(The Djemaa El Fna)

After missing out on a night’s sleep because of our 5am pick up for the airport on Weds morning – by the time I’d finished packing it was past 3am, and I still had parking tickets to pay and letters to write, we slept in today, making it to breakfast minutes before the 1030hrs cut off time.

It still took us another two hours to leave the riad, but that’s the whole point of a holiday…no rushing, no stress, lots of pottering. (I think we were moving so slowly because we had eaten our way through three immense courses at the Maison Arabe’s Moroccan restaurant the night before and were still drunk on food.)

First up we stopped at a hole in the wall shoemenders to get a new ferrule attached on lil’sis’ walking stick for a few dirhams (& an offer to take my sister’s hand in marriage in exchange). And got our heads around Marrakech’s constant contradictions.



The rest of the day involved history (the  El Badi Palace remains, with resident stork),



shopping (I spent quite a while entranced by a passementerie specialist by the El Badi),


the souk (avoiding buying tat & rather wanting pink slippers), revolting food for lunch in filthy surroundings (the Cafe de France tourist-trap panoramique restaurant on the Djemaa El Fna. Thanks a bunch for that recommendation) and a wander in the glorious rose-filled grounds of the justly famous Mamounia hotel at sunset.



We had walked straight into the hotel, past the tourists who were being turned away, with my patented what do you mean, of course we are guests here look, and spent a lovely hour poking around the splendid building and its really beautiful bar, and then being rather appalled at the degage behaviour of the obviously very wealthy French families staying there. (Please, please if you are going to wear your bathrobe in the communal areas, put on some underwear).

I had thought about booking us into Le Marocain, the Mamounia’s stupendous standalone restaurant for New Year, but the hotel concierge rather rudely shot that one down in flames. (“Eet ees foooollly booooooked”. Lip curl, Sneer.) Silly me for even asking. Pah.

Firmly put back in our box, we took a life-threatening petit taxi back to our rather more welcoming riad, where we had supper in front of a fire in a private room off the courtyard. Unfortunately we developed such monstrous couscous babies that we had to abruptly finish our meal and waddle upstairs to our room to lie groaning on the floor.

Now I understand why there are so many pizza restaurants in Marrakech. *Burps*

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Ooh so looking forward to more Moroccan posts! Things I loved were the food in my riad (better and more interesting than any of the restaurants), cups of orange juice (pick a clean-looking stall and use a straw!) and plates of grilled aubergines for mere pence at the rickety little food stalls in the square (ignore the touristy restaurants that ring the square and go straight to the little trestle tables right in the square with the locals – we didn’t get sick at all in case you’re worried), local hammams (where the ladies don’t speak a word of English but you’ll never feel cleaner in your life), and taking a day trip through cool valleys and Berber villages and sandy vistas in the Atlas mountains. Have a wonderful time lovely!

Briony xx


P.S. A couple of my posts on Marrakech here if you’re interested (I warn you, my blog was just a fortnight old then so it looks rather ugly!)

B xx


Kismet – the ONLY thing I bought in the souk in Marrakech was giant curtain tassles/tie-backs. Worth going there for that and the argan oil massage I mentioned alone.

Have fun whatever you do on NYE



Wow it looks beautiful


Looks absolutely amazing. Very jealous of your winter sun.

Happy New Year!

The Vintage Huntress

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