Laing sleepwear - luxurious giveaway

Giveaway over on my Instagram page!    |     Le concours se trouve sur ma page instagram!

Only Elliot could vouch for the number of years I have been looking for a Coco Chanel pair of pyjamas, the one on the cover of “ Coco avant Chanel”, ubber chic Gabrielle smoking in bed. I like fashion but what I love most are details, and the feeling that comes with wearing clothes I know represent who I am. I love sleepwear, it is almost like the epitome of self care, the part no one but yourself (and partner!) knows about, the most important one. You know the feeling of snuggling into a freshly made bed with freshly cleaned sheets, add beautiful sleepwear to that and the experience is taken to a whole new level.

Seul Elliot pourrait testifier du nombre d'années durant lesquelles j'ai cherché le pyjama de Coco Chanel, celui sur la jacquette de "Coco avant Chanel", où la super chic Gabrielle fume en pyjama dans son lit. J'aime la mode mais ce que j'aime le plus ce sont les détails, et la sensation qui vient avec le fait de porter des vêtements dont je sais qu'ils représentent qui je suis. J'aime les vêtements de nuit, c'est l'épitomie de l'amour de soi, la partie que seules nous même (et notre partenaire!) connaissions. Vous savez cet irrésistible joie de se glisser sous des draps tous propres dans un lit fraîchement faits, ajoutez à cela un pyjama sublime et l'expérience prend tout son sens.

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NZ brand Laing represents just that, sleepwear made for the confident woman who likes to dress fashionably and with care outside the home and wishes to sleep in style too. The Frank pyjama is a true classic ; comfortable to lounge in on a sunday morning yet chic enough to feel beautiful sipping on cup of coffee in a pair of PJs.

La marque néo zélandaise Laing a justement créé cela, des vêtements de nuiit pour la femme qui a confiance en elle, qui aime s'habiller et prendre soin d'elle le jour et qui désire dormir avec style aussi. Le pyjama Frank est un vrai classique ; confortable pour traîner le dimanche matin, chic pour se sentir belle en buvant son café.

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The cut is tailored, the cotton super fine, the result completely luxurious. These are made to last and are an investment worth making if you love sleepwear and want to treat yourself. There is a monogramming option too if you want to make your pyjamas that little more luxurious. I am wearing the size S (small) and the fit is meant to be loose.

La coupe est parfaite, le coton hyper fin, le résultat complètement luxueux. Ce pyjama est fait pour durer et un investissement qui en vaut la peine pour toutes celles qui aiment les vêtements de nuit et qui ont envie de se faire plaisir. Il y a une option de personnalisation pour monogrammer son pyjama et lui donner une touche complètement unique. Je porte la taille S (qui correspond à un 36-38) et qui se porte très ample.

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I have the great pleasure to host an amazing giveaway this week with Laing under this Instagram photo, so tag the friends you think might be interested in a beautiful sleepwear to win your own set of Frank pyjamas. Good luck!

J'ai donc le grand plaisir de vous inviter avec Laing à participer à un concours sous cette photo instagram. Tagguer vos amies aui pourraient être intéressées par de beaux vêtements de nuit et vous pourriez gagner votre propre pyjama Frank. Bonne chance!

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Gluten free pear cake

Last week I gave myself a morning to do just what I wanted... usually meaning baking. I find it to be a very good way for me to recharge creative batteries and it gives me an opportunity to dive into my stock of old plates and silver cuttleries to have fun creating a nice atmosphere.

La semaine dernière je me suis offert une matinée rien qu'à moi pour faire ce que je souhaitais... ce qui veut souvent dire faire un gâteau. Je trouve que c'est toujours une bonne façon pour moi de recharger les batteries créatives et ça me donne l'occasion de piocher dans mon stock de vieilles assiettes et de couverts argentés pour m'amuser un peu à mettre le tout en scène.

gluten free pear cake | food photography | audrey fitzjohn blog
gluten free pear cake | food photography | audrey fitzjohn blog
gluten free pear cake | food photography | audrey fitzjohn blog

I really like the transition from Autumn to Spring, the sun is warming up, the cherry blossoms are in bloom yet the variety on the food stalls is still limited, decidedly autumnal. Spring being just around the corner sparks a joy that still needs to be contained for a little longer.

