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Marrakech Travel Blog

Marrakech Travel Blog
Visiting Marrakech has been a long held dream of mine and recently I got the opportunity to do this. It was an incredible place where design abounds. I loved the people who are amazingly tolerant given the many nations who have contributed to the modern Morocco of today...and the food was amazing, but for me the main feature of Marrakech is the outstanding architecture. From tombs to Kasbahs to riads to palaces… Marrakech is beyond stunning… a photographer and designer's dream. My Marrakech blog highlights a few of the amazing sights and experiences from my trip. Mixing the dyes at the local Souks for the wool dyeing Wandering the souks of the medina ( old city) of Marrakech, we stumbled upon the wool dyeing shops and furnaces. We met a lovely family who have been working the wool dyeing furnaces for generations. Below is a photo of the dyes that they use for the wool and silk dyeing. They were mostly made from natural spices and plants, like turmeric and indigo (the incredible blue shade seen everywhere in Morocco). DSC_0387 The magnificent Ali Ben Youssef Medersa A medersa is a theological college and this ancient one is based at the top of the medina along a winding lane. It has walls covered in stucco which is a slow setting plaster than can be carved into to create incredibly decorative wall panels. The stucco used often in ancient Marrakech included ingredients such as egg whites. To learn more about the Medersa, go to their website at DSC_0404 Stucco wall detail from Ali Ben Youssef Medersa The many shapes of Morocco can be seen in many of my designs. My new Bangle and Cuff Collections launching this season in Sterling Silver as well as Rose Gold and Yellow Gold Plate are heavily influenced by Moroccan design motifs such as the ones seen below in the stucco wall details from Ali Ben Youssef Medersa. DSC_0417 The amazing zelig tiles at the Ali Ben Youseff Medersa Zelig tiles are hand crafted tiles made from clay that are coloured using natural dyes from plants, which results in vivid but limited colour option for patterns. image1 Door from the Musee de Marrakech My idea of Islamic art was challenged with the folk paintings found on wooden doors and ceilings in all of these ancient palaces. DSC_0438 Market stalls on the outskirts of the medina You can buy everything in Marrakech from spices to baskets to rugs to tea pots! You could spend many hours just pottering through the local souks in and around the medina. DSC_0474 The Koutoubia Mosque Koutoubia Mosque is the tallest and most important mosque in Marrakech. Set against the perennially blue sky of Morocco, it always stands tall as a background for Marrakech. Kabroubra mosque marrakesh La Mamounia Hotel I had been dying to go here ever since I can remember and this desire was heightened by the fact that Poppy Delevingne had her wedding here in 2014. We had a fantastic lunch outside as it was so warm, surrounded by gorgeous gardens and stunning green mosaics tiles. The inside of the hotel was so divine and I really wished we’d had more time to come back for dinner. It was decorated in an art deco style of dark muted tones and velvet furnishings. Really luxurious and decadent… reminiscent of a bygone era. If you want to make a lunch or dinner booking reservation, head to DSC_0496 Spices from the Spice Market Spices for flavouring food and medicinal purposes are everywhere in Marrakech and it was a nice reminder of how so much of the world still makes everything from scratch every day. spices square Visit to the Jardin Majorelle No visit to Marrakech would be complete without a trip to the Jardin Majorelle or the Majorelle Gardens. The gardens were started by French landscape artist Jacques Majorelle in 1924. He lived next door to Yves Saint Laurent for many years. After Majorelle died, the gardens fell into disrepair until Yves Saint Laurent bought them to ensure the electric blue villa and its desert style garden were protected and opened forever to the public. Yves Saint Laurent loved Marrakech and lived there with his partner Pierre Berge for many years. Yves Saint Laurent also loved the Berber people and this love heavily influenced his work over the years. The Berbers are a native North African people with many living in the Atlas Mountains above Marrakech and have long influenced Arabic Moroccan culture, food and art. YSL built a dedicated museum to the Berber people which features traditional tribal dresses, headpieces and jewellery. The pieces are amazing and the collection is fabulously curated. It was really a highlight of my trip to Marrakech and if you love fashion or silver jewellery, you must go there. To learn more about Jardin Majorelle or the Berber Museum, head to FullSizeRender Buying ceramics No trip to Marrakech would be complete without a little shopping. Morocco is known for its leather goods, wedding blankets and ceramics amongst other things. I wanted to buy ceramics... however I am not sure that my haggling skills were the best they’d ever seen. However, I managed to buy quite a lot...and then had trouble fitting everything in my suitcase! ceramics shopping Lunch in a Riad Monceau Marrakech is full of gorgeous riads which are old homes that have a court yard in their centre. Many have been done up by locals and the French and are now truly exquisite .They mostly now operate as restaurants or boutique accommodation. If you go to Marrakech, just google top riads in Marrakech and the list is mind-blowing. One of the most divine ones is El Finn which is owned by Vanessa Branson, Richard Branson’s sister. For more information, see their website We had lunch at Riad Monceau. Riad Moncea lunch Cooking Class at Riad Monceau I love doing cooking classes on my travels and see how different countries use ingredients in such different ways. Nearly all Moroccan cooking centres around a few key ingredients … orange blossom oil, almonds, honey, cous cous, lamb and chicken. We had some delicious tangines… but I actually ended up doing a fantastic sweet pasty cooking class at Riad Monceau in the heart of Marrakech’s medina. It was taken by 2 lovely girls who were in fits of laughter at my friend and mine’s attempts at learning to make puff pastry! Our chef was the lovely Souad who was assisted by the very effervescent and gorgeous Ghizlane who spoke amazing English and made everything fun and easy. If you want to try a class, head to to make booking. Riad Moncea Cooking class Tea Ceremony And no trip to Morocco would be complete without a tea ceremony... or four. Tea was brought to Morocco by the English back in the 1850s but they adopted it with gusto. They drink many types of the tea but the most popular is the Maghrebi Mint Tea. The tea pot is always ready for some tea and the ceremony itself is very serious and can sometimes take up to ½ hour each time and can be done 6 times a day! I could talk about Moroccan culture and design for ever... but I’d better leave it there! One to definitely put on your travel wish list. K tea ceremony If you liked our blog, we'd love you to join us on our journey here You'll be the first to receive news about new product launches and events, see behind the scenes and receive 15% off on your first order! Kx

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