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! 

Mirleft Morocco: and a tale of dancing

It was a night like other nights but yet entirely different. Because they were in Mirleft. A place where the mountains meet the sea in Morocco.

It was twilight and she wore a dress. They sat in the kitchen at a big old table, the wood gleaming.

A glass of wine, a story or two. She laughed and laughed again.

That’s when he turned on the music. And asked his wife to dance.

French photographer Delphine Warin. Moroccan lighting designer Souhail Tazi. One evening in Mirleft.

Ain Sokhna, Egypt: and a tale of the alabaster sky

Just 2 hours from Cairo there's a haven, called Ain Sokhna.  A respite from Cairo's heat, noise, and pollution.  A place, most importantly, on the sea.

And so it was that  a colleague and I....

Or really, two colleagues and I.....

Well, actually 10 colleagues and I made our way there.  To Ain Sokhna.

We stayed in the Stella Di Mare Golf Hotel & Resort.

Mmmm...old world and pretty.


Oh, even the details were lovely.


But I envied him most of all.

Because he lived under a paneled real alabaster sky......

Find out more here about Stella Di Mare Golf Hotel & Resort in Ain Sokhna.


PS I leave for surf camp in Mirleft, Morocco tomorrow. Yes, tomorrow.  Follow my sandy adventures on Twitter right here.