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.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Monday, June 8, 2009

A Moroccan Birthday - Party Marrakech

We waited for the guests with anticipation, will they come? they are a bit late? We are in Morocco I told myself and then to order 10 cars pulled up at the same time. The party began.

My daughter had a wonderful Birthday party this weekend. It was a perfect day, the weather not scorching hot so that all the little girls could enjoy the pool.
I managed to make her a Barbie Birthday cake, which I must confess, I am a little impressed with myself for pulling it off. Luckily the Barbie was a cheap imitation so we didn't have to cut off her legs, just pulled them off and put them in the cutlery draw for later. Making the fondant icing was a tall order but we pulled it off! you cannot buy it pre-made in Morocco.
The Marrakech Birthday was made complete with camels, belly dancing and desert nomad, plus of course chocolate fondue.
The perfect day was finished off with a lovely full moon full of Eastern Promise.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 1, 2009

Moroccan Cooking - Zamzam Riad

Returned from the market. Guests choose what they would like to cook. Todays menu was chicken tagine with olives and preserved lemons and a selection of Moroccan salads. Moroccan salads are usually cooked.
The array of spices for todays recipes.
Katie carefully taking notes!
The finale, a delicious lunch on the sun terrace washed down with a lovely Moroccan Rose!
Posted by Picasa

Moroccan Cooking Classes - Zamzam Marrakech

I thought you might like to see some photos of the local markets in the Medina. They might not look much but the fruit and veg is seasonal and prolific. It is so fresh. I decided to tag along with some clients and the wonderful Sadir who does our cooking classes at Zamzam. You can either go to the market and buy everything as these two did or just do the class in the riad.
Gorgeous baby gem lettuces on beds of celery, parsley, coriander and blow your head off radishes. These wonderful lemons with the belly buttons are fantastic for cooking they are less acidic than the normal ones and have a deeper flavour. I think it is facinating seeing all the produce and spices. For more info on these classes, contact us at Zamzam
Posted by Picasa

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!