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Marrakech Escape – A Weekend Guide

April 27, 2016

Marrakech has my heart like very few places do. Everything about it- the colours, the markets, the gardens, the chaos, the food – my god – the food! It really is an exquisite place and because of the overwhelming amount of delicious restaurants, cafes and riads around, this is my weekend guide to my favourite little spots in one of my favourite places in the world- made with a lot of love to keep your bellies happy and your bodies glowing.
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The first time I visited the wonderful city, I stayed in La Mamounia- one of the most exquisite hotels I’ve ever been in.  Although gorgeous beyond belief (and definitely worth an afternoon tea visit), it was my second visit to Marrakech, when I stayed in Riad Ghali, that made me really fall head over heals in love with the city. It’s tucked away right in the heart of the Medina, and is only reachable by foot.  After a few minutes of walking through alleyways, tunnels, and streets full of souks, you arrive at a wooden door which opens up to the most peaceful, tranquil and exquisite space I have ever witnessed.  This really is a little corner of paradise, and I dream of the day I’ll be able to return.  Everything, from the courtyard with a small pool, to the rooms, to the friendly little animal inhabitants (picture below) is really incredible.  There are probably so many amazing little riads in Marrakech, but what really makes this place is the staff.  The owner, Pascal, is one of the friendliest, most helpful and caring people I have ever come across.  The minute we arrived, he sat us down and gave us an in-depth talk about the secret hits and misses of the city- what to avoid, what to be careful with, and what to not miss- after which he walked us to an amazing little cafe for lunch, gave us a walk around of the medina, and checked up on us every day of our stay.  Pascal, along with his wonderful staff and Abdul, who provided some of the best and kind service (along with freshly cut fruit!) I’ve every had, really succeed in making this place magical.m2
Now for the part you’ve all been waiting for… the food! There is so so so much delicious food in Marrakech, and there are incredibly tasty vegetarian options readily available everywhere.  However, the places I’m going to mention here are the ones I found particularly special.  My favourite lunch spots by far are Nomad and Atay Cafe- the food is incredibly innovative and fresh, whilst retaining the magic of traditional moroccan flavours in a gorgeous setting- followed by the Earth Cafe, and La Famille. My favourite dinner spot is hands down, Al Fassia, a traditional and elegant restaurant, run solely by hardworking women.  Vegetable tagines are on every menu of every restaurant in Marrakech, but out of every single one I have tried, the one at Al Fassia was simply incredible! Paired with the lovely ambiance, this restaurant is worth the visit. image3-3
Regardless on what time of the year you’re visiting Marrakech, you will most likely stop for a few breaks throughout the day for a juice, coffee or tea- to get quick break from the market chaos. Fresh orange juice and good mint tea is easily found in most cafes around the Medina, but my favourite place to take a breather is at the Café des Épices- a wonderful space with an even more wonderful terrace, serving up both a great juice and a great view.
Despite being surrounded by great and cheap cafés, it is so worth it to set aside a couple of hours one afternoon and visit La Mamounia (mentioned above), have a tea in the incredible gardens, take a stroll through them and soak up the magic of Marrakech’s versatility.
I hope you enjoy this beautiful place as much as I do!
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