Beirut is a city that means so much more than the sum of its wobbly parts. It’s a Mediterranean destination driven by adrenaline, optimism and the energy of a populace who embrace high jinks – and it fulfils its status as capital with an urban panache that’s unmistakably Lebanese. Monocle lead you through a collage of cloud-scraping hotels, Ottoman-style palaces and golden age modernist apartments, and introduce you to small-scale fashion labels and smart shop-owners rethinking traditional handicrafts. Head to favoured tables, where you can feast on mezze and sip on a soothing glass of arak. The heady pull of this seaside capital is magnetic. So dive into the pace of life (and the Med while you’re at it) and discover all that this Middle Eastern beacon has to offer.