July news…

Time to get moving…

camp and rooms

So, the time has come to book in for your stay at Cafe Tissardmine and join one of our creative retreats in creative writing, photography and Berber culture…there are several courses to on offer and if you book before August 31 2013, you will receive 10% off the published price.

Photography Rosa Frei

Footprints on a sand dune in the Sahara desert.

With its far-reaching horizons and variety of landscapes, from towering and impressive dunes to the endless stony and black deserts, the Sahara is made for being photographed. Join us on this tour to one of the most isolated places in Morocco. You will be based at Café Tissardmine in the eponymous far-flung village in the Moroccan Sahara where daily workshops and critiquing of your work will take place. Be prepared to get up early for the sunrises and stay up late for the magnificent night skies.

Your tutor, Rosa Frei has a great knowledge and deep understanding of Morocco and its culture, especially of the desert. Her special interest and fascination have stemmed from living in Morocco as a foreigner. Rosa’s sensitive ability to act as a bridge between cultures increases the opportunity to get into contact with local people and to achieve unique and narrative images.

Creative Writing

Jan Cornall

peace and quiet

This creative adventure into the Moroccan desert will take you deep into the heart and essence of your writing. Start a new project, revitalise an old one or simply write the journey. All genres and levels of experience welcome.

Daily workshops begin in Fes and follow the cosmology of the eight pointed star, which is the base of Moroccan decorative arts, architecture and Islamic symbology. Each day as we travel the desert sands to our seven-day oasis retreat in Cafe Tissardmine and on to Marrakech, we will explore the mystical significance of the eight cardinal directions and the areas of writing craft they relate to. Meditative writing techniques combined with image and sense explorations will take your writing to new and unexpected places as the journey reveals the geographic treasures of the shifting Saharan landscape. With the Moroccan star as our map and guiding light, on our last day we will arrive at the ninth point, the centre of the octagon, which in Sufi beliefs represents wholeness and perfection. As we pack our bags for our return we can be sure the profound knowledge and newfound discoveries of our adventure will be useful in our writing for years to come.

Linda Cracknell


This ten-day adventure takes you into a fantasy of land- and cityscapes starting in the hustling bustling city of Marrakech; through the grandeur of the High Atlas Mountains; down through the Dades gorge and onto the Sahara. After six nights under the vast night skies and 5 days of workshops helping you to unlock your stories, we take you to Fes, up and over the Middle Atlas for a final exploration of this magnificent and ancient city.

“I will lead enjoyable activities which sharpen observation, encourage flights of imagination or memory, and hone writing-craft whether for fiction, non-fiction, drama or poetry. Activities will draw creatively on the unique setting of Café Tissardmine and the stimulation of place and travel. Supported space and time to write will be complemented by individual feedback sessions on work in progress. The retreat will be suitable both for new writers needing encouragement and more experienced writers seeking refreshment.” Linda.

Writers of all levels of experience and writing in any genre are welcome.

Berber Arts and Culture with Rosemary Betterton

This course will lead you beyond the stereotypes of Morocco to explore the real beauty of Moroccan art and crafts, architecture and gardens with visits to the fabled cities of Fes and Marrakech, and via oases and mountains to the southern desert town of Rissani and the even more remote village of Tissardmine.

We will visit mediaeval medersas and souks, palaces and gardens, including the Medersa Ben Inania, Dar Batha Museum and Souk el Attarin in Fes, the ksars of Rissani and the famous Koutoubia Mosque, Bahia Palace and Majorelle Gardens in Marrakech.

You will have the opportunity not only to visit centres of Berber carpet and tapestry weaving, wood and leather working in Fes, but to try your hand at making Berber textiles and Berber cooking with the locals during your restful stay at Café Tissardmine.

Book by August 31 and receive 10% off the published price

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