J'aime énormément la transition de l'automne vers le printemps, le soleil se réchauffe un peu, les prunus sont en fleurs mais la variété des aliments de saison reste un peu limitée, résolument automnale. La joie du printemps proche commence à prendre forme mais il faut encore la contenir un peu.

gluten free pear cake | food photography | audrey fitzjohn blog
gluten free pear cake | food photography | audrey fitzjohn blog
gluten free pear cake | food photography | audrey fitzjohn blog
gluten free pear cake | food photography | audrey fitzjohn blog

I really wanted to make a gluten free, healthy-ish cake... I have to admit that I am still struggling with the consistency of gluten free baking that I tend to find really dense, I am forever trialing in this area, and if I have some really good go-to classics free of any kind of flour I still find it a bit of a battle when I have to use rice flour or the likes. So this cake is not bad at all but I really want to keep on experimenting, I have still written down the recipe further below, if you see any obvious tweeks to improve it let me know!

J'avais très envie de tenter un gâteau sans gluten et plutôt sain... J'avoue que j'ai toujours du mal à me faire à la consistence du sans gluten que je trouve toujours un peu dense, je tate encore dans ce domaine et même si j'ai de bons classiques sans aucune farine je lutte toujours un peu quand il s'agit d'utiliser de la farine de riz ou autre. Donc ce gâteau était pas mal mais je dois encore un peu expérimenter. Je vous donne quand même la recette plus bas, si un changement vous saute aux yeux pour l'améliorer dites moi!

gluten free pear cake | food photography | audrey fitzjohn blog
gluten free pear cake | food photography | audrey fitzjohn blog
gluten free pear cake | food photography | audrey fitzjohn blog
gluten free pear cake | food photography | audrey fitzjohn blog
gluten free pear cake | food photography | audrey fitzjohn blog
gluten free pear cake | food photography | audrey fitzjohn blog
gluten free pear cake | food photography | audrey fitzjohn blog

Gluten free pear cake

150gr rice flour
50gr buckwheat flour
1 tsp vanilla paste
120gr almond butter
50gr brown sugar
30gr honey
2 eggs
2 tsp gluten free baking powder
3 pears
2 tbsp slithered almonds

Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Beat the almond butter, vanilla paste and the sugar for 2 minutes, add the honey and beat for a further minute. Add the eggs one at a time beating for 30 seconds in between each addition. Add the flour and baking powder and beat until it all comes together. Place a piece of baking paper at the bottom of a round 25cm cake pan and pour the batter into it, pressing with your fingertips to spread it out if needed.
Cut the pears into quarters and slice them thinly. Place the pear slices on top of the batter in the cake pan and sprinkle the slithered almonds on top.
Bake for 22 minutes and serve with icing sugar and whipped cream.

Gâteau aux poires sans gluten

150gr farine de riz
50gr de farine de sarrasin
1 c à c de pâte de vanille
120gr de beurre d'amande
50gr sucre brun
30gr miel
2 oeufs
2 c à c levure en poudre sans gluten
3 poires
2 c à s d'amandes effilées

Préchauffer le four à 180°C.
Battre le beurre d'amande, la pâte de vanille et le sucre pendant 2 minutes puis ajouter le miel et battre 1 minute de plus. Ajouter les oeufs un par un en battant 30 secondes entre chaque ajout. Tamiser la farine et la levure sur le tout, battre jusqu'à l'obtention d'un mélange homogène. Chemiser un moule à charnière de 25cm de diamètre avec du papier sulfurisé et y verser l'appareil. Presser avec les doigts si besoin pour bien l'étaler.
Couper les poires en quartiers et les trancher finement. Disposer les tranches par dessus l'appareil dans le moule et parsemer les amandes sur le dessus.
Enfourner 22 minutes
Servir avec du sucre glace et de la crême montée en chantilly.

