After a busy few days in Marrakech, it was pretty spectacular to be invited for an afternoon at the Four Seasons Marrakech to sunbathe, swim and have a private yoga class.

The hotel complex is about a 30 minute walk from Gueliz, the old town, and after Sabi and I decided to brave it and walk the way (as opposed to getting a taxi), reaching the hotel gates 30 minutes later and leaving the dirt track (no pavement there peeps!) and stepping foot into what felt like a total sanctuary! Spreading over 40 acres, the hotel is more like a little village. We were greeted at reception, and taken in a golf buggy to the pool area, where we were again greeted, and taken to some sun loungers. We nipped off to get changed into our bikinis and came back to an ice cold glass of water and a menu, we didn’t even need the menu though as we knew we had been planning on having ice-cream the entire walk, so we ordered our big bowls of ice-cream and lay down for an afternoon of reading, swimming and sun bathing.

After a few hours by the pool it was time to be taken over the to the spa to get ready for our private yoga class with Manoj, the Four Seasons Marrakech yoga instructor. We were taken to a little private garden near the spa, and had an outdoor yoga session, where Manoj took us through a hatha class. I’ve never done hatha before, and it was really interesting to try a completely new style of yoga, and be taught by a teacher from India, as opposed to one from the west which is usually the case in London. It involved a lot of breathing and chakra opening, as well as looking at the correct alignment of some of the postures I do every single day such as warrior two, downward dog, trikonasana and even child’s pose.

All in all we had an incredible afternoon, if you’re looking for a high end resort to stay at, I would definitely recommend looking at the Four Seasons Marrakech, the pool was serene, the staff were attentive, friendly and completely beyond what I expected, and the entire complex was a dream. Palm trees and cacti galore, countless little spots to relax and enjoy a read in some tranquillity, and the hotel is just a short ride away from the bright lights of the Nouvelle Ville or the hustle and bustle and the snake charmers of the Medina. Check out their website and Instagram here!

Hidden in the middle of the Medina, Café Clock is a funky haven that brings Europe and North Africa together to meet and create this awesome café. During my recent trip to Marrakech, I was lucky enough to go and check Café Clock out and have one of the most delicious veggie lunches (yes, veggie!) I’ve ever had. There’s a bright, high ceilinged ground floor part of the café, as well as an amazing open roof top space (with covered and non-covered parts). The décor was very very cool, there’s no other way to describe it, with mod pictures and mismatched furniture and splashes of bright colour everywhere, I felt very much at home, and want to transport the place back to London!

The staff were super friendly, attentive and quick. The menu was available in both English and French, and even had veggie, vegan and GF options! We went for the falafel, hummus and tabbouleh each, as well as two side salads (the winter salad of roasted vegetables and minted fresh cheese and fig & blue cheese salad with candied walnuts and capers) which were both insane, actually, the entire meal was freaking delicious, I’m thinking that’s the best falafel I’ve ever had! We also had a smoothie each and after lunch we got henna tattoos, we each opted for the same traditional hand henna (we literally just did everything exactly the same all holiday hahaha), the henna artist was lovely and I am sooo in love with my design, I want it to stay forever!

Not only do they offer amazing grub and a fab place to chill, but Café Clock has so much more to offer. There are workshops and cooking classes held there, as well as a Saturday morning yoga class which we 100% would have gone to if we’d have been in the country!

If you’re ever in Marrakech, put this on your list of places to visit.

Find their website here and Instagram here

I am still reeling from my trip to Marrakech last week, it was absolutely amazing! I decided to do a blog post on everything we did and saw, so that when you book your trip to Marrakech (which you need to do ASAP) you’ll know exactly what to do, where to eat, and where to stay!

 

Our Accommodation

We stayed in the Medina, which is the old quarter of Marrakech, full of souks (markets), beautiful mosques, palaces and so much more. Our riad, Riad Dar Alfarah, which is a traditional Moroccan house or palace with an interior garden or courtyard, but about a ten minute walk from Jemaa El Fna, the main square in the Medina. We arrived to Riad Dar Alfarah on Sunday midday and, after having just got a taxi from the airport, and been taken from a very busy road down some some quieter back streets, we were welcomed into the amazing tranquillity of where we’d be staying for the next few nights. It’s truly an oasis, I didn’t expect it to be so beautiful! We had breakfast in the courtyard every morning and the staff were really really lovely and polite, always smiling, and the lovely cleaning ladies put up with our rooftop yoga every morning! The room was spacious, the bed comfortable and cleaned every day. I also liked that our riad was away from the hustle and bustle, I saw many riads opening onto very busy streets with markets right outside, but our riad was tucked away and it was so nice to come back to every evening. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay then check this riad out! You can find info on Riad Dar Alfarah here.

