The Perfect City Break.
Having eased ourselves into the London work/play lifestyle in a manner similar to a that of a hippo diving into water, last week my friends and I felt it was time to escape the mist of our chaotic bubble, pull the reigns on the pace of life and invest in some well-earned vitamin D. Having critiqued a range of destinations we quickly settled on one city, a city that would capture seven hearts in one fell swoop and trigger a long-distance love affair that I’m pretty certain will be a life-long commitment.
Despite soaring to increasing popularity in the brutal tourism sphere, the magical wonder that is Marrakech proved to be a city-break bordering on absolute perfection. Riad Dar Vedra, nestled down a little alley in the centre of the Medina, became our hub, our harbour from which we set sail each day to test waters new. Despite the odd donkey seemingly on a mission to take you down, the manic scooters daring to rush by within an inch of your feet, and the prayers from the nearby Mosque providing a not-so-welcome greeting at 5am every morning, the chaotic hustle and bustle of the Medina provided a setting that enabled one to feel content in the thought that they were a million miles away from normality.
For a want of culture yet calm, discovery yet relaxation and dynamism yet peace, all was provided. In abundance, with elegance and without doubt, in style. What did it for me, ignited the je ne sais quoi of true romance, was the setting itself. The city exudes a true rugged, traveller-esque feel, fuelled by the low economic development from which many of the city’s obstacles are founded. Yet within the basic features, the architecture and the handicrafts, are set such fragile intricate details that this voyage of discovery in a largely untouched city, is in fact one of subtle beauty.
A few must-do’s whilst in Marrakech:
Jad Mahal - perhaps one of the best restaurants I have ever been to in terms of ambience. If you don’t feel like moving far after eating, the entertainment is fantastic and even better, there’s a club downstairs
La Comptoir Darna - a great bar serving delicious cocktails and shisha (the razzmopolitan gets my vote). The music is also guaranteed to get you up and dancing
Les Bains de Marrakech Spa - there are a lot of amazing spas in Marrakech. This is one for those not wanting to break the bank yet still experience relaxing treatments in an amazing setting
La Mamounia - a hotel that is definitely worth a visit, even more so as Sex and The City 2 was filmed here
Theatro - crazy club with good music (mostly UK chart), good drinks and good atmosphere
Kosy Bar - Terrace bar with a fantastic view over the Mellah quarter
Djemaa el fna - the main square full of handicrafts, food stalls, snakes, monkeys.. basically anything and everything
So whilst I dwell in my nostalgia and misery at being back under London’s grey skies, pining for summer to take full swing, I urge you to start planning your Moroccan love affair - it’s really not one to miss out on.
The Engager XX