Monday Postcards

Well it finally got me. Two years after the pandemic started the Covid has found me – and there was I thinking I was an outlier. Clearly not. So this post comes to you from my isolated sick bed  – see below – with a few postcards of my trip to Morocco – the covid brain isn’t quite up to analysing beautiful rooms I’m afraid.

view from a sickbed
view from a sickbed

I have told you about a building I am working on in St James, Mayfair, – a huge Victorian gothic mansion which is being converted into five flats. I was asked to come up with a design concept and to help out with sourcing. The idea is that, as far as possible, everything will be sustainable (Vita,  my eco sofas will be in all the sitting rooms), vintage or made by small British businesses. We offset our trip to Morocco and travelled there to buy vintage rugs – the budget is, of course, tight and getting tighter as the cost of building has increased so much but we managed to source all the rugs needed as well as a few other vintage items for styling.

rugs from @berbertreasures
rugs from @berbertreasures

We stayed at the Riad Dar Assiya in the Medina which has only five rooms – we took three of them – and this very pretty plunge pool which, what with one thing and another, we only really got to stick our feet into. There’s also a very pretty roof terrace with an outdoor shower which is also perfect for sunbathing and cooling off – didn’t have time to do that either.

Above was my room with the courtyard and plunge pool below.

This is a detail from the ceiling in the room behind the pool above.

There are so many rooftop cafes and restaurants in Marrakech. This was taken from Nomad.

This is the terrace of L’Mida – one of the best lunches I have had in three trips to Marrakech.

Walking through the dusty streets of the Medina.

To a stall making freshly squeezed orange juice.

And there I shall leave you as although I can’t claim to be properly ill that small typing has been exhausting.


Kate Watson-Smyth

The author Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.


  1. Get well soon, Kate. This post was above and beyond the call of duty, but lovely all the same, thank you.

  2. So many of us in the same boat. Good job with this post because Covid brain is real! Your pictures remind me of the best part of traveling far away — everything is interesting and photo-worthy (and now I want to go shopping in the souks again).
    Feel better soon!

  3. Get better! As a Covid survivor I empathize. Don’t lie in bed all day. Be sure to get up and walk around the room every hour, no matter how hard it is. Keeping your circulation going is very important.

  4. CoVid has you down, but not defeated, as evidenced, by today’s post. Best wishes for a soon to be return to wellness.

  5. You are made of strong stuff Kate if, being ill with Covid, you can send us such beautiful and evocative photos. Nowadays covid seems to be a belting headache and cold symptoms. What I hope is that you don’t loose your sense of taste, which is happening frequently now.
    Get well soon!

  6. So sorry to hear you have succumbed to covid at last. I have managed to avoid it (so far) but then I don’t get out much these days which has probably helped!
    Thank you for the lovely pictures of Marrakesh, I had a fabulous holiday there years ago, staying in the most amazing riad, they brought back some very happy memories.
    As other have said, take care of yourself and don’t try to do too much too soon. Enjoy the view from your bed for as long as you need to. I hope it won’t be long before you are fighting fit and dressing those flats, I’m looking forward to seeing the end results 🙂

  7. Don’t rush back Kate … it helps to avoid long COVID problems later on. I avoided it too until a recent trip to London and onwards to Germany. I was fully masked and very careful but had my 2nd. booster about 2 weeks before so I just got the banging head and a scratchy throat and a bit of fatigue. The fatigue lasts a bit so take your time.
    Thanks for the beautiful post of Morocco. Rest up… pamper yourself !

  8. Get well soon Kate, nothing more energetic than a little light mental room re-arranging for a couple of days now, doctor’s orders! xx

  9. Thank you, Kate, for taking the time to post from your sick bed. I loved the gorgeousness of your photos from Morocco – it’s been decades since I was there (just a day trip) and they make me want to return for longer. I dodged Covid for 24 months and then managed to catch it just before going on a cruise which meant no holiday for me – what bad timing! Luckily I am retired and had no work to worry about getting back to. My symptoms were of a very mild cold and I recovered quickly. Take care and I wish you a speedy recovery too.

  10. Get well soon Kate. Thank you for showing us pictures from your trip – I’m amazed you found the energy. I too thought I’d somehow miraculously avoided Covid until I got it in March, and I felt really rough! In an ‘I need a Lemsip’ way rather than ‘I need a doctor’ way though – phew.

    My best friend co-incidentally had it at the same time and a Covid buddy helped enormously. One thing – we decided to implement an old-fashioned convalescence – we both had an additional week of resting (a hundred years ago we’d have all gone to Switzerland to a sanitarium!) and we have recovered fully with no lingering symptoms at all – whereas friends that hurried back to work are still feeling below par. So if you can – rest.

  11. So sorry to hear that Kate. Rest up and don’t rush back to work. At least you have a beautiful view from your sick bed!

  12. Well done on getting anything done from your sickbed! These inspiring photos are more than enough and make me want to go back to Morocco. I haven’t had covid yet either but I guess my days are numbered 😬 Get well soon and I hope it’s a *mild* case xxx

  13. Thank you for this lovely post. Oh I am sorry you finally got it. I too got COVID this month after dodging it for 26 months! I wish you a full and speedy recovery. Take care of yourself and the thing I learnt was not to rush back into full go too quickly.

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