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SIDI KAOUKI BLUES

 ABDOU SIDI KAOUKI
Talk about Taguenza to the Essaouira crowd and they will tell you: 'ah long gone memories of lazy days at Abdou'

 
                    
article by Marlène Pauly more articles by Marlène HERE
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well....Abdou is back! Together with his muse and companion Marylène and they are putting Sidi Kaouki on the map again with their 'Blue CUBE' facing the Ocean!
ABDOU SIDI KAOUKI

While Marylène was running her architect office in Marseille, she was submitting the ideas to Abdou.

ABDOU SIDI KAOUKI
 

Colours, materials, (lime is her favourite material to work with), recovery items and construction materials.
Flea markets discoveries and purchases from the souk
It really was a two-man job and the result is fantastic.

The food and the artistic finishing touch definitely are Abdou's signature. The way by which he was known in Taguenza continues.

ABDOU SIDI KAOUKI
 

A blue cube is born facing the ocean with the best seafood and definitely worth a visit while in Essaouira.

ABDOU SIDI KAOUKI
ABDOU SIDI KAOUKI 
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SUITCASE SOUVENIRS - Must pack number 1

Shopping in Marrakech

Baboosh or Babouche
No matter the spelling, you need to be wearing it !

                    
article by Kate Woods more articles by Kate HERE




This slip on shoe is all the rage in Morocco and Turkey and the trend is spreading all over and fast. These slippers are traditionally leather and artisan crafted . But as fashion dictates all things, they are easily available now in many fabrics and designs....tapestry, brocade, velvet, with embroidery, with embossing and more.
Shopping in Marrakech

Shopping in Marrakech

Even a non slip sole can be added for wear in the garden. The souks in Marrakech are the place to buy them so come over and stock up. Or order through us . Don't miss out on this beautiful footwear, perfect for day or night. Trans seasonal too !!

Shopping in Marrakech

Shopping in Marrakech


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ART WORKSHOPS ON HOLIDAY


Do the words 'collage' and 'handpainted paper' take you back to long gone days of creative expression at school when you were about 10? 
Well...I must say, they did to me. Until I entered Sanne Busk's atelier in Essaouira.

  
                    
article by Marlène Pauly more articles by Marlène HERE






I was still high on colour from my visit to Salut Maroc when I got infused with more playful vibrancy!  

Sanne Busk is from Denmark, but fell in love with Morocco, where she is living now. Busk is a full-time artist working in collage with hand painted paper.  The colours of Sanne’s art are mixed together in stunning, playful and sunny collages that unveil her passion for her work.  
Taking home a souvenir like this is like taking home a little piece of Moroccan sunshine and appetite for life.


Besides being a gifted artist and designer, Sanne offers workshops in Essaouira.
From 1 hour up till 2 to 4 days, depending on what it is you want to achieve.  She will focus on helping you to discover your own creativity.
In a workshop, you learn how to make collage art with hand painted paper.
Collage is one of the easiest ways to get started in mixed-media art and really everyone can try it and have fun.  It's an easy, fast, and very satisfying mode of artistic expression. There are no rules to play by and you might end up taking your own ray of sunshine home!
I know for sure I'm going to try it out! Anyone else wants to join?





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REMAINS FROM A PRE-INDUSTRIAL PAST - Essaouira

sugar factory "Souira Qedima" near Ida O Gourd

"The ruins of the sugar factory "Souira Qedima" near Ida O Gourd and its hydraulic network of 'aqueducts' still stand as a testimony to this forgotten history that lasted only half a century, but whose consequences are up until today still affecting the ecosystem.

Moroccan sugar is the perfect illustration of pre-industrial capitalism. The abuse, of tyrants thirsty for power and wealth, to take advantage of the resources of a country, then withdraw when their exploitation ceased to be profitable to reproduce the same pattern, under other skies...

This is what Fernand Braudel points out in his book on the birth of capitalism in the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. 