gluten free pear cake | food photography | audrey fitzjohn blog
gluten free pear cake | food photography | audrey fitzjohn blog
gluten free pear cake | food photography | audrey fitzjohn blog
gluten free pear cake | food photography | audrey fitzjohn blog

Looking back on August

Dear 2017 you are going a little too fast to my liking! But I take it upon myself to keep up with you! August is one of the colder months in New Zealand yet this year we have had a lot of very sunny days, making winter that much more bearable whilst looking at all the french people I follow over on Instagram holidaying hard.

Chère année 2017, tu vas un peu trop vite à mon goût! Mais je prends sur moi pour suivre ton rythme! Août est un des mois les plus froids en Nouvelle Zélande, pourtant cette année nous avons eu de nombreuses journées ensoleillées, rendant cet hiver un peu plus supportable pendant que je regarde les photos des français que je suis sur Instagram en mode vacances à la plage.

I always squeeze in a lot of baking during winter even though I am a savoury tooth at heart. Pizza or cake? pizza all the way, anytime, any day. I am already longing for the fresh tomato salads summer brings. The simple thought of fresh basil leaves and a balsamic glaze have my mouth watering, but for now winter and all its beautiful baking! I had made this cherry clafoutis using preserved morello cherries, they are sweet and juicy and were all I had on hand that day. I used this recipe by French blog C'est ma fournée.
Below is a cookie recipe I whipped up using tahini and pecans, they turned out so good... alas I did not jot a thing down whilst making them!

J'ai toujours tendance à faire beaucoup de gâteaux en hiver alors que j'ai pourtant plutôt la dent salée. Pizza ou gâteau? Pizza sans hésiter, à n'importe quelle heure, n'importe quel jour. J'ai déjà hâte pour les salades de tomates toutes fraîches qu'apporte l'été. Le simple fait de penser à des feuilles de basilic fraîches et un sirop de balsamique me met l'eau à la bouche, mais pour l'instant revenons à l'hiver et ses gâteaux! J'avais fait ce clafoutis aux cerises avec des cerises morello en bocal, elles sont sucrées et juteuses et puis c'est surtout tout ce que j'avais sous la main ce jour là. J'ai utilisé la recette de clafoutis du blog C'est Ma Fournée.
Ci-dessous des cookies que j'avais improvisé en utilisant du tahini et des noix de pécan, un délice... mais comme de bien entendu je n'avais rien noté de la recette!

Elliot has shuffled jobs around in that last couple of months and without going into details he is now no longer working on saturdays, hallelujah, see ya never six days work weeks!!! It has changed the dynamic of our week in such a positive way and we now all look forward to having two whole days together at the end of each week. I am really proud of the three of us for putting up with such a hectic routine for the last two years.  We now fill up our new weekends with lots of time in the garden, coffees with friends and long lunches. A few weeks ago we also escaped to the Blue Springs of Te Wahiou in Putaruru, not far from our city.
Te Wahiou Blue Springs supply 70% of New Zealand's bottled water. It is a very easy walk along the stream and we ended our journey sitting under some pine trees for afternoon tea, looking over the incredible blue and greens of the pure water. We even left with a bottle full :)

Elliot a réarrangé ses obligations professionelles, sans trop rentrer dans les détails cela veut dire pour nous qu'il ne travaille plus les samedis, hallelujah, fini les semaines de travail de six jours!!! Ça a complètement changé la dynamique de notre semaine, ce de façon très positive et nous avons maintenant chaque semaine hâte de pouvoir passer deux jours de suite tous ensemble. Je suis vraiment fière de nous trois d'avoir ainsi réussi à tenir deux ans avec une routine difficile. Nous remplissons maintenant ces nouveaux weekends en passant du temps tous ensemble au jardin, à prendre des cafés avec les copains et à faire de longs déjeuners. Il y a quelques semaines nous sommes allés nous promener aux Blue Springs de Te Wahiou à Putaruru, pas très loin de notre ville. Les Blue Springs de Te Wahiou sont la source de 70% de l'eau de source mise en bouteille en Nouvelle Zélande. C'est une promenade très facile et très agréable le long de la source et nous avons terminé la ballade en nous asseyant sous les pins pour le goûter, avec la vue incroyable qu'offre cette eau pure bleue verte. Nous sommes d'ailleurs repartis avec une petite gourde :)

