Saturday, October 02, 2010

Preview of new riad in Fez

Michel and Catherine Biehn opened the doors of their beautiful riad last night to celebrate the end of the construction phase of the project.

Le Jardin des Biehn is a large estate of around 2500sqm situated on Aqbat Sebaa in the Fes Medina. There's a beautiful garden (pictured above) with trees, flowing water and fountains. The guesthouse will have nine rooms arranged around the garden and is due to open within a month or so.

Michel Biehn

The house has been restored with care and decorated with flair and elegance, but retains its simplicity. M Biehn is a well-known antiquarian, decorator and collector specialising in fabrics and old costumes, and has published several books.

So far, only one room has been furnished, and it gives us an inkling of what's to come:

One end of the garden will house the Fez Cafe which will be open to the public. It will specialise in flavours of the orient - not only Morocco, but other countries such as Lebanon and Turkey - and will offer a daily menu of soup, salad, pasta, all marked up on a blackboard. As M Biehn has published some cookery books, we have high expectations! The Cafe has wonderful lighting and features the ubiquitous star image found all over the house.

There's even a football table, as Frederic Calmes discovered:

At the entrance to the riad is a gallery, where M Biehn intends to mount various exhibitions. Here are some of his own pieces on show at the moment:

We wish the Biehns every success and look forward to the opening of their exquisite riad.

All photographs: Sandy McCutcheon


pema said...

Ahem -- the devil in me says "oh no not another one..." but I suppose Fes as tourist city can absorb boutique riads like camels take on water. There must be a limit though. My worst nightmare is the medina morphing into a theme park. There's already a trend in this direction. Comment please on far it should go?

Fez Riads said...

Yes, Fez has room for more guesthouses. I agree with you that the Fez medina should not end up like that of Marrakech.
From Fez Riads' point of view, we're only interested in listing new riads if they offer something different from the others. This one does - it's unique in style and I think will prove popular.
The Cafe will be a great addition, too.

My Phloem said...

I agree. And Fez is so large compared to 'kech that it can absorb so much more while retaining its wonderful ambiance.

I love the look of that cafe!