#1 Address in the Indian Ocean

L1090984

With only one or two days left in January I’ve just realised it’s been a year since my  Sri Lankan sojourn and I never did get around to writing the posts I promised about all the incredible places and things we experienced there.

Perhaps a teeny, weeny part of my resistance was self-serving-I don’t want toooo many people going there-just you guys :)

(Oh oh. Was I being a Holiday Destination Hoarder?!)

img-index Taprobane.com

But I think the main reason was I’m just so damn in love with the place that I wanted every post to be perfect.

Then I remembered my old resolution that “DONE is a whole lot better than perfect” (Was that it?? Something to that effect anyway)

So, with no further time to waste, let’s take a quick visit back to Taprobane Island.

L1090993Located in the Indian Ocean, just a stone’s throw off the southern tip of Sri Lanka in Weligama Bay.

Sri Lanka - from Galle Fort to 30km south.The famous stick fishermen of Weligama Bay

L1080726and yours truly, also in Weligama, waaay too many years ago to admit to.

Taprobane Island mimics the shape of Sri Lanka but measures a mere 2 1/2 acres. It was built in 1922 by the Count de Maunay-Talvande who grandly presided over this last, tiny tear-drop of land before the South Pole, for almost 30 years. After Maunay’s death in the late 40′s, the house fell into a state of neglect until the American writer Paul Bowles came upon it. It was love at first sight and it was here that he wrote “The Spider House”.

In reading a biography about Bowles and his wife Jane several years ago I learned that as enchanted as he was with his tiny slice of Sri Lankan heaven, Jane simply abhorred it. She was a woman blessed with neither good health nor disposition at this stage of her life and deeply feared the swarms of huge bats that routinely descended upon the island each dusk. While Paul enjoyed the peace and inspiration Taprobane offered him, Jane would be plotting her escapes.

Not to mention her girlfriend was back in Morocco waiting for her, but that’s another story.

jane-y-paul-bowlesI want to go back to Morocco now

L1090994The octagonal open air design allows the tropical breezes to flow through the house. The black doors you see flanking the terrace lead to bedrooms

L1100013This was Paul Bowle’s bedroom. Much of the original furnishings and paintings are still there. Don’t you just love the doors?!

Screen Shot 2013-01-30 at 8.40.00 AMMoi, in one of the other bedrooms enjoying a dreamy, sultry breeze on a very hot & humid day.

L1100017One of the things we loved about much of the architecture we encountered in Sri Lanka were the wonderful ways in which seating areas are incorporated into walls and floors.

L1100030Like this.

Note the gorgeous patina on the cool, smooth concrete floors- something we also saw a lot of and such a great choice in a hot climate.

Screen Shot 2013-01-30 at 8.36.34 AMTaking late afternoon tea at Taprobane.Uh… no bats ’til dusk right???

(ps. I told you it was humid!)

L1100015The steps leading down to the ocean where the house staff told us the present owner and his mother had been swimming when the Tsunami struck.

Miraculously, they both survived but much of the lower part of the house was damaged and the swimming pool was completely swept away.

L1100018A new infinity pool has been built in a higher location on the property. Here you can see how close the beach of Weligama is to the island.

L1100044The tropical gardens surrounding the house are brimming with eye-popping bouganvilla

Yes, I did post this pic of us leaving the island last year…

L1000537Remember that the tide does rise in the afternoon in Weligama Bay!

For More information about  Taprobane read HERE

L1100012A photo hanging in the house.

(Please note, we did not stay on the island, we just visited and took tea and the tour one unforgettable afternoon)

Happy Travels!

xx

~

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!

 So,

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’


ou

“Rock The Casbah”


.

.

.The Amanjena hotel, an Aman Resort, Morocco

.

.D

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 maps.com

.


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)

.

Amanjeni


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…


couscous!

xx