When you’ve got your fill of the ancient city and need some retail therapy then Tripoli has you covered. Head to the Khan El-Sabooun (www.facebook.com/khanalsaboun) – the soap caravanserai – where the legendary Bader Hassoun shop situated in the luxurious courtyard is well worth stopping off at to buy some traditional olive soap. If you want to see the soap being made stop by Khan Al-Maseiyeen nearby where you can watch Mahmoud Sharkass make the olive-y soap in the traditional method.
When you need a respite from the hustle and bustle head out of the souk a little way to Abdul Rahman Hallab and Sons (www.hallab.com.lb/). Since the late 1800 this family business has been serving up Arabic sweets, meat filled filo tarts and sweet Arabic coffee to patrons from all over the country. In a grand marble building it’s fun just to watch the smartly clad chocolatiers wrapping individual truffles in silver foil. Alternatively the terrace is cool under sail-like awnings offering a cool breeze.
By: James Haines-Young