Eat | Pimp My Pizza Lunch with Friends

pizza menu
pizza menu
cactus
Ciao sexy pizza
lunch setting
Guacamole
Pimp my Pizza
hot sauce
Pizza tee

A couple weekends ago we had our friends over for a Pimp My Pizza lunch.  I love a themed event, and this one had sprung to mind earlier in the year, so I’d filed it in my ‘must make this happen’ folder in my brain and we were so lucky that the date we planned ended up being one of the most glorious, sunniest days London had seen all year.

I’d created little menus for us, just using Pages on my Mac, so each of us could tick which toppings we wanted and create our ultimate ‘pimp my pizza’.

Appetisers came in the form of guacamole, of which we made a huge portion.  If anyone’s interested in how to make the best guac recipe: smash some avocado in a bowl with lime, chopped cherry tomatoes, chopped red onion, coriander and salt.  Keeping adding until it tastes just right (the key is the salt and lime!).

Drinks came in the form of frozen margaritas.  Luckily we had Minute Maid frozen pink lemonade in the freezer, all the way from USA, so we used this and blended with tequila, triple sec and ice.  And they were freakin’ deeeeelicious!  I purchased some palm tree cups online to make us feel like we were kicking back somewhere warm and exotic like Miami, and not a suburb in South West London ;o)

For pizzas we purchased stone baked margherita pizzas, and a gluten free cauliflower crust for me ;o)  Then we threw on the toppings as per each persons request on their tick-box menu.  Then we stuffed our faces like little piggies, and it was worth every damn calorie!

What’s a lunch date without dessert?  To finish up, what better than s’mores?!  We topped digestive biscuits with marshmallows and chocolate, grilling them in the oven and then sat outside in the courtyard, stuffing them into our greedy mouths whilst covering our faces in melted marshmallow and chocolate – this is not a recommended first date food lol ;o)

Yay for fun lunch dates with friends, they bring JOY TO MY SOUL!  Now to think up the next theme…. I’m thinking fall/autumn/thanksgiving vibes.  Apple pie comes to mind, who wants an invite?

Annmaree xo

sunday lunch
Pimp my Pizza
pizza lunch
Frozen margarita
Guacamole
Pimp my Pizza
S'mores
Pimp my Pizza

Detour | Jnane Tamsna, Marrakech

Marrakech
Marrakech

Planning a trip to Marrakech?  Staying in riad’s in the medina but want to have a quiet, luxurious day away from the hustle and bustle?  Then you need to add Jnane Tamsna to your itinerary!

Marrakech
Jnane Tamsna
Jnane Tamsna

When planning my trip to Marrakech, I knew I wanted a balance of the hustle and bustle of the medina, and a day where I could spend doing very little except for swimming and eating.

Jnane Tamsna
Jnane Tamsna
Jnane Tamsna

Searching online, I came across Jnane Tamsna, a stunning boutique hotel in the Palmerie area of Marrakech.   I contacted them, asking if there was the possibility of a day pass, something that some hotels around the world do for non-guests, and they were extremely accommodating giving me a couple of options to choose from.

I opted for the day pass that included dinner, with an add-on of a camel ride in the palm groves at sunset.

Marrakech

A driver arranged by Jnane Tamsna collected us from our riad on the day of our booking, and 20 minutes later we drove through the gates of this stunning property.

It’s like something out of a movie!  On the vast grounds there are five houses, five pools, an organic store, the most beautiful home interiors shop, a tennis court and expansive gardens where they grow food to serve guests al fresco in one of the courtyards.

Jnane Tamsna
Marrakech
Marrakech

We decided the first thing to do upon arriving was to take a walk around the grounds and have a nosey at all the beautiful buildings, archways, gardens and pools.  It’s like something out of a Vogue magazine, so much so, that Vogue have photographed here before.

Marrakech
Marrakech

Deciding on which pool to spend the afternoon in, we then swung by the kitchen and asked if there was any possibility of ordering lunch.  This was no problem at all, and what I love is that instead of seeing a menu, they just asked us what we felt like eating, and 15 minutes later a delicious salad arrived along with GLUTEN FREE!! bread, and we sat amongst the date palms, eating and patting the owners dog.

Jnane Tamsna

The afternoon was spent soaking up the rays on sunloungers and taking multiple dips in the pools.  I’d like to say I felt utterly relaxed at this point, but I couldn’t stop jumping up from my lounger to take photos and video footage, because everywhere I looked was magical!

Jnane Tamsna
Jnane Tamsna
Jnane Tamsna

At 5pm we met our camel guide for our one hour trek through the palm groves.  I’d never ridden a camel before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect and just hoped I didn’t fall off!  It was such a fun experience, I soon felt safe enough to hold on with one hand and take photos all whilst sitting way up high, bobbing around with each step the camel took.

