Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Mon Amour Hotel, Royal Mansour...

It's Tuesday! Time for me to introduce you to another FAB hotel, and this one is in my favorite city, ofcourse, Marrakech Morocco.
I introduce you to 'Royal Monsour', sponsored by the King (Mohammed VI) himself, this pure Royal hotel is sheer pleasure to all your six senses. It's a living paradise...
This is Morocan Interior Design at its paramont...
Traditional craft technique and modern idea blend in beautifully...like a cocoon..
    Moroccan Architectural designs always blew me away with their meticulous patterns...gorgeous!

                  This is Western Design and Moroccan craft densign married together. Wonderful!

I won't leave my blog without alittle explanation of this top, beautiful hotel:

This magnificent hotel was built at the behest of Morocco's King Mohammed VI with a undisclosed, but evidently immense, budget. Tucked within the city walls, across the road from La Mamounia, the 3.5-hectare site has been contrived as a sort of medina-within-the-medina, an estate of 53 two-storey riads, each individually decorated and serviced via a network of subterranean tunnels. In addition to at least one bedroom, a sitting room and a patio, many of the riads have dining rooms, for those who decline to dine in the three restaurants. La Grande Table Française, already held to be the best French restaurant in Africa, the only marginally less fancy Grande Table Marocaine and the all-day-dining La Table are overseen by chef Yannick Alléno (from the three-Michelin-star restaurant at Le Meurice in Paris). What truly sets this hotel apart, however, are not its fragrant Moorish gardens, heavenly outdoor pool, superb spa and hammams, or gorgeous bars. Rather, it's the craftsmanship. More than 1,500 Moroccan artisans were employed to craft the exquisite zelij (the geometric mosaic tiling that distinguishes Marrakech's important historic sites), produce the screens of lacy white metal latticework which make the spa look so pretty, carve the countless panels of cedar fretwork moucharabieh and create the stucco known as gebs (even on the stairwells). The attention to detail continues with the marquetry, stained glass and beaten bronze,  and the intricate silver embroidery on the staff uniforms. As a monumental work of art, the Royal Mansour is on a par with the best Marrakech has to offer, which is quite an achievement.

When to go Spring and autumn are the loveliest months in Marrakech. This year, Ramadan runs for the duration of August.

Room to book There isn't a dud option, but the riad with the greatest swank factor is the four-bedroom, 1,800-square-metre Riad d'Honneur.

Royal Mansour: 00 212 5 2980 8080     

Hope to see you in Marrakech soon x

Reina Cherquaoui


Monday, 12 March 2012

Chanel Spring 2012 Collection....

I love the spring atmosphere...Lots of pink, white, pastel colours. Just looking at the colours, you just want to eat them! They are so light, so uplifting, you can feel the sun in your eyes...ah, finally I can feel that spring is approaching, and we have everything to look forward to.
Here is the new spring collection from Chanel, my favorite all time brand. Timeless, and always classy...
Love the pink, white and pearl combination..just like spring under the sea...

                            Flowers on the costume...it's like wearing spring...how lovely!

          This is my favorite out of all the collection. Love the colour, and the texture. It's so Chanel...
               This costume reminds me of my tunics. The embroidery on the side looks alit like mine??
                                    Love the pearls on the top. Looks like fresh from the sea.
                                   Chanel is so classy and dynamic..it's exactly what I look for in life.

                          Love the pearl on her skin, so unique, dreamy and romantic. So spring!!

Hope you enjoyed the collection!,
Love from Marrakech,

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Hotel of the week: Amanjena, Marrakech...

Just 20 minutes away from the busy, and lively Marrakech centre there is a paradise hotel, Amanjena (which does translates, peaceful paradise). This was the first Aman resort on the African continent.
Although hidden, this fab hotel has been visited by one of the biggest celebrities, such as Angelina Jolie, the Beckhams. 'Sex and the City 2', where Carrie has dinner with Aidan was all shot in Amanjena...
When I vist this place, I always feel serene and clean. Love the simple architecture and simple colours. Although simple, it still has plenty of the Moorish character.

The Resort’s 32 Pavilions lie beneath their own graceful stuc Venetian domes.  A wood-burning fireplace brightens the living area while Moroccan marble finishes the bathroom and its stepped and columned bathtub.  Berber carpets are scattered about zellij-tiled floors.  Each Pavilion Bassin is located next to the main bassin and features a garden courtyard with pillared minzab (gazebo), loungers lit by candle lanterns and zellij fountains recessed into terracotta-tiled floors.  Identical in design, Pavilion Piscine each features a private heated pool and an extended private garden.
                    I can imagine sitting here and waiting for the sun to go down with some moroccan tea!
                         It's a combination of Moorish Design and Western Designs...beautiful blend
                   The Moorish Decor, full with inspiration and passion. I can smell the rose petal..
Love the moorish lanterns all around..so romantic.

