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mosaic road
Melbourne, Australia
Recent Activity
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La Famille is a fresh, whitewashed garden cafe with concept store (of course) in Marrakech. It is deep in the medina and one of those complete surprises that by now I should be getting used to. I went on the hottest day possible when just normal breathing was sauna-esque. Only lunch is served and no meat, perfect for ladies who lunch. Drinks served in mason jars, dips served in screw top jam jars, gorgeous unleavened flat bread, fresh ingredients, all fabulous but for one thing. Bad service and sadly our drinks were just never served . When its 45 C... Continue reading
Posted 15 hours ago at mosaic road
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La Famille is a fresh, whitewashed garden cafe with concept store (of course) in Marrakech. It is deep in the medina and one of those complete surprises that by now I should be getting used to. I went on the hottest day possible when just normal breathing was sauna-esque. Only lunch is served and no meat, perfect for ladies who lunch. Drinks served in mason jars, dips served in screw top jam jars, gorgeous unleavened flat bread, fresh ingredients, all fabulous but for one thing. Bad service and sadly our drinks were just never served . When its 45 C... Continue reading
Posted 15 hours ago at mosaic road
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After the brown horse had paraded and promenaded we watched a magnificently trained glossy black horse do a few tricks. I know how hard dog training is so I am in awe of these Moroccan trainers who have these feisty stallions eating out of their hand, so to speak. These horses live in air conditioned comfort with green and grassy paddocks at their disposal at the Hotel Selman stables . A life of privilege indeed !! Continue reading
Posted yesterday at mosaic road
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I know nothing about horseflesh , I am a total philistine in the equine department. I have ridden a bit way back in childhood but that was a long long long time ago. If you go to brunch at Hotel Selman the pure blood Arab horses make an appearance and strut their stuff. They are beautiful, in their prime and know it. Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at mosaic road
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These are two subjects close to my heart and go just a little bit hand in hand here in Morocco. I believe in respect, respect for the religion, culture and opinions of others, straight down the line. If we could all just do this and go about about our business, not interfering and thinking we know better, then perhaps there would or could be greater worldwide harmony. I am also a scarf lover and collector. I was once banned by my children from ever buying another. Now you can all see the real reason why I fled Australia to Morocco.... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at mosaic road
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The photos of odd shaped terracotta receptacles show braziers or little barbeques for cooking a tagine in an authentic Berber manner. They are filled with hot coals, placed outdoors and the tagine dish sits on top, slow cooking all day, ready for a delicious family lunch or dinner. You may also see roadside stalls and cafes with many braziers lined up, all in full swing, cooking many different tagines for locals to eat on the spot or take away. The Arabic name for the brazier is a majmar and although available online via Amazon they are handcrafted here in Morocco.... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at mosaic road
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The Loft is a very eclectic cafe in Essaouira serving both Moroccan and international food. I think I had the pastilla but was too overcome by the surroundings to remember accurately. The ceiling and much wall space is covered in bright woven Berber baskets, the tables are shiny decoupage, live music is playing, massive artwork is displayed (like the Elvis print) and less is not more here. Every surface is covered, there is a lot going on. It works because it is so different, so full on. But it becomes not about the food and totally about the surrounds. The... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at mosaic road
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It is after 9 pm at night and it is still 40 degrees Celsius. This is typical mid summer Morocco. Tomorrow the forecast is for 44 C at the bare minimum. Life goes on unless you can escape. I have escaped to the mountains and to the beach for short breaks but tourists still visit Marrakech so there is work for me on some days to meet, greet, assist and advise. If it's too hot to tour the monuments, a great way for visitors to spend a day when the mercury seems out of control is to get a pool... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at mosaic road
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There is no end to the choice of Moroccan ceramics available for purchase in Essaouira. Every tiny alley has shops with beautiful china for sale including platters, bowls, tagines, pinch pots, casseroles, vases and on and on, all in a multitude of colours and designs . The floral and geometric designs come from Spanish and Moorish influence. Funnily enough this seaside town is not even famed for its ceramics. Fes and Safi are the main centers for traditional pottery. As you can see in the photos each piece is unique, handmade by local artisans. I have never bought a single... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at mosaic road
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I love a little snoop, well a big snoop really, around luxe resorts and five star hotels. I am rarely a guest, just a touristic trespasser with camera slung around my neck. The Beldi County Club is very lovely and I spent a day there but in an area distinctly set apart from the hotel accommodation. But that was not going to stop me !! So I ventured, off the beaten track, through a big arched entrance and found this amazing space with arch upon arch upon arch. A function room I presume for Moroccan weddings and other big celebrations.... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at mosaic road
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French doors, tropical plants, Moroccan mosaics, sneaky Australian visitors, shabby chic furniture !! This conservatory or greenhouse has the lot. For a start it is huge and overflowing with greenery. Ferns, palms and many unknown to me plants are high and low, sitting and hanging, all busy growing in the lush, warm atmosphere. The conservatory is in the grounds of the Beldi Country Club, in the hotel part and I am sure my camera and I were trespassing . Little niches are filled with wrought iron and rattan furniture for the "paying" guest to sit upon and enjoy the relaxing... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2016 at mosaic road
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A lily pond to me is a thing of great beauty. It comprises the tranquility of water with a not so common very lovely flower, often in pink. The Beldi Country Club on the outskirts of Marrakech has a lily pond that took my breath away. I stepped through an arch into a walled garden, massed with climbing bougainvillaea, that contained a seriously enormous and rectangular pond. Pond is quite the wrong word as it is a pink stone, tile edged ornamental pool scattered with water lilies and their big flat split saucer leaves. Calming and beyond mesmerising. Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2016 at mosaic road
