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.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Zamzam Boutique

Today I had to go to the Souk on a hunt. A lady working at a top magazine in London, wanted a large wedding blanket in black, with cushions to match. Loving a challenge off I went and after a lot of ferreting around got it! It is really stunning the silver sequins against the black. When I pick it up on Sunday I will take some photos to show you before sending it off.

However on this mission I also found these lovelies. They are new Beni Ouarain's, fantastic quality, thick and woven with beautiful soft wool. I thought you all might like to see them. They measure 2 x 1.5m.
I really like this stunner with the black edges, they just scream 'walk on me!'
I also found these wonderful wedding blankets. I'm buying them for the Zamzam terrace at the moment. These are really great examples as they are unusually big, the first 3 x 1.7m the second slightly smaller. Click on the link and have a look at the Zamzam Boutique for more.

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Friday, May 30, 2008

A Lazy afternoon in Marrakech

Well, it's a hot 30 degrees, blue skies, all the flower out and the perfect day for a barbecue in the countryside. Hats needed to stop the burning.
Wonderful deserts were provided from chocolate, fudge cake to tiramisu, accompanied by frozen grapes, they were fab to cool you down.
The adults chatted away, the children jumped in and out of the pool and all around were glittery party shoes.
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Monday, May 26, 2008

Dancing Queen

God I love a good vodka martini, wait till you try them in the Riad.

Jilbrane at last got more women than he could handle!
Gorgeous girls again.
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More fab photos

James you are always trouble!
Lou thank god you bought that kaftan from Kasbek it's gorgeous!
What a hansome couple!
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The 4oth Kaftan Party

The stunning as always Alexandra and Ian.
The fabulous Yahya, I love that coiffured beard!
More gorgeous ladies.
My wonderful, hilarious parents, without which I wouldn't be as mad as I am. Thanks x
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Kaftan Paaaaaaartaaaaa!

Well yes, it was and truly is my 40th. Thank you to all those who came, wore a Kaftan, laughed and danced with me. I loved every moment of it and I love every one of you. It was great, I'm not really a Birthday person and usually cock a strop if I'm to be honest, but it was fantastic. More so as it was threatening rain and I prayed and prayed and all was fine, then the next day (sorry dad as it was his Birthday) was total monsoon. Really unbelievable tropical storm. The first photo is the die hards at 4am in the morning!
The gorgeous Mike and my fab husband who helped me organise it!
The girls grooving on down with the Gnawa.
Me proving I can stand in at the Riad if the Gnawa don't turn up.
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Sunday, May 25, 2008

DUST - Galerie Re, Marrakech

I have a Friend Lucien Viola, who has opened a fairly new art gallery in Marrakech, Gallerie Re, Art Contemporain. He exhibits a number of fabulous artists and has a schedule of artists exhibiting until 2010. This Friday, 30 May he is launching an exhibition at the Gallery Re. Everyone is welcome! The open evening starts at 7pm. Sibylle Baltzer is the artist and her exhibition is called 'Dust'
Sibylle takes her inspiration from all the corners of nature, she expresses herself using different materials, such as coats of marble dust or concrete giving her pictures an abstract luminosity.

Come and see for yourselves Friday 30 May, 7pm - Gallerie Re, Residence Al Andalous, 111 Angle Rue de Mosquees et Ibn Tourmert, No 3 Gueliz, Marrakech.

For those in the know, just next to the Central Marche.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Gems of Marrakech Medina

In the Medina there are the most stunning private riads. The creativity gone into these creates people's private dream houses, tucked away where no one can find them. It is the ultimate hideaway.
Look at the architectural detail that has gone into this modern riad.
The superb cover on the terrace where you get a sneak at the Moroccan sky.
The grand entrance leading up to the riad and the detailed work in just this hall.
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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Natasha Compton's Collection

Just the most splendid bibs, for baby boys and girls.

Pretty dresses, nighties and pajamas for older ones, in classic elegant designs.
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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

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!