Keep it Secret

Kis designer boutique, Marrakech

KIS stands for Keep it Secret, but it’s hard not to spread the word once you’ve had a browse in this dinky designer den. Offering clothes, accessories, gifts and homewares, this is a boutique that alongside a few international labels, mainly stocks smaller, Moroccan brands, like Sissi Morocco and Karim Bouriad.

This is the place to go for people who enjoy discovering little-known designers and unique pieces. Even better, some items have been especially crafted just for the KIS Boutique which makes them all the more tempting. It’s not just about fashion here though, as this is also the place to stock up on the wonderful Les Sens de Marrakech spa products and amenities, one of Morroco’s best wellness exports. Also, for the home, there’s Nour bougies candles and there’s a good collection of chill-out CDs too, just the thing for listening to on hot summer afternoons.

Once you’ve admired and chosen, it’s an idea to head to the terrace cafe for a cup of tea and if you time your visit carefully, there’s a chance that you might even stumble upon a book reading or similar.

http://www.kismarrakech.com/ or follow on Twitter @KISBoutique

Enhanced by Zemanta

Spa Delight Marrakesh

Nectarome organic products, made in Marrakesh

You might have noticed that in our riads we have lovely products from Moroccan spa company, Nectarone. Hailing from the foothills of the Atlas Mountains – specifically the small village of Tnine Ourika, 30 km from Marrakech – the products that are created in these beautiful surroundings are traditionally Moroccan and contain native ingredients like clay, argan oil and henna. They are also full of good stuff that promises to combat everything from skin ailments to aches and pains, and are free from parabens and insecticides. A company with good, green credentials, naturally none of the products have been tested on animals.

Also – perhaps best of all – the people who produce these lovely soaps, moisturisers, aromatherapy oils and lotions are from the village where production takes place, meaning jobs and a local, holistic approach. If you feel inspired, it is possible to travel to the village and to spend time in the shady, organic aromatic garden (Le Jardin Bio-aromatic de l’Ourika). There, you can take a tour to learn all about the virtues of the 50 or so medicinal plants that are grown, then follow this with a holistic spa treatment or a healthy lunch.

The gardens not only provide the bounty of botanicals that go into the products, they are also the first of their kind in Morocco, and make for a good day out.

http://www.nectarome.fr/

http://www.jardin-bioaromatique-ourika.com/

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Hot to Trot

As you know, one of our favourite places to cool off in the hot summer is the green belt of the Palmerie. The summer months are also a great time of year to get some wind in your hair by spending some time with the professional horse riders known as ‘The Cavaliers of the Atlas.’ This professional outfit takes horse-riders of all abilities out for anything from an hour to a whole day. After a mint-tea welcome, it is heavenly to ride through traditional villages on thorough-bred Arab and Anglo-Arab Sidi-Berni horses, passing by waterways and traditional farming. A unique experience!

Half day rides (two and a half hours on horseback) 50 € per person. Complete day ride with lunch and tea with the locals  90 € per person. horse riding, Palmeraie, Marrakech

http://www.lescavaliersdelatlas.com

Sweet Tooth?

Patisserie de Prince, Marrakeshy
If all that haggling in the souk has made you hungry, head down to Patisserie de Princes on the rue Bab Agnaou. As one of the best-loved sweet shops and patisserie cafes in Marrakech, it is popular with everyone from local school children to backpackers and wealthy ex-pats. Best of all, if you’ve got a bit hot and bothered it is air-conditioned and serves delicious, cooling milkshakes. There are also lip-smacking eclairs and mille-feuilles, all temptingly laid out in chilled glass cabinets. Or, if you have time to linger, head out to the salon at the back for some ice-cream and mint tea. A welcome retreat and a fascinating glance into Moroccan culture.

32 Rue Bab Agnaou, just off the Jemaa el Fna. +212 5 24 40 30 33

Soulful Cooking

Mourad, soulful Moroccan cookingWe know how much discovering the food culture of Morocco means to our guests. Exploring Marrakech means getting to grips with the different flavours, spices and recipes and is all part of the fun. We run cooking classes at both of our riads, which are proving very popular indeed. Travelling foodies of course also want to learn how to cook Moroccan dishes back home, so as well as imparting some well-practiced culinary tricks and recipes we also like to recommend a cookbook or two.

There are a lot of Moroccan recipe books out there that explain how to cook everything from tagines to couscous dishes, but one that we really enjoy is by Mourad Lahlou, who, at his Michelin-starred San Francisco restaurant, has developed a new, modern Moroccan cuisine. His cookbook ‘Mourad: New Moroccan’ includes the classics – basteeya, couscous, preserved lemons etc but he also adds exciting new twists to traditional recipes. The result is a book of 100-plus recipes and inspiring location photography – a must for all travelling gourmands.

