Wednesday, 28 May 2014


If you find yourself hungry and in Assilah - and possibly, dare I say it . . .  a little tagine and couscous-ed out (it does happen from time to time you know!) take a stroll down to the end of the seafront, just beyond the main cluster of restaurants and you will find the newest kid on the block : Port XIV.

Port XIV is a welcome breath of fresh and slightly more contemporary air, to the food scene in Assilah - from its decor to approach of sourcing local and seasonal food, not too mention its own house olive oil and a rather cool bar and cocktail list, well . . . lets just say I could become a regular!

And then there is the tapenade (made from owner Karims own olives) - I could quite happily snack on that while sipping a little local rose for the evening

The menu ranges from hearty hamburgers,

to the more chi-chi crab salad

made with fresh crabs from the local harbour - of course!

Owner Karim grew up in Assilah and went to school in Tangiers before completing his studies in the uk and europe - it was a dream of his to come back to Assilah and open a restuarant, and he's done it!
A lot of the ingredients come from Karims family farm - honey, olive oil, vegetable, all local and organic

honey and olive oil - from tree to table

the lemons are plucked off his trees . . .

and the next thing they are daintily wrapped in muslin and sitting prettily on your plate to squeeze over some fresh fish

so take the scenic route
stroll down the seafront
and enjoy the sunset

see you there

Friday, 23 May 2014

Cape Town

And a few of my favourite things . . .

I spent a few days in Cape Town last week - a fleeting visit so not really enough time to visit all that the city has to offer, but thought I would share a few of the places I tend to beat a path to.

1. Haas Coffee Collective:
my favourite coffee shop plus a great gallery for a little visual stimulation while enjoying your caffeine intake.

2. Bree Street : worth finding a sought after parking spot here and walking!
Part of the First Thursdays initiative:

3. Sarah Ord Interiors: 
for an eclectic burst of colour - it certainly brightened up my {rainy} day!

4. Neighbourgoods Market: 
 If your visit falls over a weekend pop across to the Old Biscuit Mill in woodstock
food glorious food - that's all there is to say!

5. Robert Sherwood Design:
back to Bree Street for this showroom - a beautifully curated collection of art and interior objets.

6. The Sushi Box: 
out of the city and into the suburbs, a lovely tucked away spot and of course great sushi

7. Cassis:
a patisserie with 4 outlets in cape town so no excuse for not trying their macarons!

8. Cinema Nouveau:
have a quick look around the waterfront then see whats showing here - I managed (at long last!) to see The Grand Budapest Hotel although I think I might need to watch it again.

any other suggestions and additions?

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

beach house basics

If you have had time to flick across to either my twitter or facebook page, 
you will have seen me describe myself as
 moving between the southern tip and the northern edge of africa 
Well, last month saw us spending holiday time down south,
 and for the last week we were lucky enough to sit still for a while and stay in a friends beach cottage.
 This was a cottage full of nostalgia for me, full of patina and texture from my childhood beach holidays.
 No grand vistas, vast sheets of glass or cutting edge design, but instead hot water that comes on with a woosh of the gas flame, beds that just might have a slightly grainy feeling of sand at your toes, piles of shells collected over the years . . 

I developed a little routine in our short stay there.
In the quiet morning light the moka pot was put on the stove

And then I would light an oil lamp.
Yes, there was electricity, but I just loved sipping my coffee
with the gentle warmth of oil glowing.


worn textures
and collectable cushions

the perfect tap for the shower
form and function

garden textures


and indigenous plants

All this under the protective boughs of  tree
which I would imagine has been there longer than the house.