By Nadine Ferber

Back from my whirlwind week from my retreat with Holly Becker from Decor8 and the gang. I can't wait to share more about the things that rocked my kasbah in Marrakech in the weeks to come because I think they might entice you to explore this bewitching city for yourself. I'm still recovering from my flight back from Marrakech to New York so I'm a bit mentally slow right now - and I'm fighting a cold! - but to summarize my time away - it was just sublime.

Marrakech is one bustling city, to say the least. Travel tip: This isn't for you IPod fanatics, drowning out the sound of the F train hustling uptown. The strolls about the serpentine alleyways of the souks mean some serious business, or you might as well throw caution to the wind with the torrent of vespas skirting by you, donkeys hauling carts of loot, or sellers who do their utmost to lure you into their shoe-box sized stores overflowing with ornate lanterns, embroidered poufs, vintage teapots, sequined caftans and so much more.

But there's a charming and aromatic respite in the medina's spice market and an arm-lengths away from the bewildering madness. Cafe des Epices is a great spot where you can bask away, under a sea of braided umbrellas and straw hats scattered about the cafe to shield you from the high noon sun, for lunch or a glass of hot mint tea.