Tangier, the alluring gateway to Africa
STAY - Mimi Calpe
Located in Old Tangier, in between the port and the Grand Socco (Big Square), this renovated 19th century colonial house stands proudly on the beach looking out over the Bay of Tangier and the Straits of Gibraltar. The beauty of Mimi Calpe lies in its history and character. The house was originally constructed in the 1860s by French and British architects and then owned by an influential Jewish family, at one point drawing in the elite from all over Europe and Morocco. Set in the midst of a lush garden, this impressive house has been decorated with a flamboyant mix of Japanese interior style, Inca motifs and antique furniture. Each bedroom has a private bathroom and there’s a shared drawing room too. After breakfast, enjoy a spot of swimming in their outdoor pool before unwinding in their onsite Hammam.
WATCH - Cinema Rif
A popular hangout for locals, tourists and expats alike, Cinema Rif is a must for those who enjoy foreign film. It offers an exciting and varied program, with a variety of mainstream and independent film – take your pick from Francophone, Hispanic and American showings. Film buffs can also get an insight into the Moroccan filmmaking industry thanks to the cinema’s workshops and exhibits, which are sometimes organized in partnership with other cultural institutes in the city. Come early for a coffee or mint tea at the cafe.
SHOP - Las Chicas
Back in December 2012, two ladies wanted to reinvent the concept of shopping in Tangier, exclusively supporting wares and clothes made in Morocco. Housed in a traditional Moroccan house, Las Chicas brings together high design and authentic craftsmanship. Find designer clothing, accessories and jewelry alongside linens, furniture, paintings and ceramics. From vintage to contemporary, you can expect a little of everything and it’s perfect for gifts to yourself or for friends and family. After a bout of shopping, reward yourself with a fresh fruit juice and croquet Sidi in their tearoom.
VISIT - Librairie des Colonnes
Once a local haunt of infamous writers including Paul Bowles, Jean Genet, Samuel Beckett and William Burroughs, the Librairie des Colonnes is a literary institution in Tangier. Most of the books they sell here are French, but there’s a growing Arabic section and visitors can enjoy frequent book readings and events including author appearances. Styled by British graphic designer and Tangier resident, Anthea Mynott, the Librairie des Colonnes has the allure of some of the most sophisticated boutiques in Paris, London or New York. Nothing much has changed since it first opened and these days you can expect to bump into the likes of esteemed writers including Tahar Ben Jelloun, Tahir Shah or Bernard-Henri Lévy.
HANG OUT - El Morocco Club
Built by renowned artist and architect, Stuart Church, this historic house was designed by Vincent Coppe and Oscar Badji and converted into a restaurant, piano bar and terrace. Stop by in the day to enjoy an espresso or tea in the shade of the fig trees on the terrace, or come for lunch a little later when the terrace gets a little livelier. Modern and stylish, the restaurant offers a sophisticated take on traditional Moroccan dishes. We recommend the goats cheese croquets with candied pears or the red sea bream on a bed of Jerusalem artichoke cream and porcini mushrooms. Head to the piano bar for cocktails and live music from 8.