Saturday, 7 April 2012

Marrakech Day 1: Souks, Soaking in the Djemaa el Fna and Sunny Terraces

We spent our first day by heading straight for the Djemaa el Fna [main square] in Marrakech and heading north eastwards into the souks. There are different souks for every trade - leather, metal [where you find the beautiful lanterns in the pictures below], spices, you name it...

We stopped off for an ornate glass of mint tea [you are offered this everywhere] to rest a little after the initial chaos of the souks. There is a wealth of amazing items on offer in the souks, from beautiful intricate lanterns to butter soft leather slippers and mountains of olives and heaps of multi-coloured spices that are difficult to find elsewhere. 

There is, it must be added, also a load of tat, so be wary of this and be sure to barter! There are some little diamonds to be found in the rough and, we found, it takes a great deal of searching these out. 

After a morning spent in the dark souks we went back to the main square and found a roof top bar or 'terrasse' [pretty much all the locals in Marrakech speak French] for a drink looking over the wide expanse of the Djemaa el Fna. 

It was quite bright up there, so excuse my squinting! These little terrasse cafes [also Cafe de France among others] are a great way to see the Djemaa el Fna from above away from the hustle and bustle. The square gets much busier at night time. [See Day 5.]

We then went on a very long-winded search to find Terrasse des Epices , which I had read about on Liberty London Girl and persuaded my boyfriend we simply must go to! We were [thankfully!] not disappointed. 

Though difficult to find in the heart of Souk Cherifia, Terrasse des Epices is a welcome break from the madness down below. With a very relaxed European vibe and appealing menu, the terrace restaurant caters for weary souk-hagglers and celebrities alike. 

We particularly liked the spray mists [you can see these in the picture] which cooled you down on a hot day - it was 32 degrees in the heat that day!

We ate tomato and mozzarella salad and a delicious fillet steak.

Terrasse des Epices - 15 Souk Cherifia Sidi AbdellazizMarrakechMorocco. [They also own Cafe des Epices off the Djemaa el Fna.]

Terrasse des Epices is located just above a gorgeous little gallery of shops 

Souk Cherifia - 1st floor. Sidi Abdelazziz Dar El Bacha souk entrance. Marrakesh Medina +212.661.47.72.28

Lalla's store offers beautiful crafted butter soft leather handbags, forward-thinking towelling clutch bags and cloth and diamante statement necklaces.

After a wander around the souks, we headed back to our gorgeous lush riad hotel Les Jardins de la Medina [more about that in the next post] for a bit of relaxation before an evening out at Grand Café de la Poste in Guéliz. Here we ate mediterranean pasta and a delicious lamb dish and went up to the lounge area for delicious mojitos. 

Grand Café de la Poste - Corner of bd. El Mansour Eddahbi and av. Imam Malik | (behind the main Guéliz post office), Ville NouvelleMarrakech 40000Morocco

4 more days to follow! Keep reading...

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