When I spoke with Q last night her comment was: “When did I become the cat lady who lives alone (with your cat!), and you get dinner on the beach?”
“Hello. I’m so happy to see you,” he said as he took my hand and led me onto the beach.
“Hassan what is all this? It’s amazing.”
“I wanted to surprise you with something special. I will admit I have been planning this for some time. I’m only sorry it took me longer to get here than planned,” he said.
“I think you are forgiven, “ I said as I looked out over the scene on the beach. I’m trying to think of which movie to give you for comparison… Sitting center was a huge white tent glowing with the light from within. It even had a little flag flying from the center support. Next to the main tent were two smaller tents also lit. When I tell you the tent was huge I am talking the size of the entire downstairs of my house! There were torches staked into the beach all around the tents lighting the entire area in a fire glow of yellow light and giving it a barbaric and romantic ambiance. The ocean sparkled with moonlight and the additional decoration was provided by a black night sky full of bright stars. There was an ocean breeze blowing in that made me glad I had decided to wear that fancy, not-Anne Fontaine but the nearest Moroccan version, long sleeved black shirt (the one that fits like a glove), along with my black and white, not-Hermes (left them in storage), but the best Moroccan version silk scarf.
We walked around to the front of the tent where the sides were tied back opening the entire tent to a view of the ocean. Palms and begonias in huge pottery urns lined the walk up to the tent. The floor was covered in gorgeous carpets, cushions, and over in the corner was a divan! Candlelight and portable round glow lights hanging from the ceiling lighted the tent. Everywhere there were roses: pink, red, white, and yellow, contained in the most beautiful vases of every size; some of them four feet high, others placed around the tent on tables.
The display of color in the tent was another kind of feast – the candles were set in lanterns of multi-faceted glass, sending out shafts of blue, green, red, and gold light. There were tables in the corners with the light coming from inside and roses placed on the top. The carpets were of the Berber design in subtle varying shades of red. The silk and satin covered pillows and cushions lay on the floor and the divan in piles, and all sizes – from a pocket handkerchief to several the size of a large chair, and all were exquisitely embroidered with the satin stitch that is the hallmark of Rabat textiles. The supports of the tent were large cedar beams and I recognized the design from one that Q and I saw in David’s home in the Fez Medina that he had recovered from a Berber encampment.
We left our shoes at the door and entered this magical alcazar. Hassan led me to the cushions surrounding the low cedar table. The table was the most intricate carving I have seen since my arrival. I could not stop touching the carvings and following the patterns in the wood with my fingers. Sitting at the table, we were facing out towards the ocean, I could see the whitecaps rolling in and hear the sounds of the surf. With the silk cushions at my back and under my arms, I felt like a princess indeed. I felt breathless.
The servers were dressed all in white and began to bring in the food on huge silver trays. The smells slithering in through the front of the tent were making my mouth water. That would be part III eh?