Spinneys Online Delivery Service

A few weeks ago, Mums in Beirut received a gift voucher by Spinneys Lebanon to try out their online shopping experience. Having lived in London and Canada before, online shopping is my field of expertise. As a busy working Mum, online shopping saves me a lot of time and especially in Beirut saves me the hassle of being stuck in hot traffic with my monkeys.

For those who follow @mumsinbeirut on Snapchat and Instagram  would have seen a short preview of the registering and ordering process on www.spinneyslebanon.com website. We covered it live.

 

Here is Mums in Beirut honest review with my top tips, advantages and disadvantages of using an online service in Lebanon. With fruits and vegetables, I am the kind of person who likes to touch, smell and examine the quality of what I am buying. So my online shopping is mostly based on food items and essentials products for my home and family which can be found on the shelves.

 

Advantage of Spinneys online shopping:

  • It was a very punctual delivery service. I placed the order on a Monday afternoon and had my order delivered the next day between 9am-12pm.
  • It helped me save time being stuck in traffic
  • It helps you in time management when you are limited with time and need to get other things done.
  • Online registration was easy to do, by following the step by steps guide online
  • Customer service called me before delivery as some items in my basket were not available and they quickly acted upon it by giving me to choose alternatives.
  • The bags with the delivery, came labelled with “freezer” for chilled items which made it easy to sort out and store.

 

Disadvantages of Spinneys online shopping:

  • The online shopping experience itself is slow. I blame this on the Internet connection we have in Lebanon as a whole.
  • A lot of categories in the online shopping need updating, for example you do not find all kinds of brands of tissue paper online as you would in store
  • The website needs a bit of an update on a daily basis with products being added on a regular basis.
  • Most branded food that you find online are a Spinneys brand, I found this when checking for Quinoa only 2 items showed up which were Spinneys brand only. I know that Spinneys has a selection of Quinoa bags but this was not found online.
  • The search button is not very precise when you are looking up for specific items
  • I am a very eco-friendly person, so wished the delivery came in boxes and freezable bags instead of the yellow plastic bags which go to waste.

 

 

Thank you Spinneys Lebanon for this great experience that I highly recommend for busy Mums in Beirut.

 

*Honest Review by Mums in Beirut

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Gefinor Rotana Fisherman’s catch

A few weeks ago, Mums in Beirut had the pleasure of being invited to Gefinor Rotana  for their “Fisherman’s catch night”intheir beautiful Olive Garden. What better way to enjoy a night out than with another mummy friend?  Sarah is a member of Mums in Beirut community, a mother of two and a food lover @savourysarah (on Insta). Make sure you follow her food adventure around Beirut and beyond. Here is what she has to share with you about our fun and indulging night out.
 
 
This seafood night takes place every Thursday evening at the olive garden and terrace. We were greeted by friendly staff who escorted us to our table. We noticed that there is also an outdoor seating area in their refreshing outdoor terrace. The restaurant was buzzy with lots of people enjoying a good night out. The buffet to the left of the restaurant included a big variety of hot and cold starters along with a combination of a salad bar and an international salad selection like Hawaiian shrimp, Mixed Asian seafood, Russian crab salad and much more. We loved the their live international duo band playing in the background. As for the main courses, the buffet offered an extensive selection that included Cannelloni Seafood, Calamari with Broccoli, Seafood Paella along with varieties of pasta and rice dishes to accompany the main courses in order to satisfy everyone’s seafood cravings.  At all time the “Sous-chef” made sure that the buffet was re-fuelled to meet the demands of the diners.  As a starter, I picked everything that I felt was exotic and new to my eyes. I especially loved the pasta salad with mussels; the freshness and juiciness of the mussels gave the pasta a signature sauce. The smoked salmon plate, broiled shrimps-on-ice, Tuna /apple salad, Tajine all loaded with omega 3’s where fresh and generously prepared to perfection. Moving on to the  main dishes I tried the shrimp Toscana (Italian),shrimp vegetable lasagna (white sauce), shrimp saffron rice, fish fajita (Mexican-inspired), calamari sweet and sour (Asian fusion)  and last but not least  Dina loved the grilled jumbo shrimps and one of her favourite traditional Lebanese fish and rice dish dishes (Sayadiyet samak). We hardly had anymore space for the tasty dessert buffet. There was a selection of French pastries, tarts, cakes and Arabic sweets.
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Here is my honest review for Mums in Beirut and thankful for inviting me to come along and experience a lovely
Fisherman’s Catch Night at Gefinor Rotana. My favourite dish of the night must be the fish fajita  which was marinated in a spicy fajita sauce for a rich hearty tantalising favor; the ratio between the fish and spice was impeccable; not too spicy to cover up the fish taste and not under-seasoned. However, the calamari sweet and sour was not up-to my expectations, it was plain-tasting and under seasoned; considering  that this is an Asian-inspired dish that should be full of explosive tastes. The “Sayadiyet samak” was a bit too salty for my taste, but I know Dina liked it. Also on the main dish area you are served fresh, deep-fried fish continuously (talking about Lebanese generosity), shrimp spring roll that is crispy from the outside and juicy from the inside. On a sweeter note, the dessert section was half empty by the time I got there but thanks to the “Sous-chef” he provided us with mini-version of the cheesecake I was craving at the beginning of the night.
The wide selection, freshness, generosity and flavourful taste of this banquet will keep me coming back for more.

