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.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Zamzam Riad - Yoga and Reiki Retreat - June 2010 - Marrakech

We are holding our next retreat at Zamzam from 25 to 30 of June. To see a bigger version of this e-shot with lots of photos of the group and further information on 'The Journey of Awakening' click on this link

June is a wonderful month in Marrakech and we are getting very excited about our next 4 day retreat. Aisha is a wonderful yoga instructor in Marrakech and will be joining the team, alongside Rebecca Hutley a Reiki Master from Spain. It is a packed programme of Spa, pool, hammam, massage and Reiki, Reiki Practice with Rebecca over the 4 days to obtain your different levels, daily yoga with Aisha, not to mention walking and meditating in the wonderful Atlas Mountains. I'm in charge of food which is delicious fresh and mainly organic. This retreat we will also be incorporating a Moroccan cooking class for those who wish to join in and learn about the wonderful traditional cooking.

I hope you will join us, have a look on Trip Advisor at some of the Retreaters Reviews, we had a blast!

Contact me for more information -
or phone us on 00212 (0)661215062
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The Tortoise House

The vegetable garden is planted, with lots of rain and lots of hot sun the little shoots are up in days, but so are the tortoises!! they come from far and wide, the only time we ever see them (Look it's Lilly Rose shouts my daughter, oh great I say) they must have an incredible sense of smell and I tell you they are not slow. Turn your back for a minute and they have vanished.

My daughter and her friends take great delight in building little paddocks for them, decorated with a collection of local treasures and flowers, more like a tortoise shrine. They fee them carrots, melon, seeds, but they just want to be in my veg patch chomping on Juicy shoots. I was thinking about building a fence but you know what happened to the great African migrations when they did that. So for fear of upsetting the natural Eco balance, I just spend every moment at home picking them up and moving them! I only hope their poo is very good for the garden.
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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Zamzam wedding cakes in Marrakech

Well I have started making wedding cakes for people getting married in Marrakech or Morocco. Making wedding cakes is exhausting in Marrakech because firstly you cannot get the cake tins so you have to go and have them made in the Medina and secondly the icing sugar is more like sand, so when you smooth it on you see grains. I don't understand this and it is driving me mad having to bring icing sugar back from the UK?? Why is Moroccan icing sugar not fine are the production machines old anyone know it really does my head in.
Rant over ............. so this turned into a labour of love. Inside is a chocolate devils food cake and devil to ice it was as dark chocolate crumbs where everywhere. I was also nervous about making this as it was being driven to the desert 10 hours over the Atlas Mountains with their numerous hair pin bends and Sonia the bride really wanted a henna design which I did in chocolate I hope it lasted the journey!

I got up in the morning loaded them into the car, I had put their travel cases on the night before to avoid Jojo the dog scoffing them whilst I was asleep which would have finished me off. I tried to drive carefully down my bumpy road which is akin to the Atlas Mountains actually. When I got into town I drove straight across the Jema El Fna thinking I'm delivering the wedding cake I should have a police convoy for gods sake. I managed to park right outside the entrance to club med in my 4 wheel drive everyone just stared at me and club med knew nothing about a wedding party (strange when they had 75 of the guests staying there!). Eventually I found Sonia the bride and made a big point about showing her the cakes before they went in the bus. I told her and John the organiser they must be kept cool and the little topper should maybe go on your lap, yes yes they said see you ... bye! as I turned around I saw the driver loading them into the bottom of the bus with all the baggage ................ oh god!
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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Vintage Beni Ouarain Carpets - Zamzam Riad

I have just bought some new Berber carpets for the Zamzam Boutique, they are absolutely gorgeous I think you will agree. From the busy hatch to a more simple hatch all with lovely soft wool and in excellent condition.

I love this one with its funky spots and thick spongy pile.
I was also very excited when I found this Azilal Runner I have never seen one before and it is a really pretty design. I love the craziness of Azilal's and I think this runner would look fantastic in the right place.

Email me at for more info and see the rest of the new pieces at the Zamzam Boutique
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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!