Jnane Tamsna
Jnane Tamsna
Jnane Tamsna

As our guide led us on the trek, he somehow managed to make me some amazing pieces of art out of palm leaves, all with one hand!  What a talent!

Marrakech
Marrakech

It was the most stunning time of the day to be riding amongst the palm groves, with the setting sun giving everything a golden glow.  I was so glad we decided to book this camel trek, and really recommend it as an add-on to your visit.

Jnane Tamsna

Back at Jnane Tamsna, we bid farewell to our guide and the camels and head back to the courtyard for an Aperol Spritz and to chat with fellow guests.

Jnane Tamsna

The lovely thing about staying or dining at Jnane Tamsna is that it all happens at an outdoor communal table, which is candlelit as night falls.  You’ll find yourself amongst  lovely, inspirational guests, and on the night we dined there I felt very fortunate to sit with Becky (and her husband Ryan), the founder of @wearetravelgirls on Instagram.  Two inspirational people with an amazing story.

Jnane Tamsna
Marrakech
Morocco

We had three delicious courses of food, again with no menu, all washed down with Moroccan wine, a new favourite of mine.

It was getting late.  As if by magic, our driver was nearby, and we hopped into the car, driving back towards our riad, with sun kissed skin, happy bellies, and full of wanderlust to return to Jnane Tamsna again, but for a longer stay next time.

Annmaree x

Finding Joy in Sunday

richmond park
richmond park
richmond park
richmond park
richmond park london

I love Sunday.  I didn’t always, and I’ve suffered through the Sunday night blues like many others.  But recently I’ve found my rhythm that allows me to look forward to the final day of the weekend, and embrace the whole day from morning through to bedtime.

For the longest time I’d been trying to find joy in Sunday by doing the same thing I did when I was in my twenties and thirties.  Rushing around the city, fitting in as much as I could, from brunch, to lunch, to markets, browsing shops and making sure I was out for the whole day so I didn’t feel like I’d wasted it.  But over the last few years, I’ve felt unfulfilled, often feeling low or down on a Sunday, and unsatisfied with the way I was living my life.

When I was in New Zealand over December 2018/January 2019 for six weeks, my time spent there was very different.  I was fortunate to spend most of it on the east coast of New Zealand at my parents beach house.  Being someone that needs A LOT of time to myself, I’d often take my laptop to a cafe, one where I could most likely see the ocean, or I’d head to the beach for the afternoon.  It was there that something started to sink in.  I felt peace and calm.  Upon my return to London, I started out my Sunday’s in the same way I’d always done, brunch, usually in a vibrant and busy cafe, rushing about here and there, but something was off.  I felt unsatisfied and low again.  And then it dawned on me, that those things that I loved to do in my twenties and thirties, no longer made me happy.  I thought back to my time in NZ, and realised I felt happy when I was amongst nature.  And I feel sooo old typing this, but it was a huge realisation for me that I needed to spend my time differently in order to feel happy.

And so, my Sunday’s have changed.  Finding joy in Sunday is different for everyone, for me perfect one is spent taking a long walk in a London park, the less touristy the better, followed by returning home late afternoon, to sit at our dining table in my own space, with soothing music, a glass of wine and my laptop, where I spend a good couple of hours reading travel blogs, planning upcoming trips and generally enjoying being in the moment, and a peaceful, calm moment at that.  Not every Sunday is, or will be like this, and that’s fine too, because change is good.  Today I went for brunch in East London with one of my closest friends, followed by a stroll through Columbia Road Flower Market and Brick Lane.  I enjoyed it, I ate great food, I had quality time with my friend Jo, I saw interesting people, and then I was happy to come home to my dining room table, where I’m sat, with a glass of wine, Ray LaMontagne on the Sonos, and my laptop (obvs as I’m typing this on my Mac).  And I feel calm, I feel ready for Monday and I feel grateful to have found a new groove, and to know what makes me happy in this new season of life in my forties.

How do you like to spend your Sunday?

Annmaree x

morden hall park
i love sunday
morden hall park

Eat | The Best Places to Eat in Marrakech

Best places to eat in Marrakech
Terrasse Des Epices

It’s not easy to narrow down a list of the best places to eat in Marrakech, because there are sooo many amazing foodie spots in this vibrant city!  I’m already desperate to return so I can tick a few more places off my list that I didn’t manage to get to on my last trip, and revisit some of my fav spots that are mentioned here in this blog post.

