BEIRUT BASED X PIP USHER

Pip Usher

Hometown: I’m a mutt. First there was a childhood in the woods of New England and then later years falling out of clubs in London. Plus my dad is Australian. My accent is fucked up.

Based in Beirut since: September, 2012

Day job: Editor at A magazine by day, yoga teacher by night

What brought you to Beirut: 1) I was restless; 2) My boyfriend landed a job here; 3) Why not?

Cure for homesickness: Nothing makes me happier than a huge pizza and a bottle of red wine at Margherita in Gemmayzeh. I’m not Italian, but I’ve got nostalgic associations with a favorite pizza spot in East London. Also, I like food comas from carb overload.

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Lebanon’s hidden gem: Eco Village in the Chouf Mountains. You get to sleep in a treehouse in the mountains and splash around in a river like wild children.

Where we’ll find you on a Saturday morning: Drinking a chai latte and trying to read as many magazines as possible at Papercup, a lovely little cafe and bookshop in Mar Mikhael.

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Where you’d be on a perfect evening: A perfect evening would start with a walk around the back streets of Achrafieh with my boyfriend and dog. Beirut is best at night – it quiets down. Then I’d invite friends over for takeaway on the roof terrace (Olio does nice pizza or Le Chef delivers solid Lebanese food) before grabbing a couple of cocktails at Kayan.

If you had one last meal, you’d make reservations at: Hotel Albergo, because it’s ludicrously expensive and I’ll probably never eat there otherwise.

If you found 100,000LL bill, you’d head straight to: Nok Yoga Shala for one of their Saturday afternoon yoga workshops. It’s a beautifully designed studio in Saifi Village. Afterwards, I’d pig out on a healthy brunch at Joanna’s Table.

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Where you’d go for a staycation: Orange House, squished next to the border with Israel, is Beirut’s best beach spot for utter relaxation. Bring your own food – once you get past the checkpoint, you can’t leave the guesthouse until the end of your holiday.

When you’re at home in England, you get a taste of Lebanon: by standing in the middle of the road and waiting for cars to honk at me.

Photos courtesy of Margherita, Papercup and Nok Yoga Shala

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