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TANGIER VIA VILLA MIMI CALPE

At Villa Mimi Calpe. I’m sporting a sage green linen Bond 007 safari jacket, Tom Ford silk linen floral pants, persimmon ikat velvet slippers, white linen shirt by Oxmal, Hermes Cape Cod Deux Zones watch, and my fragrance is Madini Gardenia

As you may have gathered, we’ve fallen under Tangier’s spell with all of its hidden charms. We’d been missing our fab collection of friends there and also were desperate for a proper end-of-summer holiday. Some long languid days lounging by the pool or beachside was just what the doctor ordered.

The Minzah was an absolute disaster – its refurbishment a la gout Saddam Hussein was something we could not bear again. Our friends had suggested the rather charming Villa Mimi Calpe and we are thrilled they did! It is more like staying at someone’s private villa than a hotel. Its lush and overflowing gardens provide a beautiful bastions to relax in. One could easily forget that one was right in the middle of Tangier, and they have the most helpful staff to cater to one’s every whim. The place really is so ravishingly romantic.

Villa Mimi Calpe
Villa Mimi Calpe

Villa Mimi Calpe provided the perfect base of operations for us. We arrived just in time for all the best cocktail and dinner parties and immediately we embarked on a whirlwind of social visits – what great fun it was to see everyone and their beautiful homes and gardens once again – and to discover a few new ones as well!

Back Garden terrace at Villa Mimi Calpe
Villa Mimi Calpe interior gardens

Our exquisite friends, Monica di Valmarana and her husband Richard Conahay, made our stay most sublime, with days at the beach, lounging poolside at their home, Dar Chal. We also had the honor to attend a benefit for the Friends of Rohuna at the glorious home and gardens of Umberto Pasti  – and we had gorgeous dinners and lunches, sharing all the splendid facets of Tangier.

Rocking the Kasbah. I’m sporting a Tom Ford ivory silk Spencer jacket, brown gingham linen voile shirt, Wilton zebra chain loafer, brown and ivory silk plaid pocket square, brown suede tote bag, Ralph Lauren purple label red linen pants, black crocodile belt with sterling buckle, Seaman Schepps cufflinks in multi colored wood and citrine, Hermes Cape Cod Deuz Zones watch, and my fragrance is Madini Tangier Gardenia
Glorious gardens of Umberto Pasti. An evening soirée benefiting Friends of Rohuna. I’m wearing a Lock & Co Tuscany fedora, Tom Ford brown cotton safari shirt, Marco sunglasses, Gucci olive silk Ghurka style pants, leopard espadrilles, and an Hermès Cape Code Deux Zones watch
Farewell to Mimi Calpe! Lounging poolside at Villa Mimi Calpe. I’m wearing a lovely silk voile Djlaba

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.