London based - Travel | Lifestyle | Fashion | Interiors | Contributing photographer for The FolioID Magazine
Benito Camejo Nodarse is a tobacco farmer who lives in Vinales, Cuba. Located in the Western Province of Pinar del Rio, the area is famous for growing arguably the best tobacco in the world (used to make Cuban cigars) & has been recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Benito’s farm is one of the largest in Cuba, & is privately owned. His family has been growing tobacco for five generations, & as with most farms in Cuba, he sells the majority of his production to the government and is allowed to keep a portion for private use.
This portrait is of Benito’s son, Sergio, who is hoping to follow in his father’s footsteps.
Fes at sunset, with the university of Al-Qarawiyyin in the centre of the medina, the oldest library/university in the world.
Built in 859 (by a woman!). It's also part mosque, the largest one in the north of Africa.
La Guarida, Havana.
Given the mediocrity of state-run restaurants, fine cuisine continues to be a low priority in the Cuban Revolution. Although private restaurants were forbidden by law in Cuba, Paladars, family run restaurants out of their homes, were sanctioned by the Cuban government in 1990 in response to the growing scarcity in food. Of these restaurants, LaGuarida, translated as The Hideaway, is regarded as one of the best places to eat on the island. Notable visitors include Jay-Z & Beyonce, the Queen of Spain, Naomi Campbell, Jack Nicholson, Benicio Del Toro, Steven Spielberg, Javier Bardem, Kevin Spacey, Rihanna and many many more. Once the set of a Oscar-nominated film and the home of one of the film’s main characters, the restaurant has now become an iconic eatery at the heart of the crumbling, yet majestic, Centro Habana. Situated on the second floor, well-hidden among similar buildings, & not standing out in any way, a dilapidated staircase leads up past lines of drying clothes to a wooden door. A timeless Bohemian dream, La Guarida is the place to dine in Havana while submerging in the Cuban culture.
Hotel Manzana - La Habana, Cuba.
Originally built between 1894 and 1917, the historic building recently opened as Cuba's first 5-star hotel. Situated in the heart of old Havana, it has direct views of the Capitol building and the Great Theatre of Havana. It boasts large luxury rooms or suites with extra high ceilings and French windows opening out to the old city as well as a variety of restaurants and bars, which also includes a one of a kind cigar lounge and a rooftop pool / restaurant with panoramic views.
the pitons, a spectacular landmark of st. lucia. gros piton & petit piton (the smaller of the two, in the background) are two giant volcanic spires that rise out of the sea with waves crashing around their bases. the mountains are located near the town of soufriere on the southwestern coast of st. lucia. originally the capital of st. lucia, soufriere was founded by the french who were the island's first european settlers. it was later invaded by the british & became a british colony. considered one of the most beautiful islands in the caribbean, st. lucia was heavily contested & changed rule over 14 times between the french & the british - known more commonly today as being "7 times british & 7 times french".
travel story for The Folio Magazine.
looking back, reminiscing about the time when I was in this amazing place, the blue mosque, Istanbul, on a blessed friday during jumma prayers!