I wholeheartedly recommend every place listed below, they will not disappoint!  Great food, great wine, and all of them with the most amazing interior design.  Let me know what you think if you visit these Marrakech spots…

Terrasse Des Epices
Terrasse Des Epices
best places to eat in Marrakech
Marrakech

Terrace des Epices

Located inside the medina, Terrace des Epices is a rooftop restaurant, offering fantastic views and a great atmosphere.  We visited twice, the first time for a drink at the bar (Moroccan wine is so so good, I highly recommend it!), and the second time for dinner.  As night falls, the terrace twinkles with low lights, the DJ spins house music, and the waiters introduce themselves, before placing a giant blackboard menu in front of you to choose your meal from.

Terrasse Des Epices
Terrasse Des Epices
Terrasse Des Epices

Opting for starters and tagines, and of course Moroccan wine, the food was really tasty and reasonably priced.  We absolutely loved the vibe of this place.  The staff are friendly and helpful, the views are great, the house music playing makes for a really buzzy atmosphere, but not in an over the top, too loud so you can’t hear yourself think kinda way!

best places to eat in marrakech
Terrasse Des Epices
Terrasse Des Epices

 

the best places to eat in marrakech

+61

I was really curious about visiting +61, an Australian restaurant located in the Gueliz neighbourhood of Marrakech.  The restaurant is co-owned by Australian Cassandra Karinsky and Sebastian de Gzell, owner of well known Marrakech restaurant Nomad (we dined there, but felt it had become too touristy).

We made a reservation for dinner at +61, and upon walking in I immediately felt the familiarity of an Antipodean restaurant from the chic but simple interior.  We met Cassandra that night, who is unsurprisingly a laid-back friendly Aussie, and it was great to chat to her about life in Marrakech and also +61.

We had a fab dinner there, the atmosphere was lovely, and there seemed to be a lot of regulars (mostly expats) walking through the doors, which is always a good sign.  The menu, all delicious, changes regularly based on seasonal availability.  If you’re wanting a Moroccan twist on great Aussie food, I recommend a visit.

+61 marrakech
+61 marrakech
the best places to eat in marrakech
+61 marrakech

 

best places to eat in marrakech

El Fenn

First up, we never ended up eating at El Fenn, despite it being in our plan to do so.  Hence this is one place I’m excited to head back to Marrakech for, so I have the chance to dine there.  I’m glad we at least made it here for a late afternoon drink on the rooftop.

El Fenn, owned by Richard Branson’s sister Vanessa, is a luxury riad hotel based inside the medina.  It’s a sprawling space, with turtles waddling in the courtyard, beautiful interior design, and a rooftop that includes a bar, restaurant, lounge areas and swimming pool for guests.

This is a beautiful spot to kick back and rest your feet after a long day of walking.  It’s super chic, and to lay back on the green loungers, with a wine in your hand, as the sun warms your face, is to feel complete happiness.  Go!

el fenn marrakech
el fenn marrakech
best places to eat in marrakech

 

le jardin marrakech

Le Jardin

Le Jardin is a garden oasis amongst the hustle and bustle of Marrakech’s medina.  Owned by the same person that also owns Cafe des Epices, this places in such a tranquil, beautiful spot to enjoy a meal at.

best places to eat in marrakech
best places to eat in marrakech
best places to eat in marrakech

We had lunch there on our first day in the city.  As you’re walking down the small street, you enter through an unassuming door into the courtyard, to be greeted by birds chirping, a beautiful green interior, and terraces above.  If you’re looking to rest your feet, eat great food, and you love interior design, this is the place for you.

best places to eat in marrakech
best places to eat in marrakech
le jardin marrakech
best places to eat in marrakech

 

Palais Lamrani Marrakech

Palais Lamrani

We were recommended this restaurant by the staff at Snan13 Riad where we were staying, just around the corner.  On first glance, when we walked into the reception area we were unsure, but I am so glad they showed us into the garden.  We were sold!  This place is magical!  I can’t believe I haven’t seen it featured in other articles on Marrakech.

We went for dinner at the beautiful restaurant, I recommend that’s what you do to.  Sat amongst a garden of beautiful lush greenery, the courtyard is lit up by candles, and it feels like you’re in some sort of fairy land.

The staff were fantastic, and the tagine’s were the best I’ve ever tasted!  If you want to enjoy a special meal, in a stunning setting, make sure you book a table here.

Palais Lamrani Marrakech
Palais Lamrani
Palais Lamrani

 

Cafe de la Poste Marrakech
Cafe de la Poste Marrakech
Cafe de la Poste Marrakech

Grand Café de la Poste

A well known spot in the Gueliz district, this was my second trip to Grand Café de la Poste, having also visited on my first trip to Marrakech many years ago.  It’s a great place to sit back and relax after a long day of walking.

Best places to eat in Marrakech

On this occasion we just popped in for drinks, and on my last trip I went for breakfast.  I’ve heard great things about dinner there though.  The restaurant oozes style and class, with a grand staircase being the centrepiece of the restaurant, leading up to more cosy corners and dining areas on the floors above.