What We Got Up To

Sabi, my travel buddy (check her website & IG), had already been to Marrakech a few years ago, so had an idea of what we should do. On our first day after chilling for a bit at the riad and eating some lunch, we made our way from the riad to Jemaa El Fna, the big square. This place is absolutely buzzing, people selling all sorts, monkeys, snake charmers, women selling henna, a gazillion orange juice stands… it’s crazy but such an amazing experience! We walked around the souks and browsed some of the stalls, you can find absolutely anything in those stalls, pashminas, silverware, jewellery, souvenirs, paintings… so many thing! My two favourite things I bought there were a Moroccan tea pot I bought for myself, and these little Moroccan mirrors that I got for a few of my friends. After this we had a sit down in a root top café called Café De France, the views were insane, seeing the craziness of the Square and being able to see all of the medina whilst sipping on a smoothie… bliss.

On our second day we had a mini lie in and then went and did some yoga on the roof top terrace, after this we ventured out onto the back streets and went for a mini photoshoot, where we attracted a fan club of 10 year old boys, some of whom we spotted practicing handstands after they saw our yoga, Sabi got them to get in a photo with her and it’s my favourite souvenir from the trip! After lunch we went to the Jardin Majorelle which is an incredibly beautiful garden and museum open to the public. It was bought by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé in 1980 to stop it from being turned into a hotel complex. It’s full of succulents (any bloggers dream) and amazing touches of cobalt blue and bright yellow, it’s 100% worth a visit! On our second evening we went back into the heart of the Medina and after wondering around the souks again we stopped for dinner in a restaurant on the square.


On our last full day we went into the new town, aka Gueliz and had a wonder round, before venturing to the Four Seasons Marrakech for an afternoon of chill time. In the evening we went to an amazing restaurant called Comptoir Darna in Hivernage, another quarter in the modern part of the city, where we ate, drank local wine and watched a belly dance show! There was so much more that we could have done!

Food

The food was incredible, period. All the new spices and new flavours, it made me so happy (and my belly too!). Of all the places we ate at, here are some of the best: Café Clock, for an urban vibe and amazing Falafel in the middle of the Medina, Nomad for a modern take on Moroccan classics (and in Sabi’s opinion the best carrots she’s ever tasted), as well as insane views on their roof top, Kechmara for a contemporary Parisian vibe in Gueliz, and Comptoir Darna for the best salmon you’ll ever have and an absolutely incredible atmosphere.

Mystifying the waiters at Kechmara by asking for burgers without the bun!

Our spread at Café Clock

Seafood at Nomad

What to Wear

Prior to our trip I had a mini panic attack as I was packing and I realised I had barely any t-shirts that would be appropriate for 25+ heat (I am pale and British lest we forget), and I was really keen to pack appropriate clothing so as to reduce any unwanted attention. My advice to you, no short shorts, no mini-skirts, shoulders are fine, I probably wouldn’t have any cleavage out in the medina, and skin tight stuff might bring you some unwelcome comments. We mainly wore vest tops, loose trousers/culottes, sandals or trainers, sometimes yoga leggings with longer tops, and I always had a pashmina on me to cover my shoulders if I felt it was necessary. We got a fair bit of attention, but I think it was more that we were two western girls who are attractive and were by themselves, I never felt uncomfortable in danger in any moment. When you’re in the riad you can of course wear pretty much whatever you like and out of the Medina the vibe is very different, very modern and metropolitan.

Money

I took £200 with me for four days as money for meals, outings and souvenirs. I could have spent way less but our riad was a steal at just £84 each (!!!) and flights with EasyJet were £50 return from London, so I was happy to spend a bit more. Food can be either expensive or cheap, depending on where you go, we ate for £15 one night (for both of us) and £90 the next.

Safety

I’ve been to Morocco before and I am lucky that I have travelled to a fair few places with a different culture to us here in the west. I have heard from a few people that they’ve heard Marrakech is dangerous and unsafe. I would honestly say it’s no different to a Spanish city or even London. People tend to let their guard down on holiday and that’s usually when things that can be deemed ‘dangerous’ take place. Just be sensible, keep an eye on your stuff, don’t draw too much attention, but have a good time and you’ll be fine. As I said earlier, I never felt unsafe or in danger at all.

Would I Go Again?

Bah Oui ! I loved it, and will 100% be going again! Sabi and I are already planning our next trip… there was so much we didn’t get to see!

Top Tips

  • Get your GCSE French book out – French is one of the main spoken languages in Morocco, and many people speak it in Marrakech. Most people you’ll encounter will speak English too, but it’s always nice to go into a shop or restaurant saying ‘bonjour’
  • Take spare £ and € with you (if you have them) – they may come in handy, many places accept Euros and some places will take British Pounds.

 

 Thanks for reading! I hope you love the pics and I hope this has inspired you to visit Marrakech, most photos are mine but some of Sabi’s are mixed in too xx

You may have seen from my social media channels that last week I went on a yoga retreat to Ibiza with Good Yoga Life. I can without a doubt say that it was one of the best experiences of my life! Kelly (total babe and founder of Good Yoga Life) along with her amazing team are also hosting two more retreats in Ibiza in May, so I though it would be a fab idea to write a blog post on this retreat in case anyone is unsure of whether to book onto the next one (I’m hoping that after you’ve read this you will be 100% on board and will be going to book your place ASAP!)