My proudest achievement of the month of August probably was this little knitted jumper. I had been wanting to do some colourwork for quite some time since having attended a class a few months ago. I finally found a pattern that seemed easy enough for a beginner and that would still look good using only two colours : Kuldì. I used a new Zealand yarn and it only took one week to complete this project. It was such a pleasure to knit and seeing the motif appear row after row was extremely motivating, just like a good book you cannot put down. I have posted a few photos of it worn by Charles over on Instagram. I think I might try to knit myself an icelandic sweater too, perhaps in the same shades of yarn, because twinning since way back with this dude!

Ma grande fierté du mois d'Août est sans aucun doute ce petit tricot réalisé pour Charles. Je voulais me lancer dans le jacquard depuis un bon moment après avoir participé à un atelier pour apprendre cette technique il y a quelques mois. J'ai enfin trouvé un patron qui semblait suffisemment simple pour une novice et qui serait joli en n'utilisant que deux couleurs :Kuldì. J'ai utilisé une laine néo zélandaise et cela m'a pris une semaine pour compléter ce projet. C'était un vrai plaisir à tricoter et voir le motif apparaître rang après rang est très motivant, comme un bon livre que l'on n'arrive pas à poser. J'ai posté quelques images du pull porté par Charles sur Instagram. Je crois que je vais essayer de me tricoter un pull islandais maintenat, dans les mêmes tons!

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In August we also bought some tickets to France on a whim! Long story short we were planning on going to Bali for our 10 years wedding anniversary and as the date was looming it was becoming clear to us that this destination was not the smartest choice for us this year. So at the last minute we thought we would all get tickets to Paris, in time to celebrate my mother's 60th birthday. I cannot wait to be there, it will be a shorter trip than we usually do but it will be packed with exciting things. Elliot has not been to France in 4 years so the fact that he is joining us for the last two weeks is a huge treat for us all. I have booked at Hotel Henriette for a couple of nights in Paris with Charles. I want to take him around this beautiful city, visit museums, go on merry go rounds, eat all kinds of exciting pâtisseries and just enjoy this vibrant city together.
I have written down all my ideas in my travel notebooks so that I don't forget anything and always have ideas on hand if we don't know what to do with ourselves.. haha, very unlikely but you never know! The trip from NZ to France is such a long journey, it is actually the farthest country from France, so I never want to forget to do something I have been longing of doing for months.

En Août nous avons aussi acheté des billets pour la France sur un coup de tête! Pour faire court nous avions prévu de visiter Bali pour fêter nos 10 ans de mariage mais plus la date approchait et plus nous réalisions que cette destination ne serait pas idéale pour nous cette année. Alors à la dernière minute nous sommes dit que nous irions tous à Paris, juste à temps pour fêter les 60 ans de ma maman. J'ai extrêmement hâte d'y être, ça sera un séjour beaucoup plus court que ce que l'on fait d'habitude mais rempli d'activités bien sympas. Elliot n'est pas rentré en France depuis 4 ans et le fait qu'il nous rejoigne pour les deux dernières semaines du séjour est un vrai bonheur pour tout le monde. J'ai pour l'occasion réservé à l'hôtel Henriette pour deux nuits au coeur de Paris avec Charles. J'ai envie de lui montrer cette ville magnifique, visiter des musées, faire du manège, manger toutes sortes de pâtisseries et juste profiter de cette ville tous les deux.
J'ai écris toutes mes idées dans mon carnet de voyage pour ne rien oublier et pour toujours avoir une idée si nous n'avions rien à faire... haha, très improbable mais on ne sait jamais! Le voyage de la Nouvelle Zélande vers la France est extrêmement long, c'est le pays le plus loin de la France d'ailleurs, alors je ne veux jamais oublier de faire les choses qui me font rêver pendant des mois avant mon arrivée.