A beautiful place, though unassuming from the entrance, you’re guaranteed a lovely experience at this well-loved location.

best places to eat in Marrakech
best places to eat in marrakech
best places to eat in marrakech

Happy Eating & Happy Drinking in Morocco!

Annmaree x

Detour | Must See Sights in Marrakech

marrakech
marrakech

There are so many Must-See Sights in Marrakech, from mosques and palaces to shopping in the souks and dodging snakes in Jemaa El Fan Square.  There won’t be any one guide that will tell you everything you need to see, as we all have our own interests in what we consider a must-see or not.  And by no means have I listed everything that I think you should add to your Marrakech list, but instead I’ve highlighted a handful of my favourites.

In my next blog post I’ll list my favourite food and drink spots, but for now this list is to help you explore the city….

must see sights in marrakech
marrakech
marrakech

(Images above not my own)

Jardin Marjorelle

The Majorelle Garden is a two and half acre enclosed wall garden, bought from it’s original creator in 1980, by Yves Saint Laurent.  Inside the walls, you’ll see the very Insta famous blue villa, and the most amazing collection of cacti, it’s really a mindblowing sight to see.

This was my second visit here, and maybe I’m getting old or something, but I really enjoyed this visit!  It’s full of so many beautiful plants, ponds with koi fish and frogs, winding paths that lead you through bamboo forests, and bougainvillea spilling out in bright colours.

If you’re a fan of Yves Saint Laurent, you’ll find the fairly new YSL museum next door to the gardens.  We didn’t visit, but I’ve heard good things.

Marjorelle Gardens Marrakech
must see sights in marrakech
Marjorelle Gardens
must see sights in marrakech

Le Jardin Secret

Le Jardin Secret aka The Secret Garden, is located inside the medina behind 30 foot walls. It’s a stunning spot and a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the medina and its souks.

Inside there are two gardens, one being an exotic garden and the other an Islamic garden.  There’s a cafe you can climb the stairs to and look out over this tranquil spot, whilst resting your feet.  I loved this place, the plants are amazing and it does feel like you’ve discovered a secret as soon as you step off the busy street through the entrance.

Le Jardin Secret
Marrakech
must see sights in marrakech

La Mamounia

La Mamounia Hotel, located just outside Marrakech’s medina is an unbelievably palatial sight to see.  There are 17 acres of gardens that surround the hotel and don’t get me started on the swimming pool, which is the largest hotel pool I’ve ever seen.  Our first visit wasn’t successful, with a high standard dress code, we found out at the entrance that males cannot go inside if they are in shorts (even dress shorts don’t count) after 6pm.  We returned later in the evening, walking through the gardens, and then visiting the Churchill Bar (named after Winston Churchill who adopted Mamounia as his winter home) for a glass of wine.   My next visit to Marrakech, I am planning on booking the spa day pass, which includes lunch, a spa treatment and use of the hotel pool.

must see sights in marrakech

Jemaa El Fna Square

Jemaa el-Fna is a memorable and sometimes overwhelming destination.  You’ll witness everything from storytellers and dancers to snake charmers and monkeys in football shirts.  During the day it’s a little more subdued, but come dusk the square fills up with people and food stalls.

You can’t go to Marrakech and not visit Jemaa el-Fna.  It’s fascinating, but you need to keep your wits about you too.  As a tourist you’ll be seen as a beeline to potential cash.  You’ll have men trying their best to drape a snake over you or place a monkey on your shoulder.  If you have no interest in this (raises my hand) you need to be firm with your no.  No giggly, smiley no’s.  Firm but polite.  But don’t let that put you off, it’s a must see.  The food stalls in the evening are fascinating, and the stall owners are friendly and entertaining.

Marrakech
Marrakech
must see sights in marrakech

(Images above not my own)

Shopping In and Out of the Souks

The souks, a labyrinth of shopping stalls inside Marrakech’s medina, are a must-visit.  You’ll get lost.  But don’t worry, just embrace it and wander through this slightly mad, sometimes irritating, but fascinating shopping mecca.  From leather shoes and bags, to woven baskets and hats, it’s a fun place to visit, but you need to be prepared to barter.

You’ll get a good deal in the souks eventually, no doubt, but as I discovered on this trip, shopping outside of the medina and visiting the manufacturers directly, was a much more enjoyable experience.  No hassle from the shop owners, no bartering, and amazing prices that you’ll never achieve in the souks.

I recommend asking your riad/hotel to book you a tuk-tuk and decide on what it is you want to buy.  We went to ceramic manufacturers and bought back some beautiful pieces.

