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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Afternoon tea in the oldest house in Marrakech, and a Travelife to Morocco from April 18-26, 2015. And about checking out a rundown riad for sale.

Travelife Magazine readers and friends
stepping out to dinner tonight
in a simply beautiful riad in Marrakech.

I had a very interesting and enjoyable day today in Marrakech, living a Travelife.

First, I woke up late and skipped breakfast entirely.

At the Carita spa in Marrakech

Then I headed down to the hotel spa to get a Carita facial and a massage.

I'm a great fan of Carita from Paris, so I always try and get a facial treatment at a Carita spa when I find it somewhere in the world.

The nearest Carita spas where I live are in Hong Kong and in Tokyo.

More on this in a future blog entry.


The ladies at the Carita spa in Marrakech.
The Carita facial is just amazing.


AFTERNOON TEA IN THE OLDEST HOUSE
IN THE MEDINA OF MARRAKECH

In the afternoon, I went for afternoon tea with someone at a stylish cafe right in the heart of the souk of Marrakech, converted from the oldest house in the medina.

This stylish cafe was created
in the oldest house in Marrakech.


It was simple but gorgeous, and I so enjoyed sitting in the courtyard, talking about life in Morocco.



A RIAD FOR SALE

After enjoying some tea and climbing up to the roof for a view of Marrakech, we walked all across town through innumerable alleys to the Jewish quarter of the city, to see an old riad that's for sale.


This riad only has eight rooms and, frankly, the owner hasn't really maintained it in great style.

But it took my breath away because it has such great bones for a riad -- or for a private house, actually.

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April 18 - 26, 2015

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for more details.

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THIS COULD BE A RELAIS & CHATEAUX

The courtyard has a pool, and it's a perfect size for a jewel of a place.

In fact, it reminded me of the presidential suite of the Villa des Orangers, which is a luxury Relais & Chateaux property in Marrakech, where I stayed last June.

On holiday at the Villa des Orangers
in Marrakech, last June

And the rooftop reminded me of the rooftop of the villa I stayed at at the breathtakingly lovely Royal Mansour, which has been called one of the most beautiful hotels in the world.

Except the rooftop of this riad for sale needs major fixing up.

Our villa at the
exquisite Royal Mansour in Marrakech

AN EXQUISITE INNER COURTYARD

The piece de resistance of this riad that is for sale, however, is the inner courtyard, which is made entirely of wood.

It's decorated so ornately, and it has the most exquisite lamp in the centre.

But beautiful as it was, there were no clients around -- or so it seemed. And everything had an air of disuse about. This riad has definitely seen better days. 


The lobby of the Royal Mansour
in Marrakech

So when we went in, I had to ask the lady watching over the place to turn on the lights.

It was pitch dark, and we felt we'd just knocked on the door of someone's house and the owner was away.

Some of the lamps didn't even have bulbs in them.

Poolside dining for two
at the Villa des Orangers in Marrakech
last June, living a Travelife

A HODGE-PODGE OF STYLES,
BUT WITH LOTS OF PROMISE

To top it off, the decor is a mishmash of styles that don't fit. Eclectic is nice, but this one was just like a house full of old and new stuff lying around.

But while I was walking around it, all I could think of was how beautiful this would look with a bit more style and a change of interiors.

It could be a riad, a private house, or a villa for rent by the week or the month.

FULL OF POTENTIAL

The presidential villa of the
Villa des Orangers in Marrakech
was really a small jewel of a riad
within a riad

It could even be a beautiful Relais & Chateaux property, just like the Villa des Orangers in Marrakech, which is run so perfectly by a very nice Frenchman.

Or like the Relais & Chateaux hotel of the great French chef Michel Trama in the countryside of France.

Yes, this was what I was thinking about on our second-to-the-last day in Marrakech, living a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.


Comments on our Travelife to Morocco
November 2014

"Delicious is an understatement on this trip.
Everything is a feast for the senses."

"This trip has exceeded all my expectations."

"This hit all the right points."

"5 stars for the food."

"I'm so glad I joined this trip."

"I didn't know what to expect.
But now I love Morocco.
What a destination."



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Join the next Travelife to Morocco
April 18 - 26, 2015

Email travelife@travelife.biz
for more details.

------------------------------------------------

Friday, November 21, 2014

A little black dress from a Casablanca designer, on sale at the Four Seasons Marrakech





Good evening from exotic Marrakech, on an early autumn evening, living a Travelife.

I'm typing this out from the verandah of my suite with a view of the Koutubia in front of me, and I have all the windows open to let the cool breeze of the Atlas Mountains in.

Some of our Travelife Magazine readers and friends
at the Four Seasons Marrakech

I also have my music playing pretty loudly -- hope my neighbours don't mind.

I'm listening to "Back in Love" by Pauline Wilson and No One Else Like You by Adam Levine, as I type this out and take a short breather before dressing for dinner.

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Join the next Travelife to Morocco
April 18 - 26, 2015

Email travelife@travelife.biz
for more details.

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Don't ask me why. I just felt like hearing this suddenly, and it started playing in my head as I walked to my suite.