I now only have three shoots left to complete before I can start focusing on packing... because I am an obsessive packer when it comes to traveling. I start a good three weeks before the actual trip, write lists, tick off lists, put things aside, wash and iron clothes ; my biggest task always being the carry on luggages. Picture yourself doing two 12 hour flights in a row with a toddler and you will immediately understand that the 7 kilos allowed in each of our carry on luggage are the key to either a hard but doable trip or a near death experience!
All in all August has seen me very excited for the months to come, our trip to France, summer coming soon to NZ and all the promises this season holds in this country.
Before I leave you I just want to let you know that I have finally added a newsletter! Many of you emailed for one to be kept in the loop of new blogposts, I don't plan on it being anything more than an email letting you know a new article has been posted at this stage, so if this is what you are looking for please register your email address in the box on the top right of the blog (at the bottom if you are on your phone or android)!
As per my new tradition, ending this look back in music with some recent and old favourites! I hope August was good to you XX

Je n'ai plus que trois shootings à compléter avant de pouvoir me concentrer sur les bagages... car je suis une névrosée totale quand il s'agit de faire les bagages. Je m'y prends trois semaines à l'avance, j'écris des listes, je check des listes, je mets des choses de côté, je lave et repasse les vêtements et surtout je me concentre à préparer les bagages à main les plus complets et efficaces possible. Imaginez vous faire deux vols de 12 heures d'affilées avec un enfant de 4 ans et vous comprendrez immédiatement que les 7 kilos auxquels nous avons chacun droit en bagages à main sont la différence entre des vols très longs mais supportables et une expérience de mort imminente!
En gros Août m'a vue heureuse pour les mois à venir, un voyage en France et l'été qui arrive bientôt en NZ avec toutes les promesses que cette saison offre à ce pays.
J'en profite avant de vous laisser pour vous dire que j'ai enfin mis une newsletter à votre disposition. On me l'a beaucoup demandée par email, elle vous informera chaque fois qu'un nouvel article a été posté, alors si vous voulez être tenu au courant de tout ça je vous invite à incrire votre adresse email dans le petit encart prévu à cet effet en haut à droite du blog (ou tout en bas sur vous êtes sur votre téléphone ou tablette)!
Je conclue avec ma nouvelle tradition de clotûrer ce looking back avec une playlist dont les titres sont un mélange de chouchous récents et anciens! J'espère que le mois d'Août vous aura été clément XX

Extensive guide to Marrakech + 10 handy tips

We went to Marrakech last year in August 2016 (original post is HERE) and it is still to this date the favourite destination I have ever been to. I am still to this date being asked over on social media what I recommend doing there, where to stay and where to eat, so I thought a complete guide would perhaps help a few others too.

Essentially, this guide is for people wanting to spend a few days in Marrakech, especially the old medina part. We were 3 adults and a 3 year old boy. I have also included 10 main tips that I hope will be helpful in preparation for a trip.

Extensive Guide to Marrakech + 10 Handy Tips Before You Go

Where to stay :

1 - We chose to stay at Riad Azzouna 13 for the first 4 days because it is located in the very heart of the medina, meaning we could do everything on foot. We were able to book the 2 rooms next to each other at one end of the riad. Our suite, Menzeh Jouj, included a very big bath which came in very handy to cool down after a morning spent walking around the hot streets of the old city. The spacious rooms were very tastefully decorated, had air conditioning and we were able to have a homemade breakfast on the roof top terrace every morning (think crepes mille trous, honey and delicious bread!). The staff was absolutely lovely, Saadik the manager was always helpful, joyful and full of good advice. As were the lovely ladies looking after the bedrooms and in charge of the cooking. We will definitely book again at Riad Azzouna 13.