Marrakech

A few more tips… There’s some great boutique stores in Marrakech, check out Chabi Chic, Max and Jan and 33 rue Marjorelle.  All stores sell a mix of homeware and fashion.

Last but certainly not least.  Walk.  Don’t worry about the direction too much, just wander.  On this last trip in Marrakech, we wandered through the medina and found ourselves in a tourist free area, where all the locals were buying their food and whilst some of the sights might be disturbing to some (bunnies and chickens jam packed in cages at the butchers), it was fascinating to see a more authentic part of the city.

marrakech

Keep your wits about you, sometimes (read most of the time), an offer of help to show you the way when you’re lost does result in a demand for money.  Look confident, be confident, give a polite but firm ‘no thank you’ when you’re not comfortable with a situation, and keep going on your way (even if you’re lost).

Enjoy this magical city, it’s such a special place, I hope you love it as much as I do!

Annmaree x

must see sights in marrakech
must see sights in marrakech

3 Affordable Luxury Riads in Marrakech

3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech

3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech

3 Affordable Luxury Riads in Marrakech

When I was planning my second ever trip to Marrakech, I had a very clear idea of what type of vacation I wanted.  My first trip there a gazillion years ago, was about seeing as much as I could in a short amount of time, and this second trip was to be more about soaking up the luxury of the amazing riads in Marrakech, dining at beautiful restaurants and of course shopping.

As I started researching and planning the trip, I was intent on finding affordable luxury riads to enjoy my time in this magical city.  What quickly became apparent was that Instagram has made Marrakech so popular, meaning each time I found somewhere I liked, it would be booked out months in advance.  I was starting to lose hope, but I persevered and struck gold.  I may have had to change our flight dates by one day to make it all work, but needs must ;o)

We stayed in three very different, equally luxurious riads during our five night trip.  I know that sounds OTT but A. it was the only way I could make the trip work, as nothing on my wish list was available for the full five nights, and B. the riads were no more than a 15 minute walk apart so it made moving accommodation pretty easy.  I recommend staying in a couple of different places, I’d definitely do the same again, as you can explore a new part of the medina in each location you stay in.

So let’s get to it, and check out these 3 affordable luxury riads in Marrakech …

Les Yeux Bleus

3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
riad les yeux bleus marrakech
riads in marrakech
luxury riad marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
marrakech luxury riad
riad les yeux bleus marrakech

Riad Les Yeux Bleus is located in the Bab Doukkala district of the medina, and a ten minute walk from Jemaa el Fna square (very touristy and full of snake charmers and monkeys on leashes which makes me sad!).

Inside the riad you’ll find two pools.  A large one on the ground floor, and a smaller one on the roof top terrace.  Breakfast is served around either pool each morning at a time of your choosing.  We dined on the rooftop both mornings, and enjoyed the warm sun as we drank coffee, and planned our day.

Les Yeux Bleus has eight beautiful rooms, all individually decorated.  Our room, located next to the ground floor pool was very large, along with a big en suite bathroom.

The interior decoration is beautiful, and you’ll find plenty of cosy little spots around the riad to relax, a library to read a book in, there’s also a full spa service including massage and hammam.

I loved this riad, it is extremely large and spacious, and oozes peace and tranquility.

Phone No: +212 524 378161
Address: 7 Derb El Ferrane, Bab Doukkala, Medina, Marrakech, Morocco
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
marrakech luxury riad
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech

Snan13 Marrakech

Snan13 Marrakech
Snan13 Marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
Snan13 Marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
snan13 marrakech

Located in Mouassine, just minutes from Jemaa El Fna Square, Snan13 is tucked away in a quiet, but very central spot in the medina.

From the moment we stepped inside the doors of Snan13, we were smitten.  This riad is breathtakingly beautiful.  White walls with the most gorgeous pink and orange Bouganvilliers spilling out over the top of the courtyard.  The service at Snan13 is impeccable, we felt like we were being greeted by old friends. Nothing was ever too much trouble, and all the recommendations given by the staff were spot on.

This is a riad where you’ll be surrounded by calm and beauty. Despite being in the medina, it was quiet, and so peaceful!

Snan13 has one grand suite and five double bedrooms, all individually decorated to an extremely high standard.  Our room was facing the patio where there is a swimming pool and a dining area.  I could literally climb out the bedroom window into the pool!  Around the riad you’ll find different lounge areas to relax in, and a large roof terrace where we were served a lovely breakfast.

I’m almost tempted to keep this place a secret as it’s so special!  If you want to feel like you’ve found a jewel amongst Marrakech’s riads, I truly recommend this amazing place.

