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Beloved bolthole of the fash-pack and number one destination for travelistas in search of adventure, Marrakech has oozed irresistible cool for decades. Rita Hayworth, Winston Churchill and Yves Saint Laurent were all lovers of this crazy city - and so are we. Where else can us Londoners get a taste of the exotic without the long haul hell?
The main city square, Djemma El Fnaa is like stepping into a scene from Indiana Jones. Snake charmers, acrobats and witch doctors galore! And venturing up to the Atlas Mountains bestows more traditional charms, especially if touring by local mode of transport - the 'Berber 4x4' - better known as a mule topped with a makeshift saddle and only 2 string loops to cling on to for dear life.
It's true to say, this place is full-on. So we've tracked down 3 heavenly hideaways each with their own organic kitchen gardens, for the ultimate in healthy, tasty, re-fuelling.
Opulent Roman architecture, luxury tented rooms this little palace is tres chic! Fresh organic mint tea and a chat with Pierre (the French manager) upon our arrival enlightened us as to their 4 organic fruit and veg gardens which the kitchen incorporate into their dishes. Set in La Palmeraie - the Beverly Hills of Morocco - you'll love it! (See images) Riad El Fenn
Owned by Richard Branson's sister Vanessa, this 9 bed townhouse is smack bang in the middle of the medina action. Bridget Rileys and Pollocks adorn the walls, solar panels supply the energy and their organic fruit, veg and herb gardens near the Atlas Mountains make for tasty Mediterranean and Moroccan dishes. Jnane Tamsna
A super-stylish hacienda set in La Palmeraie, surrounded by aromatic herb gardens, fruit orchards, olive groves, carob and almond trees, vegetable patches and beautiful flowers - this place is in a class of its own! Go for yoga or cooking classes or simply to indulge in the delicious organic cooking - warm pumpkin soup, lamb tagine with apples and prunes, home-grown oranges dusted with cinnamon. Yum!
Good for you as you'll feel like you're a million miles away but it's only 3 hours from London!
Good for the environment as you'll save gazillions of carbon on this short flight in comparison to going to the obvious exotic long haul holiday destinations. Plus once you're there, there are virtually no food miles and you'll be supporting organic, chemical-free agriculture, not to mention a very poor country that benefits hugely from tourism.
Palais Rhoul Rooms 290Euros - 490Euros