Honeymooning in Moroccan Landscapes

The day after our wedding we headed off on an early morning flight to Marrakesh for 12 days of honeymooning. 

Morocco is a stunning country with awe-inducing landscapes, delicious food and beautiful people.

We spent a few days in Marrakesh to start with mostly eating, drinking mint tea and lounging around on roof terraces. Then we headed off for a 5-day driving tour of the high atlas region. We're not big fans of planned tours and it probably isn't something we would have done if it wasn't our honeymoon as elements of it were a bit constricting and we couldn't just take things at our own pace.  But to fair after months of wedding planning, neither of us was really up for planning the whole trip and figuring out how to get from a-b each day, researching hotels etc. So we went with a tour and thankfully our driver/tour guide was really relaxed and not too pushy like a lot of the tour guides we saw along the way! 

After the tour, we were dropped off at Riad Bouassala, a hotel near Essaouira that we had just found this place on trip advisor the day before we left Marrakesh and it looked great from the reviews so we booked it. When we got wifi halfway through our tour we realised that the booking website had made a mistake and we weren't properly booked! Thankfully when we turned up on the day the lovely people at Riad Bouassala had upgraded us and put us in their beautiful blue and white private cottage. Bouassala was the perfect place to relax and we were lucky enough to have amazing weather and spent the majority of our time there sunbathing by the pool. The staff are so friendly and they serve some pretty delicious food for breakfast and dinner.

Finally, we headed back to Marrakesh for two nights before heading back to London. 

TLDR: We had an amazing honeymoon, Morocco is ridiculously beautiful and here are some photos of the crazy landscapes.

If you're heading to Morocco soon then head to the bottom of this post for places to stay, eat and visit and some further reading.

Where to eat in Marrakesh

Le Jardin - Get the chicken pastilla it is insane. 

Café des Éspices - For lunch, snacks and tea/coffee

Terrasse des Éspices - For cocktails at sunset with views across the medina and posh/romantic dinner

Hammam

Le Bain Bleu Just a really great hammam and massage not cheap but worth it (minus the fake rose petals which gave me the creeps)

Top tips 

If like me, you hate the idea of the crowded souks and haggling to buy bits of cheap tat, visit the souks first thing in the morning at like 8 am, there are hardly tourists, the traders are just setting up and they haven't got into the full swing of trying to swindle tourists into buying cheap crockery! Plus the light is perfect for taking to photos (I forgot my camera the morning I did this and I'm still kicking myself).

When you arrive at the airport take out cash and find somewhere to get some small change or small notes from. It's likely that your hotel will send an airport transfer for you but if you're staying in the medina this transfer will leave you at the gates of the medina as cars can't go into the medina. The driver will call a man with a cart over who will walk you and your luggage to your hotel. There is no agreed price for this service though so its worth having a small bill so you don't get completely ripped off (like we did *insert facepalm emoji here*).

Hotels

We stayed in a number of hotels and riads over our tour and in Marrakesh and they were all pretty great my favourites were.

Riad Dar Mouassine, Marrakesh - In the medina set back away from the hustle down a dark tiny street but once inside it is really beautiful. Staff don't speak great English but were really lovely and helped when we needed it. We quite like to be left to do our own thing so the language didn't bother us. The room we were in was quite dark but there's a lovely a roof terrace and the hotel was generally really quiet so feels very private

Kasbah Azul, AgdzOur favourite night of the tour was spent here the staff are really wonderful and the kasbah is really beautifully decorated with lush gardens surrounding and a lovely swimming pool. Dinner was delicious and served outside by the pool by candlelight. We could've stayed there a few extra nights and spent some time discovering the area but sadly we only had one short evening before heading off to drive to Essaouira.

Riad Baoussala, 5km from Essaouira Perfect place to spend a few days relaxing by the pool and a good distance from Essaouira to take an easy going day trip to the town. Generally has a lovely arty relaxed feel to it and staff are incredibly friendly and helpful. The only thing we found was that in parts the decor was a little too 'eclectic' for our tastes but nothing too bad.

Further Reading

Emma from Field and Nest has written 2 great posts about her time in Marrakech

Field and Nest - Marrakech Exploring the Souks

Filed and Nest - Marrakech 24 hours in the desert

Field and Nest - The Slower Side of Marrakech

Suitcase magazine have a fantastic guide to all things cool, hipster and arty in Marrakech (yes Marrakech has a thriving hipster scene, I know it's problematic but hipsters make great choices about food and bars)

And here I put some pins on a google maps list of Our fave Marrakech spots - I suggest if you're going to Marrakech download the city map on google maps and pin the places you want to visit and your hotel so you don't get lost. Scratch that, Marrakech is a maze, you will get lost!