Family Day Out at Arnaoon Village with Mums in Beirut

 

If you are looking for a family day out, surrounded by greenery and fresh oxygen then Arnaoon Village is the place to go for “The Serene and Simple Life”. We booked in advance for our Sunday Funday with the family and were looking forwards to it. Reservation is a must.

Our booking was confirmed in advance and we were told to get there early to make the most of our day. As we arrived, we were greeted by friendly staff who handed us an Arnaoon Village Activities booklet so we knew what sort of activities were there and appropriate for which age group. We had already done our research via our friend Google and their website had all the information we needed.

First stop, breakfast. There were live stations with fresh fruits, coffee, warm manakish, pancakes…

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After we all had a bit for breakfast, while walking around in this beautiful setting, the kids were eager to get on some of the rides. Below you will find a list of what is available and suitable by age groups. All the activities are included in the price you pay per adult $50 and child $25 on weekends, (except where indicated).

 

The Zipline

This activity is a must for all adventurous and adrenaline lovers. The village Zip-line is a 220 meters zip-line overlooking the village This is suitable for children under 12 as long as they are accompanied by an instructor or adult. The Valley Zip-Line, is 2 Zip lanes are 130 meters each overlooking breathtaking greenery of the valley and suitable for over 13 years an above.

Jsour El Hawa

These high ropes courses are designed for users between 13 years and above, but be warned this is not for the weak. You wear safety harness and helmets at all times and there are always designated instructors on board to help you if needed. This course includes 10 courses of Adventure Games. After around 3 courses, if you are unable to continue there is a way to exist via stairs.

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Ghabet Shamshoum Park

This is great for kids aged between 7-12 years old with swings, low ropes, climbing wall and a spider web just to name a few

Khafouri Park

This is suitable for younger ones aged 2-6 years old and includes mini football court, basketball court, swings, tricycle as well as climbing wall.

Climbing and Rappelling Wall

Designed for used aged between 13 years +, the wall includes different levels of climbing and rappelling under the supervision of trained instructors. You will always be provided with the helmet and harness for health and safety use.

The Farm

This is suitable for all ages. The Farm has animals including peacocks, sheep, geese, ducks, pigeons, rabbits, monkeys, chicken, birds, donkeys, horses, dogs and turtles.

 

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Go Kart Track

This is suitable for families and kids aged 6 years and above. Lots of fun in this wheel karting car with pedals. Various sizes available including a 4 seater and single seaters as well. There is a designated tracking area for this.

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Swimming Pool

In the summer heat, all that you want to do is cool down in the pool. The pool is suitable for kids aged between 4-12 years old. Please bring your swimwear, and towels with you. Girls must also have a swimming cap for their hair. The swimming pool includes 4 toboggans for lots of splashing fun. Showers, restrooms and lockers are also available on site.

Arts and Crafts

There was a shaded corner available for kids to do bits of arts and crafts. This was priced at 5,000L.L. each. This activity was great to keep little minds creative and occupied.


Children Entertainment

These came in just after lunch, including lots of characters, music and dancing which kept big and little ones entertained. Everyone was dancing away.


Train and Bus Rides

Go on a ride around Arnaoon’s extended natural landscape and beautiful village. Best to do this in the afternoon, as it was very hot in the morning.

Buffet Lunch

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What can I say about the lunch, there was everything you can think of. All drinks were also included in the price. The Lebanese and International open buffet, is an exceptionally popular tradition that brings together friends and families from all over the country to savour delicious dishes in a relaxing atmosphere. Sun and open green spaces make this the ideal road trip or family outing destination for people of all ages to enjoy and get together. At the end of the day, the music did get a big too loud, but everyone was up having fun and dancing. There was even a foam party for little and big ones alike.

