WHAT IS JAMES WEARING? Rotating Header Image

UN VOYAGE À TANGER

Birthday luncheon at Villa Josephine, Tangier I am sporting Tom Ford brown silk "Spencer" jacket, white cotton shirt with french cuffs, piny mauve cotton pants, brown leather belt with rose gold buckle, pinky mauve silk pocket square, brown suede tasseled loafers, Hermes Cape Cod dual time zone watch, Seaman Schepps shell and pink tourmaline cufflinks, and my fragrance is Creed Windsor

Birthday luncheon at Villa Josephine, Tangier
I am sporting Tom Ford brown silk “Spencer” jacket, white cotton shirt with french cuffs, piny mauve cotton pants, brown leather belt with rose gold buckle, pinky mauve silk pocket square, brown suede tasseled loafers, Hermes Cape Cod dual time zone watch, Seaman Schepps shell and pink tourmaline cufflinks, and my fragrance is Creed Windsor

Craving a bit of the exotic for my birthday, we decided on a trip to Tangier! We actually have several friends with homes there, and I’ve been quite mesmerized by the images they share on Instagram. Add to that all of the images I’ve seen and things I’ve read about the homes of Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Berge, Barbara Hutton’s Sidi Hosni, among others, the place promised a lovely, louche getaway.

It is now still rather achingly nostalgic, though like many Mediterranean port towns, it is now perhaps not the hotspot it once was. That being said, it still holds an undeniable appeal.

Luckily our friends Jamie Creel and Marco Scarani as well as Gene Meyer and Frank D de Biasi shared rather impressive lists of where to stay, dine, and where to sightsee and shop. So much of Tangier is hidden to the casual tourist so having the inside guidance was a godsend.

For accommodations, Scott McBee and I decided on the El Minzah Hotel. It opened its doors in 1930 at the command of John Crichton-Stuart, the 4th marquis of Lord Bute (a British aristocrat with extensive interests in the area). It is a Moroccan/Andulusian confection in the tradition of the grand hotel of yesteryear. Located near the medina, it is terribly handy to all the must-see sights, restaurants and boutiques.

Courtyard of the Musée Archéologique I am sporting a Gucci white cotton safari jacket, Tom Ford floral shirt in brown, pink and white with a silk cotton pink dot print neckerchief, vintage khaki pants, Gucci leopard espadrilles, Hermes Cape Cod dual time zone watch and a Tom Ford brown suede tote. My fragrance is Creed Windsor.

Courtyard of the Musée Archéologique
I am sporting a Gucci white cotton safari jacket, Tom Ford floral shirt in brown, pink and white with a silk cotton pink dot print neckerchief, vintage khaki pants, Gucci leopard espadrilles, Hermes Cape Cod dual time zone watch and a Tom Ford brown suede tote. My fragrance is Creed Windsor.

Additionally through the wonders of social media, a Facebook friend Matilde Emy Zarantonello happened to be in Tangier for a month and graciously made some incredible introductions for us including Monica di Valmarana who became an instant friend and gave us a view of the private world of Tangier (more about this in our next post!).

On our first day we were completely exhausted from travel, so we enjoyed a lovely luncheon poolside at el Minzah followed by a good nap. The food at the hotel’s restaurant, El Korsan, is some of the best we had, serving up marvelous Moroccan cuisine with some delightful entertainment as well.

Rested and recharged, our second day was filled with shopping and sightseeing. The highlight was the American Legation Museum, which served as the US Consulate. It’s full of art celebrating Tangier and its people. Luckily we had a guide to help us navigate the souk and Boutique Majid, 66 Rue les Almouhades, was a gem – a magnificent mix of antiques, vintage kaftans, etc. We had lunch al fresco at Club El Morocco Place du Tabor which opens up onto a quiet part of the Kasbah, and it’s a lovely way to take in some of the sights and sounds of the place.

Scott McBee, Tangier (click to enlarge)

Scott McBee, Tangier (click to enlarge)

Another must-see in Tangier is the Musée Archeologique, which was once Dar el Makhzen, a former sultan’s palace. Next door is the uber chic boutique, Laure Welfling, at 3 Place de la Kasbah, where we found an elegant and eclectic mix of must-have clothing designed by Welfling as well as art by her husband Guidi de Richemont Salvy – it is all very captivating and unusual. We wanted everything – and it certainly is a great place to stock up on kaftans!

For my Birthday luncheon, Scott McBee treated me at the early 20th century Villa Josephine, self described as: “neither dar nor riad, its Mauritian feel, the view from the terrace over the ‘Détroit’ of Gibraltar, and a flavour of the French Riviera with an African twist all combine to make Villa Joséphine unique amongst Morocco’s ‘masons d’hôtes.'” We dined on the terrace with tremendous views, enjoying divine cuisine, and Moroccan “gris” wine. It was a heavenly affair. We will no doubt spend a few nights there on our next visit to Tangier. We then returned to El Minzah for a bit of pool-side lounging with a spectacular birthday dinner at the hotel’s El Korsan restuarant.

These are just a few highlights of our journey, but there is so much more to share. We’ll focus on a bit of the “private” Tangier in our next post!

3 Comments

  1. Oh! What elelgance, and what lovely pictures!

    What a glorious birthday…..and so richly deserved!
    All is not “Slobbovia” after all! James and McBee travel the world and perhaps rescue Americans’ reputation is some corners!

    Bravo! Elegance! We are all so proud of you two!!!

  2. that hotel seems like the perfect place to stay! Wonderful!!!

  3. James Andrew says:

    My Darling Penelope Bianchi,

    Thank You! This ALL means the world to me coming from someone who has such an exquisite eye as yourself!

    One has to bring one’s own brand of chic!

    The hotel was in the spirit of “The Grand Hotel” of yesteryear- built in the 1930’s it was the perfect base from which to explore Tangier!

    Much Love

    JA

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