Getting to know the Medina

Getting to know the Medina
Marrakech, Morocco

Marrakech, Morocco

Breakfast on the beautiful roof terrace of the Riad Lotus Ambre to start the day. Fresh fruit salad, pistachio yogurt and pastries and then we were ready to dive into Marrakech. The main square Jemma el Fna was in warm-up mode and so the snails and goat heads had made way for orange juice, snake charmers and the Berber horn players who look they have triangular pompom lampshades on their heads.

We crossed the square and headed for the Kasbah, home of the tombs of Saaden (sp) and the Palace Baddi. We walked down a narrow bustling street filled with spice shops and jewelery, some of it would be right t home in Liberty’s or Kings Road. There was a guy selling baskets and picture frames made out of old car tires. Fabulous idea but who really wants their living room to small of old car tires and believe me these did smell. Stopped for tea and then a wander. One of the most amazing sites was to see cranes building their nests on the tops of the old palace walls. Then back to the square for a rabbit tagine with raisins for me and an omelet for Elly. Note on Moroccan food so far.

For a nation that prides itself so much on spices the food is unusually bland. The chicken with preserved lemons and olives should have been sharp and rich, the rabbit likewise. It is all a bit meat stew and vegetables with some orange coloring. By no means unpleasant but not as interesting or varied as Lebanese for example. This brings me neatly onto dinner at Restaurant Al Baraka (just off Jeffa el Fna by the police station). Downstairs to a large open courtyard surrounded by pleasantly decorated rooms. It is a bit of a tourist destination but the food is good and vast. Elly had the menu Marrakech and I had the Callif. An endless selection of salads which were average and not screamingly fresh. Then Pastillas, a pigeon and nut pastry with sugar. Excellent and Elly christened it Pigeon Danish. I had a Pigeon with almonds, Elly veal with prunes both Tagines. It was served with massive,bland lamb couscous. Finally macaroons and mint tea. We had half a bottle of local rose and the bill was 990 Dh or £60. expensive


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