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Make sure you watch our video of Mums in Beirut day trip. We invite you to subscribe so you are always in the loop with the local scoop.



 

 

A day out at the Village, is a must for a family fun day experience with lots of adventure!

 

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A family Staycation at Phoenicia Beirut

Discover for yourself what 24 hours of fun at Phoenicia is all about. Mums in Beirut was honoured to be invited a few weeks ago for a family staycation at the prestigious Phoenicia Beirut. Who needs to travel when you can find quality family fun right here in Beirut? Best of all your kids stay and eat for Free!

A new animated, interactive section of the Phoenicia website featuring cartoon characters specially created for the ‘Find Your Family Fun’ promotion can be explored to discover more about the special packages, services and amenities for families. To ‘Find Your Family Fun’, check out their website for more information.
It was a beautiful sunny day in Beirut. We were all packed and everyone was looking forwards for a weekend gate away, and some family fun.  This came in perfect timing as it was also my birthday month, so an extra treat for me.
 
Upon arrival we were greeted by the friendly staff who took our car for valet, another staff member helped with our hand luggage and belongings. As we walked into the reception, I was mesmerised by the beautiful stairs and chandelier. The kids were very excited to check in so we could quickly go swimming.  Walking towards the lobby, I absolutely loved the arrangement of flowers and the attention to details, the colours and smell were lovely. As we got to the lobby, the receptionist at the front desk welcomed us for our check in. We were seated in the lobby area near the fountain and were offered with welcome drinks. This was much needed in the heat.
The kids got a lovely surprise as well. They receiving a warm welcome from a special Kids Concierge which handed them a fun filled gift bag including toys, vouchers and gadgets.  
We were guided by a staff member to our suite while concierge was brining up our hand luggage. The Pheonician Suite was very spacious and perfect for our little family; it comprised a luxurious living room, ensuite bedroom with king size bed, two bathrooms and a balcony view overlooking the Mediterranean sea and the outdoor swimming pool.
 In the living room, we were spoiled for choice, fresh macaron (my favourite), fruits, popcorn, sweets and biscuits. There was also an assortment of teas and coffee for Mummy and Daddy to enjoy. I really liked going through the Phoenicia hardback book which includes a bit of history on this prestigious hotel as well as vintage pictures of before and after transformation of the hotel and all celebrities that have visited in the past.
 For our first day, we spend the afternoon by the swimming pool and had lunch at Amethyse pool bar and lounge.
We chilled by the pool while the kids enjoyed relaxing time on the bed swings. It was great to learn that Phoenicia Beirut also have a kids club, the Phoenicia Planet Trekkers where the kids then got to enjoy a bit of playtime.
The kids club offers activities, including board games, arts and crafts, playstation, and interactive puppet shows. The staff there were very friendly and the inside play area was kept very tidy and clean. We were asked to remove our shoes before entering and to leave our phone numbers behind in case they needed to contact us in case of emergency.
We loved seeing this little note at the entrance which made us giggle.

From Mums in Beirut on Snapchat

 

Mummy and Daddy had one hour of kids free time and time for some ice cream by the pool (but don’t tell the kids!).

From our Instagram account @mumsinbeirut

It was then time for Mummy’s pampering time at the Phoenicia Spa. I opted for a one hour therapeutic deep tissue body massage. This is “designed to target specific areas deep within the muscle tissues”. I was in for a treat and maybe even a little nap. Needless to say, my massage experience was energising and relaxing, something I can highly recommend to any mother who wants a bit of pampering and me-time.
We all headed to the room to shower before it was time for dinner.  We had a knock on our door, the kids were in for another surprise; it was the kids trolley passing by filled with books and games to choose from. The kids were so happy and both chose a board game to play which was an instant guarantee that created smiles all around.
 
Dinner was at Mosaic for Lebanese night which takes place every Saturday night. The kids were already very tiered, so dinner was very quick. There was a range of Lebanese hot food, mezza, grills and fresh salads and even live stations and a fortune teller as well. As soon as we were done, a belly dancer arrived dancing to Lebanese and Arabic music. The music was nice but too loud for the kids, so we ended up leaving to our room for an early night in. The first day ended nicely and we were looking forwards for the next morning.
I must admit, that Phoenicia Beirut services and amenities are perfectly tailored to keeping young ones, teenagers and parents happy. Throughout the stay at the Phoenicia the Kids Concierge were on hand to assist us in anything we needed including booking family-friendly activities and restaurants. The Kids Concierge is just one of a range of initiatives specially designed to ensure family stays are filled with exceptional memories. We were looking forwards for our second day at Pheonicia Beirut.
 
