Good morning! Do you still remember the pictures and little movies I made last year of the wonderful Bed & Breakfast LEON°16 in Brussels (check it out here)? Well, here is the sequel! If you were not yet convinced by the bright interior and pastel green facade, there is one more reason why you should definitely book a night over here, the absolutely fabulous breakfast! For this stop motion video, our lovely models Janice and Daan were present again. They enjoyed the most delicious dishes, all homemade with love by owner Annelies. Bon Appetit!
What to do, where to eat and where to stay when you are in Marrakech? Discover our favorite places in this magical city that seems the be drowned in a pinkish haze. Marrakech is red, brown, pink and all hues in between. The harmony created by this uniform color scheme is the setting for a city full of contrasts. The narrow labyrinth streets of the Medina are chaotic and dusty, filled with shouting vendors, zooming motorcycles, bicycles, donkeys, carts and little children. To escape you just have to go up to one of the rooftops, and enjoy the panoramic view of the city that stretch out towards the Atlas Mountains. The Minaret Tower of the Koutoubia mosque is marking the skyline, which is defined by a law that prohibits buildings taller than a palm tree.
M A I S O N D E L A P H O T O G R A P H I E
In the northern part of the old city there are some highlights you should definitely visit. My personal favorite is Maison de la Photographie. It’s hard to find in the small back alleys of the medina, but worth the hassle. This gallery opened in 2009 and is the only photography museum in Morocco. The collection offers a fascinating glimpse of Morocco during the last 200 years, focusing on scenes of daily life. It’s housed in a charming riad, with a bright white courtyard. Don’t miss the panoramic rooftop terrace, to enjoy a drink or lunch with a wonderful view.
B E N Y O U S S E F M A D R A S A
In the northern part of the old city there are some highlights you should definitely visit. One of the most beautiful buildings of Marrakech is this old Islamic college. It was founded in the 14th century and reconstructed in the 16th century. The student dormitories are clustered around a large courtyard, decorated with carved cedar, stucco, and colorful tiles with wonderful geometric patterns.
T A N N E R I E S
A bit outside of the souks, not that far away from La Maison de la Photographie, you can find the tanneries of Marrakech. To be honest, I would not recomend it as a must-see attraction. This neighborhood is quite dirty and people are shouting at you all the time. Anyway, the donkeys were adorable.
L A M E N A R A G A R D E N S
The Menara gardens are a perfect place to visit, when you want to relax and escape the chaos of the medina. They are located a bit out of town, at the gates of the Atlas mountains. The pavilion with its small green pyramid roof was built during the 16th century. The intention of the basin was to irrigate the surrounding gardens and orchards. If you visit this place on a clear day, you will have a spectacular view on the snow covered tops of the mountains. A magical place.
L A K O U T O U B I A
The Koutoubia mosque is the largest mosque of Marrakech and one of the landmarks of the city, located next to the big place, Jemaa El Fna. It’s not possible to visit, but it’s nice to have a walk in the gardens surrounding the mosque.
Last but not least I highly recommend a visit to Jardin Majorelle. Read all about this beautiful garden in this blogpost: http://www.thefreshlight.com/?p=1084!
W H E R E T O E A T
The Moroccan food is intense and tasty, spicy and sweet. You can smell it everywhere. If you have a good stomach you can eat delicious food on the streets, but most of the time, we had lunch and dinner in a restaurant or bar. We were happily surprised by some trendy spots in the old city. This is a selection or our favorite places:
– Nomad is the place to be for a modern Moroccan dinner. The food is refined and the design of the interior and rooftop terrace is contemporary and cool. The staff is very friendly. On the ground floor you can find a little shop. My personal favorite! 1, Djerb Aarjan www.nomadmarrakech.com
– Close to Nomad, you can have a drink at Café des épices. 75, Rahba Lakdima www.cafedesepices.ma
– Le Jardin is the sister restaurant of Nomad and a great spot for lunch or having a drink. Entering a small hidden door in the souk, you will be overwhelmed by the large green courtyard filled with tropical plants. The green walls, and green glazed tiles makes it into a magical place with a lovely atmosphere. 32, Souk Sidi Abdelaziz www.lejardin.ma
– Terrasse des épices is known for their loungy terrace in the middle of the souk. The menu is simple but good. At the ground floor you can find their Pâtisserie, and I can assure you the sweets were delicious… Don’t forget to have a look at the local designer shops at the first floor. 15, Souk Cherifia, Sidi Abdelaziz www.terassedesepices.com
– One evening we tried the food at Jeema El Fna. Chez Aicha was recommended by tripadvisor. Great ambiance, good food and really cheap.
