By Silvia Fanticelli — photos by Robert Holden
Marrakesh time — p. 100
Europe and Africa pulsate in the heart of the Red City, an international crossroads for artists, intellectuals and designers. Unveiled for the first time, the face of a reality that never ceases to amaze even the most demanding visitor They say that Marrakesh is too European to be considered an African city, yet too ethnical to make its mark on art and European culture. Hotels and riads. A stay in a riad, a traditional house transformed into a bed and breakfast, is essential. And for relaxation outside the chaos of the medina, Mandarin Oriental has opened its first hotel in African territory. Restaurants and bars. Inside the Mandarin Oriental, dinner is a must in the Mes’Lalla restaurant. Fusion cuisine can be sampled at Le Jardin, in the alleys of the medina. Enjoy a view of the souks from the terrace of Nomad, which offers different menus every day. The bygone charm of Grand Café de la Poste is irresistible for a cocktail at the end of the day. Design & Fashion. The first and largest concept store in the city, 33 Majorelle, is always worth a visit. Artsi Ifrach offers precious one- off garments, made from old recycled fabrics, in its shopatelier Art/ C, with fabulous caftans by Norya Ayron. The young Soufiane Zarib displays unexpected Berber rugs in his new showroom. Galleries and artists. Built as an industrial district, Sidi Ghanem is home to elegant showrooms and galleries. Julien Deligne in his workshop Galerie ADN makes furniture using smelted glass, marble powder and acid- etched metals. Closer to the centre, the David Bloch Gallery and the Galerie 127 offer solo exhibitions by international artists. Museums and gardens. Must- visits include the Maison de la Photographie and the Jardin Majorelle, where the designer Yves Saint Laurent had his old Moroccan residence and where a museum in his memory, the mYSLm, will be erected nearby in autumn 2017. Hidden places. La Famille, a small organic restaurant inside a garden of palm trees, and Le 18, a delicious cultural centre with some rooms reserved for artists. It is worth having one of the local guides take you around the city, and it is nice to “get lost” in its alleyways.