Scroll down to read more...



RETAIL THERAPY IN MARRAKECH

Today was shopping day in Marrakech. 

It was really enjoyable. In fact, this entire Morocco trip has been very nice, and I have to say I love Morocco even more this time around, for some reason.

Trying on a dress at the boutique of the
Four Seasons Marrakech

And just now, I passed by the boutique of the Four Seasons Marrakech to see a beautiful black dress that had been on sale there last June.

It was made by a famous fashion designer from Casablanca.

WHAT A GOOD MEMORY

Beautiful Moroccan bookmarks
at the Four Seasons Marrakech

That was five months ago, when I'd seen that dress at the boutique, on my stay at the Four Seasons Marrakech. That's quite awhile back, but would you believe the sales lady still remembered me trying on that dress?

I walked into the boutique today and said I'd seen a beautiful black cocktail dress there that I regret not buying it.

I loved this.
But I'm all shopped out at the moment.
Absolutely no space left.

MENTAL TELEPATHY

She knew exactly which dress I meant and in a minute she even showed me a photo on her phone.

She also said: "I remember you very well. You'd tried on that dress and it had been perfect on you."

Yes, I'd loved it and it had been perfect on me.

But I was with the Travel Companion on that trip, and when I tried it on and asked him for his opinion, he'd simply shrugged and said: "It looks like all your other dresses."

That certainly put a damper on a possible retail experience. That and the slightly hefty price tag.

MISSED YOU BY A FEW DAYS.
CALL IT FATE.


But today I wanted to buy it, maybe as a Christmas gift to myself. Unfortunately it had just been sold very recently.

This dress and I were just not meant to be. 

Some things are just fate, or not, even in a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.

"Comments on our Travelife to Morocco
November 2014

"Delicious is an understatement on this trip.
Everything is a feast for the senses."

"This trip has exceeded all my expectations."

"This hit all the right points."

"5 stars for the food."

"I'm so glad I joined this trip."

"I didn't know what to expect.
But now I love Morocco.
What a destination."

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A delicious lunch of oysters and lobster pasta at Le Cabestan in Casablanca


Today in beautiful Morocco, living a Travelife, we journeyed from the capital of Rabat to the red coloured city of Marrakech.

On the way, we stopped for lunch at Le Cabestan, which is right by the sea in Casablanca.

It's among the most fashionable restaurants in Casablanca and my great favorite. 

MEMORIES OF OUR MOROCCO HOLIDAY
LAST JUNE


Last June, on holiday for two weeks in Morocco with the Travel Companion, we also stopped at Le Cabestan for lunch, on our way to Marrakech from the old imperial capital of Fes.

It was love at first sight, as Le Cabestan has a casual chic vibe and it has a killer location right next to the Atlantic Ocean



STYLE CENTRAL

It also has an ultra-stylish clientele -- think guys in smart suits on weekdays and in GQ type casual wear on weekends, and beautiful women with their Birkins everyday -- and simple but nice interiors. 

The other draw here at Le Cabestan is the seafood, which is fresh and cooked to perfection.




LUNCH IN CASABLANCA,
DINNER IN MARRAKECH
LAST JUNE


Last June, we had oysters and all kinds of good things to eat

But we tried not to order too much as we had a big gastronomic dinner waiting for us at the Four Seasons Marrakech that same night.

However, today, I decided to throw all dietary concerns to the wind.

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OYSTERS TO START LUNCH

I ordered my usual oysters, which I love, and today the manager told me that these are oysters from the Atlantic, caught on the southern part of Morocco.

These were excellent, and I had these with two glasses of very good local white wine.



TORN BETWEEN TWO CHOICES

For a main course, I was torn between fish baked in sea salt or a lobster pasta.

Some of our Travelife Magazine readers and friends ordered the fish baked in salt, but I decided to finally order the lobster pasta that I remembered seeing all the locals eat last June.



REMEMBERING A LOBSTER PASTA

Last June, you see, we'd been surrounded by fashionable locals from the neighboring residential districts around the Corniche, and I swear everyone was eating this lobster pasta.

It took all my self-control not to order this pasta for that lunch since we weren't planning to eat a lot.



The Travel Companion had actually said to me, since he was taking me to lunch: "You can order one if you want."

This was after we'd already ordered a full lunch.

But I didn't do so since I was thinking of the big dinner we had already planned and booked that same night in Marrakech.

A SECOND CHANCE AT A LOBSTER PASTA



So today, given a most unexpected second chance at Le Cabestan in a matter of five months, I decided to finally order the lobster pasta.

It was absolutely delicious.

A TRULY UNIQUE DESSERT



Meanwhile, for dessert, our whole group had an absolutely scrumptious flambé dessert of cake, meringue and ice cream.

It was so good and none of us had ever had anything like it before.



This must have been a 5000-calorie dessert. It certainly tasted like that.

You know how things that are soooo good are usually not so good for you? Well, this felt like that.

But I ate every single bit of it and enjoyed it, on just another wonderful day in Morocco, living a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.

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Join the next Travelife to Morocco
April 18 - 26, 2015

Email travelife@travelife.biz
for more details.

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