“It’s so accessible and quick to get there. I’ve been a dozen times in the past 20 years. It’s got such a rich culture and it’s a visual feast on every turn round a corner. It’s a feast for the senses with the exotic smells of cooking spices, the leather tanneries, the calls to prayer heard across the rooftops and the warm, balmy weather. I’m drawn to the colours of the city, the deep terracotta of the buildings and the ornate mosaic tiling. It’s hard not to be seduced by Marrakesh. I always feel inspired there. In fact, I designed Pre-Fall 2015 after my last visit in May for Poppy Delevingne’s wedding.”
“Marrakesh is a feast for the senses… It’s hard not to be seduced by the city.”
“The great thing about Marrakesh is it’s only three hours away, so easy for a short weekend break. I pack light – shorts, hat and sunglasses for poolside, then light cover-ups to dress respectfully to go into the Medina in the evening. I always take printed cashmere scarves. They’re the most versatile accessory.”
Where would you send a first‑time visitor?
“You must go to one of the many souks, but I would also make the most of the local knowledge of your hotel concierge because they might take you somewhere off the beaten track, where you can pick up really unique treasures and artisanal crafts. Don’t worry, it’s not like they’ll take you to somewhere dodgy.”
What should I bring home?
“Handmade artisanal goods. I love the intricately hand-painted dishes and gold-flecked mint tea glasses, lanterns for the garden and woven rugs in bright colours, as they make the best picnic blankets.”
Where’s the best place to stay?
“For the ultimate in luxury, it has to be the renowned La Mamounia, an imposing Moorish hotel that dates back to 1923, so it’s got a great history. Five years ago it underwent an extensive modernisation programme, retaining its super high-end glamorous feel and the gardens are amazing. The last time I was there was for Poppy’s wedding, so it holds a lot of special memories. I’ve also had an epic night there at the Churchill Bar, with Marie Helvin and Bryan Ferry. Another high-end hotel but aesthetically it’s the polar opposite to La Mamounia is the Amanjena. It’s very minimal, with simple clean lines. It’s fantastic for relaxation and pampering. There’s nothing better than to unwind after a busy day haggling in the souks than having a hammam with a steam and a massage, before a cocktail next to the lantern-lit pool. The Beldi Country Club is another luxurious hotel with a very relaxed, casual feel to it compared to the other two. But there’s also hundreds of riads in the Medina and it’s hard to go wrong with them. They’re all super-cute, curious little buildings, where I could happily while away an afternoon.”
Where’s the best place for lunch?
“Outside at the Jardin Majorelle is a beautiful setting after a walk around the unique, tropical gardens restored by Yves Saint Laurent. Or try Dar Cherifa, one of the oldest riads in Marrakesh, hidden away in a maze of alleyways, but with a very sleek look.”
And for dinner?
“The tasting menu at Gastro MK. It’s full-on, high-end luxury cuisine. Or go to Dar Rhizlane hungry, as the courses keep coming. It’s easy to settle into the environment of floating candles, rose petals and traditional Moroccan live music. The Dar Yacout is a romantic, candlelit venue with an indoor pool and twinkling lights.”
Anywhere that isn’t your kind of town?
“I’m drawn to places that are exotic with a magical, other-world feel to them, which is basically the opposite to where I live, London. I don’t want to experience the things I can in the UK. I want a warm climate, rich culture, different cuisine, so the more far-flung the place, the better.”
This article was first published in the Telegraph. Read the original article here.