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, July 20, 2010

Zamzam Boutiqe - Beni Ouarain and Handira Morocco

We have some really fantastic Beni Ouarain carpets at the Zamzam Boutique at the moment, we also have some very pretty handira and these Berber wedding blanket cushions. I have 4 of them at the moment all rectangular, email me for further details at boutiquezamzam@gmail.com.

I just love this pretty and very unusual vintage Berber wedding blanket with tiny flecks of colour.
This large vintage Beni Ourain with a short pile is in fantastic condition, it is 4 meters long with lovely cream wool and a pretty orange and mauve kilim at each end. Click here to see my full stock in the Zamzam Boutique http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/home
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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Andrea grill and bbq - family fun in Marrakech

Welcome to the new Andrea Grill and BBQ, the first one in Marrakech.  The chicken wraps are divine, the delicious marinated steaks a secret of Karim's.  Omnia and Kemo as we call him are passionate about food, fun and organic produce.  Although not everything at the grill can be organic that is the direction they are heading in and I believe one day it will.  Kemo is overly passionate about his raw organic honey and its healing powers I have never tasted honey so good actually.

Omnia adds a special touch with her wonderful aubergine and mint dip and her tahina dip which really add an element to the grilled chicken.

It is a well thought out place with lots of fun for children and an ecological style restaurant with a beautiful wood and rope ceiling.
They are starting to add a deli angle to the grill with their delicious produce, superb gerkins from their organic pottage and sun dried tomatoes in their own organic oil - what a treat.
The car park and entrance with some little ponies which can be hired for a ride at 30dhs a go.

Andrea is well worth a visit with the kids.  It is on the route de Ouarzazate at about 9k.  It is the first mud track on the right or call Kimo for direction - 0661240361
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Andrea BBQ - Marrakech, Morocco

There is a huge space for children to play at Andrea outdoors.  This fun plastic bubble allows children to get inside and run like a hampster, they love it.
There are 3 bouncy play areas to enjoy, Noah's ark with all its animals, the sinking titanic and the bouncy castle.

For younger children there is a soft sand play area with slides, climbing frames and other things.  Andrea trys really hard to bring in the organic element, they have sheep and cows with which they sustain themselves.  Karim the owner also has his own bees and produces the best raw organic honey.  Thier organic potage produces many delicious vegetables and I recently bought some pickled cucumbers and a jar or sun dried tomatoes in their own organic pressed olive oil.  I can tell you this is a real treat for someone living in Marrakech as you cannot yet get these things let alone organic.
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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!