Email: info@riadsnan13.com
Phone: +212 524 38 19 97
Address: Mouassine, Derb Snan 13. (Medina) 40030, Marrakech, Morocco

3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
marrakech luxury riad
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
beautiful marrakech riad
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech

Numa Marrakech

3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
riad numa marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
numa marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech

Numa is located in Rahba Lakdima, very close to Jemaa El Fna Square and in a really great, central location, also close to Place des Épices, a lovely square selling everything from woven baskets to hats, and surrounded by some great cafes.

If you love design, you’ll fall in love with Numa.  This place is so incredibly chic, my mouth dropped open as I walked into the courtyard.

In the courtyard, you’ll be served the most amazing breakfast each morning.  I’m not a breakfast consumer but I made sure I got up each morning to enjoy this spread!  On the first floor you can relax on sun loungers and take a dip in the very elegant looking pool.  Further up on the roof terrace, you’ll find more loungers and sofas to relax and soak up the sun on.  There is also a traditional hammam and a massage room.

Numa has six rooms, of which some are suites, and their interior design is an amazing sight to see.  Our bedroom was on the ground floor, opening up to the patio.  The room itself was minimalist chic, and I really didn’t want to leave on the day of our departure!

The staff, dressed in the coolest outfits, are down to earth, super helpful and always with a smile on their face.

If you want chic, designer and cool, this is the riad for you.

Email: info@numamarrakech.com
Phone: +212(0) 614-563683  +212(0) 524384664
Address: 37 Derba Aarjan, Rahaba Lakdima, Marrakech, Morocco

3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
marrakech luxury riad
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
numa marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
numa marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech
3 affordable luxury riads in marrakech

London’s New H&M Home Concept Store

London H&M Home Store
H&M Home Concept Store London

Being a huge lover of home interiors, I was so excited to get a sneak peak at the new H&M HOME Concept Store at 208 Regent Street, in April.   700 square metres, across two floors, the store is a dream!

H&M London
London H&M Home Store
H&M Home Concept Store

Stocking everything from kitchenware to dressing gowns, what I love about this new concept store are the little extra’s on offer.   You’ll find Bunches by Blomrum florist in store, where customers can mix and match fresh flowers to create their own bouquet.

H&M Home Regent Street
H&M
H&M Home Concept Store

There is also a monogramming service for added personalisation. If at any point you need a shopping break, you can head into H&M’s Swedish cafe It’s Pleat.   Selling a range of fresh, organic and locally-sourced produce, with everything packaged using plant-based, decomposable materials.

London H&M Home Store

A beautiful space, selling chic and affordable items, this new H&M Home Concept Store is definitely my new go-to store for home decor and accessories.

H&M Home Concept Store
H&M Home Concept Store
H&M Home Concept Store

H&M Home
208 Regent Street, W1B 5BD
Mon – Sat 10.00am – 9.00pm
Sun 12.00pm – 6.00pm

Spring Afternoon Tea with my Girlfriends

Spring afternoon tea
Spring afternoon tea
spring party
Spring afternoon tea

Something that doesn’t happen in London so much is spending time at friends homes.  For some reason it’s common to always meet at a cafe/bar/restaurant, which might be down to everyone living in different neighbourhoods, but I think it’s also down to the fact Londoners are social creatures, and we like to be out and about.

Spring afternoon tea

But sometimes I find it’s really nice to have friends over.  It’s more relaxed and personal, and I love to host anything from dinner parties to afternoon tea.  Which is exactly what I did recently, having my girlfriends over for a Spring Afternoon Tea.

spring party
spring party
spring party

I spent a bit of time scouring Pinterest and trying to get a plan together for the day, ahead of time.  Last minute stress does not look good on me!  Pinterest is such a lifesaver, and so full of inspiration.  In no time I’d come up with a vision for my Spring afternoon tea and got to work shopping, prepping and baking.

spring party

My menu consisted of teeny cutout round sandwiches I made using a cookie cutter, half filled with a dijon/mayo spread, ham and cheese, and the other filled with a cream cheese/honey spread, a basil leaf and topped with a prosciutto ‘rose’.  If you like the look of these, pop over to the Oh How Civilised website I got these ideas from, to follow the instructions.

Adding to the savoury side of things, I served spicy mini potatoes with a sour cream and chive dip, and added a little mug of dry roasted nuts to the table to snack on.

spring party
Spring afternoon tea
spring party

Those who know me, know I’m more of a sweet than savoury girl, so this part of the day I put most of my energy into.  I baked my favourite three layer Hummingbird Cake, essentially a banana cake that has pineapple, nuts and spices added to it, and is layered and smothered in cream cheese frosting.  I mean, what’s not to like?

I also added a jar of mini eggs for both decoration and snacking ;o)  and a few cute little bunny boxes I bought in Hema filled with Easter treats for the girls to take home.  We washed all of this down with rosé and champagne.

