This post has been a little while coming, but it's definitely worth the wait for the images alone!!! I'd been looking forward to staying at Villa Anouk for so long, and it definitely lived up to every expectation and some... After a couple of hours in the bus, stopping for a bit of 'goat up tree' sightseeing (you have to see this! It's crazy!), we navigated a rocky dirt road which eventually wound it's way to the dreamy haven of Villa Anouk...
As soon as we arrived and stepped off the bus, out came the phones and the cameras and excited squeals of how the trip just 'stepped up a level' and 'could it get any better than this?'. Everything about this place just sung 'dream home' to me. The natural stone walls, the iron windows, the carved timber doors and window shutters, the furniture, the exposed old timber beams, the tadelakt bathrooms, the lighting... EVERYTHING! I literally couldn't keep my jaw off the floor... Luckily for us, we were led on a guided tour of each room - we had the whole place to ourselves (can you believe it!?!)... so out came my camera, and I got a little too snap happy! I wanted to make sure I captured every little detail - this was not something I wanted to forget, there was way too much inspiration in this place... even the flower arrangements were beautiful - so simple, but so charming.
I'd spent the entire first part of the trip trying to source a mirror the same or similar to this one shown below in one of the bathrooms... WOW! I'd been dreaming of this mirror since I had booked the trip, and had made it my sole mission to find one. My pièce de résistance!!! SUCH an amazing mirror - I had to have one!!! I hadn't been in luck earlier, but after leaving Villa Anouk and spending a little more time sourcing, yes, I did indeed find one of these beauties! But $4500 USD later plus an additional $1500-$2000 for shipping, I sadly had to end my search... But I will never give up on this! Even if it means a smaller version for above my vanity, I still dream about it.
After an afternoon of relaxation, some laps in the pool and a few (too many for some!) glasses of rose, it was time to prepare for the Henna party! What a night - henna tattoos, 2 local musicians who came to perform (most likely as background music, but they ended up being the stars of the show!) and food glorious food - the night was in full swing.
The next morning we awoke to another big breakfast and had planned a day of wandering the souks of Essaouira and a Moroccan cooking class for lunch. Another item I'd said I wouldn't come home without was a tray for my coffee table. I'd already bought one back in Marrakesh, but I managed to find a real beauty in Essaouira - perfectly aged and with a slight copper patina. It was like nothing I had seen before. So of course, I had to buy it! And then carry it around for the rest of the day, while everyone else helped me carry my bags (thank you ladies!). I was pretty happy with my purchase, even though it did add 5 kgs to my luggage. So worth it.
I loved Essaouira. It just had a relaxed feel to it, probably because I'm used to being by the sea, but I found the souks fun to wander and I loved the blue and white walls. It was going to be sad to leave, especially Villa Anouk!!! But we had plans to move on to the Atlas Mountains, where another adventure awaits.