Monday, 21 April 2014

time in tangiers . . .

a walk through Tangiers  with Julie  Klear of Zid Zid kids.

 photograph by: Baptiste de Ville d’Avay, for Brownbook Magazine. 

"I wake up to winds blowing in from the nearby Strait of Gibraltar, black birds + finches singing, and sleepy children to awaken.

 After a 3km hilly walk to school and back, my sunlit studio awaits and I paint + draw for 30 minutes (my yoga practice!).

My day continues with a hilltop stop in the Zid Zid atelier where our team works away on one-of-a-kind-tunics, charming camels, poofs and more for faithful clients both home and abroad.

And after a homemade lunch of fresh fish + Moroccan salads with my business partner/husband, I tackle to do’s on other various projects; from our work with Fondation Zakoura, to our kids club design for Selman Hotel and content development on our latest project Petit Zarafa™, our hands on playful language learning method for little ones.

The light shifts again and our kids return from school with goutez in hand from the local bakery. We all pause for fresh air by heading to our neighboring stadium for stretching and running.

And after a good run and a busy evening of homework, dinner and the day’s endings, night falls quietly onto Tangier. I happily curl up with a Hemingway or Bowles classic gratefully borrowed from the American School of Tangier Library while night owls hoot in our backyard pine trees and the waves of the Strait keep their rhythm." 

to find out a little more about Julie and Moulay's new project - Petit Zarafa click on the link below

{but, even more exciting . . .  once they have reached 35%  of their fundraising goal, Moulay has promised us all a traditional moroccan dance - so keep an eye on their facebook page as well!}

Monday, 7 April 2014

and the winner is . . .

et le gagnant est . . .

thanks to everyone who commented, shared, and liked
L'Art du Bain

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

wash away the blues

with the beautiful soaps made by L'art du Bain.

I was first attracted to L'art du Bain  because of their beautiful packaging and images, and since then have become a fan of the product as well.

Beautiful soaps, as far as I am concerned, fall into the same category as flowers and candles:
  life's little {affordable} luxuries that can soften the edges after a long day.
And these products and their makers tick all the right boxes
along with a passion for design,
 integrity of  production

I asked Elsa Maanaoui, one of the founders of the company a few questions  - make sure you read
 right till the end
otherwise you won't know how to put yourself in the running for the


of an L'art du Bain giftbox!

oh  - and by the way , not only is this my first giveaway,
but it is also my first bi-lingual blog attempt
 so please be forgiving as you read!

Q1: Tell us a little about yourself and who is involved in L'art du Bain?

Je m'appelle Elsa, j'ai 33 ans, j'ai passé mes 5 première
s années à Rabat avant de rentrer en France mais le Maroc n'a jamais quitté mon coeur et je suis revenue vivre à Marrakech lorsque que j'ai rencontré Youssef mon mari. Nous travaillons ensemble  lui à la vente et à la sérigraphie des packaging, moi à la savonnerie avec sa soeur ,Myriam. Ma cousine Elodie vient de rejoindre l'équipe en s'occupant de notre site en France :

My name is Elsa and I’m 33 years old – I lived in Rabat for 5 years before returning to France, but Morocco never left my heart and I returned to live in Marrakech when I met Youssef, my husband. We work together now, with Youssef focusing on the sales and the design and printing of the packaging,  while I, along with Youssefs sister Miriam, work on the soap and production. My cousin Elodie has joined the team now and takes care of our website in France :

Q2: What made you decide to create artisanale soap in Marrakech?

Quand nous nous sommes mariés, je finissais mes études en France, Youssef m'a rejoint une année mais nous savions que notre avenir serait au Maroc. Nous voulions un projet nouveau et qui nous permettrait d'être créatif. Nous avons choisi la savonnerie presque par hasard, mais comme si c'était un signe du destin dès que l'idée fut trouvée nous avons  tout de suite trouvé un savonnier qui a accepté de nous former. Nous sommes parti pour le Maroc l'été suivant, nous avons mis toutes nos affaires et notre chat dans notre voiture,  l'aventure a commencé, avec presque rien!

When we got married I was finishing my studies in France, and Youssef joined me there for a year, but we knew that our future would be in morocco. We wanted to start a new project, one that would allow us to be creative – we decided on soap almost by accident, but it felt right, like destiny, because once we had the idea we immediately found a soapmaker (savonnier) who agreed to train us.

yes . .  . this is soap!!

Q3:I love your packaging and design - it is what drew me to your product. 
Can you tell us a little about the inspiration behind it.

Youssef  a eu il y a quelques année un coup de foudre pour la sérigraphie , il a monté un petit atelier artisanal. Nous avons décidé de nous servir de ce savoir faire pour la savonnerie, et l'idée des zelliges nous ai venu en Espagne, en visitant la Mezquita de Cordoue, car c'est l'un des symboles du monde arabe d'hier et d'aujourd'hui, le graphisme est très actuel bien que les dessins que nous avons choisi datent pour certains de plus de 500 ans!

Youssef  has always been passionate about screen printing and so he set up a small artisanale workshop. We decided to use this knowledge for the soap  making project along with the inspiration and idea of the zelliges that we drew from visiting the Mezquita in Cordoba, which seemed right as it is a symbol of the Arab world of yesterday and of today, and the designs feel very contemporary even though some of them date back to more than 500 years!

Q4:What makes your soap special?

Nous fabriquons nos savons de A à Z, par la méthode à froid, (cold process) qui permet de travailler de matières premières de premier choix, de garder la glycérine qui se fabrique naturellement lors du processus et de faire  des savons surgras, respectueux et adaptés à notre peau.Nous les enrichissons avec tout ce que le Maroc met à notre disposition de matières naturelles, lait de chamelle, d'ânesse, huile d'argent, miel etc..

We make our soap from start to finish, using the cold process of production which allows us to work with raw materials of the finest quality  and to maintain the glycerine that is created naturally in this process,  which is gentle and nourishing for your skin. We enrich this with all the natural materials that Morocco has to offer, camel and asses milk, argon oil, honey.

Q5): What is the best part for you of creating this product?

Le découpage  des savons. Tous les savonniers vous le diront, c'est LE moment le plus incroyable qui ne nous lasse jamais!

The cutting of the soaps. All soap makers will tell you this - it is THE most amazing time that we never get tired of!

 Q6:  If people want to buy your soap where can they find it?

Nous avons une boutique à Marrakech dans la médina, nous avons un corner au concept store 33 Rue Majorelle, ainsi que la boutique de notre ami Khalil à Essaouira, dans la Scala. Pour l'Europe, nous avons notre site de vente en ligne                                                                 

We have a boutique in the medina in Marrakech, our soaps are in the concept store 33 rue Majorelle, as well as in the boutique La Scala which belongs to our friend Khalil in Essaouira. In Europe we are now selling on-line at

 Q8: and one last question  - where is your favourite place for coffee (or tea) ?

A la Terrasse des Epices en Marrakech, et pour le souvenir d'enfance, au cafe Maure des Oudaya a Rabat.

At the Terrasse des Epices in the medina of Marrakech, and on a more nostalgic note, the Cafe Maure des Oudaya in Rabat.


Elsas favourite coffee spot in Rabat: Café Maure des Oudaya.


all you have to do is 
LIKE the Art du Bain Facebook page HERE
 and, (if you haven't already)
 LIKE the tea-in-tangiers Facebook page HERE

             then answer this simple question
 as a comment below: 
(there is even a picture to make it easier for you!)

good luck
bonne chance
Elsa & Pauline