BEIRUT: A Mother’s Day spent singing classics at a rooftop joint or a simple bouquet of locally grown daisies – opportunities abound in the coming week to pamper and spoil your mom.
Give mom a day off with one of the dozen or so spa specials geared toward mothers this time of year – a few even let you join in on the relaxation. Or you could do good by your mother and the community by partaking in one of the season’s benefit brunches. If none of those sound right then you could simply splurge on a sweet momento.
If mom follows the old adage that a picture’s worth a thousand words, then forego the card this year and give her one of Lollipopart’s canvas-printed portraits. Lollipopart’s range of printing options offers a way to transform a favorite family photo into a work of art.
The company’s one-a-kind printer – literally the only such high-resolution Giclee printer in the country – can transfer a picture onto stretched canvas, ready to hang as a swanky faux-painting.
Lollipopart also announced special artwork themed for Mother’s Day, though the graphic design team is still in the creative process, says one of the group’s representatives. Prices, services and their stock of artwork are available online at lollipopart.me.
Families can put their group portraits to more lucrative use at Beirut Souks, which is hosting a Mother’s Day family photo competition this week. The Jewelry Souks will house a photography station, where families can take professional portraits, and if they so choose, enter their picture in a showdown for the cutest family photo.
So break out the matching sweaters and chubby babies because the winner will take home prizes from the various souk vendors. The competition runs until Thursday and is open daily from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
And if you’re already among the city’s elite jewelers, then you might as well have a look around – surely that is the photo station’s ulterior motive.
At Or La Loi, designer Nayla Saab has a range of high-end items from playful, customized gold bracelets to wrist cuffs in geometric patterns and elegant earrings made from precious metals and stones.
The boutique offers a whole line of personalized jewelry items, and a sales assistant at Or La Loi recommends the gold name bracelets, which clients can customize to say whatever they’d like.
The shop also offers a line of children’s jewelry – mainly bracelets with simple charms. They are just sophisticated enough for mom, were a thoughtful husband to get his special girls matching jewelry this holiday.
A few brisk steps away, a souk of a different kind has put out flower bouquets just in time.
Souk el-Tayeb, a hodgepodge of farmers and small-scale producers from around the country, offers seasonal foods, vegetables, preserves, breads and, as of last week, the first of the spring flowers.
From their gardens and neighboring fields, farmers are selling a range of wild and cultivated offerings: bundles of soft purple lilacs, pots of wild white daisies, tiny baby’s breath and random other pickings.
Jihane Chahla, quality assurance manager at Souk el-Tayeb and a mother herself, suggests the delicate, brightly colored capucines – also called nasturtium flowers – the leaves of which mom can stuff with rice and serve for dinner.
“The petals can be used in tabbouleh, and the leaves are stuffed with rice, like the vine leaves,” she says.
Souk el-Tayeb’s sister outlet Tawlet offers another option for mom: a day out in the idyllic quiet of the Western Bekaa Valley. Tawlet restaurant’s venue in Ammiq offers an escape into the country’s sprawling wetlands for a lunch based on local Bekaa Valley fare.
After a winter-long renovation, the restaurant will reopen March 23, in time for a weekend celebration of Mother’s Day.
Closer to home, hotels and NGOs are serving up a range of brunches, lunches and dinners themed around Mother’s Day.
Ayadina Association, an NGO helping underprivileged children and senior citizens in the Beirut suburb of Nabaa, will host a Mother’s Day fundraiser lunch from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Abed al-Wahab restaurant. Proceeds from the event will go Ayadina’s programs, such as art, dance and sports for children as well as excursions and weekly meals and social gatherings for seniors.
Plates are LL100,000 each and will stick to Lebanese food. “We’re keeping it traditional this time around,” said Paula Jahn, assistant operations manager.
The Movenpick Hotel is also hosting a benefit brunch for Mother’s Day Friday at 11 a.m. Throw on your favorite pink sundress and join the Lebanese Breast Cancer Foundation for a late-morning meal, the proceeds of which will go to current breast cancer patients. The meal costs LL75,000 per head.
If quiet lunches aren’t your thing, then maybe a little rowdy late-night karaoke will hit the spot. Eau De Vie, the restaurant atop the Phoenicia Hotel, will host a Mother’s Day karaoke night with local signer Asmra each night from Wednesday until March 24.
The Radisson Blu Martinez Hotel is offering one of the more generous Mother’s Day packages. Book a table for lunch Saturday and mom gets a free massage voucher. Lunch for two costs $80, including open wine.
The slew of swanky hotel spas are offering their regular holiday specials. PureGray spa at Le Gray hotel is offering a joint retreat package for you and mom for the whole month of May. The Dream Retreat package, for $270, includes an aromatherapy message and express facial.
Similar Mother’s Day spa gifts are available at the Phoenicia, Movenpick, Four Seasons and G Spa.