Sunday, 17 July 2016

Island Life

The one place we really miss when not living in Sweden is the beautiful island Runmarö in the Stockholm archipelago, where we have our little country house. Runmarö is ideally located just 45 minutes outside Stockholm city surounded by the ocean. It takes us one hour to get from the city pulse to our place on the island.

Runmarö is a quite large island, approx 5x5 km, so we can go for long walks, bike and run. There is a charming grocery store, a bakery with delicious bread and cakes, a restaurant, a school and a fish market. There are some 200 people living all year around on Runmarö and during the summer months many more who come to spend time in their summer houses.

This is our jetty on Runmarö, where we can dock boats, watch the sunsets and go for a swim.

We bought our little place on Runmarö 12 years ago after falling in love with the spirit of the island. Our house is located in an area called Söderby, which used to be an old fisherman's harbor. It faces the ocean and is close to the more posh island Sandhamn. We have our own jetty, where we or our guests can dock boats and the house itself is located a few metres up a little piste. We have a very private location and a 4000 m2 large garden with 3 small houses: the main house (with kitchen, living/dining space, our bedroom and a bathroom), the guest house that also doubles as a second lounge and the summer kitchen (a dining room that opens up to the terrace). We also have some 200m2 terrace space and an outdoor kitchen.
Söderby used to be the harbor of the local fishermen on Runmarö.
This is our little sanctuary in the world, three small houses, terraces and a huge garden

We have spent every summer here and also come out weekends all around the year, it has been the perfect escape after hectic business weeks and the high pace of the city. This is where our dog Disco enjoyed his first months as a puppy and this is the one place we keep returning to. Since we made Marralech our main base 1,5 years ago we have only been back to the island once so we were thrilled to return and spend five weeks here in our little paradise.
Morning coffee on the terrace
Ocean views
The road leading up to our house (our jetty is on the right side)
Swedish summer days (ie 20-25C and sun if we are lucky)

Part of our summer kitchen with a mix of Moroccan pottery, local island cheramics and plates/glasses from Iittala and Röratrand (Scandinavian design brands that Per used to work with).
Outdoor kitchen with a great BBQ from Röshults

Outdoor dining, we enjoy breakfasts, lunches and dinners outdoors all the time
Summer lunch

Outdoor lounge area on the terrace

This is our summer dining room that opens up to the terrace (New England style)
Living room in the main house
Deck chairs on the terrace
A quiet corner outside our guest house

Hammock - perfect for a lazy day

Island style
Welcome to Runmarö

RIP Disco
Unfortunatley we had to say good bye to our beloved dachsåhund Disco the other week. We are hearbroken to lose our little companion and dear family member but fortunate to have enjoyed ten years filled with adventures, love and fun in his company. Disco accompanied us everywhere so it is a very big emptiness now. Our little family member will make one last journey to Runmarö when we lay his ashes to rest here on the island where he spent all his summers. The circle closes and we will have to continue without him.
Here Disco is a 2 month old puppy enjoying midsummer and his first summer on Runmarö
Disco, 2006-2016, we miss you so very much!

Our little family is now missing 1/3 of our tribe. This photo was taken a few days before Disco left us on the island that he loved.
We hope you are all enjoying a great summer, take care of your families, friends and pets!

Monday, 4 July 2016

Ocean Break: Essaouira Revisited

Marrakech is very hot in the summer but it is actually quite nice, we take it slow, relax by our pool or go to the country clubs outside town. And we take small ocean breaks (you can read about our previous  ocean breaks HERE, HERE and HERE). This time we went back to coastal town Essaouira to enjoy some waves and the fresh air. We have been to this funky, bo-ho chic lazy little town many times before and we always enjoy it. Essaouira is (very) laid back and easy going. Essaouira attracts a lot of surfer and perhaps a more bohemian crowd than Marrakech which is very cool and there are also some really great restaurants here.

We have previously stayed in the medina of Essouira but this time we made the stylish boutique hotel Villa Anouk, located on the hills outside town with stunning views, our home for a few days. We found the most amazing and totally private unspoiled beach around the corner with miles and miles of white sand and great waves. Villa Anouk is the creation of former New York star stylist Anouk Beguery, who is a dear friend and also a client of our communication firm Red City PR. We actually created her logo, graphical identity, web page, social media strategies and photo shoots. It is a stunning luxury hotel with the most amazing beldi chic interiors.

