Monday, 22 December 2014

A Surfing Christmas

From all of us to all of you, a very merry christmas! 

We hope you enjoyed a relaxing christmas time. We spent the holidays with our friends at Lanzarote in one of their beach villas.

Per, Patrick, Annelie & Stefan at the yacht club of Lanzarote

Beach Side Villa in Famara

Season greetings from sunny Famara at Lanzarote. We are enjoying a fantastic christmas with our friends in their beautiful Beach Side Villa. A lot of sun, surf, great food and wine. Annelie and Stefan bought these two amazing houses right on the beach a couple of years ago and have done a great job developping and decorating the properties. 

We love this place!

Both houses, Beach Side Villa and Surf Side Villa, are available to rent for a very unique and exclusive stay in the natural reserve of Famara.

Surfs Up! Annelie & Per

Hitting the waves

Surf Babes Annelie & Stefan

The Famara beach with black lava mountains as backdrop, set in a natural reserve

Playa de Famara, excellent waves all year round

Board walk...

Sand, sand, sand

Beach view from the villa

Time for Cava!

The yacht club, Lanzarote

Enjoying lunch

Beautiful sunsets, view from the terrace

Dusk at Beach Side Villa

Annelie is checking up on the Debaser business

Teguise is a beautiful little town located a 1,5 hour walk from Famara

We started all mornings with a 8km run in the mountains

Best friends - Thanks for a great week, see you soon guys!

The weather was sunny, around 25c and also quite windy some days. We enjoyed a very relaxing holiday with reading books, lounging in the sun, good discussions, long walks, nice restaurants and a lot of both champagne and cava. 

Now we are heading back to Stockholm and Miss Clara Hotel to celebrate new years and three weeks of work before moving to Morocco. Stay tuned.

Back to our temporary home for a month, Miss Clara Hotel.

We wish you all a fabulous new year and all the best for 2015!

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Gone Surfin´ @Beach Side Villa, Famara/Lanzarote

Our amazing friends, Annelie & Stefan, run the best music venues in Sweden, the Deabser clubs, and also some great restaurants, like Calexicos. When they don´t produce concerts, music events, dining experiences or corporate events they surf. They are committed surfers. They travel the globe to find the best waves. They look fabulous in wetsuits.

Here we go!

After many years they found what they describe as the spot in the world with the best waves all year round, Famara on Lanzarote. Famara is a small village of beautiful villas set in a natural reserve, with black lava mountains as dramatic backdrop and the ocean in front. Its amazing. They liked it so much so they bought 2 beautiful houses right on the beach, Surf Side Villa and Beach Side Villa. Check them out for a perfect luxury vacation!

Debaser - music venues, clubs, restaurants, bars, events

We have know Annelie & Stefan for many years now, they share our passions for travel, good food and great wine. We have done a lot of traveling together and we also live close to each other in Stockholm. We share the same interests, lifestyle and  appreciate the good things in life as well as just hanging out with eachother.

This Christmas we are once again heading for some great waves and excellent company in their beautiful homes on Lanzarote. After that its back to Sweden, wrap up some things at work and then we are off to Marrakech and our new adventures. Of course Annelie & Stefan will visit frequently (we hope).

Beach Side Villa and Surf Side Villa are 2 great houses right on the beach in Famara, Lanzarote.
Set in a natural reserve park and the best spot on earth to surf all year round, 
ocean in front and the black lava mountains in back

Beach Side Villa, Lanzarote

Dramatic scenery


 The villa at night

View from Surf Side Villa

Annelie & Patrick taking a walk on the beach to one of the many restaurants

Surfs Up! Stefan hitting the waves

Annelie serving drinks

Best Friends!


Friday, 12 December 2014

A Month at Miss Clara by Nobis

Its mid December and our move to Marrakech is coming closer. For Christmas we are off with our friends to their fantastic Beach Side Villa in Famara, Lanzarote, and January 17 we take off for our new life in the Red City. However we have already rented out our little townhouse in Stockholm starting this Friday, that is one month before we leave for Morocco. The reason for this (not so optimal timing) is that we found a great couple from Washington who wanted to rent our house but had to move in December 15 so we agreed to this in order to get people we really like to move into our home.

Since we are "homeless" for a month we decided to check in to and check out the latest addition to the Stockholm Hotel scene, Hotel Miss Clara by Nobis.  Its a beautiful building in the city that used to be a school run by a headmaster known as Miss Clara. Now it has been carefully restored and features beautiful rooms, a nice bar and good restaurant.

This beautiful building and Miss Clara Hotel will be our home and base for a month

The lobby

Our room

Famous Swedish architect Gert Wingårdh has designed the hotel

Nice bathrooms

It feels a bit extravagant to stay in a 5 star hotel for a month in your own home town but we did not really have a choice (and renting out our house pays the bill). Now we will settle in and be permanent residents at Miss Clara.

Time for the hotel gym and then some room service.