"This newcomer, sugar cane, is devastating to the old equilibrium and is all the more dangerous because it is supported by a powerful capitalism, which came in the sixteenth century from all horizons, from Italy, from France, Antwerp. We can not resist it ... "
  
                    
article by Marlène Pauly more articles by Marlène HERE
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A walk through the beautiful countryside to what's left of the best remaining pre-industrial sugar factory globally,  left me full of wonder, with a bitter-sweet taste when I read the story of our guide Gilles Texier.

I could start to overwhelm you with historical backgrounds, figures, and details.
I could explain why it reminded me so much of the El Baadi palace in Marrakech, but I would only be able to share a glimpse of what you look at when you are there.
One can not even imagine how fertile this area really was before the devastating introduction of the sugar cane...


Sugar had (and still is) always been a Moroccan temptation. 
"Sugar follows the Qur'an," says the saying.  
It is true that as early as the 9th century there is a trace of cane cultivation in the regions of Fez and Tangier.  Until the 16'th century, we find traces almost all over Morocco and mainly in the Souss.
Throughout this long period, it is a low-intensity crop of a quantity and quality that is rather poor and an export oriented towards "Sudan" and the countries of sub-Saharan Africa.

In the first quarter of the sixteenth century, the arrival of the Saadian sultans in power will drastically change this situation.
The Saadiens from a very early stage, understand the economic value of the white gold for a new continent that opened its doors to them, Europe.

And so factories were built at the speed of light, and one of them was:
The Souira Qedima Sugar Factory.


This sugar factory and its hydraulic network were built, in all likelihood, between 1575 - 1578.
To establish such units, 4 conditions are necessary:

- wood in abundance
- water in abundance
- fertile lands easy to irrigate
and finally
- men, specialists, and workers

Mogador's sugar factory does not escape these requirements.

How this has changed the environment for ever and what an impact it had on human lives, I leave all this for you to discover when here.  You can contact us if you want to make a tour with Gilles Texier, the man who traveled the world to do the research.  Gilles also has been writing a study, together with André Bonnal and Edouard Pottier that gives one a good insight on the production of the sugar, the consequences and the disappearance only 50 years later...

Most parts of this text come from this essay.
sugar factory "Souira Qedima" near Ida O Gourd

sugar factory "Souira Qedima" near Ida O Gourd

sugar factory "Souira Qedima" near Ida O Gourd

sugar factory "Souira Qedima" near Ida O Gourd

sugar factory "Souira Qedima" near Ida O Gourd
sugar factory "Souira Qedima" near Ida O Gourd
sugar factory "Souira Qedima" near Ida O Gourd

sugar factory "Souira Qedima" near Ida O Gourd
sugar factory "Souira Qedima" near Ida O Gourd
sugar factory "Souira Qedima" near Ida O Gourd



  
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bistrO Essaouira - mOre of this please!

coco-morocco at BistrO Essaouira


Do I choose where I'm going to eat, just by looking at an interior?
Do I taste, touch, smell or 'listen to' a restaurant while eating?

I confess!
  
                    
article by Marlène Pauly more articles by Marlène HERE
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When entering bistrO, I knew it was going to take a while before I was going to look at the menu. Sorry for that staff! This place is tOO beautiful to just go sit and eat!

After my design inspection, the obvious photo shoot and the inevitable Instagram, I could relax.  I was lucky enough, everyone else was sitting enjoying the sunshine on the terrace, leaving me some room to do my stuff and discover all the perspectives inside.