Hope you visit them soon, it really is a gem, a paradise...


Monday, 5 March 2012

Celebrity Living Rooms...

It's monday! Let's start the week with some great living room inspirations from celebrities!
Versace has been one of my favorites over the years, and I love love their extravagant styles! Let's begin with Donatella Versace's apartment in Milan...

Next, this living room gives me colour and energy. It's bohemian shabby chic, very suitable to my taste.

The picture below is the 'Sex and the City'author, Candace Bushnell's Manhattan Apartment. Very feminine yet bohemian, I see my favorite Moroccan Style Pouf on the fore-front!
This picture below is the Model Jessica Stam's Manhattan Apartment. I love the colour and the glam in the decor. I can feel the model's character very well. The designer was Rafael De Cardenas.

And lastly, Estee Lauder Creator Director's living room, Aerin Lauder's Chic Apartment...

Which flat is your favorite??
Have a lovely week ahead...
Love from Marrakech,


Thursday, 1 March 2012

Heart warming Moroccan Chicken Lemon Tagine...

There are few dishes as beautiful and unique as a Moroccan tagine.  It’s a mélange of seemingly disparate spices and ingredients like saffron, dried fruit, ginger, olives, and preserved lemons.  But these flavors blend harmoniously and reflect Morocco’s history as a crossroads between the Middle East, Africa and EuropeTagine is a method of slow-cooking different types of vegetables and meat over low heat.  This stew is simmered in a tagine pot that has a shallow base and beautiful conical shaped lid, which traps and redistributes the moisture.  A traditional tagine is made in this pot over coals infusing earthy and smoky qualities into the stew.

In preparation for this meal I was tempted to buy a clay tagine.  But in my teeny tiny kitchen, which is overflowing with ethnic-specific cooking tools, it would be the straw that broke the camel’s back and collapse my strategic shelving.  In my ideal kitchen, I would have acres of space to store my various cooking tools and utensils from every village or city around the world. If you are lucky enough to have this sort of space, I would highly recommend purchasing one.  The key to a delicious tagine is cooking the dish slowly at a low temperature, producing aromatic and succulent meat. Good things come in time, and your highly refined taste buds will thank you for it.
This chicken tagine is studded with unexpected bold flavors like sweet raisins, briny olives, saffron-soaked soft onions, and my favorite ingredient, preserved lemon.  It takes a few weeks to preserve lemons yourself, but the process is so simple that you can make a large batch and just let it sit in the refrigerator for immediate use in the future.
Serves 4-6
- 1 large whole large chicken, butchered into 6 parts

- 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

- 1 cup of red or green olives, pitted and rinsed

- 1/2 cup of raisins

- 1 tbsp of parsley, chopped

- 1 tbsp of cilantro, chopped

- 1 preserved lemon, rinsed well and peel thinly sliced (discard pulp)

- 3 cloves of garlic, minced

- 3 pinches of saffron

- 1/4 tsp of turmeric

- 1 tsp of ground ginger

- 2 1/2 cups of water

- 2 tbsps of melted butter

- olive oil

- kosher or sea salt and ground pepper

In a mixing bowl, combine the garlic, saffron, ground ginger, turmeric, a pinch of salt and ground pepper, and a couple glugs of olive oil. Pour the mixture over the chicken and reserve any leftover marinade.
In a tagine or a large heavy pot heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat and add the onions in. Cook for a few minutes until they have softened and are turning translucent. Pour the rest of the marinade over the onions and nestle the chicken on top of the onions skin side up. Cover the chicken with the 2 1/2 cups of water. Cover with a lid and let it simmer on low heat for about 45-50 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees with the rack on the highest position. Remove the chicken when it’s done simmering and place it on a baking sheet, skin side up. Brush the skin with the melted butter and bake until the skin gets golden, about 10 minutes

Continue simmering the sauce and add the parsley, cilantro, raisins, olives and preserved lemon. Let the mixture simmer and reduce for about 15 minutes over low heat. Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper to taste. Don’t forget the preserved lemon and olives will add a significant amount of salt so salt after you’ve added the rest of the ingredients. Place the chicken back in the sauce and serve with couscous and more olives and preserved lemons.
Eh,Wala!! En fin, C'est manifique. Bon Apetit!!


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