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Tawlet Ammiq: A Breath of Fresh Air and Good Food
We tend to take some things in life for granted. We always want to get away, travel far to somewhere surrounded by nature, to escape and enjoy some peace and quiet. Although it may sound like a cliche, we can escape reality just an hour away from Beirut! I got into the car and drove up to the Bekaa Valley. It took me an hour to reach a vast and eye soothing sight. I headed to Ammiq Village, where an eco-friendly restaurant in the middle of nowhere has opened, serving organic food prepared by the locals.
Tawlet Ammiq is a place in the middle of nature. It's the sort of place you think belongs on National Geographic... Expect to meet a few local friends who I shall call Mrs. Frog, Miss Butterfly, Little Chicken and Queen Bee - all humbly welcome you home to nature's true beauty.
Amazing and breathtaking, Tawlet Ammiq flows out of a hill in Ammiq Village, overlooking the patchwork of Lebanon's popular valley that's also known for its water swamps and electricity mills. Tawlet Ammiq is an Eco restaurant that is designed ecologically and beautifully, with a warm, homey feel. The grey concrete architecture of the house blends beautifully with the surroundings, a roof covered in grass and solar chimneys, Canadian wells, and infrastructure aimed at minimizing the use of electricity, as well as saving water and recycling most of the waste. You go down the stairs and enter a space where local trinkets are sold; all organic, healthy and interesting as they vary from food to books and more.
The restaurant is simple, yet interesting:
- It’s very spacious, natural recycled wooden tables and chairs, with comfortable white cushions.
- If you're a party of over 20 people, try booking their long, recycled table that seats around 24 people.
- It’s private, beautifully designed and creates a flow of easy conversation.
- If you want to enjoy nature, the outside terrace space, covered with green grass with stone borders, is the place to be.
- The space is covered with natural, recycled wooden tables and chairs and smaller recyclable chairs you can lie on to enjoy the vast and limitless view.
- Breathtaking! Here's a peaceful place that is just an hour's drive from Beirut, a place that's calm and serene, with fresh air accompanying your every move.
The eye-catching details:
- Decorative hand-decorated birds hanging from the ceiling
- Hand-decorated glass jars used as shades for the lights
- A long wooden bench on the side with its white, square pillows
- A large variety of Lebanese wines offered at the entrance
- The shop selling produce from the village
- An open bar leading to the kitchen
- Large glass facades making sunlight stream in from all sides and reducing electricity costs
- Four metallic chimneys protrude from the building's roof
- Glass boxes on the roof make sure sunlight enters properly
To drink, don't expect anything less than fresh and local. We ordered a lemonade 'Bri2' as well as a glass of tasty arak. Water is also served in a traditional Lebanese 'bri2’ in an amazing nod of Lebanese tradition. The service is fast, friendly and warm.
Tawlet Ammik welcomes you every weekend for an open buffet for $40TTC, including Arak, beer, rose water and freshly prepared Lebanese food and desserts.
- Wild cucumber salad with corn and cherry tomatoes
- Pumpkin stuffed kebbeh
- Stuffed grapevine leaves
- Labneh from the Taanayel convent, served cold and topped with roast almonds, sumac and lemon zest
- Stuffed lamb with rice and roasted nuts
- Grilled chicken
- Grilled fish
- Daoud bacha with rice
- A selection of barbecued offerings
- Fruit salad (cashew nuts, almonds, bananas, apples, grapes, rose water and orange blossom water, peach, orange and pears)
- Homemade, light knefeh with a local, white cheese and a kaak
- Milk biscuits
- Organic honey
Head up to the Bekaa and enjoy a relaxing day with your family. Have lunch, then sit on the long chairs overlooking the beautiful patchwork of the valley for a quick sunbathing session. Time passed so quickly, until we realized we had to go back to Beirut before sunset.