May 11th, 2013
For a taste of true freshness in the traditional working port of this wonderful seaside town, the best seafood in Essaouira is to be found at (almost) the source. Fishing boats line the harbor walls enclosed of from the raging Atlantic beyond, providing the fish market and seafood restaurants in Essaouira and Morocco with a very healthy array of fresh fish.
The fish market in Essaouira is comprised of men and women seated around the port with small boxes of small sardines and other oceanic wonders, or slabs of plastic topped with a large variety of Atlantic sea food, arguably the best seafood in Essaouira. A complementary juxtapose from the beautiful boutique riads of Esssaouira specifically picked by Hipmorocco for their unique qualities and experience.
For 40 Moroccan dirhams (£3.00) you can buy a bag of fresh of the boat fish, seabass, prawns, calamari etc. for two-three people, which you take to the small cafes that line the harbor wall each day expect Sundays for some of the best seafood in Essaouira. For just 30 dirhams (£2.30), the café will take your freshly bought produce and grill it to perfection, which you can enjoy seated on small tables of varying size and complexion along with bread, tomato salad and a pot of the sweetest absinthe tea. All the while nestled in-between the small iconic cobalt blue boats that diffuse into the Essaouira Atlantic early every morning on their daily fish scavenge. This is a beautiful and romantic place to eat in Essaouira around midday.
As a wonderful alternative to following the fish markets, one of the best seafood restaurants in Essaouira, along with the accompanying view of the oceanic source of your food, is Le Chalet de la Plage. This Essaouiran landmark restaurant has been run by the same family since 1965 and offers a curious array of sea food delights cooked with the beauty and assurance of years of quantified experience and quality fresh fish.
Encircled on one side of the city by the un-tame ocean, with nothing but a few small Atlantic islands separating Essaouira from Georgia and the east coast of the USA, this ‘white city’ is truly at the edge of Africa and home to a cluster of Moroccan riads that remain in their visitors minds and hearts long after leaving these beautiful shores.
May 11th, 2013
In the south west of Morocco near the bohemian town of Essaouira, is a small area of upmost national importance and pride that houses the source health and cosmetic excellence plus anti desert encroachment: The argan trees Moroccan organic argan oil.
Moroccan argan oil is now used widely throughout the world after being truely discovered in the west, after the turn of the millennium, as a source of natural health and cosmetic excellence. The benefits of argan oil have been known widely throughout the Berber culture for hundreds of years and these Moroccan women have kept to themselves what argan oil can bring to a healthy life and the aging of skin. Production can be seen throughout the souks of Essaouira between the beautiful Moroccan riads of Hipmorocco.
Production of Argan oil has traditionally been relied upon the Moroccan goat who would climb the intricate wizened branches of the argan tree and feast on the fruit pits. After which the processed fruit would be collected from the animals waste and ground by hand using small stone mills to release the fragrant argan oil. Current methods employ more machinery however the difficulty of extracting the argan oil in this vital step of production means that the human hand is still the most effective means. 20 hours of labour go into the production of just 1 litre of this magic potion resulting in its high cost but also representing the true benefits of argan oil.
The benefits of argan oil are seen most readily in the tremendous moisturizing benefits for both hair and skin. With high levels of vitamin E, essential fatty acids and antioxidants, argan oil restores each strand of hair and hair cuticle, keeping them moisturized for long periods after use. This ungreasy oil when applied to the face, and particulary under the eyes, protects the skin from free radical damage and has been proved to guard highly from aging skin.
The culinary benefits of argan oil are in both taste and health benefit. This nutty oil is commonly used as a hummus like breakfast dip or simply for cooking Moroccan tagines and couscous. It has been proved additionally to lower cholesterol, prevent against certain cancers and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
This endangered UNESCO protected plant offers so much to the people of morocco, especially in the creating of womens cooperatives and co-operative finance, offering Moroccan women a greater power and authority in this traditionally male oriented culture.
A truly unique produce of this beautiful region of Morocco between Essaouira and Agadir to the south, argan oil has a multitude of benefits both personally and socially and is so greatly accessed from the hand selected boutique riads in Essaouira of Hipmorocco, making your memorable stay in Morocco that much more.
March 18th, 2013
A delicious street food pizza made the Moroccan way brings back locals’ memories of female relatives rising before anyone to prepare this very simple but wholesome pancake.
Msemen or rghaif is a simple thick square pancake enjoyed at breakfast tables and small female led cafes throughout the country, cooked very traditionally directly on a hotplate and found commonly around the Hipmarrakech riads of the Medina. These are eaten as they are or with butter.
As a lunchtime snack however, these Msemen are coated with a spiced tomato base and soft vegetables that makes a very tasty, if only a little greasy, meal. This wonderfully simple ‘Moroccan pizza’ twist (pictured) is enjoyed by many locals and should be on any visitors’ culinary checklist.