Blue skies, great waves, sand dunes and total privacy at this gorgeous beach
We found some wild camels
Essaouira, or Mogador, is the windy city of Morocco and located on the Atlantic coast

Hidden courtyards and beautiful riads 

The medina of Esssouira
The white and blue town

This is part of beautiful Villa Anouk
A true sanctuary in Essaouira
We spent a few nights in this cool tower suite (before moving on to the gorgeous pool suite)
Beauty everywhere you turn!

One of the stunning salons at Villa Anouk

We are writing this blog post from this cosy corner
Yummie and stylish breakfasts every morning

So many beautiful places to lounge the day away

The pool suite also has a private court yard...

...and the most amazing bathroom
The beautiful pool, where we went swimming in the morning...
...and night

Red City PR designed the logo, graphical identity, web site and also did the photo shoots and social media strategies for Villa Anouk, we sure love this logo and symbol that reflects the spirit of Villa Anouk.
We also worked on the website for Villa Anouk togehter with Anouk and our web designer.
Medina ambience
Essaouira by night

We returned (several times) to our favorite restaurant Umia, which is brilliant. Here we are with Anouk and her partner Yassine.
This is Jamal and Bibi, the Moroccan/French couple, who operate our favorite restaurant Umia. They have previously managed an award winning restaurant in Lyon (we keep begging them to open a restaurant in Marrakech... Or at least do a pop-up!)

Other restaurants worth visiting: One Up, Mega Loft, Taros

Balzac and Igor are the pets and guardians of Villa Anouk, here they are enjoying a drink from the fountain

For us it is time to say au revoir to Morocco for five weeks and head off to Sweden and our country house in the archipelago.


Saturday, 2 July 2016

The dachshund Disco & the kitten Trassel

Our ten year old dachshund Disco sure loves Marrakech. He enjoys the warm weather, the medina walks, excursions to the lush palmeraie area and the fact that he can join us to restaurants. You can read more about his adventures HERE , HERE and HERE.

And now there is a new member of our little Marrakech tribe, the kitten Trassel. "Trassel" is the Swedish word for "trouble".

Disco and his new BFF, the kitten Trassel (picture a few days after we adopted trassel)

There are so many street cats in Marrakech. Most of them are fine since the locals take care of their street cats and feed them as well as give them water since they help keep the medina clean. However many kittens are killed by motor bikes, cars or diseases. We found Trassel in one of our neighbouring streets where she was abandond and tried to survive. We brought her food and water for a few days before we decided to adopt her and give her a safe home in our riad.

We took her to the vet to get all her shots and cleaned her up. She was approx 2 months when we took her in and she adapted very quickly to her new comfy life in the riad. Trassel is black/grey/beige with striped legs. She is so cute and very brave.

Trassel, trying to survive in the streets. This picture was taken the day before we took her in.

The first night in her new home

Trassel, a very cute kitten

She adapted quickly to the riad lifestyle

We were suprised how quickly Disco and Trassel became really good friends. From day one Disco was eager to play with her, Trassel a bit more hesitant but after a few days they were playing non-stop and since then they have been playing all day (and also nights..). It is great that Disco has a new friend that keeps him alert. 

Disco and Trassel waiting for food

Play time!

Good Morning!

This is our little pet-tribe at the Riad: Disco, Trassel, Valerie & Vincent

Trassel adapted quickly to the Riad lifestyle

They even share Disco's bed!

Trassel is hiding (in a stylish Iittala bag)

Trassel is playing with her new toy

Here she is resting in a Louis Vuitton bag

Play time again

Did someone say food?

Disco and Trassel chilling

Relaxing in the gold lounge of the Riad

Our little kitten grows quickly, now she is 4 months old

Patrick and Trassel

Per and the gang

Aren't we cute? Give us food!

In a few days Disco will join us when we go back to Sweden for the summer, while Trassel will stay and keep our houekeeper Rachida company in the Riad.

Woff & Miaou!