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PRIVATE TANGIER

James Andrew, Sidi Hosni palace, the former home of Barbara Hutton

James Andrew, Sidi Hosni palace, the former home of Barbara Hutton

There are not a whole lot of tourist attractions in Tangier, and most those can be seen within a few days time. Of course there is quite a bit of shopping to be done (my favorites were certainly Laure Welfling and de Velasco) and there are fabulous restaurants as well as some divine day-trips to be made, but the truth is that much of the best of Tangier exists behind closed doors. Thankfully we were rather blessed to have our friend Monica di Valmarana who is available, on a very select and limited bases, for tours of a more private sort.

With her invaluable guidance we were granted access to the Tangier we had always dreamt of. Particularly memorable was a cocktail party in the absolutely otherworldly woodland garden of the legendary and delightful Anna McKew. We also had a sublime soirée with the chicest of guests at designer Nicolo Castellini Baldissera’s ravishing riad, which is featured in The World of Interior. Another highlight was a visit to Barbara Hutton’s former home, “Sidi Hosni” palace, which is made up of several structures pieced together to form one monumental palace. The present owners first purchased the riad next door and refurbished it in a Parisian David Hicks style. When Sidi Hosni came on the market they purchased it to guarantee its preservation. I’ve heard it might actually be available for rent! I’m crossing my fingers and stocking up on kaftans to wear while basking in the beauty of it all.

My most favorite visit must have been to the home of legendary designer Laure Welfling and her husband Guidi de Richemont Salvy where we had a lovely luncheon hosted by Welfling and her divine daughter, India. Built in the late 18th century as Spain’s first legation in Tangier, the house, Dar Cherif, is the largest single-family dwelling in the old city. The place is magical, and showcases the family’s endless talents. An elegant, eclectic, and fantastical mix – all that one might hope to find in Tangier.

Without our fabulous friend Monica di Valmarana, none of this would have been possible, and we owe our deepest gratitude! We were beyond blessed to have this very private look within the walls of Tangier, and we’ve now made so many new friends!

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