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.



Sunday, April 29, 2012

Moroccan Cooking School - Zamzam Riad, Marrakech, Morocco


We have just done a fantastic days cooking course with a Feng Shui Group from America.

The day started off with mint tea and a discussion on Moroccan food and recipes.  On the menu was Royal Tagine with lamb, vegetable tagine or Berber Tagine as it's called, for one vegetarian lady, Moroccan salads, including Zaalouk, Sweet Carrot and Courgette with spices.  I was told by a Moroccan gentlemen who bought the group that Zamzam's Zaalouk is the best he has ever tasted.  I would agree!

We then ended with a fun session of goat's cheese briouatte making. (little filo parcels).





Once the discussion was over we set off to the local market to buy our produce, stopping on the way at the spice shop to smell, discuss and buy spices for the group's personal use.





Here you can see the table set up with different oils, tagines, spices, olives and an array of vegetables, fresh and in season.  The olive oil is organic from our groves and pressed in the traditional method.  We use our organic olive oil for everything at Zamzam Riad, it is really way to good to cook with.
















The beginning of our Royal Tagine with local organic lamb.

Pretty spices for the tagines.











A Moroccan mint tea interlude!
















Vegetables for the vegetarian Berber Tagine.

Contact us at Zamzam if you would love to come and cook with us, its great fun!  - zamzamriad@gmail.com
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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!