A week in Marrakech

cones of spices

Last month, I had the extreme pleasure of traveling to Marrakech with my very good friend, Marcella Echavarria. Marcella, the brand strategist behind our current obsession, Norhla Textiles, is a globetrotter, professional photographer and writer, social entrepreneur, trend forecaster, and expert in all things sustainable in design.

 

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It didn’t take long for us to take to the souks for some exploration.  Needless to say, I was in heaven at the rug souk in the heart of the medina. The villagers bring their wares down to the souk for auction each day at 5 PM, a wonderful sight to see and a great place to learn about their crafts.

 

L'Art du Bain

 

A more serene stop is at L’Art du Bain, a great place to stop and pick up high quality soaps and other body care products. I adore their sugar scrub scented with vetiver!

 

Kat in the souk with lamps

 

Marcella has a keen eye for seeking out the highest quality crafts.  With her at the helm, I was on a mission to find some antique tribal jewelry in the medina. I found exactly what I was looking for in a pair of these 18th Century Berber adornments made with rare Meditteranean coral.

 

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Of course, no transaction is complete without sharing a cup of mint tea!

 

tea time

 

Near Dar Bacha in the medina are some great finds for modern Moroccan design, including Topolina for simple and wearable designs using vintage fabrics found in Africa.

 

Marcella at Topolina

 

Marcella taking a break after shopping and before we head to the Majorelles Garden in the Ville Nouvelles.

 

majorelle balcony

 

The beautiful Majorelles Gardens were built in the 1920s and later became the Moroccan home of Yves St. Laurent and his partner Pierre Berge.

 

Kat Medarssa in front of plasterwork and tiles

 

I can’t leave Marrakech without a visit to the Ben Yousseff Medersa, a Koranic school built in the 16th Century. It is a beautifully serene place with the most gorgeous tile, plasterwork and cedar woodwork.

 

medarssa arch

 

For the utmost in tranquility and hospitality, I love to stay at the Riad Tchaikana, below, in the heart of the medina and close to the medarsa.

 

La Tchaikana doorway

Photos by Marcella Echavarria and Katharine L’Heureux

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