Saturday saw me complete my 'get paid to eat out' mission with a trip up the Shouf Mountains to Mir Amin (near Beiteddine) - a renovated palace that used to be the residence of the last emirs of Lebanon. In terms of luxurious experience, it didn't match up to the previous four, seeing as we were not really greeted and had to wait for 10 minutes before anyone registered what I was there to do, and then got relegated to the Lebanese restaurant below the Oriental Terrace we were supposed to dine on. But nevertheless, good food, good company, and a lovely palace to wander around afterwards.
We may not have been treated like VIPs this time, but we sure ate like a king and queen worthy of a palace!
The traditional oud (long, long before the guitar) and something that sounded to me like me'bej when I asked him what the instrument was called. I tried it out, and it's rather heavy. You tap into the hollow with the stick for a deep sound and then tap against the top inside edge to get the metal clinking noise.
The main terrace courtyard where we should have dined.
Inside one of the suites (Mir Amin is now a five-star hotel) with its antique mosaic work.