Sunday, 29 October 2017

Top-10-list of Moroccan food

We have frequently listed our favourite restaurants in Marrakech but we have never listed what typical food you eat in Morocco, so here we go! The Moroccan kitchen is very delicious and diverse in its flavours, influenced by many different cultures like the Berber, Arab, Jewish, Spanish and French. We have put together a top-10-list of dishes, for all you foodies out there, that you just have to try while visiting Morocco.

Tangine is the national dish of Morocco! 

1. Tagine
This is THE national dish in Morocco! It defines not only the Moroccan cuisine but also the way of life here. Tangine is slow food and you mustn't be in a rush when preparing it. One uses a traditional clay pot and fill it with beef, chicken, fish or vegetables. Then one cooks it for a several hours with special spices and herbs into a magical dish filled with unique flavours! One then eats it with lots of bread in order to collect all the tasty gravy in the pot!


The best Tangines in town are served at our own Riad!

2. Tangia
If Tangine is the Moroccan national dish, the Tanjia is a national dish of Marrakech! It is said that the single men used to cook this in their hammam while they were at work during the day. Cooking it very slowly on low temperature over 7-8 hours. The clay pot is more like an urn and is traditionally filled with beef, chicken or lamb together with the usual spices.


Marrakech is known for this local dish - the Tangia!

3. Couscous
Couscous has its origin from the Berber culture and is always served on Fridays in Marrakech! It is made from semolina grains (durum wheat) together with vegetables and meat cooked in broth. 


In Morocco one eats Couscous every Friday!

4. Briouat
Rachida always makes these delicious treats whenever we have guests over for drinks or as a starter before dinner. Briouats are triangular pastry covered with a paper-thin dough. We always eat the savory briouats filled with chicken, fish or cheese but sometimes Rachida makes them sweet with banana, almonds or chocolate. 


Briouats taste best on a roof terrace on a traditional Riad! And maybe with some champagne! 

5. Pastilla
Another very traditional Moroccan dish is the Pastilla, filled with either chicken or pigeon. It is a true delicacy tasting quite sweet since it is garnished with cinnamon and sugar. 


A favourite dish! Both sweet and savory! 

6. Brochettes
The brochette is like a kebab or a grilled skewer filled with meat, chicken or vegetables. The brochette has usually 5-6 pieces of meat, chicken or fish and is rubbed with salt and spices, often paprika and cumin.


Chicken Brochettes are served best by a little Riad-pool!

7. Tride
Tride is a traditional historic Moroccan dish with chicken, lentils and shredded pancakes. It sounds quite strange but it is just delicious! It is seasoned with Rasel Hanout blend and saffron and often served at very special occasions. In Marrakech you can go to the new restaurant Le Trou Au Mur to taste this amazing dish!


At Le Trou Au Mur you can try Tride and alot of other forogotten Moroccan food!

8. Harira
Harira is a simple lentil soup that is often served as a small starter. It is also served during Ramadan to break the fast at the sunset. Then it is often added with some meat. 


Moroccan Harira Soup - Often served as a starter or to break the fast during Ramadan.

9. Moroccan pancakes - M'smmen
M'smmen - the name says it all! Crispy, flaky and fluffy - all at the same time! Yummie! It is such a delicious pastry, often served for breakfast but also as an afternoon snack. In the Medina you can buy it everywhere in the streets! M'smmen is Morocco's favorite pastry, served warm with honey or argan oil! 


Moroccan pancakes comes in many different sizes and forms!

10. Mint Tea
You cannot write about Moroccan cuisine and food culture without mentioning the Mint Tea. It is the drink you are served as a welcome drink when visiting someone or arriving for the first time to your Riad. The mint tea is not just a hot drink, it is very rooted in the ways of life as a sincere gesture of friendship and hospitality. Walking through the Medina you see people sipping it from tiny glasses and you are always offered some when you are negotiating the price for a carpet. 


Moroccan Mint tea has lots and lots of sugar in it! It's often sweeter than Coca-Cola! 