Menzeh Jouj Suite at Riad Azzouna 13 | Marrakech

Menzeh Jouj Suite at Riad Azzouna 13 | Marrakech

Courtyard at Riad Azzouna 13 | Marrakech

Courtyard at Riad Azzouna 13 | Marrakech

Breakfast on the rooftop terrace at Riad Azzouna 13 | Marrakech

Breakfast on the rooftop terrace at Riad Azzouna 13 | Marrakech

2 - If you do not need to be in the heart of the medina and wish to have a swimming pool, the owners of Azzouna 13 also have another riad Riad Zaouia 44.

3 - We spent the last 3 nights of our stay at the Beldi Country Club, a heavenly quiet hotel 15 minutes from the town centre. It was an ideal way to end the holiday, after having spent 4 days pacing around the busy streets of the medina. The Beldi Country Club was a welcoming, restful spot with large swimming pools, restaurants, a potager, roseraie, glass house with classic music playing and the option to take a pottery class or bread making class for children. It also houses the Beldi glass factory.
The bedrooms were extremely comfortable as were the large bathrooms. We were able to book connecting bedrooms with a small lounge area, private courtyards and direct access to the swimming pool. I had made a video of the Beldi Country Club, here it is below again.

Club Swimming Pool at The Beldi Country Club | Marrakech

Club Swimming Pool at The Beldi Country Club | Marrakech

The Beldi Country Club restaurant gardens | Marrakech

The Beldi Country Club restaurant gardens | Marrakech


Where to eat :

- Le Café des Epices, 75 Rahba Lakdima in the medina. It is a bit of an institution... amongst tourists that is! but still well worth a visit, the food is delicious, affordable and the location is right onto the Place des Epices, offering a very cool view of authentic marrakech life.

Second floor of Café des Epices in Marrakech Medina

Second floor of Café des Epices in Marrakech Medina

- Atay Café, 62 rue Amsafah Sidi Abdelaziz. We were never able to find this cafe but apparently it has beautiful terraces!

- La Famille, 42 Riad Zitoun Jdid. A beautiful quiet courtyard with a daily set vegan/vegetarian menu. The owners have tastefully decorated the restaurant using local makers and artists, there is even a shop area with some locally made artifacts.

La Famille restaurant | Marrakech

La Famille restaurant | Marrakech

La Famille restaurant | Marrakech

La Famille restaurant | Marrakech

La Famille restaurant | Marrakech

La Famille restaurant | Marrakech

- Le Jardin, 32 souk Sidi Abdelaziz. One of our favourites as the entrance is located on a very busy street and entering Le Jardin was such a quiet and peaceful contrast in comparison. It is a large open courtyard, paved in traditional green zelige tiles, the tables offer a welcomed sheltered and restful spot in the shade. The waiter also brought Charles a leaf of lettuce along with the house small turtle, she was very cute and provided great entertainment whilst we were waiting for our meal.

Le Jardin restaurant | Marrakech

Le Jardin restaurant | Marrakech

Le Jardin restaurant | Marrakech

Le Jardin restaurant | Marrakech

- Nomad, 1, Derb Aajrane, Rahba Kedima. Another favourite that we chose for most of our dinners as the rooftop terrace could only be enjoyed during the evening in August. Overlooking the city, the Mosk and the Place des Epices, being seated on the highest terrace is a must to really enjoy the incredible location that Nomad provides. Not to mention the delicious traditional food and pleasant atmosphere, especially as the night falls and candles are lit. I recommend you book at lunch time for the evening to secure your spot.

Nomad restaurant | Marrakech

Nomad restaurant | Marrakech

- Zwin' Zwin' cafe, Riad Zitoun Lakdim n4. We had lunch there and it was very pleasant, with good food and a good atmosphere.

