How to have the best time in Marrakesh

After being in desperate need of some winter sun, the vibrant city of Marrakesh came under my radar and with raving reviews from friends, I was eager to see what this gem within Morocco had to offer!

After being in desperate need of some winter sun, the vibrant city of Marrakesh came under my radar and with raving reviews from friends, I was eager to see what this gem within Morocco had to offer! 3 hours on a fully booked flight, led me and my best gal pal/ travel buddy to a memorable and exciting holiday and here is a few highlights and tips so you can have the best time in Marrakesh!

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Embrace the culture & Get your Hustle on!

Picture this; the golden sun beating down on you whilst you sit and enjoy the freshest mint Moroccan tea at a near by cafe on the corner of the town square, serenity whilst overlooking the hustle of the Medina. Yes- it is a must that you visit the souk markets of the Medina Old town as it is definitely what adds to the character of Marrakesh. With an array of spices- for those budding chefs out there, textiles, pottery and sweet, refreshing Moroccan Tea it is no wonder why many flock to share in the hustle. Whilst I was meandering through the market, I found the people to be friendly and helpful.  Some stalls are selling similar if not the same product so it is important that you bargain a good price. The Medina is a great place also to buy original memorabilia and jewellery which trust me will make a way better gift then the cliche “My friend went to Marrakesh and got me this Mug”.

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Receiving Henna at the Medina Markets 

Tip: When visiting the market make sure you have a good idea on how much you are wanting to spend so you can whittle them down to the best price.

What to wear: Obviously every outfit is weather dependant however, I would say ladies cover up! I found it a much more comfortable walk through the market wearing an outfit which was stylish but not too revealing.

For those in need of Adventure:

As a self confessed adrenaline junkie I looked for ways to combine this need with also seeing the beautiful scenery of Marrakesh and out popped Quad biking in the desert. I had so much fun! We booked this package from the hotel which on hindsight would have been cheaper online. However, it allowed us to get transfers to and from the hotel.

We quad biked for 2 hours around the desert, making a stop of in the mountains. On the way back to base, the sunset crept up upon us making it a perfect finish to our quad biking experience. This is definitely value for money and no fear to those less experience quad bikers, there is a guide on hand and the bikes are automatic.

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Tip: As stated you will save your money if you book online! For example the price we paid for Quad biking via the hotel we could of paid online for both the Quad bikes and Camels.  What can I say.. I make these mistakes so you don’t have too!

The Freaks come out at night:

Admittedly we did spend some of our nights in our hotel making good use of the all inclusive bar and good ol’ hotel entertainment, but, when we did go out we had the best time! Marrakesh is home to what has been labelled as the ‘Best Club in Africa’ and although I have not been to other clubs in Africa to compare, I would definitely say they know how to host a good party.

Clubs in Marrakesh usually start at 11/12 and end at 5 pm. They offer a variety of themed nights throughout the week such as Hip hop and R&B and also my personal favourite… LADIES NIGHT. I mean, ladies I am talking free entry and free drinks for the whole night.The only catch is, that you have to be unaccompanied by a male to get the deal-which for me was no problem ha! For those unfortunate men who will need to pay or on normal nights, there is a 200 Dirham, the equivalent of £20 but this too comes with a free drink in some cases. The standard of clubs are like London’s Libertine, Cirque or Toyroom. The two clubs we visited were called Theatro and 555. Other places which I would recommend are: Buddha Bar, Le Comptoir, Lotus and Le Palace Marrakesh where you can enjoy great cocktails, food and traditional Belly Dancing.

What to wear: Dress as if you was at home

Tip: If you establish a good relationship with a Taxi driver during your stay, arrange for them to either wait for you or arrange for them to pick you up after your night out of town. This usually cost 200 Dirham each way.

Quick Tip Medley:

  • When arriving at the airport the hustle begins! Do not let that beautiful weather woo you off guard and do not pay more then 200 Dirham for a journey less then 30 mins to your hotel
  • New Town brings a more modern vibe to Marrakesh as you will find Mcds, KFC, Zara and H&M as well as many other shops within their shopping centres and promenades. There is also a YSL cinema which is recommended for all fellow fashionistas out there.
  • The weather can be very stunning during the day but drops considerably at night! So do be sure to bring a light jacket or coat depending on the time of year.
  • From experience it is definitely best to bring pounds and then convert your money out there. We found we received a better rate through changing our cash at the Hotel rather then withdrawing money via a Cash point.