There are of course several other interesting Moroccan dishes like traditional Offal Medley, Tripe, Cherchma, Berkoukesh and Stuffed Poussin. But start with our top-10 list, if you are a true foodie you are going to love all of these dishes!

Bon Apetite everyone!
P&P

Monday, 16 October 2017

All about Yves

Fashion legend Yves Saint Laurent

This weekend was all about Yves Saint Laurent here in Marrakech since the much anticipated opening of the new "Museé Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech" premiered and opened up it's stunning doors for a very exclusive international guest list. The museum was officially opened by Princess Lalla Salma, wife of King Mohammed VI, and then followed private pre-viewings for selected guests and VIP:s as well as several lavish parties around Marrakech in the honor of Yves Saint Laurent and his life achievements. The museum will open officially on October 19 and is an absolute must-visit. 
 
The stunning Yves Saint Laurent Museum is designed by very talented Karl and Olivier of Studio KO. It is just breathtaking.
 
Beautiful architecture throughout!
 
The museum is located right next to the Majorelle Garden, another major tourist attraction that was donated to the city of Marrakech by Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé. The opening of the Yves Saint Laurent Museum in Marrakech followed the previous opening of another YSL museum in Paris. Marrakech served as a great inspiration for Yves and he spent many happy times in the Red City with his long time partner in business and love Pierre Bergé. Together they renovated several beautiful properties both in Marrakech and Tangier and their love for Morocco was life long. Sadly Pierre Bergé passed away only weeks before the opening of this museum.
 
Grand opening with Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco (in pink) and the muses of Yves Saint Laurent: Betty Catroux, Catherine Deneuve and Marisa Berenson (all fashion icons and super models/actresses).
 
The new Yves Saint Laurent Museum is one of the best museums we have experienced. It is beautifully curated and features truly mind-blowing fashion and architecture. If you love fashion and history it is a must-visit.

Another local celebrity during opening weekend: Per of Red City PR
 
No photos can do justice to the amazing experience of visiting this museum, but below you find some examples of the iconic fashion and amazing couture featured in the YSL museum.



 
 
 
 

 
The Master

Catherine Deneuve 
 
Yves and Marisa Berenson, 1972 in his apartment in Paris.

There were several offical parties as well as private dinners and private parties held in the honor of Yves Saint Laurent the past weekend. We were thrilled to be invited to fashion legend Marisa Berensons private party themed "Back to fun" held at a beautiful palace in the medina. It was an epic Marrakech night and so much fun. Marisa rocked the dance floor.

Marisa Berensons private YSL party "Back to fun"

Marisa Berenson was the most photographed woman in the world in the 60:s and 70:s and was dubbed "the most beautiful girl in the world by Vogue" and Yves Saint Laurent called her his muse and the it-girl of the 70:s. She has starred in over 70 movies and is still, 70 years old, active as a model and entrepreneur with her own skin care line. We met Marisa through her partner Jean-Michel. They also love Marakech and live close to us so we have visited their beautiful home several times, always a fun crowd hanging out there.

Naomi, Marisa and Lenny - a dynamic trio

What to read about YSL:
-"All about Yves" (the ultimate coffee table book about the designer)
-"Letter to Yves" (letters to Yves from Pierre written after the designer died)
-"Un Passion Marocain" (private photos and handwritten notes about Yves and Pierres life in Marrakech)
 

What to watch about YSL:
-"Yves Saint Laurent" (feature film about the life of YSL)
-"L'Amour Fou" (documentary with Pierre Berge about his life with Yves and their love of art)


The museum opens October 19. We were so very grateful to be included in the pre-opening program.

Forever YSL!

Thank you Yves and Pierre for everything you have done for fashion and Marrakech. We are forever grateful! You made the world a more beautiful place. Amen.
 
P&P

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Ocean Break - Ponza

The island of Ponza is a true gem in the Italian archipelago.

