THE COLOURS OF MOROCCO – PART I
In all of our recent travels, Morocco has been a truly captivating country for Faithfull to explore.
From the rich and vibrant souks in Marrakesh, to the laid-back surfing town of Tagazoute and the sweeping desert and picturesque mountain ranges of Oazazate..
Follow us on our Behind the Scenes journey shooting Resort 2016 around this majestic destination
Exotic, bustling, overwhelming and always unexpected – the Medina of Marrakesh will surround you with mystique and madness like no other. The maze-like streets, small hidden alleyways filled with fine artisan traditional crafts of nomads and traders will leave your mind racing.
We spent hours galavanting the hole-in-the-wall ateliers and being blown away by brightly coloured traditional textiles, basketwear and old, worn out vintage cameras to partner as props for our up coming Resort shoot featuring Kim Riekenberg, produced by Rachel Gill and shot by Cameron Hammond.
The famous Jemaa el-Fnaa square is truly the beautiful chaos every traveller describes: thousands of people gathering at night – wandering, shopping, indulging in the local eatery markets, listening to live music, story tellers and snake charmers.
One tip we recommend is to organise a personal guide to guide you around the Square if you are not a native French/Arabic speaker, as English is not widely spoken. Your Riad of residence will be able to organise this for a small fee.
Another favourite past-time of our trip to Morocco was the call to prayer. When an entire city can become still – quiet – calm – for such a melodic nature of the call – you could not help but feel at peace and observe this unique cultural experience.
WHERE TO EAT
The Souk, Medina
The souk markets are dazzling with fresh produce on every corner, partnered with the traditional cooks being some of the best in the country – it feels like one of the worlds best kept secrets. The square is pulsing with culture filled fresh juice vendors, fresh bbq plates to order sided with the Moroccan couscous and tangine dishes. Do not miss the chance to experience this dining experience.
Located just minutes from the bustling main square of Jemma el Fna, Riad El Fenn is the sophisticated and luxurious fortress nestled in the Mousine area of the medina. In the local dialogue, El Fenn means
“cool” – to which you will clearly understand why.
All food is prepared fresh and with local organic products purchased daily at the city centre, or grown in their own organic vegetable garden – making this dining spot just that extra bit special and tasty!
Don’t miss the chance to experience a glass of wine on the rich rooftop terraced, partnered with the daily changing moroccan set menu big on flavour, aroma and spice, boasting our favourite tomato salad and Zaalouk.
WHERE TO STAY
The minute we stepped foot into La Sultana, we were greeted with absolute amazement. The hosts, the exterior, the ambience all truly present luxury to the modern traveller in a realm of ancient dynasty. Combining unparalleled views of Marrakesh through its rooftop patio, dining experience and spa – every corner leaves you wanting more. Whether it’s coloured exteriors, tiled floors or furnishings catch your eye – every detail embraces a cool and authentic character throughout the Riad.
Encompassing traditional architecture and picture perfect panoramic views of a thousand years of history, Riad La Sultana is the ideal backdrop for a luscious and unique retreat in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage site.
We came across this Riad last minute on booking.com and were left so impressed by not only the hospitality of the staff, but the overall essence of Monika as a whole. Being welcomed by the lovely owner down the end of the pink-stained pathway walls to escort us to our striking Riad ahead – he explained to us exactly where we were located in the realm of the Medina and everything we needed.
As a party of 6, we booked into 4 rooms – each being equally as elegant and cultural as the next, yet individually decorated with Tadelakt stoned walls and antique Moroccan furnishings. The design didn’t stop there – we were lucky enough to indulge in spacious, lounging bathrooms each equipped with a large spa bath to enjoy with local soaps and spices.
Featuring an authentic and warmly decorated rooftop terrace overlooking the Medina, decked out with chairs, berber carpets, lounges and views of the city landscape – who could complain? Guests are also invited to taste the owners wife’s amazing (and we mean amazing) traditional cuisine from sun up to sun down. Combined with a refreshing dip in the grounds pool, this was the perfect way to end a long shooting day in the summers heat.
Nestled in the middle of the Red city itself, Riad Yasmin is nothing short of a haven of peace. Recently going viral, this palace is a timeless retreat perfect to respite you after a day in the hustle and bustle that is Marrakesh. Located 5 minutes walk into the square – this position couldn’t be more perfect for your next Medina escape.
Overall, Marrakesh was as thrilling and picturesque as we dreamed it would be and we can’t wait to share our Resort 16 Shoot with you of our time spent here.
Stay tuned for Part II where we visit the little surfing, hip town of Tagazoute, Morocco
Words and photographs by @faithfullthebrand