Mirleft Morocco: and a tale of New Years Eve

We left it all behind: Marrakesh and its hustle. The restaurants, the clubs, the bars. The fancy cocktails and sometimes fancy people. The beds with their down blankets and the trickling fountain with their roses.

We took only the necessary:  books, music, the odd change of clothes.

Hour after hour we drove until we arrived in Mirleft. One main street of bohemian cafes and lopsided hotels, and a beach vacant with the exception of surfers in wetsuits.

With our friends, we settled into a converted goat shed. {The goats were now next door.} Shade was provided by an argane tree.

Mirleft New Year 1

On floors covered in reed mats, we slept on mattresses piled high with handmade woolen blankets.  No microwave and no oven, only a  circa 1975 stereo and refrigerator.  

With the husbands and children sleeping in their beds, every morning we climbed a rickety wood ladder to the roof.  There we meditated, said affirmations, journaled and read.  We spent afternoons on the beach bundled up in scarves, reading memoirs of religious leaders and Patty Smith (but not the two together).  

We dressed like gypsies. We drank bottles of good Moroccan red wine to keep warm.

Mirleft New Year 4

And so it was that far from the Red City's lights that we celebrated New Year's Eve.

Fishermen in small blue boats caught our dinner.

Mirleft New Year 2

Mirleft New Year 6

We marinated tiny salmon filets as hor d'oevres.  We braised artchokes and fennel.

Mirleft New Year 3

The children set  a long wooden table with vintage china.  They made a centerpiece of rocks and shells collected from the beach, lit by lanterns made from old jam jars and painted tomato cans.

Mirleft New Year 5

We ate and ate and told bad French jokes.  Aftewards the boys smoked their Cuban cigars.

Mirleft New Year 7

DJ Delphine was in rare form with an all 1970s playlist.  There was dancing, really for hours.  

Mirleft New Year

At midnight we drank champagne and gave kisses .   


It was sort of perfect.

Here's hoping you had the happiest of New Years eves, whether spent in a goat shed, a yurt, a bar, or cozy in your own home.  Happy New Year, lovely people.


PS Excited to be starting off the New Year featured in the National!  Many thanks to writer Sarah Gilbert!