Hotel located in the heart of the city centre facing the River Nile and Zamalek Island where you can find a variety of restaurants and shisha cafes with a pleasant promenade. The Egyptian museum and Al Taharir square were a stone's throw away.
Since the moment I entered the hotel, I realized that my trip is gonna be amazing thanks to the luxurious decor, the professional and kind staff, the speed of service and of course the numerous restaurants; each one specialized in a specific cuisine. 
I loved the super fast internet speed that is free of charge and reachable on my room on the 18th floor but what I loved more was my room that overlooked the beautiful Nile River with magnificent enlightened night views. The extra positive point was the small dressing room that made my everyday life/clothes choice easier.
Breakfast was served daily with options ranging from pancakes, eggs, hommos and foul to a variety of cheese, fresh bread and fruits.
The dining options at Semiramis Intercontinental were endless with around 11 restaurants and bars offering Egyptian, Thai, French, Lebanese, Italian, Japanese and International cuisines that won't leave you hesitant of where to eat but confused about what to choose. 
We fell in love with the food at each and every restaurant we tried with no exceptions!
•The Grill serves French food with breathtaking views of the Nile in a romantic ambiance. All the platters were beautifully presented; the steak quality and its marination were impressive and the truffle fries were literally the best we have ever had.
•Birdcage was my coup de coeur. This unique Thai destination offers exotic dishes, authentic, aromatic, prepared by Thai Chef Naron. He excelled in preparing all the dishes; I fell in love with the crispy salad, the shrimp tempura and the curry shrimp. Not to mention that the platters were extraordinarily presented!
•At Pane Vino, a charming restaurant with panoramic Nile views, I tried genuine Italian from pizzas, pastas, and mouthwatering desserts. The four cheese pizza and the gluten free penne arabiata were my favorites. 
•At Sabaya I discovered a unique fusion between the traditional Lebanese food and the Egyptian spices. I was surprised that some Lebanese dishes were prepared even better than in Beirut.
•Finally, at Nile Terrace I enjoyed a cozy relaxing night while listening to live jazz music and drinking some refreshing cocktails.
Below is my itinerary which I highly recommend and that can be done in 3 days. I booked it through a touristic company called Memphis that provided me with a private guide and taxi driver for a reasonable price. 
•Khan El Khalili. 

•The Pyramids. And don't miss on taking a camel for a one of a kind ride.

•Coptic and Islamic Cairo including St Seman church.
•Egyptian Museum.

When I returned home, I was very happy to hear positive comments about my coverage of the hotel, the city and how the food looked delicious unlike the misinterpreted idea people have about Egypt. Cairo should be on your bucket list and make sure to stay at Intercontinental Semiramis to have an unforgettable experience.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

A Majestic Lunch Buffet at the Iconic Le Bristol Hotel in Verdun

It's never too late to revisit the golden age of Beirut where elegance, luxury and glamour were combined in a vibrant city that was called Paris of the Middle East. Le Bristol one of the most prestigious hotels in Lebanon opened its doors again last year after an impressive renovation to add a modern touch to its classical unique charm. Last Sunday we got to try their lavish 5 star banquet where many celebrities, world leaders and famous guests have previously dined in. Their royal lunch offers an endless choice of oriental, international, french and Japanese dishes in addition to live cooking stations while listening to the live piano tunes in a comfortable atmosphere.
The Oriental section included many Lebanese star items that were beautifully presented such as the tabbouleh, grape leaves, kebbet samak, moutabbal, hommos, rakakat, fatayer and many more. 
The salads section included artichoke salad, quinoa salad, fish salad and many more. There was also a salad bar if you want to prepare your own salad. 
The French section included a variety of cheeses, foie gras, quiches and salmon in pastry dough. 
There was also a table dedicated to sashimis, makis and shrimps.
Not to forget the Oriental hot main platters such as the siyadiyeh, rez 3a djej, roast beef filet, grilled whole chicken... and of course the live pasta station.
We started with the pumpkin soup; it was phenomenal! They add to it a special sour cream and cheese which makes it dreamy!
From the items that we really loved:
•The makis and sashimis; they were excellent since the ingredients used were premium quality and very fresh! We loved the fact that the makis didn't have a big amount of rice. 
•The salmon in pasty dough with cream cheese; it was simply orgasmic!
•The spring rolls; they were flavorful and very tasty.
•The shrimps in all the platters; whether it was a salad or a main platter the shrimps were cooked to perfection that they made every single dish highly enjoyable. 
•The Siyadieh; it was bery impressive as it had the al dente cooked rice with the right amount of spices and juicy fish filet. 
•The penne in four cheese sauce; it was divinely creamy with a consistent cheesiness.
All the other platters were meticulously prepared whether it was with their taste, quality and most importantly their beautiful presentation.
The dessert section at Le Bristol was as generous as the salty dishes where numerous cakes were presented including our favorites such as le fraisier, the huge eclair, their yummy macarons and particularly the petits gâteaux & mignardises that Le Bristol is famous for. 
French ice cream and fresh fruits were also available so that they make sure they fulfill everybody's taste. And they made sure to make us drool!
We loved the excellent service at Le Bristol and we felt pampered thanks to many factors; whether from the waiters that are glad to bring your orders in a blink of a second to the most lovable chef Franck Page that explains to you the story of every dish and of course the delicious treats that were served. 
The lunch at Le Bristol was truly a memorable experience.
Location: Verdun, Mme Curie Street, Beirut, Lebanon.
Price: 70$ all inclusive including drinks and cocktails.