March 6th, 2013
A common site. Two men walking leisurely through the streets of Marrakech, deep conversation, not meaning to get to any destination fast but tightly embraced hand to hand as they pass.
Although becoming slightly dated and seen more so in the older generations, the Arab custom of same sex couples holding hands is an honor, if you are offered it, and shows the upmost respect, equality and acceptance of your fellow gender.
Similarly embracing and kissing the cheek of a same sex acquaintance several times after extended periods of absence, representing the joy of being reunited with their ‘brother’.
Just two examples of a culture based around respectful segregation of the sexes where intimacies are sought where available but with the resulting effect of such warm and amicable relations that make Morocco the platonic and hugely welcoming place for all and everyone that visit.
Hand selected for their established hospitality and guest experience, the riads of Hipmarrakech welcome all and make your visit one that is truly personalised, memory making and unique.
February 22nd, 2013
A short guide to camel riding with thanks to Abdul who owns a small train of camels just outside the medina walls a short walk from riads Dar Beija, Dar Habiba and Dar El Souk
Stand from sitting is ‘Bayokav’
Forward is ‘Arrrrrrr’
Stop is ‘Shhhhhh’
Sit down from standing is ‘Jmell Bayokav’
Left is tap a stick on the right shoulder
Right is tap the same or another stick on the left shoulder
For a more native experience, Hipmarrakech riads offer specially selected operators who can guide you through the beautiful Moroccan landscapes to the Sahara and the home of the Dromaderes, (the actual name of single humped, two humped have the Camel tag)
Follow these simple rules and gain the respect of camels and the desert dwelling Moroccans.
February 20th, 2013
Not openly advertised or spoken about, you need to gain the trust of a local grocery shop salesman who lets you into his secret spiced world. Café avec epices (spiced coffee) is exactly that and can be enjoyed at any time of the day or night giving drinkers a warming energised feeling so welcome during the slightly colder winter months in Marrakech.
Consisting of spices to people’s own particular and diverse tastes, this is however most commonly made with muscat, pepper, ginger, kanella, anise, sesame and a spice pronounced gervien khodonjelle. Coffee beans are measured out on a scale (pictured) then the spices are added and the whole contents are put through a coffee grinding machine which are presented to the customer in a plastic carrier bag.
Food is a culture in Marrakech and so much so in the riads of Hipmarrakech who offer guests a true taste of all that is Morocco. Taste these delights in the exquisite culinary riads of Dar Eliane or Riad Zamzam and come away feeling refined and cultured.
February 14th, 2013
Not in the travel guides of Morocco or the tourist trail, local cafés dotted around the Medina offer a breakfast like no other and one that will see you content until your evening meal.
Bissara (above) is a spiced split pea broth that is served in small bowls topped with a generous amount of olive oil and eaten by the right hand with roughly ripped bread (khobz). Alternatively, but please in addition to, are Moroccan beans in a spiced tomato sauce (below), somewhat like a Marrakshi twist on English baked beans but again truly delicious. Small bags of salt and cumin are your condiments that add a wonderful additional flavor to the meal.
Find a seat in one of the welcoming and predominantly, but not entirely, male populated cafés and ask for these. You will not be disappointed. A good starting point is the cafes around Tinsmith Square located next to Bab El Mellah only a short distance from the homely and welcoming Riad Linda, traditional Berber Riad Carina or the elegant Villa Amira.
February 7th, 2013
The lucky winner of the competition on the hipmarrakech stand at the destination show in London is Mr David Beale from South London.
David will be treating his wife to a three night City Break at the fabulous Riad Papillon in the Marrakech Medina, congratulations David! you will love Marrakech.
If you entered but missed out on the prize, dont worry, we have fantastic offers on Marrakech accommodation for you so lose no time making a reservation today!
February 7th, 2013
For four days last week, Great Britain’s largest travel show played host Hipmarrakech.com, welcoming over 50,000 travel enthusiasts to taste the well selected delights of what the world has to offer inside and out of her Majesties shores.
Destinations 2013 the holiday & travel show featured a number of specialist talks from experts around the globe including Hipmarrakech’s Ariane Prot, who imparted her knowledge on the splendors and wonders of working and travelling in and around Morocco.
Hipmarrakech strives to give guests a unique vibrant Moroccan experience in authentic luxurious style and we would like to thank everyone who was involved in making this event the huge success that it was.
January 23rd, 2013
HipMarrakech are proud to be exhibiting at the Destinations travel show January 31, February 2 3 4 at London’s Earls Court.
Come and see us on stand AF7 in the Africa section. Secure your complimentary ticket online in advance at the show website
Don’t forget to quote your Hipmarrakech reference MSC68
We look forward to seeing you at Destinations and discussing our fantastic Hipmarrakech accommodation in person.