You already know I’ve been bitten (hard) by the travel bug.
Exploring, discovering, tasting, seeing, learning. Even just breathing the air of another place fills me with joy. The excitement starts for me the second I step out of the airport onto foreign soil. That first gulp of gently scented warm air, it sends shivers through me. That’s when I know adventure is afoot.
Every place has its own smell, its own humidity, its own completely unique air.
We left London in the rain and arrived in Morocco after sunset, the air was still warm but with a cool bite to it. It smelled of dates, spices, woven baskets and leather.
We fell asleep that night filled with promises of adventures to come.
And the next morning I awoke to the sound of birds singing along to my fiancé’s perfectly out of tune “Happy Birthday” chorus.
Snuggled in a sumptuous bed, covered in crisp sheets, with plush, heavy velvet over my feet.
Carefully smuggled gifts were thrust into my hands, and I happily dived right in!
The only thing better than waking up to the first day of a new trip, is doing it on your birthday!
A cool breeze dancing through the riad, we pulled on jeans and jumpers and headed to the rooftop.
Where just being able to sit outside on a February morning felt like the best gift in the world.
We had warm freshly baked pastries, local jam, French butter, fresh fruit, just squeezed orange juice and hot coffee.
All above the rooftops of Marrakech.
Finally the sun burst through the clouds and we headed down to explore our new home.
I found the Riad completely by accident.
The trip to Marrakech was a bit of a last minute gambit, and I managed to choose the busiest weekend! Everywhere I wanted to stay was fully booked.
But this one popped up on a booking website and I thought it looked beautiful, so booked their last room.
A beautiful suite with two rooms and a bathroom made for parties!
The rest of the riad was quite simply, stunning.
Every inch of it was perfectly thought out, decorated and maintained.
There are only ten rooms, all of which were full, yet we felt we had the place entirely to ourselves.
Owned and designed by an incredibly chic French woman, the cool, calm space is a world apart from the bustling streets outside.
And the best possible place to spend a birthday!
We eased into the trip, snoozing in the sunshine, paddling on the roof and reading the books we kept putting off.
As the sun started to set, we switched our orange juices for chilled local white.
Which rivals anything you’re used to, by the way! Who knew Morocco made great wine?
And pastries stuffed with cheese, veggies and spiced meat.
Home to change…
…Into something more fitting of a birthday party!
We made cocktails in the bar, turned up the sort of music our parents would have listened to as kids, and danced until the stars came out. All the while laughing until we couldn’t breathe!
Once night had well and truly fallen around us, we were called to dinner.
A candle-lit haven for two beside the fire.
Can you imagine anything more romantic?
We nibbled on local specialities, salads and starters.
Followed by tagines and couscous.
And a small birthday surprise that oozed molten chocolate…
…and those are the very best sort of surprises in my book!
We stayed until the final embers burned out, before retiring to the pool.
Where we lay on our backs and watched the stars twinkling away.
I dozed off with my head on his chest, and he carried me up the stairs to bed.
Another year older, hopefully a little wiser, but most certainly more grateful than ever.
Never dread getting older, “it is a privilege denied to many”.
Lots of more Moroccan adventures to come, and if you’re planning a birthday getaway of your own, or even just a weekend jaunt, I recommend Riad de Tarabel with all of my heart.
It’s quite simply the nicest place I’ve stayed in Morocco.