Marrakesh: and a tale of Zid Zid designer Julie Klear's birthday

It was a special day, a surprise birthday party kind of day.  So I wore some jeweled sandals and headed over to Delphine Warin & Souhail Tazi's Marrakesh house.

1 toes

(Delphine and Souhail's house is filled with cozy treasures.)

1 books in Delphine Warin's house

We were all waiting for birthday girl Julie Klear to arrive so we could jump out and shriek Happy Birthday!  (Ahem, that's exactly what we did).

Julie was so surprised.  She recovered in the garden with her husband Moulay and with a sugar rimmed hibiscus flower cocktail that we brought from Peacock Pavilions.  

1 Julie Klear and Moulay

Souhail had made a warming birthday meal and we tucked in on the terrace!  (From the left, French lighting designer Laurence Landon, Me, Lise of Palm Pilates, and Julie.)

1 Julie Klear & Maryam Montague
And of course there was birthday cake that husband Moulay had snuck in.

1 Julie Klear's birthday cake
Served on the perfect plates!

  1 Julie Klear's cake

It began to grow chilly and more layers were added.  Some in the group got creative, for example, with this live puppy hat.

1 live puppy hat
 The party moved inside and there was some raucous birthday drinking and dancing! 

Happy Birthday Julie Klear
Julie, you're a girl who always has a star shining overhead, no matter where you are!

Julie Klear

Marrakech and Peacock Pavilions: a tale of Moroccan interior design for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving at Peacock Pavilions
Ah Thanksgiving.  Perhaps the very best of the American holidays.  No television pitches, no Hallmark greeting cards, no gifts.  Just family, friends, and good food.  And being thankful of course (Why can't we do this more often?)

We always celebrate Thanksgiving, even though we live in Morocco.  This year, we had a group of 20 friends, guests, and friends of friends together in the Peacock Pavilions dining tent.  

When we sat down at the table we all said in turn what we were thankful for.  Thanks ranged widely -- from being alive, to our parents, to friends who felt like family, to blessings for the countries where we were born, to living in a place of peace, to our very first full year open at Peacock Pavilions (ahem yes, that last one was mine).    There were a few tears of the good variety.  

As befitting such a nice occasion to be thankful, I tried to make it all look a little special.  

There was simple food.  And somehow it was beautiful all on its own.

My Marrakesh blog vegetables photo
And I brought out all my pottery platters from Tamgroute Morocco.  Such a lovely green.

My Marrakesh blog Moroccan pottery photo

There were olive branches on the table and porcelain pods that Caroline Douglas made for Peacock Pavilions.

My Marrakesh blog table decor
We stenciled placemats on kraft paper, using stencils from Royal Design Studio.  This is a trick we learned from former lovely intern Sarah Winward.  I had our dinner napkins at Peacock Pavilions embroidered with peacock feathers.

My Marrakesh napkin in the Peacock Pavilion tent

The children's table had unbreakable copper goblets that I bought in India and glimmery chargers that I commissioned for Peacock Pavilions.  Salt and peper was loaded up in porcelain leaves that Caroline Douglas made for me.

My Marrakesh decorating
Our olive trees were heavy with olives which made me think that even the pilgrims would have been pleased.  I hung them from our raffia lanterns so it would feel like we were dining under an olive canopy.

My Marrakesh blog tent decoration
And it all looked something like this.

Peacock Pavilions Moroccan tent decor
My Marrakesh blog Thanksgiving table setting in the tent

Happy Thanksgiving whether you are in America or anywhere else.  In a world filled with uncertainty, we -- you and me -- are the lucky ones.

Marrakech boutique hotel: a tale of Moroccan decorating at Peacock Pavilions

I'm an accidental stylist.  A curator of odd and curious things from odd and curious places.  I've amassed them, I've grouped them, I've arranged them. None of them "goes with" anything else and yet, they're all together somehow.  I like surprising combinations.

Here's more of Peacock Pavilions, our quirky boutique hotel in Marrakech.  I hope you like it. I made it up as I went along, and we built it from scratch with love:-)

  Medina Pavilion salon
Enormous horseshoe Moroccan door (This shape is thought to have protective powers.), vintage molded plastic chair from Morocco's hippie days, Egyptian pin prick lanterns, vintage Australian tram roll, patchwork flatweave carpet with bits from Turkey and Iran. Salon, Atlas Pavilion.

Room of the Golden Gazelles Peacock Pavilions
Rabat embroidery Moroccan pillows, wall designed to spec by Melanie Royals and the Peacock Painters, vintage Yemeni nomadic lanterns.

Peacock Pavilions 37
Antique Moroccan handpainted muqarna with original gold leaf, vintage Persian tassels, chair from the Paris flea market. Medina Pavilion dining room.

Peacock Pavilions
Outdoor alcove entry to guestroom, covered in bougainvillea.

Peacock Pavilions medina salon Red vintage Persian carpet, old French Arab poster, vintage red Moroccan burnoose from the Atlas Mountains, handcarved old Moroccan coffee table, Moroccan stenciled fireplace, old amazonite Moroccan bowl from Tamgroute, assemblage vintage chandelier hanging from the dome, old Peacock cigarette sign found on ebay. Salon in Medina Pavilion.

Perhaps come and see for yourself?  Learn more right here.

Images by fab Peacock Pavilions intern, Katie O'Shaughnessy

Marrakech: and a tale of Geraldine's chic Moroccan picnic

Oh they were French.  But of course.  And so the invitation for a Moroccan pique-nique chic made perfect sense.  (The French do that sort of thing -- an ordinary old picnic simply won't do.) 

And so it was that we packed ourselves into the car and up up we went to the lake outside of Marrakech.  It was hot, oh very hot, but a cool breeze made it's way through the trees.  

And when we arrived....... a sea of Moroccan carpets greeted us, along with a vintage trunk filled to the brim with straw hats.   A hat for each  -- so thoughtful.

G2 trunk

We set our baskets down and aimed to stay for a good long while. 

G7 basket

Drinks were served from a bar covered with Moroccan tumblers.  Pretty, so pretty.

G1 wine

Soon there were platters of freshly prepared Moroccan good-ness.  We took our earthenware plates.....

G3 plates
and it was heaping after heaping.

G4 food
As for the Moroccan picnic ambiance.........?  Ooh-la-la, Geraldine outdid herself.......!

Did I mention dessert?   Fruit slices and macarons, bien sur. 

G5 desert
Followed by lounging

G11 lounging
and the climbing of branches.....

G10 tree
One last macaron..........

G8 Julie holding little boy
And all then all the hats went back into the trunk........

G9 hats
On the drive back home we secretly wondered when we might next receive an invitation for a Moroccan pique-nique chic.......Perhaps you'd like to have one?  Please let it be soon..........

PS I've left for Mali on assignment.  See you there:-)