The next day, we called the Kids Concierge to ask them to reserve us a big bed by the pool in the shade. As always, the staff were friendly and welcoming. We had a light breakfast in Mosaic. The Sunday buffet breakfast included a variety of choices, that everyone liked. This included, croissant, fresh fruits, yogurts, kneffeh, Lebanese manakish and much more. As always, the kids were eager to hit the pool on our last day there. We spend it relaxing by the pool, enjoying good family time and fresh cocktails.
Nobody wanted to go home! Can you blame us? As it was a Sunday, we also noticed lots of families around us and the staff were always there hands on at our service. To cool down, we were offered complimentary water and cold towels as well.
Just before leaving, we had lunch at Cafe Mondo, showcasing the most authentic Italian cuisine including a diverse array of antipasti, hand-made pasta, open salad bar, daily specials and lavish signature desserts.
Watch our video for a glimpse of our summer staycation at Phoenicia Beirut.

Thank you Phoenicia Beirut for an unforgettable weekend and magical moments which we will capture forever.

Mums in Beirut Breakfast at Sydney’s Vendome

Mums in Beirut community was delighted to be invited to Syndey’s at Hotel Vendome in Beirut for a morning breakfast.

With a panoramic vista across the Mediterranean Sea, Beirut’s famous Corniche and the city’s skyline, Sydney’s offers a fantastic menu in charming surroundings that never close.

As you enter the warm hotel, leading you to the elevator to whisk you up to the top floor you can’t help but notice the British setting done by the famous architect and designer French interior of Pierre-Yves Rochon. The staff were very friendly and welcoming as they escorted us to our table with breathtaking and panoramic views of Beirut city. Sydney’s has remained one of the most fashionable entertaining destinations in Beirut since it opened in 1996. We gathered together as part of Mums in Beirut community to enjoy a delicious brunch and one of the best views of Beirut. Sydney’ s is celebrated for great food, drinks and wonderful cocktails. The restaurant’s decor is very luxurious and there are beautiful art pieces all around.  Anyone seeking sustenance with style can enjoy the 24-hour service, which includes lunch, dinner, breakfast, afternoon tea or just a professionally mixed cocktail at the bar. The restaurant’s decor is very luxurious and there are beautiful art pieces all around and the service was extremely welcoming and professional. We highly recommend this to enjoy this with friends and family.

The services includes:

  • International buffet breakfast or a la carte menu
  • International cuisine for lunch and dinner
  • English Style Afternoon Tea including sweet and savoury treats
  • Selection of rare cognacs
  • The largest range of Japanese and Scotch malt whiskies in Lebanon

 

Check out our review by the Mums who attended from our community, and video below.

Yumna, Mum of three:
“Sydneys has always been the perfect location for me to have a good meal and enjoy a wonderful sea view.I had the chance to try it a while ago over breakfast and I loved the food as well as the atmosphere. The service was excellent and the buffet was appetizing, I will be coming back soon for sure”.

Nour, Mum of two:
“The restaurant is one of the beautiful spots in Beirut with its marvellous panoramic sea view. The Restaurant decor is very luxurious with its art pieces. The service was welcoming and very professional.The food/brunch buffet was good, fresh and it had variety of choices. I recommend it for special occasions, or business lunch/dinner”.
Zena, Mum of one:
“The buffet at Sydney’s was a most enjoyable experience. The view alone made us feel we were floating within the serene sea while indulging in a wide selection of delicious brunch items. The juices, fresh fruit, cold cuts along with Traditional Lebanese dishes made for a very fulfilling and unique meal”.
Dawsar, Mum of three:
“It was a delicious breakfast with an enjoyable scenery of the waterfront. The service was fantastic. Will hope to come again real soon”.
Joelle, Mum of two:
“Great location, nice venue, lovely staff and great service. The buffet offers a nice variety of sweet and savoury bites, hot and cold choices, a well as western and arabic options ranging from cereals to sahlab. This can also be topped up choice of eggs a la carte. The restaurant offers a quiet and relaxing atmosphere with great view on the sea. However it is not very kids friendly”

 

 

Sydney’s offers mesmerising views overlooking the Mediterranean with its a 24h restaurant and bar that lives up to its promise “All yours, every hour and every day of the week”. We couldn’t agree more to that.