Postcards From… Tarifa
“I constantly travel to so many cities,” says Chloe Lonsdale, founder and creative director of MiH Jeans, who relaunched her godfather’s British denim brand in 2006. But Lonsdale, a Central Saint Martins graduate, says Tarifa, a beach town on the southernmost coast of Spain, is her getaway of choice. “It’s an incredibly beautiful part of the country that is rugged and refined at the same time.” Lonsdale, who lives in London’s Notting Hill, is an entrepreneur by blood, globetrotter by trade. In addition to MiH, she and her husband Johan have also relaunched Jean Machine, a line of men’s jeans and casual ready-to-wear collections named after Lonsdale’s father’s ’70s denim boutique. Once she’s launched new denim for the season—MiH’s latest introduction is the Bodycon jean with power-stretch denim and a streamlined silhouette in washes fit for spring palettes—Lonsdale finds herself dreaming of a sun-filled retreat from city life. And Spain immediately comes to mind. Lonsdale and her husband find it charming that Tarifa is “still relatively undiscovered compared to its overrun neighbor, the South of France.” As a family of four (soon to be five), she and her brood are attracted to the region’s sunshine, beaches, and outdoor sports. “Tarifa is the kite surfing mecca that suits us all perfectly,” says Lonsdale. Here are her favorite aspects of this Andalusian city.
By Ellie June
EL CANCHO If we want to rent a small house in the hills above the beach, our favorite is El Cancho’s Wallpaper House, which was designed by Swedish architect Thomas Sandell for the magazine’s Salone de Mobile exhibition in 1998. It’s truly amazing to be perched high above the sea where you can watch dolphins and surfers co-exist among cowbells and mountain flowers. It’s basic living, but that’s how we like it.
HOTEL ARTE VIDA We stay in the Arte Vida if we want the beach party vibe.
CAFÉ AZUL Each day we have a breakfast of tomato bread and fresh juice at Café Azul in the old town; it’s buzzing with locals and always a treat.
CHIRINGUITO TANGANA Lunch here for simple Spanish fare.
MISTRAL BEACH CLUB Order easy beach food with your feet in the sand and your wetsuit hung out to dry alongside.
HOTEL ARTE VIDA RESTAURANTE Sundowner cocktails are a must on the beachfront of Arte Vida where lethal Caipirinhas and live DJs top the bill until the lights go out; but it’s flip flops and T-shirts all the way.
MANDRÁGORA For an amazing dinner, head to Mandrágora which is out of the centre of town and hard to find, but well worth it. The eatery has a strong Moroccan influence combined with Mediterranean flavors and is a real treat.
RESTAURANTE EL MORILLA Don’t miss the amazing tapas from Bar Morilla, you must try them before you leave.
PLAYA DE LOS LANCES The main draw here is the beach where you can simply relax in the shade of the palms or more often than not take up kite surfing at one of the many easy going kite schools. Everyone here kites or is learning and there is nothing like seeing a clear blue sky bobbing with the site of a hundred colorful sails on the wind; it’s both an exhilarating and peaceful sport!
HORSEBACK RIDING AT HOTEL HURRICANE There are amazing Andalusian horses you can ride at dawn (the best place to rent them is at Hotel Hurricane).
BOAT RIDE TO TANGIER, MOROCCO For the more adventurous, a ride by boat to Morocco is only 20 minutes and you can see across the strait of Gibraltar on most days. An afternoon in Tangier is an exotic experience and quite a reminder of the Moorish influence that reins over this part of Spain.
SHOPPING IN TARIFA Spend an afternoon wandering the narrow streets in town where cool surf shops vie with small boutiques for space. The town is filled with local artisans and I always find some new treasures every time I’m there.
Pictured: Chloe Lonsdale
Photo by Alissa Conan