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Rest and relaxation or reflection and recharging ? We all need the whole lot and if you have only a short amount of time to achieve these four then lunch with a friend and a recline by a pool is my suggestion. A short walk from my place of work is Palais Khum, a luxe guesthouse that allows non guests to spend time in their pebbled courtyard by the pool. The pool is indoors but large French windows bring the outside in and provide easy access if you want a bit of watery submersion. You can eat in their cafe,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2016 at mosaic road
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All avenues are covered when you sit in the Atlantis Cafe in Tangier. I thought I was headed to a beach side cafe to watch the sun set not realising that I could have two striking vistas for the price of one. Massive windows and a prime position means you can order your cocktail and enjoy both it and the sight of camels promenading on the sands while the sky turns pink. A slight turn of the head means that swirling dark skies over the evening cityscape is right in your line of vision along with the obligatory traffic jam.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2016 at mosaic road
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The garden you first encounter when you enter the Secret Garden is not the Islamic layout but is of a more contemporary style. It has a very zen feeling with a lot of densely planted greenery that gently breaks up the flat, starkness of the entrance buildings, shop and hamam. It is not a flower garden as such but a few flowering plants certainly provide interest. Also of great interest is the tart of the day !!!! Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2016 at mosaic road
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Vast swathes of cream drapery provide both a frame and a backdrop to the gardens depending upon your vantage point. The color is in keeping with the neutral coloured sun umbrellas and wrought iron furniture in the outdoor cafe area. The only color pop is the turquoise paved tiling proving once again that less is more. Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2016 at mosaic road
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Water is considered the symbol for life in Islamic culture and also daily proof of God's existence. So at the Secret Garden you will find burbling fountains and an ancient spring. This means in the past the riad on the site of the Secret Garden has its own water supply. Canals and pipes from this can be seen as you tour. Bowl shaped marble fountains lie at the junctions of the paths through the garden. A total oasis in a city jungle. Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2016 at mosaic road
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The Secret Garden has some fine examples of traditional Moroccan architecture. I always love the beautiful arched doors adorned with Islamic calligraphy. The many garden paths are paved with turquoise tiles symbolising sky, water and heaven. Look out also for the "yeseria" , the creamy coloured and intricate carved plaster work. This technique was used by the Spanish Moors. You can join a tour or just wander around, as I did, enjoying the peacefulness. Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2016 at mosaic road
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This garden, hidden deep in the medina, and recently opened, is really called the Secret Garden. Originally it was the site of a palace but now comprises a traditional, geometric Islamic garden and a more exotic contemporary one. For many years the site was an unmaintained dump and eyesore till restorations began in 2008.Two large riads have been built around a large garden with tiled walkways and marble fountains. I was there on a very grey day and enjoyed having coffee amid the great beauty and palpable tranquility. Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2016 at mosaic road
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When someone first mentioned this place to me I misheard and thought they said Cape Sparkle !!!! Oh , I thought, not a very Moroccan name but sounds pretty !!! And it is really pretty and really sparkly but it is Cap Spartel. It is a rocky promontory with a big lighthouse and a cafe and a car park full of whopping big tourist buses. If you stand on the cliff top you are meant to see where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Mediterranean. Purists (or fibbers) say they can see the meeting point. I looked hard, I really tried... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2016 at mosaic road
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H Hercules Cave is on a piece of rugged Moroccan coastline that sees plenty of non swimming visitors and fisher people. Tangier is bursting at the seams in the summer with holiday makers from mainly Morocco and Spain. The rest of the year is a better time to visit. I was there in spring and barely saw another tourist but I think I was particularly lucky as I know big cruise ships frequent this port city disgorging a couple of thousand day trippers in one hit. The not very long drive up the coast to Cap Spartel via this interesting... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2016 at mosaic road
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The mythological story behind this cave is that Hercules lived and slept in the grotto before doing labour task number eleven out of twelve set for him by King Eurystheus. To get to the Garden of Hesperides he smashed his way through the rock of the mountain called Atlas, dividing it, thus creating a sea path now called the Straits of Gibraltar. The opening to the sea really does look like the map of Africa but that was not Hercules doing, apparently this was created by the Phoenicians !!! A lot of history going on here !!! Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2016 at mosaic road
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Hercules Cave or grotto is a very touristy attraction , about a 30 minute drive from Tangier. There is a very convoluted story attached to it that I will precis tomorrow. The cave formation dates back to 6000 BC and was used as a brothel in the 1900s and interestingly, was used as a stage for a Def Leppard concert in 1995.The whole site was revamped with shops and cafes in 2015. It is unusual in that it opens both to sea and land with opening to the sea in the shape of the map of Africa. Continue reading
Posted Jul 4, 2016 at mosaic road
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This cafe was established in 1959 and is still going strong. It is both a cafe and bakery and makes incredibly OTT fancy and ornate wedding and celebratory cakes. They have encyclopaedic books for your perusal of glittery bejewelled multi tiered extravaganzas to suit any occasion that might require a cake. Sadly I had no such occasion and settled for a black coffee and the house speciality, a very light airy wafery meringue style cookie. My choice reaffirmed how much Moroccans like sugar. Its no wonder I fit in so well here !!!!!!! Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2016 at mosaic road
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Getting up is high on the list of things I am very bad at doing. It might be a throw back to years of 5am gym sessions . Now, as I live an alarm clock free life, I have succumbed to an extreme form of procrastination when it comes to getting mobilized in the mornings. On my first morning in Tangier though, things were different. I could not stay in bed. As usual I woke early and got up and opened the door to my balcony and view and watched the creeping dawn. I was mesmerised totally and wanted to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2016 at mosaic road