Monday, 2 March 2015

La Maison de Tanger

As you may know - I am currently living in Assilah - yes the blog is called tea-in-tangiers, I know
but that's just because I have a thing for alliteration, and it had a nice ring to it . . .  but if you look at the small print it does say its about Tangiers, Assilah, and the places in between!
Anyway - the point of that little introduction is to explain how I came to spend the night at this lovely place : La Maison de Tanger!

Having been invited to a little soiree one Friday evening in Tangiers, I thought I would spoil myself and stay somewhere nice overnight rather than driving back late.
We decided on La Maison for a few reasons - some practical (parking,central etc) and others just because it looked pretty!

And it didn't disappoint on any accounts.

It is a beautifully restored and gracious home nestling surprisingly close to the grand socco.
Take a right at the arches -  just before you hit the metal workers.
I know the word "oasis" gets used an awful lot when talking about places to stay in morocco,
but this really is an oasis in the middle of the urban chaos of Tangiers.

The images above all give you the "big picture" which is undeniably impressive
to me
its always the details that make the difference . . . 

and La Maison de Tanger is full of details like this that make your stay there just that little bit more special

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

shopping the blues . . .

There seems to be a whole lot of blue out there this week - or is it just my facebook feed??

image via : majorelle blues

I love following the creations of Australian jewellery designer Birdie Hill - she always uses beautiful and inspiring images - this was her contribution to the blues this week!

And then my friend Marianne added this blue note to the mix - one of her RedDog designs in this great colour - I might have to trade in my red for a blue!
and finally this morning I saw this blue boucherouite carpet which I decided I had to add to my collection on

so a blue week , but not in a bad way!
and ending in theme - a bit of Blue Velvet by Lana Del Rey.


Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Shouf!{look!} - a giveaway!

I am unashamedly and unreservedly
asking for your help in turning my bright idea
into a reality.
Its all about footfall . . .  or so I am told!


I have been chatting about it quite a lot recently
so you might have visited already?

I would love more people to have a look at the collection of carpets and textiles
with this in mind I devised this simple
This beautiful necklace made up of scented soap (yes soap!) beads
created by L'Art du Bain,
 could be yours.

It couldn't be easier!
simply tweet, pin, share on facebook or any other social media platform
that floats your boat!
Straight from SHOUF into the social media network of your choice.
The more shares, the more chances you stand of being the lucky winner!
5 tweets = 5 slips of paper with your name of it in the hat!
etc etc . . . 

so remember
individual items on shouf must be tweeted, pinned and shared
 I will make sure to check there  and enter your name in the draw where ever I see it!
thanks for your support
and do keep an eye on the shop as I hope to extend our range as soon as possible
good luck

it would be great if you shared this post as well - and would MOST DEFINITELY count as an entry!

just go straight to the share tabs below

Friday, 6 February 2015

Casabarata Tangiers

La Casa Barata - translated directly simply means "the cheap house", which pretty much sums up this sprawling indoor-outdoor market place in Tangiers. It is a place to buy anything . . .  from a satellite  to a soap dish.
But I was interested in the salvedged and reclaimed building elements and furniture so spent most of my time looking at vintage metal work and old window frames.
These sun loungers were the first thing that caught my eye . . . but I passed them by thinking it was more important for me to get windows right now rather than things to lounge on - plenty of time for lounging later! 

So it was off to the building materials we went!

I ended up with a substantial amount of metal work for windows.
Now we just need to build the windows!

It was a little chilly walking around the market yesterday - so we finished up at a tiny stall selling
Bessara - a fava bean soup that is typically eaten for breakfast here but perfect at any time of the day to warm and fill you up.

While writing this post I searched for a recipe for the soup - and found one, along with some lovely images of Tangiers on this food blog by Jenny Chandler.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015


When life gives you olives . . .

Having had our fair share of meals at Port XIV in Assilah, we have also consumed WAY more than our fair share of their signature tapenade that gets put on your table with a flourish as you settle in to decide what to order. 
So we thought we would, in collaboration with Port XIV and their head chef Youssef,
show you how to transform
these . . . 

Into this.

There are a few subtle variations  to the traditional tapenade, but that is kind of the point.

 We are in Morocco after all!

so to your 1/2 kilo of black olives
1 teaspoon of cumin 
  1/2 teaspoon oregano
        2 teaspoons of olive oil - preferably from your own trees!
        1 teaspoon of fresh coriander chopped
        1/2 teaspoon of harissa 

The rest is simple - mix it all together and blend.
Then a bit of fresh bread, a glass of wine . . . .

Luckily, I don't have to don an apron to make any for a while as we were given this lovely jarful of the results of this recipe to bring home.
I will confess that there is already considerably less tapenade in above jar after 24 hours chez Brettell!

Thanks to Port XIV & Chef Youssef for sharing their recipe.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

SHOUF! {look!}

come and look! 
 the merchants would call as you walked past their shop in the medina!

image by Hassan Hajjaj via

It has been a process of some internal debate - but I have decided to venture back into the domain of merchants and makers selling their wares on this amazing world wide web of ours.
I have loved creating tea-in-tangiers, and immersing myself in pretty pictures and {at times} poetic words . . .  but over the last few months I have had this nagging pre-occupation to turn it into something a little more economically viable.
And so this - along with the fact that I am unable to walk past a carpet shop without touching, remarking, and generally wanting to re-home all the merchandise,
resulted in  . . .

For a collection of both traditional and contemporary Moroccan textiles and design.

 I am starting off in the realm of carpets but plan to broaden our horizons in the near future.

I cannot take any credit for the name.
Omar, who has taught me pretty much all I know about Moroccan carpets, came up with the name  when we were discussing the idea of me getting back into the market place.
He explained how in days gone by this was like a catch phrase for traders trying to catch the passers by - shouf-shouf, come and see . . . 
So please stop by
have a look

image via

And share - your support would make my day!


Friday, 23 January 2015

A Riad in Assilah

We were lucky enough for our first Christmas in Morocco to be a true family affair, but it did mean that we needed some additional space to fit everyone in.
With this in mind I perused the pages of Airbnb 
(it seems to be the thing to do at the moment!)
and found this riad in the medina, literally just around the corner -  perfect!

The house is typically designed around a central courtyard with bedrooms and niches like this arranged around it - it was a bit chilly in December but in the summer I think this would be the perfect place to escape the sun with a book,
 or end the day lounging with a cocktail?

The living areas are open plan and full of light.

And are a great mix of traditional and contemporary design - an eclectic approach which I love.

Plenty of communal space for the whole family to gather, 

as well as private places to escape to.

The main bedroom has this great ensuite bath - the first arrivals managed to get the best bedroom of course . . .  such is life!

The terraces wind up on a few levels.
A real summer time bonus is this plunge pool on the lower terrace.
 I think I could spend a lot of time here!

And then of course at the end of the day, 
the view over the medina
palm trees, white walls and blue sky.

This property is available to rent HERE on Airbnb