Monday, 9 July 2012

Palmeraie Party

Location scouting for our upcoming shoots wasn't easy. Everything is possible in Morocco but nothing comes easy. If you've got an idea or a creative concept in mind, chances are you could make it happen here in Morocco, there are far fewer regulations and much less red tape to cut through than many other countries but get ready for a lot of mint tea and a lot of lengthy meetings. Planning anything in advance also seems to totally go against the Moroccan nature.

One person that we were fortunate enough to meet and who made organising and decision making very easy was Meryanne Loum-Martin, interior designer and owner of Jnane Tamsna, a boutique riad set amongst the rural tranquillity of the Palmeraie on the outskirts of Marrakech.

Meryanne gets straight to the point, she's a busy (and interesting) woman. We were immediately given a tour of her husband Gary's lush organic working gardens that surround the property and supply the kitchen, we sat and ate season dishes inspired by the fresh produce of these gardens, we booked two dates to return and shoot, and before we knew it we were in the back of a comfortable air-conditioned car being driven back to our hotel, but not before Meryanne had generously invited us to shoot her sister Katherine's upcoming birthday dinner.

There is no doubt about it, Riad Jnane Tamsna certainly does represent the opulent lifestyle here in Marrakech but the setting for the dinner couldn't have been more subtle and delicate. Romantically set on a little gravel pathway that meanders through an olive row amongst the gardens bearing the fresh produce we would eat later that evening, Meryanne needed nothing more than to set a simple table and stools lightly drenched in the glow of flickering candles. The atmosphere was relaxed and the conversation was easy. It was made very clear to us early in the evening that we were not here to work, we were here to enjoy ourselves, and we did.

Sophia lights up the evening.
Katherine the birthday girl surrounded by friends.

Gary and Meryanne.

Thais and Mum.

Sophia deep in conversation.

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