– In the southern part of the medina, Kosybar is the place the be, inculding a restaurant, bar and spa. 47, Place des Ferblantiers www.kosybar.com
– When visiting Geliz, the new part of Marrakesh, you can’t miss Le Grand Café de la Poste. The stylish interior transports you to Morocco’s colonial past. Corner of Avenue Imam Malik and Boulevard Al Mansour Eddahbi www.grandcafedelaposte-marrakech.com
– Al Fassia is considered to be the best restaurant of Geliz. It’s entirely run by women, and the staff is absolutely friendly. Personally I was a bit disappointed you could only sit inside. Reservation is required. 55 Boulevard Zerktouni www.alfassia.com
W H E R E T O S L E E P
Marrakech contains a lot of traditional riads, most of them located in the medina. These old houses or palaces are build around a courtyard, were you can escape the heat and noise from the busy streets outside. We stayed in the magical riad Snan13, which was recently renovated and transformed into a guesthouse. Because I loved this place so much, I wrote an entire blogpost about it here.
To end our journey, we booked a luxury resort a bit outside of Marrakech. Hotel Sirayane was the perfect place to relax after staying some time in the hectic medina of Marrakech. This contemporary hotel was designed by architect Imaad Rahmouini, and is made up of cubist-style blocks surrounded by a huge garden, with palms, olive trees and a swimming pool, overlooking the Atlas mountains.
A place to be for all chocolate lovers is this pretty shop Sjokolat, located in the historical centre of Antwerp. A collection of tasty homemade chocolates, with refreshing flavours is waiting for you to take home. Why not try the ganache with geranium, lavender or roses? Or chocolate flavored with chili pepper, sea salt, ginger or wasabi? Not only the chocolate is handmade, even the packaging is unique. The beautiful logo is handstamped on a stylish craft paper. If you need one more reason to stop by at this address, it must be the design of the shop. With its bright, clean and trendy interior it might give you a totally new chocolate shopping experience.
This post was created in collaboration with ‘De hipste adresjes van Antwerpen‘.
Sjokolat – Hoogstraat 33 – 2000 Antwerpen
Welcome to Leon 16! A brand new Bed and Breakfast in Brussels, and the perfect choice if you’re planning an overnight trip to our capital! Leon 16 is located in the trendy and fashionable Dansaert district and surrounded by cozy squares with numerous restaurants and cafes. Owners Annelies Veys and Karel Dierickx created a refreshing place with a balance between design and authenticity. The two suites, built around a patio garden, breathe serenity and calmness. Perfect to relax after a day in the city. Suite Ernest, located on the first floor is a place full of light, warmth and coziness and provides you with a lovely balcony, and a bathroom with a perfect tub! The other suite, named Alfons, is a real garden suite, located in the backyard. I can’t decide which one I love more. In the morning, you will get spoiled by a delicious homemade breakfast by lovely host Annelies.
For the photoshoot of this wonderful place, we wanted to capture the atmosphere, rather then a complete overview. We found two lovely ‘golden’ models, Janice and Daan, who where in perfect harmony with the surrounding. The moving pictures are a wink to the magic and playfulness of the place. You can have a look at the compete photo series here. Hope you enjoy it!