I hope you enjoyed and if you are planning to visit Marrakesh have an amazing time!

Also, check out my two part Marrakesh Vlog on my Youtube channel!!

 

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Shalishah Loves ❤: Le Palace Marrakech

I just love this place! The food, the atmosphere, the decor, everything screams YES! If you a planning a trip to Marrakesh then lovely people, Le Palace Marrakesh is a must!

I just love this place! The food, the atmosphere, the decor, everything screams YES! If you a planning a trip to Marrakesh then lovely people, Le Palace Marrakesh is a must!

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Food:

Divine! As a self professed foodie Le Palace Marrakesh ticks all the boxes and easily is the best restaurant in town. Specialising in fine European cuisine your taste bud’s will be tantalised by the expansive choice of food on the menu which includes mouth-watering personal favourites of  Lobster, Lamb shank and Apple Tart cooked to perfection. Accompanied with a glass of white wine (or beverage of your choice) you will definitely have something to celebrate.

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Atmosphere:

All I can say is when I sat down I was already planning my marriage proposal – it may be 1000 years till that happens! However, Le Palace candle lit table’s create a cosy but very romantic environment to indulge in fine food and have an enjoyable night.  You can either choose to dine upstairs, which carries a Mod- period vibe with floor mosaic tiles and cosy leather seats or indulge in red luxury downstairs which I nicknamed the ‘red palace’.  With its dim lighting and mirrored walls you definitely feel like royalty as you read from their smartly designed LED menus its perfect! Le Palace Marrakesh live by the motto of “first  we eat.. then we dance” which I feel they perfectly embody as whilst dining, you are blessed with the sultry tones of a live singer and DJ.

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Staff are attentive and know the menu well as they honestly give the best suggestions. Overall, Le Palace Marrakesh lived up to its name and I will definitely be visiting again without a doubt! If you are looking for full-flavoured food, beautiful atmosphere to enjoy with a loved one or friends and excellent service then Le Palace is the place for you!

 

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Shalishah Loves❤ : Crust Bros Pizza

It was after a couple cocktails that I stumbled across this little beauty, in need of something substantial and preferably doughy to get me through the rest of the night!

It was after a couple cocktails that I stumbled across this little beauty, in need of something substantial and preferably doughy to get me through the rest of the night!

This Neapolitan-style  Pizzeria based in Waterloo caters perfectly not just for those pre/post night out cravings but also makes it a brilliant healthy option for those everyday cravings. Sticking to tradition, Crust Bros pizza is cooked in a traditional wood fire oven and topped with fresh combos such as Mozzarella, Sun dried Tomato’s, Spicy Salami and Sweet Peppers ( My personal favourite!).

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You can either choose a Pizza from their quirky named menu  or be creative and design your own- this would allow you to choose from the wide variety of toppings and cheeses which also includes a Vegan option. All Pizza’s are prepared freshly in front of you taking around 15 minutes to cook and prepare.

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If you are looking for a Pizza place  that doesn’t leave you with that guilty feeling or unforgiving belly bloat, then I do recommend Crust Bros- It will be love at first Bite ;).

Feeling Lazy or Anti?

We all get those days – Trust me! But do not worry, Crust Bros also delivers via DeliverRoo and provides a takeaway service, served in tastefully decorated leopard print boxes!

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How I Rate it ?(Out of 10)

  • Menu : 7 – Wide variety and you can not complain if you are able to make your own pizza.
  • Taste: 7 – Very Fresh and just so Yum!
  • Atmosphere : Cosy – Seating is available but on busy days you will feel like one big pizza eating family which, is not necessarily a bad thing.
  • Location 8 – Opposite the station and easy to get to.

Website: http://crustbros.co.uk/

Address :  113 Waterloo Rd, Lambeth, London SE1 8UL

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Who ate all the Pizza ?

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Ones to Watch: Tress Clothing

This homegrown collection oozes the classic modern man. Manufactured in West London, Tress Clothing combines simplicity with Style. 

Tress Clothing designer Stephen Skeete is living proof that if you put your mind to something you will succeed- Hard work pays off! Snapseed (6)

This homegrown collection oozes the classic modern man. Manufactured in West London, Tress Clothing combines simplicity with style. Skeete’s easy to pair pieces consists of textured t-shirts, contemporary bomber jackets and modish tracksuits. Skeete discreetly  imprints his logo onto his clothing allowing each piece to tell its own story.

