Among the myriad reasons to holiday in Morocco, the cuisine is one of my foremost motivations. Spicy, fruity, sweet and hedonistic, dining is a true delight in this country.
I have been thrilled to add several hotels to our portfolio that offer some of the very best of these local gastronomic experiences. From mouth-watering dishes to interior settings that take you to the core of the Moroccan spirit, these restaurants are exceptional.
“Fragrances & Flavours”: Dining at La Mamounia
La Mamounia in Marrakech has no fewer than 4 restaurants but my favourite is Le Marocain. I always recommend this one to any of our clients who are looking for a superior gastronomic experience, whether they are staying in the hotel itself or in another property in the city.
When you dine in this restaurant you’ll enjoy an authentic atmosphere which creates the perfect backdrop for a Moroccan experience. The terrace is ideal for a romantic meal with candles and the soft sounds of the nearby water features in the garden. Inside, the decorative scheme sets the scene with its warm colour tones, intricately carved wood, zelige tilework and flamboyant arabesques.
The food is exquisitely prepared by the resident chef Rachid Agouray, whose creative application of the fresh ingredients sourced from the hotel’s own garden results in magnificent traditional dishes being served to your table.
Sample Signature Dishes
The à la carte menu always poses a dilemma for me personally as I struggle to choose between the tantalising dishes. However, these are some notable ones that I have enjoyed in the past.
- Rolled sardine, purslane, olives, garlic and saffron emulsion
- Lamb with green tea, Granny Smith apples and figs
- Monkfish tagine with fennel and red olives, verbena emulsion and saffron
I have sent many clients to say at La Mamounia and they have returned enchanted by the sensory experiences that the hotel has skilfully engineered. The architecture has been designed to play on light and create visual contrasts indoors and outdoors.
Interior designers have decorated the rooms with textures that are a tactile delight using velvety fabrics and intricate wood sculpture. The sounds that prevail rise from the fountains and ponds throughout the property and the smells are dominated by the heady fragrance of jasmine, orange blossom, cedar and leather.
“The Ultimate Epicurean Delight”: The Restaurant at La Sultana
Another hotel in Marrakech that provides superb dining for its guests and visitors is La Sultana, and I have enjoyed all the meals that I have taken there. It really is a gold standard for the finest in traditional and regional cuisine.
Sample Signature Dishes
If you are hankering after quintessential Moroccan cuisine created to an exceptionally high standard then you aren’t going to be disappointed by any of the regional dishes on offer at La Sultana.
Some of my particular highlights include dishes that Moroccans have been preparing for centuries.
- Harira soup with dates and lemon
- Beef Tagine braised with sultanas and almonds
- Vacherin cheese flavoured with Moroccan oranges and perfumed with Saharan cinnamon and dates
The hotel offers both guests and visitors a unique opportunity to pick up some of the ancestral secrets that the chef guards in the kitchen. They run cookery classes in the mornings which commence with a short educational introduction over a glass of mint tea followed by a hands-on opportunity to cook.
Students learn to prepare the traditional Moroccan salads of zaalouk aubergine, marinated courgettes and taktouka followed by a tagine using fish, chicken or Berber lamb.
The whole experience culminates in a lunch where everyone gets to taste their dishes and those of their fellow cooks.
The Kasbah Tamadot belongs to Sir Richard Branson’s collection of top luxury hotels and our guests who stay here enjoy the exclusive setting in the small village of Asni, near the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. The hotel is a magical retreat that will envelop you in an atmosphere designed to evoke the most romantic traditions of the Berber culture.