One of the highlights of our Marrakech journey was Jardin Majorelle. The French painter Jacques Majorelle felt in love with Morocco in the early 20’s. In 1931 he commissioned architect Paul Sinoir to build a cubist villa outside the city of Marrakech. The bright colors of his paintings were used on the walls, windows and doors. The garden became a living work of art composed by palm trees, cactuses, and colorful blossoms. The famous ‘Majorelle Blue’ is represented everywhere in the garden, used for the waterbassins and flowerpots. After his death, the garden fell into abandon and was slated for demolition. It was Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé who saved and restored this beautiful place.
Jardin Majorelle – Rue Yves Saint Laurent, Geliz, 40090 Marrakech
We are back from a wonderful holiday in Marrakech! It may not surprise you that I came home with hundreds of photographs. So I decided to start showing you the beautiful Riad Snan 13 where we stayed the first days of our trip. This riad was on my list for a while and I was so happy to find a room available only a few days before our departure. And it didn’t disappointed. We had such a wonderful stay here. We loved the peaceful architecture and the harmonious interiors, with a perfect balance between pure and authentic, minimal and warm. Our room was called ‘Le Hammam’, with a curved ceiling and a wonderful bathtub in front of the window. Xavier was such a great host, he picked us up at the entrance of the medina, welcomed us with delicious mint tea, and took time to explain the city map, and recommended some nice places to have dinner. In the morning we were served a delicious breakfast at the roof terrace, with fresh fruit and a tasty spicy omelette. This was the perfect place to enjoy the incredible view, listen to the birds, and relax before heading into the noisy and chaotic medina. Soon more about that!
If you are planning to visit Brussels, you definitely have to stop at this lovely shop Quelcirque, located next to the concert hall Cirque Royale. In this small boutique, Frederica Wijckmans has made a unique selection of table and living ware. Some of the products were on my pinterest wishlist for a while, but I didn’t know where to find them in Belgium. I am talking about the award-winning cookware series Kaico by Makoto Koizumi, the subtile handmade porcelain by Sue Paraskeva, the traditional Japanese cast iron by Nobuho Miya, …
Quelcirque – Rue de l’Enseignement 89 – 1000 Brussels
Open from monday to friday, 10 am – 6pm
It’s the time of the year when we all start dreaming about warmer weather and sunnier days. After a period where we have spent most of our days warm and cosy at home, it’s time to go outside again. This goes together with the desire to travel… wanderlust is calling. The first destination that is on my wish list is the ‘red city’ Marrakech, fascinated by the oriental architecture, mysterious riads and hammams, the chaotic medina and a lot of mint tea. If you are not convinced yet, take a look at this wonderful instagram feed of Amerrakechia.
A second place I would like to visit this year is Venice. With its romantic charm and historical character it must be one of the most fascinating and loveliest places in the world. The city of marble palaces and streets of water seems to float on the lagoon. I had the pleasure to visit Venice ten years ago, and would love to return.
The wonderful nature of Iceland is fascinating me for a while now. The breathtaking landscapes are so pure and honest. Being a spa lover, bathing in the famous Blue Lagoon geothermal spa must be a unique experience. Dreaming of going one day to this gorgeous place on earth!
All Photographs were found on Pinterest or Instagram. For more travel inspiration, take a look here, where I collect more beautiful travel destinations!
Is tea the new coffee? For me it is for sure! As you might have noticed, I am a tea lover! Tea in the morning to wake up, in the afternoon at work and in the evening after dinner, every time of the day is the right moment for a cup of tea. Lately, tea shops and bars are popping up everywhere. I present you one of my favorite tea shops Paper and Tea, located in Berlin’s Charlottenburg district. In this lovely shop you can find the finest selection of tea, and a lot of beautiful ceramics. Besides tea, they also have a bunch of handcrafted paper goods. In october 2014 the second Paper and Tea store opened its doors in Berlin-Mitte. Can’t wait to visit this boutique on another trip to Berlin!
P & T Concept Store – Bleibtreustr. 4 – 10623 Berlin-Charlottenburg
P & T Mitte – Alte Schönhauser Straße 50 – 10119 Berlin-Mitte