Do not disturb.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Sir Richard Branson

There is a cool guy I admire a lot, Sir Richard Branson. The other day I was fortunate enough to be in the audience when he made a rare appearance in Stockholm to talk to Swedish business leaders about entrepreneurship, management and his passions. Of course he was brilliant. I also had the pleasure to shake his hand in a (very quick) meet and great session. 

He has the aura of an aging popstar and is 100% driven by lust and quriosity. He is a strong defender of human rights and gay rights. In Stockholm he stated that when something is so fundamentally wrong in a country, like Uganda or Russia, cooperations should make a statement and not do business with these kind of countries, where gay rights are not at all acknowledged. Cred to him.

"Party on and have fun. Let your hair down. Get drunk. Be human."
- Richard Branson, Dec 3 in Stockholm

Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson (born 18 July 1950) is an English businessman and investor. He is best known as the founder of Virgin Group, which comprises more than 400 companies. At the age of sixteen his first business venture was a magazine called Student. In 1970, he set up a mail-order record business. In 1972, he opened a chain of record stores, Virgin Records, later known as Virgin Megastores. Branson's Virgin brand grew rapidly during the 1980s, as he set up Virgin Atlantic and expanded the Virgin Records music label. According to the Forbes 2014 list of billionaires, Branson is the seventh richest citizen of the United Kingdom, with an estimated net worth of US$4.9 billion.

 Sir Richard Branson, a truly cool guy

He likes adventures...
Over the years Sir Richard Branson has had his fair share of world record attempts, from his balloon adventures with Steve Fossett to kitesurfing across the channel with his son Sam there is rarely a dull moment.
"Screw it, Just do it"
- R Branson

Of course there is a Marrakech twist to this blog post as well. When waiting for his hot air balloon to take of from Morocco (for your everyday balloon flight to Europe, as you do....) back in 1998 Richard and his sister Vanessa fell in love with Marrakech. Vanessa settled down in the medina and later opened up a chic Riad-hotel, El Fenn. Richard also got a place, beautiful Kasbah Tamadot. Both absolutely amazing spots.

 Kasbah Tamadot

Sir Richard also likes practical jokes. One April 1st he dressed up an airplane as a space ship and flew slowly over London creating chaos. Finally landing in a meadow he slowly opened the door to "the space ship" and sent out a robot dressed up as ET, backed up by a smoke machine. How is that for a joke?!

The Future of Imagination

And he likes space ships...
Virgin Galactic  is the worlds first commercial space airline that is scheduled to take off with passengers Q1 2015. The project suffered some problems earlier this fall when astronauts were killed in a fatal accident with one of the space ships but still celebrities and millionaires around the globe que to sign up for the pricy tickets.

So you can see why I love this guy and was happy to meet him earlier this week in Stockholm.

Richard being interviewd by Jenny Strömstedt in Stockholm, December 3rd 2014 
 Elvis is leaving the building

He is full of wisdom and leadership skills as well. Richard Branson has always had the reputation for doing things differently, which has reflected in Virgin companies the world over. He has also sprinkled his views on business and life into decades of interviews, books and launches. 
While most people are familiar with his rallying cry of "screw it, let's do it", there are plenty more helpful hints from the smiley man with the beard. Below are some of my favorites.

 'A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.'

'I am prepared to try anything once.'

'Having a personality of caring about people is important. You cant be a good leader unless you generally like people. That is how you bring out the best in them.'

'I don't think of work as work and play as play. It's all living.'

'Business opportunities are like buses, there's always another one coming.'

'I never get the accountants in before I start up a business. It's done on gut feeling, especially if I can see that they are taking the mickey out of the consumer.'

'My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable challenges and trying to rise above them.'

'Right now I'm just delighted to be alive and to have had a nice long bath.'

What is your favourite quote from Sir Richard?

He is also very involved in different charity and human rights project. Check out Virgin Unite for more information.

This is Vanessa Bransons place, located just a few steps from our Riad in the Marrakech medina.
It is divine.
 Vanessa Branson, more or less our neighbour

Vanessa Branson is a Marrakech-lover, hotelier and art philanthropist. She hosts tha Art Biennale in Mararkech as well as several TED talks. Listen to her TED talk from Casablanca about Morocoo and her love for the country. She is a very talented and committed woman.

Dinner at Vanessas

Want to learn more about Richard Bransons philosophy? Pick up his latest book, The Virgin Way !

Do you know why his company is called Virgin? When in his late 20s and on his way to get laid, the flight to the Virgin Islands was cancelled, where his girlfriend at that time was waiting. Richard chartered a plane and sold tickets to other passengers from the cancelled flight. He called the plane "Virgin" since it was heading for the Virgin Islands. One passenger pointed out that "if you shape up the service you could be in the airline business". Virgin was born. Did I mention he bought one of the Virgin Islands, Necker Island, that today is one of his homes?

Like a virgin,