- We also went for a very traditional dinner with a show one evening near Place Jemaa El Fna. I cannot remember the name of the restaurant but there are a few in that area and I would think they are all equal and worth an evening for a fun experience. Dar Essalam, 170 Riad Zitoun Kedim, has a great reputation.


What to do :

- Place Jemaa El Fna, it is the main square of the old city, it is a very busy crossroad where you will find fresh juice stalls, monkey shows and snake charmers. You will end up on Place Jemaa El Fna at one point or another, be prepared to be hassled, kindly decline when you do not want to buy something.

- Fresh juices on Place Jemaa El Fna. No one can resist a freshly squeezed orange juice in the scorching sun. On some stalls you can even select the fresh fruits you want in your juice.

Place des épices, view from Café des Epices | Marrakech

Place des épices, view from Café des Epices | Marrakech

- Place des Epices, the Spice Square. This area was quite close to our riad so we walked through Place des Epices several times a day. It is a lot quieter than place Jema El Fnaa, there are many spice and medicinal shops around the square, along with a few good cafes and restaurants and a lot of basket merchants. Place des Epices is also where you can access most of the souks from.

- The souks. The markets where you will find all the beautiful objects, shoes, clothes, rugs and artifacts made locally. It is not as enormous as I thought it would be but you can very easily get lost there that is for sure. Most of the merchants are grouped in areas so you will find all the rugs in one spot, all the baskets in the same corner, all the shoes in one area, and so on.

- Horse cart ride as the sun goes down. Find all the horse carts at the bottom of Place Jemaa El Fna, for 15 to 20 euros (150 to 200 dirhams) you will get to be taken on a small tour for about 30 minutes. Just tell the driver what you would like to see. We did this twice, once to be taken on the outskirts and see the Mosk and surrounding gardens and another time to visit the new city.

- Camel ride, a must do. Our taxi driver took us to find some camels in the Palmeraie where we had a quiet walk on the camel backs for about 30 minutes. Again, preferably do this in the evening if it is summer as there is no shelter from the sun.

- The Mosk and the Koutoubia Minaret. You cannot enter the mosk if you are not muslim but it is still beautiful from the outside. Try to fit this sight during a horse cart ride.

- The Majorelle Gardens, they were designed by French painter Jacques Majorelle. Probably our least favourite thing we did but many people love it. It was far more touristic and busy than the other activities we did. There is a cafe and restaurant in a lovely sheltered spot of the gardens.

- Medersa Ben Youssef, is a must do. It is an ancient school and lodge for science and theology students. There you will get to see the tiny bedrooms the students were sharing and the beautiful courtyard where they studied.

- Bahia Palace is a nineteenth century palace that was built for Si Moussa, vizir of the sultan at the time. It is vast and richly decorated and includes gardens, fruit trees and fountains. Another must do.

- Saadian tombs, a 15 to 20 minutes visit to see saadian Sultan Ahmed al-Mansour ed-Dahbi 's tombs. He spared no expenses and the visit is yet another must do.

- Dar Si-Saïd museum. This museum was being renovated during our trip but it is definitely a place I would have liked to have visited. Oldest museum of the city, it houses the biggest collection of moroccan artifacts, furniture, weapons and musical instruments.

- Douiria Mouassine Museum, is 17th century renovated small house displaying stunning original woodwork.

- Maison de la Photographie, original black and white photography. An invitation in images into the daily life of Moroccans from 1880.

- If you do not want to stay at the Beldi Country Club you can still get to enjoy this heavenly place which offers a visitors' restaurant and swimming pool during the day for only 20 euros (around 200 Dirhams).


Tips :

1/ Traveling to Marrakech in August is great because it is much quieter with far less tourists BUT it is one of the hottest month of the year as well, so if you are heat sensitive be mindful of your traveling dates, we were easily getting to 40°C daily. Surprisingly, Marrakech also gets very cold in the winter, so that is another thing to consider when choosing your dates.

