As-Salaam-Alaikum

Hi, i'm writing this blog page to share information with all you wanderlust souls out there. Living in Morocco comes with lots of bizarre and unexpected events, which i thought you may enjoy reading about and sharing in the laughter.

My family and I moved to Marrakech 11 years ago from London. The beginning of a huge adventure for us. Choosing which country was right for us to live in had been an extremely long and tiring process. Having made a choice to move to Marrakesh, was in itself a big box ticked. We had two criteria lists, one for our business (opening and running a guesthouse) and one for personal.

Phase two of our journey then began. Setting up home in Morocco, also a non English speaking country with a very different culture to ours. Marrakech is a real melting pot of; languages, tribes, rich, poor, city slickers, country peasants. It sometimes reminds me of that place Luke Skywalker went to, to buy that space ship, with all those different intergalactic aliens. (Any one know what it was called?) After months of beauroctratic paperwork, rendez vous with people who don't turn up and renting from an unpleasant woman for a large amount of money, we bought ourselves a villa. This was not in the plan as we didn't want to tie up our capital in a home. I now realise it is one of the best things we could have done. When you've had a really difficult day here to be able to close the door and relax in your own place really balances you.

Zamzam Riad & Spa was eventually created out of love and we hope you will come and stay and be pampered in our luxury boutique riad.



Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Natasha Compton - Marrakech

I decided to go and see what my friend Natasha Compton was up to in her workshop. You see I knew that she was beavering away on a new collection of children's wear and bearing in mind the gorgeous clothes her three girls wear, I though I just had to pop in.

Natasha's crew are working away in an apartment in the middle of town. She tells me she has finished the babies collection and is now working on the rest. Sourcing the softest cottons and the most exquisite embroidery she is soon to make headline news I feel sure.

There were tons of samples in natural soft colours, patterns laid out on the cutting table and lots of mood boards in the process of being refined.

Natasha tells me that she already has a couple of shops in London awaiting her supplies and is in the process of agreeing contracts with others. It is a long time since I have seen such beautiful children's clothes, the gorgeous smocking took me back to my own childhood, when my granny used to laboriously smock little linen dresses for me in Nigeria.




For enquiries you can contact Natasha at NJB, Av Yacoub El Mansour, Arset Bata, Imm. 1, App 9, Gueliz, Marrakech, Morocco.

Tel 00212 24432935
Email natasha.compton@gmail.com

She is based just past Majorelle Gardens straight on over the lights, just before the pharmacy on the left.
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Creating the Guest House

We had decided to buy land and build a country guesthouse as per our business plan, about 10 double rooms and suites. The dream was to create a holistic retreat and build our house on the same plot. We were going to have an organic vegetable garden and provide a Moroccan Spa.

Land in Marrakech at that time, went mad. Prices going up daily, lots of people fishing but not really wanting to sell. There is also a problem here of title. ie not much land is titled and to buy land without a title is very difficult, unless you have a lot of time on your hands and like a gamble. We looked at more land than you can shake a stick at, drank more mint tea than you can imagine and got totally no where. It can take weeks to even get a price. You may be being shown a piece of land that isn't for sale or has already been sold. After a year of this we said 'that is it!, we are buying a riad!'

I had a total nervous breakdown and couldn't talk to anyone for three days. He then said this doesn't have to be the end....... It wasn't I have now built an Ecological Camp Adounia in the Sahara Desert!