London by Way of Beirut: Souraya Chalhoub’s Guide to the City

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The “It” girl label isn’t easily acquired in a market saturated by selfie pros and self-promoters, but a growing social media following, a covetable accessories collection, and a penchant for playing dress-up mean that Souraya Chalhoub is well on her way to earning that title. Often decked out in signature braids, she is no wallflower. Although originally from Lebanon, Chalhoub grew up in Paris, and now calls London her home.

In our second installment of London guides through the eyes of Middle Eastern influencers, she introduces us to her version of the city. Click through the gallery to follow Chalhoub to two of her favorite spots, and read on for her recommendations.

Tell us about the locations you chose for your shoot.
One of my favorite moments of the week is when I walk to the Saatchi Gallery from my flat in Knightsbridge. It’s the perfect walk. I like to stop at a little café on Sloane Square and have a cappuccino. I sit on their terrace and enjoy the energy and chaos of the city. I then continue my walk down Kings Road, where the Saatchi Gallery is located. I love this gallery because of its positive vibes and edgy artists . I also have an affinity with the gallery as I recently worked on the “Tarbouche Project” there, which was my mother’s first solo exhibit in London.

How long have you been living in London?
I’ve been in London for three years now.

Where is your favorite place to shop in London?
My favorite places to shop here are Topshop on Oxford Street and Ad Hoc on Kings Road.

Where would we find you shopping in Dubai?
I really enjoy shopping in Bambah boutique. I have always had a soft spot for anything that is vintage or vintage inspired; it makes me feel like every item inspires a different adventure.

In your opinion, what is London’s best hidden gem?
Definitely the Cereal Killer Café in East London!

Do you have any rituals in London?
I always like to end my weekends with a drink and a cigar at the Arts Club on Sunday afternoons.

When you’re feeling homesick in London, where do you go?
I like to invite my close friends over for Shake Shack or Five Guys burgers – or both – and we then fight over which movie to watch on Apple TV.

How would you describe your style?
My style can be described in the same way I describe my personality: bipolar! Let’s just put it this way: you would either find me dressed as a Sicilian wife in mourning or as Game of Thrones‘ Khaleesi meets The Powerpuff Girls.

What is the best fashion advice you’ve ever received?
“Walk like you have three men walking behind you.” – Oscar de la Renta

And the best fashion advice you’d ever dish out?
Always be the best version of yourself and no one will ever be able to claim they are better than you.

Can we expect you in Dubai any time soon?
I hope to visit Dubai again some time in May to soak up the sun before the extreme heat kicks in.

6 OPEN GALLERY
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