When the tourists go to Capri (oh, it's a gorgeous island, read more about it HERE), the Italians go to Ponza. Like Capri, Ponza boasts amazing and dramatic nature as well as great restaurants and even beautiful sandy beaches (something that Capri is lacking). It is the perfect spot for a genuine ocean break. Ponza is the obvious choice for both the Italian jet-setters and the ordinary Italian sun-seakers. Non-Italian tourists seem to be very rare which makes the island very genuine. You come here for beautiful nature, great food and amazing private beaches.

Cicero had his bags packed and was ready to go!

Ponza is the largest island of the Pontine archipelago. The island was inhabited from Roman times and according to the legend the Ponza was named after the biblical person Pontius Pilate. 

The charming and colourful harbor of Ponza.

For us it is just a short drive of an hour from Arpino to the charming coastal town Terracina, where we can catch a speed boat that takes us to Ponza in less than an hour. So we packed our bags and two hours after leaving our house in Arpino we checked into our ocean front hotel on Ponza.

Villa Esiria - a charming hotel with the best location, overlooking the Ponza port town.

We stayed at a charming boutique hotel called Villa Esiria, located in a beautiful old villa with stunning views. Our suite had a big private terrace and even a small garden so Cicero was very pleased with his new temporary little kingdom. Most of the restaurants and all night life is located in the colourful and busy harbor area, which was a short but very steep walk from our hotel.

Cicero enjoyed the terrace immensely! 

Beautiful views from our private terrace and garden at Villa Esiria.

Ponza is famous for it's beautiful sandy beaches. 

There are some beaches centrally located in the town of Ponza but the best ones are secluded and can only be reached by boat. So rent a boat with a skilled captain and set out to find your own private bay, there are plenty to chose from! There are also some nice beach clubs available.

As evening falls the big yachts arrive to Ponza, a very popular bay for super yachts.

The locals are not easily impressed and if you don't have a reservation it doesn't matter how big your yacht is or how famous you are. During peak season reservations are crucial if you want to enjoy excellent seafood with a sea view. The food on the island is amazing, weather you go to a simple joint or fine dining establishment you will have a great Italian food experience.

"EEA" is the best restaurant on the island and boosts stunning sunset views. Make sure you book well in advance.

"Gennarino a Mare" is a charming hotel, exclusive yacht club and amazing restaurant. We came here  for both lunch and dinner.

Our little tribe enjoying another beautiful sunset from our terrace.

An absolute must when you visit Ponza is to rent your own boat and captain and go around the entire island to experience the dramatic coast lines and stunning nature, not to mention discovering caves, giant rocks and private beaches. There are also bigger boats taking groups of tourists around the island available but we strongly recommend you yo to get a private boat so you can set the pace yourself and have a more unique experience. We had a great day including several swims through natural rock arches and stunning bays as well as a lunch at a beach club on the back side of the island.

Best thing to do is to go around the island by boat. Ship Ahoy!

Beautiful nature everywhere you look!

Cicero really enjoyed the ocean and proved to be quite the skipper. 

He was a bit reluctant to dive into the salty waters though!

Chrystal blue water to go swimming, snorkeling or diving in.

Dramatic landscapes with giant rock formations.

Harbor life was very serene and beautiful.

Where to stay
- Grand Hotel Santa Domitilla (the only true luxury hotel on the island)
- Villa Ersilia (A charming boutique hotel with amazing views, get a room with private terrace)
- Gennarino a Mare (An iconic hotel located on the main beach)
- Hotel Mari (A classic hotel located in the busy harbor)

Where to eat 
- EEA (Fine dining restaurant with amazing food and views)
- Gennarino a Mare (Beautiful seaside restaurant with great seafood)
- Il Pescatore (Excellent fine dining)
- L'Aragosta (Classic restaurant with harbor front location)

What to do
- Rent a boat with a captain and go around the island for a day.
- Relax and enjoy the views.
- Find your own private beach and go swimming.
- Walk the marina at night and enjoy the buzzling nightlife.
- Have dinner and watch the sunset.

Thanks Ponza, it was just great!

Ocean breaks are simply the best!
P&P