7516775536_IMG_24177516775536_IMG_2418 The material used  also gives a sense of longevity specially handpicked by the designer himself.  My personal favourite is the suede bomber jacket in black which I believe can create such a versatile look, either paired with a basic t-shirt (Tress of course) or a shirt- lets just say if I was on a date and my man rocked up with that, I would definitely say he was a man with style!

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Tress’s Menswear Collection launches in February 2018 and will be available to pre-order, so make sure you do not miss out!

p.s. Ladies do not worry, our time is coming soon as Skeete’s has promised a women’s clothing line to compliment its amazing Menswear so watch this space!

Website: coming soon

Instagram: http://instagram.com/tressclothing

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Shalishah Loves ❤: Mercato Metropolitano (London)

Trust me when I say if you haven’t visited Mercato Metropolitano (MM) already then plans are needing to be made! Based in Elephant and Castle, this vibrant space allows you to satisfy every craving imaginable from foods around the world.

Dear Fellow Foodies!

Trust me when I say if you haven’t visited Mercato Metropolitano (MM) already then plans are needing to be made! Based in Elephant and Castle, this vibrant space allows you to satisfy every craving imaginable from foods around the world.img_8543.jpg

Highs:

  • Variety: I’d say it is the perfect place to go when your stuck with people who either never know what they want or inconveniently never want what you want- yes we’ve all been there! MM leaves no room for the difficult eater as you can help yourself to Vietnamese, Mexican, Steak and Soul food just to name a few.
  • Atmosphere: There is a definite buzz from the moment you step through those large black doors. You are first met by a pebbled garden where if the English weather is kind, you can enjoy your food of choice and a glass of wine on benches or soft chairs outside. Inside, the MM embraces the food market vibe as sweet aromas greet you and seating is readily available. You can try before you buy your food and wine which adds to the hospitable nature of the venue. IMG_7141
  • Food: Fresh! The MM brands itself on the basic principles being; ‘ small is beautiful’ and  ‘natural is good’ which I feel it embraces perfectly as they focus on what the individual wants. Food is sauced from small scale farmers and then prepared freshly in front of you making it that but sweeter, knowing that your helping to give back. The complex has an onsite bakery, coffee roasters, pizza chefs and gives you the opportunity to learn about food and how to cook like a pro! IMG_2147
  • Drink: After a long week at work its only right that we reward ourselves modestly and the MM aids this process. Housing a large selection of Italian wines with staff on job to help you pick, I have not tasted a bad wine yet! For those non wine lovers, all is not lost as there is a German beer bar and also an outside cocktail bar which would be criminal to miss!

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Overall, the MM is a perfect place to as it caters to everyone’s needs, as the options are endless.  The food is fresh and presentation is definitely insta worthy #FoodIsBae. It is a guaranteed good time out with friends or family and you will leave feeling satisfied.

Shalishah Loves:

Take a trip to the ‘Slow Smoked BBQ’ stand and try there pulled pork fully loaded fries. Tastes even better then it looks.

Website: http://www.mercatometropolitano.co.uk/portfolio/london/

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Enjoy xx

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Shalishah Loves❤: Tonight Josephine

I have officially branded Tonight Josephine’s the cutest cocktail bar in town and here’s why

I have officially branded Tonight Josephine’s the cutest cocktail bar in town and here’s why:

Yaass Josephine:

  • It Looks Amazing: If your a lover of all things fabulous, then this has your name all over it! Josephine’s is stylishly kitted out with neon slogans, mirrored ceilings and snazzy interior. All I can say, is if Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn were still alive, they would approve.

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  • Josephine’s Cocktails slay: For starters, Prosseco is 2 for 1- I know, hSnapseed (1)ow perfect! Happy hour runs from 5-7 every single day of the week on all cocktails and boy! do the bar tenders know how to mix and good one. My personal favourite of the night had to be the ‘Flaming zombie’ which consists of Bacardi rum, triple sec, passion fruit, pineapple and topped with of course- fire.
  • Atmosphere: Josephine definitely caters for every type of women with a variety of well known songs setting the mood in the background, it is every bit of a women’s paradise. However, the crowd is very mixed with men and women. Where the guys present must have secretly love the quirky girl power nature of the bar or they’re smart and know where to find the ladies! Either way all enjoy the vibrant night that ‘Tonight Josephine’ offers.

