An Italian dinner at La Mammounia, in Marrakech

The other night in Marrakech, living a Travelife, we had dinner at the La Mammounia, which is one of the great, historical hotels of the world and certainly the grand dame of North Africa.

We were supposed to eat at the Moroccan restaurant of La Mammounia, partly to continue our quest to sample the best of Moroccan cuisine, and partly to see this famous hotel after its grand renovation.

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I’d stayed here twelve years ago, you see, when it was still a lovely and light-filled art deco hotel full of history, and before a French designer overhauled it into a rather dark hotel with plush interiors.

But that afternoon, after a Moroccan lunch at Al Fassia, a famous local restaurant, we decided to eat at the Italian restaurant of La Mamounia instead.

At Al Fassia, we’d had tagine again for the nth time, as we wanted to compare the different ways that Morocco’s best restaurants made tagine.

Besides, all Moroccan restaurants have quite a limited menu, so tagine always figures prominently in it.

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We’d been having Moroccan food practically every day so far, and we’d had tagine in almost every Moroccan place we’d been to, to sample the different varieties.

So after our nth tagine, the Travel Companion had said: “I’m all tagine-d out.

I felt exactly the same way, so it wasn’t a difficult decision to change our booking to La Mammounia’s Italian restaurant instead.

The food at La Mammounia was so-so for the Travel Companion. And even for me, it was just okay. I had a pasta with smoked cheese to start, and then a grilled fish as a main course.

And then we’d shared a dessert of chocolate mousse.

The first course that night


But for some reason I really enjoyed this dinner, as the evening was very fine and we sat on the terrace watching the last glows of sunset fall on the famous gardens of La Mammounia and listening to the sounds of the birds and the distant buzz of Marrakech’s Jnaa al Fnaa square.

The La Mammounia gardens are the very same gardens where Winston Churchill once spent time in, painting watercolors, by the way.

And pretty soon the terrace filled up with other people having dinner, all looking like they were having a good time, on their own versions of a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.