Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Zamzam Garden - Marrakech

I walked through the garden cutting roses, coriander, pulling beetroot and had a moment. I thought, I've been waiting my whole life to provide like minded people with energetic, tasty natural food and flowers that smell and look like flowers. We have forgotten what real things look like. I felt absolute satisfaction in that moment and have even started to get the Moroccan team who work with us excited. Wow that's from the garden they say. The girls in the kitchen at Zamzam seem really proud using the garden grown vegetables and they taste amazing. Garden to plate, seasonal, no refrigeration units, no storage, no chemicals no long hall flight. We have planted the tomato plants with the roses (organic gardening) its meant to help pest control and I noticed loads of pretty lady birds today munching through the green fly. Maybe my Eco system is really starting to work. I have an awful lot of ants though and they are starting to eat my artichokes and roses. Any one any ideas??
The bougainvillea is out of this world this year, we use to add some romance to the bedrooms and bathrooms.
This is Lilly Rose, she turned up with her big fella when the juicy lettuces sprouted. I spend my whole time moving her out of the veg patch and my daughter keeps putting her back to have dinner!! She's so pretty I can't get rid of her. You would think she would move on the way JoJo keeps munching her shell.
Gorgeous artichokes, we are going to pickle them raw in olive oil, garlic and lemon again this year. They were delicious in our green salads.

ps the first two courgettes were picked today, yipeeeeeeeeeee.

Book into Zamzam for lunch, dinner or some excellent cooking courses.
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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.



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!