Medina living is a very special experience with centuries old homes woven together in an intricate tapestry. In the Medina of Marrakech there is a huge variety of accommodation from modest houses to palaces, from the street it is almost impossible to guess what is behind each door.
A stay in a Riad in the Medina offers an opportunity to sample a very special atmosphere. Guests at our Marrakech Riads are particularly spoiled both by their comfortable surroundings and our fantastic staff.
It is surprisingly common to keep chickens in the Marrakech Medina, they are fed on scraps and kept mainly for eggs. When I first started visiting Marrakech regularly five years ago there were a particularly fine looking group of Andalusian hens that used to scratch around at the top of the well known Derb Semarine running from the Marrakech Museum to the main square. Unfortunately the shop where they ‘lived’ now sells Western Perfumes and he Andalusians are long gone.
I visited The Tanneries recently to take pictures for the Marrakech Guide on this site and was amused to come accross a chicken, a reminder that the tanners both live and work in the close community there. She even had a chick which can’t have been more than a few days old.
We feel the best way to discover the Marrakech Medina is to hasten slowly and allow time to appreciate the detail of the tapestry of an extraordinary way of life that has been established there for centuries and in many ways remains unchanged. Our Marrakech Riads are your perfect oasis of calm from which to explore.
The famous Marrakech Tanneries are located to the East of the Medina and offer a fascinating opportunity to see an ancient craft alive and well in the twenty first century. The tanners use their skill and judgement to progress animal hides through a succession of processes essentially unchanged from those used by their forbears centuries ago. Many of the tanneries offer guided tours and there are opportunities to purchase finished leather goods at reasonable prices.
The Earth Cafe is the the only western style vegetarian restaurant in Marrakech and the food is truly outstanding as well as great value for money with main dishes from 60 dirhams. The extensive menu caters also for vegans and is regularly updated featuring fresh produce from the owners organic farm near to Marrakech. The juices are also fantastic, last time we visited our group of nine tried five different seasonal juices and they were all excellent.
The Earth Cafe can be tricky to find the first time you visit. It is located to the South East of the Jemaa al Fnaa square accessed via the well know street ‘Zitoun Kedim’. Look out for signs hanging over the street advertising Earth Cafe then turn right into Derb Zawak and look up to see the Earth Cafe sign.
Reservations are not usually necessary but your Marrakech Riad staff will be happy to phone ahead for you, in any event you can be sure of a warm reception.
In the old town of Marrakech fresh bread is readily available from many local bakeries. Most commonly seen is the traditional round ‘pain du medina’ Medina bread. Since not all homes have ovens it is a common sight to see cakes or other items prepared at home and taken to the bakery to be cooked in the oven there.
The bakery local to Marrakech Riad Papillon is at the top of Derb Tizougarine. If you are lucky you will see the regular flour delivery by mule and cart!
Stunning sunset over the Place Ferblantier Marrakech. This picture was taken from the roof terrace of the Kosybar restaurant in February 2010. To the left are the walls of the El Badi Palace, in the distance the Atlas Mountains.
Visit magical Marrakech and stay in a fantastic Riad hotel in the heart of the old town Medina. Reserve Accommodation today!
We have some smart new handmade black cushions on the raised seating area at Marrakech Riad Papillon. As you would expect, they are very comfortable!
Chez Abdelhay is located just South of the place de la Kissaria in front of the Ben Youssef Mosque. Diners have a pleasant view of the hustle and bustle of the medina around the local fountain. Many of the tables are outdoors but well shaded in summer. This unpretentious cafe style establishment is run by locals and serves simple fare to Marrakechi customers and tourists and is open from lunch time to late afternoon.
A variety of tagines and cooked meats are on offer. In the absence of other instruction the service will default to a selection of salads (usually lentil, tomato and onion, and olives) served with bread, followed by a mixed grill (lamb chop, chicken and beef brochettes and Muerguez sausage). Dessert is usually seasonal fresh fruit.
Pleasant and inexpensive this cafe has been enjoyed by many Marrakech Riad guests. Mint tea and a good selection of soft drinks are available. If you have eaten Chez Abdelhay please feel free to add a comment below.
The British Embassy in Morocco is located in the Capital City of Rabat. Marrakech is fortunate enough to host the office of the Honorary Pro Consul for the South of Morocco Mr Ali Horma. The consulate office is usually open on weekday mornings Monday to Thursday from 8.30 am to 12.30 pm to assist British Citizens. Friday hours are 8.30 to 11.30.
The consulate is located at 47 Avenue Mohamed V next to the prominent Marrakech Grand Prix store in the New Town of Guiliez. The Consulate phone number is 0524420846. Our Marrakech Riad staff will be pleased to help guests with directions or further help getting in touch with the consulate if required!
The railway station is a short taxi tide from the Medina. Guests staying at Marrakech Riad Papillon and Marrakech Riad Cinnamon should get a taxi to the well known Dar El Bashah taxi drop off point and our Riad staff will meet you there.
Tuurda is a home cooked Marrakechi dish based on dried bread served with pulses onions and other vegetables as available and a tomato based sauce. This delicious dish is a kind of Moroccan bubble and squeek. Guests in our Marrakech Riads can enjoy freshly prepared Tuurda as a light lunch, best enjoyed with a mint tea.
Bissara is the Marrakech variant of Foul (pronounced ‘fool’) a puree based on fava beans. A wholesome entirely vegetarian and gluten free food Bissara has a wonderful buttery flavour and makes an excellent and substantial breakfast.
At Marrakech Riad Papillon and Marrakech Riad Cinnamon Bissara is seasoned in the traditional Marrakechi way with salt, pepper and cumin. We serve it with olive oil and fresh medina breads to allow our more adventurous guests to enjoy authentic Medina cusisine.
There are two types of crepes traditionally eaten as breakfast foods in Marrakech, Morocco, these are Baghrir and Mesman. Both are based on wheat flour with olive oil or butter and seasoning, Baghrir is cooked in a pan on one side only where Mesman is repeatedly folded over heat.
Contact Marrakech Riad today to reserve accommodaton!