We took a taxi ride from the centre of Tangier to the Caves of Hercules (cost 100 dirham) then on to Restaurant L'Ocean for lunch (driver quoted another 5 dirham, but actually charged us 30, so be wary of these taxi sharks, even though it is a relatively small amount of money).
The drive from Tangier was lovely - lots of coastline and large villas interspersed with seaside villages and the odd flock of sheep.
We were lucky enough to be seated on the outdoor, ocean-facing terrace on a warm, sunny day and I could feel the pressure of the city fade away as I sipped a glass of wine and waited for my food. The service was slick and I could tell that many of the diners were regulars. There seemed to be a lot of French people dining on the day we visited.
The food was fresh, plentiful and enjoyable, but the beachside location is the clincher. The beach is accessible from the restaurant and there is a funny little farm area, with rusty tables and chairs and a donkey, goose and rooster, alongside the outdoor dining area, which children seemed to love. You can see the Saudi royal family's enormous mansion just along the beach from the restaurant.
The same taxi driver collected us and, instead of the peaceful, scenic route we'd enjoyed on the way there, for our 100 dirham he this time drove us - at breakneck speed - back through the ugliest parts of Tangier.
We had to laugh, as it summed up for us the inconsistencies of this city and its dwellers, along with their general lack of empathy towards tourists. It's all about taking as much as possible from you in exchange for as little as possible, rather than giving visitors value, enjoyment and a reason to return. Perhaps this will change over time, but, after this trip, I sincerely doubt that I'll go back to find out.
L'Ocean, however, is definitely worth a visit.