Spring afternoon tea

I’d imagined we’d have our Spring afternoon tea catch up and then head down the road for dinner, but what I’d forgotten is that when you get four girls together, particularly four chatty kiwi girls, we barely draw breath and never run out of conversation.  So I guess it was no surprise that my last guest walked out the door at midnight!

Spring afternoon tea
afternoon tea sandwiches
spring party

It was the perfect way to spend a sunny Spring afternoon.  I’m already planning my next little at home party for early Summer.  This one will consist of pimped up pizza (you’ll have to wait and see what that’s about) and Aperol Spritz, so keep an eye out for that!

Annmaree x

Spring Flower Arranging Class, London

spring bouquet london
spring bouquet london

When I’m doing something creative, I’m always in my happy place, unless it’s prepping for a dinner party and then I’m generally a complete stressed out psychopath, shouting ‘we should’ve cleaned the house and picked up the groceries YESTERDAY!’, but yeah aside from that, being creative makes my heart sing.

Spring bouquet
flower arranging class london
Donuts and Detours

I recently attended an amazing spring flower arranging class, taught by Laura, owner of the sweetest London based mobile florist, Gray & Greenery.  I’d attended Laura’s Christmas wreath making class last year, which made my heart so happy, therefore when I saw the spring flower arranging class advertised, it was a no brainer to sign up.

Donuts and Detours

Laura holds the classes in various locations in London, and luckily one of the classes is in my neighbourhood, at a great wine bar inside Tooting Market, aptly named Unwined.  A glass of wine is included in your ticket price too, could these classes get any better?!

Donuts and Detours
flower arranging class london
Donuts and Detours

Laura, who by the way is the loveliest person, and also short/blonde/chatty, so I guess we have those three things in common ;o) , takes you through the steps of choosing appropriate flowers, and teaches you how to arrange them so you end up with something that actually looks quite professional.

Donuts and Detours

I was sooo pleased with my arrangement, I felt the equivalent of a 4 year old coming home from nursery having painted a picture they can’t wait to show their parent.  I bounded out of Unwined with my arrangement, and felt pretty proud when a few people commented on it at the bus stop.  I followed Laura’s instructions to get the most out of the flowers, and my Spring bouquet took pride of place on our kitchen table for two whole weeks.

Spring bouquet
flower arranging class london
Spring bouquet

Keep an eye on her website or Instagram for upcoming classes.  They are truly such a fun way to spend an evening.  Maybe I’ll see you there!

Annmaree x

Detour | My Venice Travel Guide

Venice Travel Guide
Venice Travel Guide

“To build a city where it is impossible to build a city is madness in itself, but to build there one of the most elegant and grandest of cities is the madness of genius.” – Alexander Herzen

Venice Travel Guide
Venice Travel Guide
Venice Travel Guide

I have a love so deep for Italy, that never wavers.  From the Amalfi Coast to Venice, I love the vibrance of the country, and of course the cheap prosecco and delicious gelato!  Visiting Venice for the third time last year, I naively thought that maybe I’d finally feel fulfilled and no longer have the desire to revisit.  How wrong could I be.  Every time I set foot on the cobbled streets of Venice, I discover new secret spots, making new happy memories, and my addiction grows deeper.

Venice Travel Guide

Like anywhere, tourists flock in the same areas, and often miss out on the magic of the place, that may be just an alleyway away.  I don’t want you to miss out on these jewels of Venice, and so I’ve created a mini Venice Travel Guide here for you, to avoid the tourist trap spots and make the most of your time in this magical city.

Burano
Burano
Burano

I’m not gonna lie, the majority of my trips overseas revolve around food.  So if you’re not passionate about eating well, then this might not be the guide for you.  But if you ARE like me, and you love great, local foodie spots, then keep reading!

Venice Travel Guide

GELATO:

Gelateria Suso – Calle della Bissa, 5453, 30124 San Marco, Venezia

This place! It deserves a shrine outside, so I can kneel and worship its existence.  Every flavour I’ve enjoyed here on multiple visits has been perfect.  That’s a big call, but trust me on this one.  And if you’re lucky enough to be there when they have their lemon and chocolate combo, order a scoop, it’s life changing in the best way.  PS for the gluten free lot, this place is brilliant, they have GF waffle cones which are wrapped separately, and they use separate gelato scoops when you order.

La Mela Verde – Castello, 4977, 30122 Venezia

I’d always had this place starred on my Google map, but never made it there until my last visit, when we just happened to stroll past.  It is SO.GOOD.   Delicious flavours and delicious creamy textured gelato!

