Morocco, Montecito and The Master


Slim Paley Photo



The short, but ever so sweet & sultry dose of  heat we enjoyed here in Santa Barbara a week or so ago has fired up my passion for exotic locales…

and searching for images of Carmen Miranda for the previous post only helped seal the deal!


I’ve secreted away all my cashmere, stored my winter coats, bid a hearty “a bientot” to heavy boots until September &

I’m celebrating the arrival of warmer weather by sharing a recent little Moroccan Soiree at “Le Souk Slim’s”

(What? You’ve never seen a white-washed shingled Souk before? Sheik, Baby- you need to get out more!)


I’m even going to spoil you for choice by offering two different selections of music to accompany;

.‘Tu As Ma Vie’


“Rock The Casbah”



.The Amanjena hotel, an Aman Resort, Morocco



We  could all just buy these and pretend we’re there 🙂


Pottery Barn Lanterns 





I never think of Morocco without thinking of Yves Saint Laurent and the beautiful, beloved home  he shared there with his long time partner Pierre Berge.

(and the amazing YSL silk caftan floor length coat I found in a vintage shop once that I bought even though it was ten times too big for me-

and you know when a caftan is too big- that’s big) oops- I digress…

St. Laurent’s ashes were scattered in Marrakech in the Majorelle Garden, a place he often visited to find inspiration and refuge.


Now I can’t wait for the new documentary L’Amour Fou”  (Click here to watch the trailer- it looks fantastique!!)


“…one day I will join you under the Moroccan palms…” Pierre Berge at St. Laurent’s funeral.


.     v

via Decorative


Meanwhile, back in Montecito,  I served this deeelicious old stand-by from Food & Wine Magazine,

accompanied by cous cous and miniature Caesar salads on endive spears (The Romans were friendly with North Africans weren’t they?!) 


Slim Paley photo (taken from Food & Wine Magazine, August 2008)



Paging Paul Bowles for inspiration;



Definitely a book to be reread

Paul Bowles spent over 55 years of his life in Morocco


The Amanjeni

 “Bucket Tagine List”?


....Slim Paley Photo

For the table, I chose my favourite Suzani, which is absolutely gigantic, and folded it in on itself a couple of times.

 All the flowers, lavender and mint are from my garden.


Our  ridiculously orange roses I’ve renamed “Are Those Real??” popped just in time…

.Slim Paley Photo



Le Recipe;.

As you can see, I add golden raisins and slivered toasted almonds to the couscous.

If you find your couscous a little on the dry side, you can add a cup or so of Lychee syrup- yum!


.Slim Paley photo

Nuts, olives, honey with lavender, and lots of citrus and roses help to set the mood…oh ya, and fruity champagne drinks!


Slim Paley Photo


Slim Paley Photo

You’ll  probably recall this lavender pudding from just a few posts back  but don’t be a hater, it belonged here 🙂



…and don’t forget sweet mint tea for dessert.



Marrakesh/Marrakech… either way, I want to go!



If your schedule doesn’t gel with a trip to North Africa, or even a Moroccan inspired evening soon, you may always grab a quick dose of Casbah here;

The Morocco based ; My Marrakesh




OK, I better go tend to my Sheik now…




  1. So exotic. Beautiful!
    Chicken looks good too.
    Thanks for giving us two songs to choose from. 🙂

  2. The chicken recipe sounds fantastic–I’m going to try it on Sunday. If you need any antique Morrocan chairs or benches for the next Marrakesh soiree–I can spare a few. Thanks, Mary

  3. I’m with you Meest,
    Beyond stunning post. Exquisitive photos The colors amazing. Thank goodness I had eaten. Yum.
    You never cease to amaze us with looking forward to the next and for sharing ox

  4. A wonderful post! Have you ever looked thru’ Paula Wolfert’s cookbook “Couscous and other good Morocan Foods” ?…. You might still find it in book stores that carry old books….and sometimes on Amazon. It’s worth looking for!
    As to Romans and North Africa…did you know the Caeser salad is actually from Tijuana?
    But, who cares…still works with the menu.
    Thanks for making my day complete!

  5. Even though I’ve just begun following you I feel as if you could be a lovely girlfriend. So witty, so smart, so with-it. Love this setting and all your photos. I love everything about the Middle Eastern atmosphere & the people. One day I’ll do a post on my experiences living there. xx’s

  6. Just returned from Marrakesh and La Majorelle a few weeks back…. and I can return just now again after reading the post. Took me back ! Did a cooking lesson there…. and the couscous was a little more involved than the version I do at home ??!!! But was fascinating.

  7. Gorgeous.

    I’m off to the nursery tomorrow. I neeeed me some roses! (mine are all white. sad.) Any suggestions? And that Suzani. Exquisite. Thank you.

  8. Umm….. Slim, Wish I was there………
    Can you inject scent into your blog. The aroma is
    Share the LOVE!

  9. My high school’s team was called The Sheiks! So cool. I guess that wouldn’t fly today, right? The Right Wing Extremists might not take kindly to that. Would love to go to Morocco. Especially The Amanjeni.