The Debbie Downer 💔

This is by no means something that can be helped by a Bar tucked away in a basement however there isn’t a lot of space! Tables are available to book either online or by calling the venue (which I suggest you do well in advance) but there are not a lot of tables and if you haven’t been lucky enough to sit like loyalty, then you are left walking around trying to perch on the any space you can find. This does not take away from the class of the venue as it does make it intimate and brings a sense of ‘girls night in’ (with a bunch of additional strangers) that is very manageable! I do hope in the future ‘Tonight Josephine’ is able to expand like it’s famous Brother ‘Adventure bar’ and is able to have bigger venue. That would be an icing to an already brilliant cake!

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Website: http://www.tonightjosephine.co.uk/ IMG_8694

 

Thought Bubble: Go and Find Yourself …

You may read this and feel like duh! Shalishah you’re kind of making it this way, which is true – but I feel like I am going through a period where I need to find myself again, or maybe I never did find my true self in the first place? Life experiences shape you.

I feel Alone! So bizarre- Not that I don’t have people around me but, I am sure I can not be the only person to feel alone in a room full of people. I do not want pity, that is not why I have exposed such feelings, I look at it as a transitional period.

I mean for example, I have probably cut and bruised any guy who has tried to show me love or attention recently (not in a physical way) but, in a way that I am fed up of relationships. I vowed a million times over that I would never turn into one of those bitter ladies however, sadly I am a certified member lol! In a nutshell, I have become selfish with my time and want to focus on me and when a guy comes into my life and decides to do the right thing by, giving me extra attention and wants to spend more time with me- I run away and retreat and act like a cow so they give up. Call it a defence method or whatever the hell I am doing, I am just presently no longer a lover or love and sometimes it does kill me as I was never like that!

Then there’s life ambitions, that’s changed to. I’ve seemed to have embarked on some random journey for one which involves; travelling, money saving (a bit of a contradiction with the travelling I know lol) and mainly thinking about what I want out of life first and it does feel quite lonely. You may read this and feel like duh! Shalishah you’re kind of making it this way, which is true – but I feel like I am going through a period where I need to find myself again, or maybe I never did find my true self in the first place? Life experiences shape you.

Anyway, this blog post is for all the ladies and gentlemen out there who have had rubbish thrown in their faces, their eyes opened and now just need A LOT of self Loving, I feel you! Go and find yourself again !

Shalishah xx

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Review: Champneys Forrest Mere

Probably to date one of the best spas I have been to! The forest decor elements  really created a retreat vibe and made you feel at home . There was enough space to sit down and as a solo spa goer I did not feel intimidated to go around and try, however, my highlight would have to be the water beds situated behind a glass sound proof door, laying on a fur blanket and putting the world to right whilst looking at this seasons must haves and listening to the grateful album of DJ Khaled- perfect! 

After a month of stress, I thought a quite, solo, spa retreat was exactly what a girl needed to clear her head and after work colleagues and family friends raved about Champneys, I decided to give it a try in my hour of need!

Location:I will not lie to you reader and say that as I was driving through the Liphook forest, I was 100% convinced that my Google Maps knew where it was going. However, as I hesitantly followed its direction I saw a reassuring sign saying “relaxation this way”. From that moment on wards it was as if I had been teleported into another world- (Put down those harribo’s shalishah your not in Kansas anymore, kind of moment).

 

Champneys Forest Mere is situated on a hill overlooking the lake and surrounded by an abundance of cheerful greenery.

Overall: TheIMG_0228 Champneys is well situated with beautiful scenery and is well sign posted.

 

 

Arrival: Champneys staff was very accommodating allowing me to check in early as my massage was booked for 9:00am ( note to readers do not book last minute otherwise you be left with the ungodly hour time slots, like me). However, with the cost on £24 extra (which also included lunch) I was able to leave my bags behind the desk and use the facilities, my room however would still not be ready until 14:30. I was given a complimentary robe and flip flops(to keep) and a tour around Champneys.

Overall: Staff were very accommodating,  they made me feel welcome and answered any questions I had. I do wish I could have checked in earlier then 14:30 which I understand was available on a VIP package (I haven’t made it there yet) but, with all the facilities on offer time goes very quickly.