My gram got an immediate response, inspiring my friends Adam and Eve (YES, they are really called like this)😚😜 to instantly drop what they were doing, head over to have lunch and discover this new hotspot by themselves!

coco-morocco at BistrO Essaouira

By then Moi was enjoying a delicious salad, chilling to some hip lounge music, relaxing on the soft jean blue couch until....
My eyes suddenly discovered the back of these beautifully upholstered chairs by Cheklati.
I just had to take another photo 😬

coco-morocco at BistrO Essaouira
coco-morocco at BistrO Essaouira


coco-morocco at BistrO Essaouira

coco-morocco at BistrO Essaouira
coco-morocco at BistrO Essaouira
coco-morocco at BistrO Essaouira

I think I'm a victim of beauty and I don't want to be cured...



coco-morocco at BistrO Essaouira
coco-morocco at BistrO Essaouira



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NEW COLOUR PROOF LUXURY STAY in Essaouira

luxury hotel essaouira, Salut Maroc






(p.s. we got you a #superdeal! Read all about it at the end )

When designer and businesswoman, Helen Howat introduced the vivid colours of Australian brand Kas Australia to Dubai, I wonder if she was already dreaming of making the circle round...


                    
article by Marlène Pauly more articles by Marlène HERE




This was the first thing that came to mind when I visited her beautiful hotel, Salut Maroc, that she designed and restored from scratch in the medina of Essaouira,
Kas Australia offers colourful quality luxury bedding, inspired by ethnic patterns and dreams of for away destinations. 
'Bedding in Moroccan patterns!  How cool is this!'
Australian bedding with patterns that found their way back to Morocco! The circle w a s round!

Would she have been playing with the idea of one day, having this perfect hotel, and 'concept-store' -like, hipster proof hotspot, somewhere in Morocco?

I did not had the chance yet to ask her, but I'm thrilled she discovered this 17th-century old merchant house and turned it into a hotel with the help of Othman Chic.

She could'nt have wished for a better way to display the beautiful bedding, her creative approach and a selection of locally designed ethnic goods.

For sure we will also find some items from her other company, Camel Company. Although most items are linked to Dubai, there is a same vibrancy and fun factor all through the designs and I firmly believe that Essaouira is ready to not only focus on localy produced goods. 
I think there is room here in and around the Médina, not only for surfers and backpackers, but also for trendy hipsters and city hoppers who want to have a fun shopping experience.

After all, my vision on Essaouira in my e-book 2015 was as follows...
...It's a most wonderful, authentic place in Morocco, and a little piece of heaven, where billionaires and surfers mingle behind a glass of Moroccan tea or a nos-nos, the wind in their hair, strolling around on what seems to be the local uniform, 'slippers'...
(you can still download my e-book here, but working on an update!)

This is exactly the vibe I catch when coming to the rooftop of Salut Maroc!
A place that vibrates style and class but has a down to earth approach of the young staff.
'Just come as you are' seems to be the keyword.
And now...it's time to let you soak up the colours of the world!  

luxury hotel essaouira, Salut Maroc
luxury hotel essaouira, Salut Maroc
luxury hotel essaouira, Salut Maroc
luxury hotel essaouira, Salut Maroc
luxury hotel essaouira, Salut Maroc
luxury hotel essaouira, Salut Maroc luxury hotel essaouira, Salut Maroc
luxury hotel essaouira, Salut Maroc
luxury hotel essaouira, Salut Maroc
luxury hotel essaouira, Salut Maroc
luxury hotel essaouira, Salut Maroc

luxury hotel essaouira, Salut Maroc
luxury hotel essaouira, Salut Maroc



The hotel features also a restaurant on the rooftop, not only for guest. Go and enjoy one of the best sea views in town!
luxury hotel essaouira, Salut Maroc

luxury hotel essaouira, Salut Maroc

luxury hotel essaouira, Salut Maroc


Now, if you think this is it with new hotspots this summer? You're wrong! This seaside town is filled with whispers and we might just catch one!
Stay tuned and have a lovely summer, folks. We maybe meet somewhere in an alley xxx!

Update: We did meet lovely and inspiring Helen the other day. Among a lovely shat, a fascinating insight in the stunning details ( o.m.g., these rooms have surprises and stories in every dot of colour that is used!)
WE GOT OUR READERS A SUPER DEAL!
book through us and she offers you a 10% reduction an a room!


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