© Imaret

A Thousand & One Nights

As the sun sets from the gazebo, a faint scent of orange blossoms fills the arcades. Silence settles on the horizon, amplifying the sounds of water from the garden’s marble fountains mingling with those of the sea. Candles are lit and the night becomes magical. City lights from afar are the only reminders of the here and now. “For dinner, I’ve prepared an age-old recipe,“ remarks the chef while cutting fresh herbs from just outside your room, “from before tomatoes pervaded every Mediterranean dish.” The evening’s humidity moistens every surface. Early morning, before daylight, is the best time to smell the roses and their intoxicating aroma. They are Alika roses, planted haphazardly in front of the loopholes of the Byzantine castle walls. Colourfully painted boats slip into port. Breakfast is served in a garden filled with orange trees, directly beneath the mosque. There are pigeon houses engraved with exotic animals, their artistry unique. An orange, hanging from its branch mere moments before, is squeezed fresh into your glass. Moving to the garden with amphorae, the scent of clean linens washes over you. Noon finds you barefoot and wandering the warm marble and cool stone, accompanied by the sound of water. Wafting from the hammam are smells reminiscent of the far East. The images of Imaret – like peeling an orange.