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A LANGUID WEEKEND IN NAPA

James Andrew, Napa

A friend of Scott McBee’s was celebrating a birthday milestone so a villa in Napa was arranged and a collection of friends gathered together to mark the occasion!

Neither McBee nor I had ever been to Napa, so we were rather excited to explore. Needless to say there is a good reason that Napa has become a destination of choice – it really is rather stunning with its rolling green hills and rows and rows of glorious grape vines. The scent of roses, magnolias, and sage, permeates idyllic fields and little towns, and there are the most wonderful restaurants serving up California wine-country cuisine. And of course there are endless vineyards and wine tastings.

Napa – villa view

James Andrew, Napa

All of this being said, having escaped summer in the city, McBee and I opted to take it easy, and spent most of our time luxuriating poolside, catching up on reading, and enjoying the company of friends. Early cocktail hour was par for the course, with Bloody Marys or Margaritas followed by dinner where we enjoyed the best of California wines.

Napa vines

It all went by too quickly, but Mcbee and I are looking forward to visiting again, and discovering more of Napa.

Napa – garden view.

I’m photographed (top) dressed for dinner wearing Ralph Lauren purple label orange silk shantung pants, Ralph Lauren white cotton western shirt, serape scarf and turquoise suede driving shoes, a Kiel James Patrick belt, Tom Ford “Marko” sunglasses, Hermes Cape Cod Deux Zones watch, and my fragrance is Lorenzo Villoresi – Iperborea.

Second ensemble: Ralph Lauren madras plaid jacket, red linen pants and needlepoint slippers, Tom Ford pale blue mini herringbone cotton shirt, pearl and pale blue sapphire Seaman Schepps cufflinks, Hermes Cape Cod Deux Zones watch, Andriano Meneghetti woven cotton belt, and my fragrance is Tom Ford Mandarino di Amalfi.

VILLA JOSEPHINE

James Andrew at Villa Josephine, Tangier. Click to enlarge.

Scott McBee and I were beyond thrilled to end our stay in Tangier at the incomparable Villa Josephine.

Simply put, Villa Josephine is perfection – an exceedingly rare place where dreams and actuality coalesce.

Poolside at Villa Josephine

It is not surprising that the villa has been coveted by a series of notable figures. The most famous of which was the British Walter Burton Harris (1866-1933). Times correspondent and author, his tumultuous life of adventure inspired the legend of Indiana Jones. The villa was also owned by the Duke of Tovar, a Spanish grandee, who after having led a lavish lifestyle, lost his money in circumstances that still remain somewhat of a mystery. In another incarnation, the villa was the summer residence of Glaoui, Pasha of Marrakech!

The bar at Villa Josephine.

Villa Josephine is now in the brilliant hands of Jean-Marie Fisse, who just gets everything right. The beds are clad in embroidered linen sheets, and heaped with cloud-like down pillows and comforters. The terrace tables are crisply set with Porthault table linens, and delicious cuisine is splendidly served. It’s a sort of English aristocrat’s retreat in Tangier, but with high French refinement. It is in fact the only place I would suggest one stay in Tangier, and is situated well for excursions into the rest of the city (if one can tear oneself from the Josephine grounds!).

Chambre 6 at Villa Josephine.

The Villa Josephine dining room.

Porthault table linens – VIlla Josephine.

There are the most spectacular views from Villa Josephine of the Strait of Gibraltar – French Riviera with an African twist – it’s all magic and beauty.

From chambre 6 at Villa Josephine.

McBee and I plan to return to Tangier at the end of this August – it probably goes without saying that several days at Villa Josephine will be in order.

For our farewell dinner in Tangier at Villa Josephine (top) I’m sporting a Tom Ford floral dinner jacket, black linen pants, blue silk brocade slippers, a Moroccan style shirt by Gucci, Cartier Tank Divan Watch, Charvet black silk pocket square, and my fragrance is Tom Ford Madarino di Amalfi.

James Andrew – dressed for a farewell lunch at Villa Josephine.

(Above) Dressed for our final day in Tangier and our farewell luncheon with a collection of fabulous friends at Villa Josephine, I’m wearing a Tom Ford blue and ivory silk glen plaid jacket, de Valsco Tangier pale blue linen Moroccan style shirt, Polo Ralph Lauren ivory and blue linen pin stripe pants, Gucci leopard espadrilles, Charvet silk retro print pocket square, Cartier Tank Divan watch and my fragrance is Madini Tangier gardenia.

LES MAISONS DE TANGER

James Andrew on the grounds of Veere Grenney’s Tangier home.

The best of Tangier is often hidden behind walls and doors. One could say this is a great part of its allure! Thankfully we’re blessed to have friends like Monica di Valmarana to help open those exclusive doors, revealing some of the great splendors that lie beyond.

As you may recall we recently shared our friend Veere Grenney’s terrific tome, Veere Grenney: A Point of View on Decorating. On our recent trip to Tangier we were thrilled to be treated to a luncheon at “Gazebo,” Grenney’s home, and given a tour through the glorious grounds. It was an absolute dream! I’ve included a few snaps here but one must really get his book to see more – the last chapter, entitled “Home at Last,” is dedicated to his beloved Tangier!

In Veere Grenney’s Tangier home.

Veere Grenney’s home.

Veere Grenney’s home.

Veere Grenney’s gardens.

Veere Grenney’s dining room.

Another fabulous friend, fellow designer Nicolò Castellini Baldissera, invited us to a super chic cocktail party and dinner at his villa (which happened to have graced the cover of World of Interiors a few years ago). I was so enthralled by the beauty of it all that I had to return in the daylight to get a better look at the intimate gardens. Luckily for us, Baldissera has created the most beautiful soon to be released book, Inside Tangier: Houses & Garden, which promises to bring us more of the spectacular homes there along with a virtual introduction to some of their eccentric inhabitants! Pre-order your copy today – coming September 18th!

James Andrew at Nicolò Castellini Baldissera’s Tangier home.

At Nicolò Castellini Baldissera’s Tangier home.

Nicolò Castellini Baldissera’s Tangier home.

At Nicolò Castellini Baldissera’s Tangier home.

James Andrew at At Nicolò Castellini Baldissera’s Tangier home.

Dressed for a luncheon at Grenney’s beloved “Gazebo” (top), I’m sporting a Tom Ford pale blue linen “Shelton” suit, white cotton shirt and silk pocket square in grays and blues, Seaman Schepps pearl and pale blue sapphire cufflinks, Cartier Tank Divan watch, Polo Ralph Lauren blue leather driving mocs, and my fragrance is Tom Ford Madarino di Amalfi.

Touring Baldissera villa and garden (seventh picture from top), I’m sporting a black cashmere Moroccan style jacket by Olas – Tangier, Michael Kors ivory knit shirt, Tom Ford royal blue cotton pants, Gucci leopard espadrilles, a Lock & Co hat, Cartier Tank Divan Watch, Tom Ford “Marco” sunglasses, and my fragrance is Madini Tangier gardenia.