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.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ecolo's Bike Ride Marrakech, Morocco 1 April 2012

This Sunday is a bike ride in Marrakech to support clean transport in Marrakech.  The ride starts at 9am until 12noon.  For more information you can visit their Facebook Page.  If you live here or are on holiday here come and support it.  See you there!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Moroccan Carved Stone Door Frames - Essaouira, Morocco

We had glorious sun the first day on the beach and I'm embarrassed to tell you I spent most of it asleep.  So when I went out to take photos today in the wind, sand and rain I decided to take photos of the doors to share with you.

I adore the charming ambiance of this seaside Medina, I totally get why it draws hippies, artists, musicians and laid back types, it is very special and you will only really get this by visiting.  Morocco is 3.5 hour flight from the UK so no reason not to come and visit this magical little port.

The doors are mostly blue, I suppose blue and white is synonymous of the coast, but here the air is full of salt from the spray of the wonderful thundering Atlantic waves which bash on the door of the Medina wall.

I promise to work on my shots tomorrow and stop lazying around .... its hard not to when your here.  It's the rhythm of Essaouira.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Moroccan Hand Stitched Poufs - Zamzam Boutique Marrakech

I thought you would like to see a couple of the hand stitched Moroccan poufs in a beautiful design setting.  Something to whet your appetite. These photos are from an apartment in Sweden on the wonderful site of Stadshem.

The Azilal and Beni Ouarain Berber Carpets would look stunning in these interiors too, with their black and white contemporary design.

For more pouf colours (although grey, white and silver are my favorites) and Berber carpets visit Zamzam Boutique or contact Emma -

I have now arrived at Dar Beida in Essaouira it is very exciting and full of wonderful interiors.  Watch this space for photos to follow............

Essaouira, Marrakech, Morocco - holiday on the Moroccan Coast

Today we are all packed up with the dog and our bags.  We are having hot rolls with my homemade lemon marmalade from the garden and then we are off on a Sunday drive to the pretty Coastal Town of Essaouira. 

Esssaouira was Magador a Portuguese Port and famous for its music and a Jimmy Hendrix town.

Our wonderful friend Emma Wilson has offered us her beautiful Dar Beida, a riad in the Medina, part of her Essaouira properties under Castles in the Sand
Dar Beida is an interior enthusiasts dream, full of modern and Moroccan design, also including pieces from the beach and from further afield in Africa.

Essaouira is also famous for its kite surfing and laid back vibe.

More updates to come on pretty Essaouira and Dar Beida.

A big thank you to Martin Dady for supplying me with these photos.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Moroccan Wedding Cakes, Made in Marrakech - Zamzam Riad

 If you are looking for a special cake for your wedding in Marrakech, just email me with details of the sort of thing you are after including flavours.  If you have a photo to scan me great, if not I can make some suggestions depending on the theme of your big day.

Email me Emma -

I am also happy to meet you beforehand to discuss your cake and show you pictures.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 23, 2012

School holidays in Marrakech for 2 weeks.  The first 5 days has been spent at a wonderful riding course for beginners.  9am to 1pm each day including:
2 sessions of riding with a great instructor,
learning the parts of the tack,
watching a black smith shod a horse,
how to wash your horse and lead him,
lunge your horse, pick out his feet and brush him,
all of this with a lovely lunch in between.

The 5 Musketeers during a riding lesson.

Walking in the horses.
 Washing Caramel!! how much attention can one horse have???

Wonderful riding lessons in Marrakech, Morocco at Les Cavaliers d'Al Hamra
Catherine Lejeune - +212 (0) 600391783
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Les Cavaliers D' Al Hamra - Riding School Marrakech, Morocco

There is a wonderful new riding school in Marrakech.  It is one of a kind, professional, clean, well run, organised, great horses and instructors.  It is out of town on the Route De Fez.  I highly recommend it.  The friendly French owner is called Katrine.
Katrine has a wonderful little shop for second hand equipment and new equipment from France.

The  tack room is well managed and everything looks clean, not an easy feat.

The view from the lovely cafe shows you a large sand school out of the back of the stables.  You can come for lessons or to ride out.  It is also excellent for tourists who would like to see something of the Marrakech countryside.

Contact details are as follows:

Catherine Lejeune - +212 600391783
or +212 663780221 or +212 644242985

Route de Fez - km 15, Marrakech
Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 19, 2012

Adventure Holidays in Marrakech, Morocco

 We just had a wonderful time at Terres D'Amanar in the foothills of the Atlas outside Marrkech.  This is a fantastic activity park in wonderful land about 40 minutes from Marrakech on the way to Tahanout.

Terres D'Amanar has something for everyone.  For the really little people there are wonderful play areas with rope bridges, wooden houses and lots of swings, set in stunning surroundings.

For adults and teenagers there is a wonderful long swinging bridge with a kilometer zip wire back from the other side of the cannyon.

Nurse Natasha was on hand for scratches at the birthday party.  We had a wonderful pic nick in the woods and the staff at Terres D'Amanar were nothing but superb. why not combine it with a holiday in Marrakech at Zamzam Riad the luxury boutique hotel in Marrakech Medina?

 Here you can see the view of the mountains.  It is also a wonderful spot for Sunday lunch.
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!