The Villas

There were 25 of us in total I think including the GYL crew and all of us, and we were spread out of over two incredible villas near San Miguel in Ibiza. The villas were spacious, huge and the views were some of the most amazing views I have ever seen in my entire life, it was breathtaking. I still can’t quite believe I got to stay there! Think large rooms, light and simple décor and infinity pools looking out over the horizon.

img_4065pa300039pa310087-1

The Yoga

There were three yoga teachers on the retreat, Kelly (@goodyogalifeuk), Suzie (@life.in.full.colour) and Emily (@emily_and_yoga). We got taught by all of them, who are all awesome by the way, and the classes ranged from restorative classes, to a meditation class, to workshops and there was even a bootcamp yoga class (think HIIT meets vinyasa flow). I enjoyed all the classes, there were about two a day, sometimes three including the workshops, and although my muscles ended up being veeerrry sore by the end, it was amazing to feel so strong and I could tell I’d improved by the end. If you have practiced vinyasa flow in London I would say that the classes were pretty similar to that, they weren’t too serious or spiritual, but there was enough spirituality in them at the same time, it’s hard to explain but I hope that makes sense! Enough for a beginner not to feel totally out of their depth, but with enough for someone who is learning more and more about yoga to gain more of an insight into different areas of the practice.

img_4166 img_4167pa300062

The Food

The food was probably one of the best things about the retreat, it was all arranged for us so we didn’t need to think about anything. Suzie made all of the meals and everything was vegetarian and more often than not, vegan. There were so many options, for example at breakfast you could have some overnight oats, buckwheat granola with coconut yoghurt, or have some eggs with a selection of breads, tomatoes and avocado. 

On the first day for lunch after we’d all been picked up from the airport, we were taken to Sa Vida in Ibiza Town, where we were served what felt like a ten course veggie meal, the food was healthy, plentiful and delicious. Dinners and lunches were varied and yummy, and the girls were so good with anyone who had any special dietary requirements, one of the girls was pretty restricted and they were more than happy to make her separate things, which is always really nice and reassuring! The food was probably one of my favourite parts of the retreat as I myself am trying to cut out meat, and going on a retreat for four days where all the meals are veggie was so great and I have come away feeling refreshed!

pa290004pa310095pb010156pa310094

Free Time

We had quite a lot of free time to lounge by the pool, play some games and get to know each other. On the Sunday we all went to the beach and spent a few hours there just sunbathing and swimming in the sea, which was still pretty warm considering it was the end of October!

On the Monday a group of us took a hike down to an excluded cove which was about a 30 minute hike from the villa. It was one of the most beautiful and peaceful things I’ve done, and swimming in that sea was the highlight of my trip! On the Tuesday most of our flights were late in the evening so the majority of us were dropped into Ibiza town to have some lunch, wander around and some of us even got tattoos (if you want to get one done in Ibiza check out Inkadelic, Neil is a great artist and a really cool guy and fit 4 of us in when we just rocked up unannounced!

img_4170pa300044pa310139pa310098

The People

The people made the trip, everyone was so great! Some people came with a friend or two and some came by themselves. By the end of the four days we all felt like a little family and I am definitely going to keep in contact with some of them and really hope I get to meet up with a lot of them again, I might even try and plan a little reunion! 

snapseed

Kelly and co will be back in Ibiza in May for two more retreats, check out the web page here, I think there are still some spaces left if you want to book! http://goodyogalife.com/2016/10/15/ibiza-may-2017/ . If you want to try out one of the Good Yoga Life classes there are loads going on, and you may even see me there! I would 100% recommend going on this retreat, I had the best time, and I feel like my yoga practice has improved a hell of a lot!

Today I have been missing my home town a lot, the city life can be great but there’s nothing like driving five minutes down the road and being at the beach, especially when I know that the weather is Devon is amazing right now. So I have been trawling Pinterest this afternoon and pinning a whole lot of beachy pins, so here are my top 10 beach pins!

1. Beach of the week

Image

2. Beach villa of the week

Image

3. Beachy hair of the week

Image

4. Beach wedding of the week

076d7583e9d1acb921c9dd3bb73094f4

5. Beach holiday destination of the week (The Gili Islands, Indo)

309623b03a4b9618409db1a387d44713

6. Beach inspired bedroom of the week

981df2f91de3fb22365e8f2976c799ea

7. Swimsuit of the week 

29557c0c260dabe3bf6c89e90d3d7e51

8. Birdseye shot of the week

495d8834e3d263b953ad987252707d35

9. Dive of the week
I got my brand new dive watches at https://www.ourbeautifulplanet.org/best-dive-watches/, ready steady go!

9bf47ad04b6075fbf44c5a3fe6df6c3f

10. Palmtree shot of the week

6092b5311c2a8fdd69c66f31d0425495

I hope all these pins have made you as happy and as ready for summer as they made me!

Check out my dedicated beach board on Pinterest!