  10. Hi Slim…Your comments about Marrakesh are so true….I’ve been many times there and each time,it’s like the first visit!!!!!….So many different magnificent coloured places to discover….And the light in the souk is just perfect to catch the right pictures…..About YSL, I had the chance to work with him few times and he was the perfect gentleman, so sharp, precise and so focused before a fashion show…backstage to check every single detail of his creations….unbelievible, delicate elegant eyes and hands….We miss him….

  11. Oh Slim you are so funny, couscous!!!

    Where do I start with this post I just love it from the beautifully set table and your Suzani, to the Moroccan Chicken, to the trailer for ‘Amour Fou (I want to see that), to the fruity champagne drinks, yum yum, the Amanjeni……… you get the picture. Thank you once again, great post.

    Oh! PS any chance of seeing that silk kaftan floor length coat?

  12. Oh, that looks like it was a fun party! Beautiful flowers and a delicious menu. (I’ll take one of the champagne cocktails, please). So, did you dress as though you were in Morocco??? Or did you channel it by wearing YSL?

  13. My sister just returned from Morocco a few weeks ago and her bum still hurts from the camel rides. Your suzani is absolutely beautiful Slim! Thanks for letting me know about the documentary. I just watched Valentino’s and loved it too!

  14. Can’t wait to try the chicken–thanks I will let you know how mine turns out. Lovely post and inspiring. I think I will listen to Marrakesh Express. Here in Kentucky my roses and peonies are just popping out. It is a lovely time of year here.

  15. Beautiful, vibrant post, Slim! Love the music “Tu As Ma Vie” and would like to add it to our music collection. Is there an artist or CD title available? Thank you for sharing your gorgeous creations!

  16. You do have the most beautiful table settings.

    Thanks for the heads-up on the film about YSL–looks great. Reminds me of the Valentino film.

    May have to add Marrakech to my travel list.

  17. I LOVE themed dinner parties! I couldn’t help but shake my hips while reading your post and listening to Tu As Ma Vie. I’ve made miniature Caesar salads on endive spears for a party before. They look so great displayed and are fun to eat!

  18. Thanks for the inspiration! I think I’ll be cooking something in the tagine tonight…maybe an eggplant tagine to go with the nice weather. Now, if only I had that recording – “Tu As Ma Vie” – to listen to while I’m cooking. Could you give us some more info on that please? And thank you for the head’s up on the YSL film.

  19. For everyone asking about the song “Tu As Ma Vie”, it is by “Biyouna”, on Arabesque Tlata, Vol. 3.
    My version is an old copy from a CD called “Salon Oriental” but you should hopefully be able to download just the single song from iTunes.

  20. Great post Slim, thank you!

    Love the Pottery Barn lanterns.

    speaking of lanterns, did you watch Survivor last night?

  21. Still diggin’ the lavender. I visited Temecula Lavender Company with my youngest so she can scoop up her own sachet to put in her clothing drawer. Also got my oldest a vial of essential oil for her to wear. I believe in the healing properties of this scent. I spray it around before doing homework because believe it or not it helps us focus. The only thing they didn’t have was lavender tea!

  22. I just love looking at your blog. The pictures are wonderful. And I’ve got to see the YSL film!

  23. Beautiful table…a labor of love. Your table took many hours and it shows.
    I know because I love to create fun tables. you are amazing.

  24. Your taste is exquisite and I look forward to each post. So entertaining, colorful, classy and fantastic. You are one talented girl.
    Thank you for sharing so much of yourself and your taste. Loved the clip on YSL! Leslie

  25. Will you uproot your entire garden, get on a plane with it, and bring it to my house (including planting it all) for Callen’s wedding? OMG Slim. Simply beautiful. I’ll get it done somehow. Flowers and yard are stressing me. But luckily I have meds. Which [should] help. OMG, do I sound like one of those housewives???

  26. hi slim,

    your home and roses are so beautiful. do you know the name of the orange rose? if not cut does it turn a paler color and does it last a really long time? i’m trying to identify some of mine. have a great weekend.


    • Thank you Janet!
      The name of the rose is “GingerSnap” – not aptly named at all as it doesn’t vaguely resemble the colour of gingersnaps. It stays bright until it dies, it doesn’t fade at all.

  27. What a fun post! Love your tablescape of course with that giant suzani! Now I want to go to Morocco!
    My husband was knicknamed “the sheik” in college because he looked like Omar Sharif! I know, silly-huh? Anyway, I love this post! ~Delores

    • Um…”Silly” might not be the adjective I’d use if he looked like Omar Sharif- way to go Delores!

  28. What an absolutely gorgeous table, such beautiful colors, wish I was there for dinner. Love your orange roses – magnificent.

  29. I distinctly DO NOT remember getting my invitation to this Moroccan-inspired dinner. And where was the picture of the mini caesar salads on endive?

  30. The colors are breathtaking. I am looking forward to warmer weather up North so I can start wearing some of the colors of your flowers…beautiful-must look into Morocco as travel destination…

  31. I love all of your posts on Morocco. Can you please recommend a hotel in Marrakech that you love and the name of a guide that you used?

Would love to hear from you!