Memories of France in Summer

You know that thing that happens when you haven't been in contact with a friend for so long that it starts to become too awkward to call them so you just keep putting it off? And then one day you realise that you've been overthinking it and it isn't really a thing and finally you get over yourself and just call them!

That's what I've been doing with updating the blog. So today is the day I get over myself and just bloody post something!

Even though the magnolia trees are blossoming in London and officially winter is over but the greyness and the cold and the wet seem to just be clinging on for dear life I thought I'd share some photos of a summer trip I took to France what feels like a full millennia ago but was actually just last summer.

Enjoy a little memory of summer and lets all pray summer (or at least spring) returns to us soon!

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Go Wildly & Slow: August Giveaway

Ok, so July disappeared without me having even the slightest chance to sort out my giveaway. That mixed with the fact this special product came from France and took some time to land on my doorstep so I could faff around taking pretty pictures!

But I'm happy to let you all know that the wonderful Danielle from The Nomad Society has given me this brilliant Last Light candle for one lucky Instagrammer this month.

This candle smells subtly sweet and entirely delicious. The perfect scent for an evening bath to relax after a day of walking in the wild. 

The Nomad Society

All of The Nomad Society's soy wax candles are hand poured in small batched is France. And the soy wax comes from 100% sustainable sources! Gota Love a good sustainable producer. Danielle also makes home fragrances.

I love The Nomad Society's story, it's simple but enticing it says that they are "The destination for those who roam" and describes their candles as "talismans from days spent in the water and nights under the stars." 

Doesn't that just make you want to surround yourself with their candles?

I feel like The Nomad Society fits perfectly with the theme of Go Wildly & Slow, the scents and spirit of Danielle's candles are all about the desire to get out and travel but with full knowledge that sometimes the best adventures happen slowly.

It's about embracing a nomadic lifestyle.

These are candles for the roamers and wanderers.

The people who find home in their surroundings wherever that might be.

The Nomad Society

I hope you'll get involved in this month's giveaway.

To get involved all you have to do is tag your adventures on Instagram with #gowildlyandslow and make sure you're following me and @the_nomad_society.

If you need some inspiration check out the Go Wildly & Slow page here or on Instagram

I can't wait to see the wonderful adventures you'll be going out and capturing throughout August.

Alexandra & Ainsworth Estate Photo Story

I recently spent the afternoon at The Alexandra & Ainsworth Estate in north London helping out and taking behind the scenes photos for a music video Nikolai has been working on for my dear friend Tawiah (I'll share it when it's ready, it's pretty amazing). 

I took the opportunity to have a little walk around the estate. Have you heard of it before? It's a pretty iconic piece of architecture and you probably know it from music videos and iconic photographs. 

Like the Barbican Conservatory I had always seen pictures of it but never really known where it was or how to get there.

alexandra & ainsworth estate

The Architecture lives up to the hype. It is the perfect representation of the ugly beautiful modernist architecture that was so popular in the 60s & 70s.

The structures are a little crazy and you wouldn't expect them to feel so beautiful but somehow they are whilst also being really imposing. I can't imagine how it feels to live there. Wouldn't you love to see inside some of the flats?

I feel like the community must be really interesting too. Most of the flats are still council housing but the privately owned ones are highly sought after by people who want to live in these iconic buildings.  I'm sure it makes for a mix typical of London's diverse population. 

All the way along the Rowley Way blocks there are these planters featuring brilliantly curated flowers. Slightly wild, and fantastically juxtaposed against the harsh reinforced concrete. The evening I was there the light was great, the overcast sky created a soft box of dappled even lighting. A photographer's dream lighting basically.

A lot of the time I find living in London pretty difficult. The fast pace, the pressure, the financial strain but finding spots like this and taking the time to walk around and appreciate some of London's unique beauty makes it a little easier to handle.

I'm also really grateful that I now work part-time so I can afford to use my free days to focus on some of my creative pursuits, like my photography, without feeling pressured to be "productive". That is a privilege I don't take for granted. 

Do you know any other hidden spots in London that are perfect for this kind of exploring? I know of a few spots out of London I'd like to visit, one that I've been meaning to go to for a while is Dungeness beach in Kent. Have you been?

Any suggestions? Leave them in the comments or share them on Instagram with me.

Go Wildly & Slow: June Winner

Go Wildly & Slow: June Winner

I had the loveliest time looking through the Go Wildly & Slow feed all through June and seeing all the lovely posts people have been sharing (take a scroll through yourself). There have been so many days out in the sun and trips to the seaside. So many seaside trips! I've been watching mostly from my flat in South East London both delighted and a little jealous.

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