One of the things I love most about The Gentleman is his love for culture. I don’t want to go on holiday to lie on a beach, sit in a resort or not leave the hotel.
I love to explore and see as much of a place as possible.
We were up early for a traditional Moroccan massage, which we had booked in the day before at Hammam de la rose. I’m not joking when I say it was honestly the best massage I’ve ever had. Although, to be fair it was the first full body massage I’ve had! – I’ve had a head/shoulder massage at The Dorchester before, which was out of this world!
Feeling incredibly relaxed, we took a taxi into a part of the city we had not yet visited in search of the historic Palaces. But first and more importantly; lunch!
The Gentleman once again referred to his special little guide book and we popped into Bahia Restaurant – a lovely little calm oasis away from the bustling street and with exceptionally beautiful decor!
We climbed the flights of steps onto the rooftop to find the sun. He had decided not to show himself that day, so we were a little chilly, but too stubborn to sit inside. I’m quite glad we were outside though, we got to meet this little one, who took a shine to Ben.
The Gentleman decided to have the Kefta Tagine which is essentially meatballs with egg. Quite possibly one of his favourite things.
I went for the classic Chicken, Almond and Date Tagine. – I literally couldn’t get enough of this on holiday it’s just so good!
We ordered sides of rice and potatoes. Again the potatoes were cooked so that they basically fell into mashed potato on your fork. I always thought potato was a mediocre veg, but this took it to a whole other level!
Although, this chap was a bit miffed he didn’t get any of it!
Lunch was delicious and yet again incredibly good value for money. Plus, it really did help that it was right next door to the Palace.
Going in to the Palace, an English couple came out and offered us their tickets. We gratefully accepted and walked up to the ticket barriers, but there was noone there. We carried on walking and suddenly had a security guard on our backs dragging us back to the pay hut and demanding that we pay for tickets. We didn’t really mind as they were so cheap (about 80p!), but the guy obviously hadn’t been doing his job and there were guys outside trying to sell the same tickets too who weren’t being stopped – don’t fall into that trap people!
To be honest, we were actually a bit disappointed in the Palace. For something that was built just over 100 years ago, it was in really bad shape. The tiles were broken, paint peeling, walls with damp and it was completely unfurnished. I couldn’t help but think that in the UK, we still live in houses that were built over 100 years ago!
Despite this, the intricate details in the tiling and stain glass windows are not to be ignored. Everywhere you look, there’s incredible colours and the rooms are connected by various different Riads.
I know the entry fee is incredibly cheap, and they do say that they are in the process of restoring it, but it could be in a lot better shape as there were a lot of tourists walking through. It also only took us about 15 minutes from start to finish. We thought we may wander to the next Palace to see what that was like, but ended up being hassled all the way by locals wanting to point us in the right direction. So frustrating when they get in front of you every time you consult your map.
I truly thought I would be fine in Morocco, because I’m used to different cultures and being hassled in foreign countries. Being one of four blonde haired (down to our waists), blue eyed kids, when we went on holiday as a family, people would constantly come up and touch our hair and skin so we all got used to it. However, the hassle you experience in Marrakech is on a whole other level and actually incredibly stressful!
We ended up getting just around the corner from the next Palace, before we decided against actually going. We did enjoy watching the storks fussing over their nests on top of the walls though!
We made a joint decision to head back to the Riad and relax there, as we’d booked to go to a restaurant that evening in the modern part of town.
I have never seen two more polar opposite parts of town so close together. The modern part of Marrakech is incredible. Opulent, glamorous and full of wealth. Here they dress in the latest fashion, Jimmy Choos on their feet and short Chanel dresses. It is a world away from Souks.
Then we arrived at Grand Cafe de la Poste. A doorman greeted us and ushered us through into the main restaurant. Ben had been told a little secret, that the top bar is the best place to eat and you have it on my authority that the secret was golden!
We were lead up the grandest of staircases, that spread over three levels, and up into the secret Moroccan colonial world of old Marrakech.
|Is it just me or does Ben have giant hand syndrome in this photo?!|
Elsa (Director) met us and lead us to our seats. Arriving in that restaurant and being seated, truly was the most relaxed we had felt so far on the holiday. We were handed a drinks menu and I knew immediately that I had to have a cocktail. I couldn’t actually believe I’d lasted so long without!
We ended up only having one each because they were so potent!
We ordered a goats cheese parcel with crispy pancetta to start (I can’t find this on the menu!) It was absolutely delicious although a little oily for my liking.
For mains, he had Beef skewers with dauphinoise potatoes, which was really good. I could live off dauphinoise potato.
I decided to have fish as I hadn’t had any for the whole trip and was craving! I ordered the skewered monkfish curry which was tasty, but the tomato was incredibly rich and almost overpowering. Plus, my rice tower had slightly collapsed, so I couldn’t give them top marks for presentation.
It truly was the welcome relaxing break that we had been craving all day, and actually quite refreshing to have more of western influence in the food. We were starting to look like Tagines!