Al Timon Venezia
Suso Gelato
Venezia

DINNER:

Al Timon – Cannaregio, Fondamenta dei Ormesini, 2754, 30121 Venezia

This restaurant was a highlight of my visit last year.  Again, another place that was starred on my Google map but I’d not made it to.  A friend text me whilst in Venice last year telling me I had to go, and that it was amazing, so we did. It’s a 15-20 minute walk from San Marco, and what is so great is that there are hardly any tourists in this area, but a lot of locals, which is a win in my eyes.  Al Timon is situated on a lovely canal, and upon arrival you’ll see people spilled out onto the little street sipping prosecco (you can see me doing so, sat on the windowsill in the top left photo above), or for the lucky ones who got there early enough, sitting in a little boat moored next to the canal.  We were there for the steak, and it did not disappoint.  A shared platter of Fiorentina steak, fried potatoes and vegetables, it was honestly one of the most delicious meals I’ve ever had.  The atmosphere there is great too, being a tiny restaurant, there’s a buzz of chatter, whilst everyone tucks into great food and sips unbelievably well priced wine.

Oke Pizzeria Restaurant – Dosrsoduro 1414 – 30123 Venezia

I love this pizzeria for two reasons, the first being that it’s on a quiet side of Venice, looking out towards the Hilton Hotel on the island of Giudecca, so it’s less hustle and bustle, with outdoor seating for warm days.  The second reason is their great tasting gluten free pizza.  They even have a separate GF menu which makes life so much easier, and I’m a sucker for their gorgonzola pizza.

Venice
Venice Travel Guide
Venice

BARS:

Skyline Rooftop Bar – Hilton Molino Stucky, Giudecca 810, Venice

I feel very fortunate to have stayed at the Hilton on my last visit, and one of the perks was having the Skyline rooftop bar on the premises.  I’ll start out with saying that this bar is not cheap, so we chose to start our evening here with a pre-dinner drink whilst we watched the sun set over Venice.  It’s such a beautiful location, if you want a special place to toast your vacation whilst gazing out of at the Venice canal.

Taverna Al Remer – Sestiere Cannaregio 5701 Venezia

I have to be honest, I’m actually reluctant to share this place publicly, because it’s so lovely and special that I’d hate for it to become a tourist trap.  So I’m whispering it to you, just don’t tell anyone else okay?!  I found out about this fabulous restaurant and wine bar on a previous trip to Venice, when I got chatting to a British family.  They shared this secret and its location and we’ve since be there three times, to drink prosecco, eat delicious food and listen to live music, whilst gazing out the doors towards the Grand Canal.  It’s such a lovely little spot away from the busy streets.

Corner Pub – Calle della Chiesa, 684, 30123 Venezia

I don’t know what it is about this little ‘pub’ in Venice, but I find it the cutest thing!  There’s a tiny amount of indoor seating, however the best thing to do is to try andgrab a stool and prop yourself up at the outdoor bar, ordering wine, and sit there people watching (and believe me it’s a GOOD people watching spot).  It’s such a fun little place.  If you’re in this area, have a white wine or an Aperol Spritz for me!

Burano
Burano
Venice Travel Guide

TOURIST SPOTS:

Burano Island

Having finally made it to Burano Island last year for the first time, I can’t believe I’d not jumped on a ferry and visited this place before!  It’s magical, and oh so colourful.  Taking around 45 minutes by boat from Venice to Burano, from the moment you step onto this island you’ll be greeted with a rainbow of houses wherever you go, it’s soo so pretty, and I can’t tell you how many Instagrammer’s were there taking photos (yes I was one of them!).  There’s plenty of restaurants and shops, however I didn’t eat a thing, I was too busy making sure I had seen every single colourful home there was to see.  Definitely recommend for a half day/full day trip.

Libreria Acqua Alta Bookstore – Calle Longa S.M. Formosa 5176/b Venezia

This bookstore is like nothing you will have ever seen before.  A second hand bookstore, there are literally thousands of books, all stacked up in anything from a gondola to a bathtub, it’s the most fascinating place!  You don’t have to be a book lover to appreciate its quirkiness.  Make sure you get a photo on the stairs made out of books, outside the back of the store!

Venice Travel Guide

Mercato di Rialto (Rialto Market) – Calle de la Pescaria, 30122 Venezia

Okay, I know, I know, it’s a another food spot, but I did warn you at the beginning of this blog post ;o)  Rialto Market is a lovely place to wander, with vendors selling fresh seafood and produce.  This market started in 1097, I mean WHAT??! Open every day of the week except Sunday, get there early to enjoy the vibrance of the place and pick up some delicious things!

Venice Travel Guide
Venezia
Venice Travel Guide

There is so much more to Venice, but these are a handful of my favourite spots, and the rest I’ll leave for you to roam and discover.  Let me know if there’s anywhere you think I should know about.

Annmaree x