The restaurant is in San Francisco – http://www.aziza-sf.com/

And you can find out more about the book, here – http://www.aziza-sf.com/mourad_book.html

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Kids in Style

Everyone loves a kaftan – they are perfect for throwing on in the heat. They cover you and keep you cool, are brilliantly colourful and are always easy to wear. They also come in all sizes, even miniature ones! We have long-admired Mini Maroc, a children’s clothing company with an ethical edge that was born out of many happy holidays to Morocco.

The Mini Maroc designs are very ‘mod-Maroc’, incorporating beautiful and intricate detail. Each item, inspired by the colours of Morocco and Berber prints, has been created by using organic fabrics and colourful silk braiding from Morocco. You can get inspired and shop for the new collection here.

Kids clothing Morocco, caftanAs well as making children’s clothes to cherish –mini-kaftans, vests and t-shirts – Mini Maroc is also busy getting the word out about a very worthwhile charity http://www.walou4us.com/ which works hard to rehabilitate street children, re-integrating them back into the community and enrolling them back into schools.

http://www.minimoroc.com/

 

Day trips to La Palmeraie or the Atlas Mountains

Whether you want to lounge by the pool, go trekking, play tennis, enjoy a camel ride or simply practice we can recommend two fantastic settings for you to do so –  one in the lush Palmeraie and the other in the foothills of the magical Atlas Mountains

Jnane Tamsna, Palmeraie

Set in 9 acres of landscaped gardens within a private estate Jnane Tamsna  http://www.jnane.com/ has earned a great reputation for luxury and style.

The owners, one of whom is an ethno-botanist, display a genuine concern for the environment and the gardens are wonderfully soothing and shaded. Jnane Tamsna has five swimming pools spread over the estate, making it an ideal spot for sunbathing, although more active pursuits like tennis, yoga and camel rides are on offer too.

Spa treatments include manicures, pedicures and massages, while lunch comes straight from the organic garden and is a fusion of Moroccan-Mediterranean cuisine – a delight to the senses.

Jnane Tamsna, Marrakech, olive tree

Jnane Tamsna garden, Marrakech

Lunch using produce from their own organic gardens  – a fusion of Moroccan and modern Mediterranean cuisine and a delight to the senses.

PRICE PER PERSON     Lunch and day by the pool, including transfer  – towels included

Price for one person Dh 680,  for 2 persons in taxi Dh 530 per person, 3 persons  in taxi Dh 500 per person, 4 persons in taxi Dh 480 per person

Tennis with equipment – Dh 100 per person     Other activities, massages etc. – price on request

Kasbah Angour, Atlas mountains, Marrakech

Kasbah Angour for a day in the Atlas Mountains

Spend a day trekking or chill out by the pool

A peaceful retreat set in 10 acres, Kasbah Angour (www.kasbahangour.com) offers spectacular panoramic views of the Atlas Mountains on one side and a winding valley leading to Marrakech on the other. Kasbah Angour may only be a 30-minute drive from Marrakech but it is a supremely quiet and relaxing place to spend the day reading or swimming in the azure coloured pool. Treks can be arranged and these provide an excellent insight into Berber culture and local flora.

PRICE PER PERSON   Lunch and day by the pool, including transfer  – towels included

Price for one person Dh 775  Price per person with 2 persons in taxi Dh 525 per person, per person with 3 persons in taxi Dh 460 per person, per person with 4 persons in taxi Dh 425 per person

Trekking – price on request

Please ask our staff if you would like to book. Please note that you have to book your lunch for Kasbah Angour in advance. Our staff will provide you with a menu.

http://www.kasbahangour.com/

 

‘Fantastiques Spirales’ Exhibition – Gallery Re in Marrakesh

Galerie Re Art gallery Marrakech

Just being in Marrakech – with all the bright sunshine and colour – provides artistic stimulus, but there are plenty of wonderful art galleries to admire too while you are here.

One of the galleries we like is Gallery Re and at the moment, until September 30th 2013, there is a wonderful exhibition on called ‘Fantastiques Spirales’ which bold and colourful in its approach, explores abstract themes. This show brings together four talented artists – Bilal Chrif, Raphael Durans, Imad Mansour and Yasmina Ziyat. Definitely worth a look!

More information on the gallery here: http://galeriere.com

 

Gardens of Marrakesh

Gardens of Marrakesh

water feature, garden in Marrakech

Many of our guests that stay with us are keen to visit the famous gardens of Marrakech, like Yves Saint Laurent’s elegant Majorelle garden or the gardens and cactus displays at La Palmeraie.

For inspiration we have enjoyed leafing through the newly published book ‘Gardens of Marrakesh’ which explores twenty beautiful gardens by looking at their cultural heritage.

The Daily Mail newspaper said of the book ‘Open this volume of rich, exotic photographs of beautifully tender gardens … and you can almost taste the mint tea.’ We couldn’t agree more!

The book is in hardback and costs £20, more details here: http://www.franceslincoln.co.uk/en/C/0/Book/5063/Gardens_of_Marrakesh.html

To visit La Palmeraie museum: http://www.museepalmeraie.com/

To visit Majorelle garden: http://www.jardinmajorelle.com/

Enhanced by Zemanta