The Massage: Being a person willing to try new unfamiliar things, I decided to be adventurous and try something other then your usual deep tissue massage and opt for a Reiki Massage. This promised me a soothed mind, calmed emotions and recharged batteries which, in my head said tick,tick,tick. My masseuse was called Fiona- she was lovely!Fiona was able to explain to me areas of my body which had the most tension such as my lower back and recommended other activities I could do in the spa

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Massage room

to carry on feeling relaxed.

 

Overall: My massage lasted for 50 wonderful minutes and was very relaxing, I left feeling very calm and less stressed. I do recommend this alternative massage as I am still feeling the benefits a few days after. Staff are very friendly and the massage room was clean however, I would have preferred a room with more colour or with mood lights, even though I do understand that the lights are off for the best part of it, so the brown bed sheets can perhaps be overlooked.

Facilities: Now for the good part- The facilities! All I can say is that I was not disappointed. After my massage which left me in a state of zen, I glided down the stars and through the doors of the Female Spa Changing rooms. Lockers were spacious and easy to work, and from a brief scan hairdryers, toilets and changing space was all up to scratch. With Grazia and ELLE ( magazines) in hand I headed out into the main Spa area.

The spa itself was not busy bearing in mind I attended on a Sunday, however you could easily tell that there would be enough room to still enjoy the experience. I started off in the Whirlpool to which I foolishly thought was a Hot tub until I saw the sign ‘This is not a Hot Tub’. Then ventured into the sauna, cold room (which allows you to cool down with snow), poolside thermal suite, the actual hot tub, steam room then cooled down with a refreshing rain forest shower. I am personally not much of a swimmer so did not go in to either the outside or inside pool but from observation was a good size and very clean. Instead I chose to retire on a waterbed for the remainder of my time building up to lunch.

Overall: Probably to date one of the best spas I have been to! The forest decor elements  really created a retreat vibe and made you feel at home . There was enough space to sit down and as a solo spa goer I did not feel intimidated to go around and try, however, my highlight would have to be the water beds situated behind a glass sound proof door, laying on a fur blanket and putting the world to right whilst looking at this seasons must haves and listening to the grateful album of DJ Khaled- perfect!

Food: I was intrigued to see what Champneys would serve me as when booking I was promised a nutritious and tasty meal- Boy were they right! For lunch, there was so much variety and had the choice of salads, vegetables, and a beef roast (after all it was Sunday) all served as a buffet. Champneys generously map out your plate with a section for all the nutritious goodies they were serving, however, I had already piled my plate up with juicy, mouthwatering beef and potato and a small but reasonable spoon of cranberry and beetroot couscous, I only saw this healthy guide after I finished my meal (oops).  For desert, I had a mango pudding and a helping of mixed fruits.

Dinner was amazing, the ambience had changed from everyone eating in their Champneys robes and flip-flops to a much more formal but friendly atmosphere to suit the a la carte  menu. Service was fast and the meals where once again very delicious.

Overall: My dining experience was fabulous! The food was delicious and catered for everyone with their extensive menu. My Lemon meringue dessert with coconut was definitely a highlight. Restaurant staff was very friendly, service was at a reasonable pace and I was not made to feel uncomfortable as a solo diner.  You do need to book dinner in advance which can be done at the reception.

 

The Room: Now for the main event, my overnight headquarters. After long awaiting the words “Your room is ready,” I was finally let into my room. I was in a standard room with a Garden view. On a beautiful day as it was, this was very well suited. The room itself was clean and laid out beautiful. It came equip with hairdyer, mirror, USB plugs, seating area and TV (great as love Island was airing at 9pm #priorities)  Bathroom was brilliant, complimentary champneys showergel etc, lovely overhead shower (spacious) and the usual towels etc.

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Overall: This room was perfect for what I needed, there were extra robes, flip flops. towels and was an extremely comfortable stay.

 

Final judgement

If you haven’t already guessed, I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at Champneys Forest Mere. Although I did not get a chance to take advantage off all this resort had to offer such as the fitness classes, gym, cycling and boat hire, Champneys gave me exactly what I came for which was to leave feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. Not only was the food a massive hit and definitely worth it, the spa experience was by far one of my favourites and can’t wait to plan my next trip.

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