Harper's Bazaar Arabia

Harper's Bazaar Arabia
Published on October 10, 2022 Autumn Issue, Harper's Bazaar Arabia
CHÂTEAU CHIC, Lebanese tea salon, The Blue House, offers a fairytale escape that revives old familial gatherings
Tucked away in the bustle of Beirut’s Gemmayzeh area sits an old pastel blue house with an enchanting garden, overgrown with jasmine vines and pink bougainvillea trees. The Blue House tea salon – recently repaired from the Beirut port blast – is a hidden haven down an inconspicuous alleyway, serving afternoon tea, specialty tea blends made with local ingredients and, more recently, hosting delightful brunches and intimate wedding parties. Its new brunch service includes delicious bites like in-house baked croissants filled with bitter almond cream and topped with fresh raspberries, avocado and salmon toast poached eggs and burgers with baked apples and onion chutney. The newly launched bubble tea range comes in mango, local mulberry and matcha latte. Founded by entrepreneur, brand designer and self-taught cook Badeeh Abla, every detail of The Blue House – from the menu to the table arrangements – has been designed by Badeeh. Curated boxes, filled with selected teas, snacks, teapots, cups and other luxury tea essentials are put out frequently.
“The brand is all about elegance, sentimentality, and nostalgia,” says Badeeh. “We recently launched the Beirut Collection, where we create the design on the teapot and the curated box exclusively features our own products. We did a competition that allowed people to choose the shape of the teapot – the classic shapes are known and they are often based on the English teaware.” With Lebanon’s economic hardships, Badeeh has started hosting weddings and parties, styling the decorations in what he calls ‘château chic’ – a blend of dripping candles in candelabras, soft pastel colours and overflowing flower arrangements. The specialty tea range has also expanded, featuring blends like Beirut Rose – containing four types of Lebanese rose and hibiscus – and Mount Lebanon, made with white myrtle leaf. “I was doing these table settings for my private dinners and then it became a style: very classic, mixed with something more intimate, giving a look of effortless charm,” he shares. “I love having this enchanted look and I was inspired by Italian villa weddings, mixed with a bit of Greek boho-chic.” Paying homage to the tea traditions of our ancestors amidst a dreamy setting, this revived space is truly one of Beirut’s best-kept secrets.

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