2/ Do not wait to be thirsty to get water and drink plenty! The little shops where you can find bottled water here and there shut and open at very random times, so buy bottled water from your hotel before leaving for hours of exploration.

3/ Be mindful of your travelling dates, visiting Marrakech during the ramadan, mid may to mid june, means that the medina shops and restaurants will most likely be shut during the afternoon and evening. It would also be kind to behave in accordance with muslim religion if you visit Marrakech during the ramadan and not smoke, drink or wear inappropriate clothing.

4/ The Moroccan Dirham is a closed currency, it can only be obtain in Morocco and cannot be exchanged back into your currency, so do not change too much cash at once. There are plenty of ATMs and currency exchange offices, and the exchange rates are the same everywhere. Euros are also commonly accepted in many places (I bought a rug from the souk in euros) but do check with the seller or waiter before completing your purchase.

5/ Some locals will try to take you places saying there is a special event on that is only happening today... There is no special event, you will most likely be taken to the leather dyeing area, where they will then ask you for a tip. We knew this so never took the bait and visited that part of the city. In general you should not follow a stranger under any pretext, you will usually be hassled for a tip at the end.

6/ Female travelers should be mindful of their outfits, this is a muslim country where women are expected to be covered. It is inappropriate to wear above the knee shorts or skirts, spaghetti straps and low decolletes. A light silk scarf is an easy option to throw over your shoulders if needed.

7/ haggle... but not everywhere! It would be very inappropriate to haggle at a restaurant for example. Do haggle in the souks, for a taxi ride, for a camel ride or horse cart ride. We found it helpful to ask the riad's manager what we should be paying for the taxi ride we were going to take that day for example. Haggle with a smile, you should be able to get an item for at least 50% of the original price. Do not be offended by a persistent seller, always remain polite and just walk away with a smile if you are not agreeing on a price.

8/ 3 basic words that will take you a long way : Salam Alikum (hello), hafak (please) and shukran (thank you)

9/ The streets are very busy with scooters everywhere and life does not really stop in the medina. The streets are still buzzing late in the evening, meaning that you can do a spot of shopping well after 9pm. We felt completely safe walking the streets at any time of the day or night.

10/ Not all restaurants or cafes serve alcohol.

Sunday morning

Apologies in advance for the amount of images in this post but I really struggled to chose! Especially as the light changed and gave me two different atmospheres in the end. I had gotten up early to set the table and snap photos before the boys woke up, the early morning light is icier as you can see.

Par avance désolée pour toutes les images dans cet article mais j'ai eu du mal à choisir. En particulier parce que la lumière a changé, m'offrant ainsi deux atmosphères différentes. Je m'étais levée tôt ce jour là pour faire une jolie table et prendre tout ça en photo avant que les garçons ne se réveillent, vous verrez la lumière du petit matin est plus froide.

I love a piece of linen as a tablecloth, I had bought this one from Martha's in Auckland and I have found the best technique to keep it looking natural without being stiff and exaggeratedly wrinkly is to put it in the dryer. It makes for the softest fluffiest linen and requires no ironing afterwards, heaven!

J'aime utiliser un bout de lin en nappe, j'avais acheté celui-ci chez Martha's et je trouve que la meilleure technique pour garder l'aspect naturel du lin sans qu'il soit raide et exagérément froissé c'est de le mettre au sèche linge. Ça le rend tout doux et du coup ne nécessite pas de repassage, paradis!

I love mishmashed tables for simple meals, I find as long as you stick to the same colour palette anything goes! I have found everything on this table at junk shops, brocantes and op shops. I have been loving anything wooden for dishes lately, I usually find them coated in a hideous varnish so there is always a bit of work involved to sand them completely but I think it is worth the effort, especially when they tend to only cost a dollar or two.

J'aime les tables dépareillées pour les repas simples, je trouve que du moment qu'on s'en tient à une palette de teintes similaires tout passe! J'ai trouvé toute la vaisselle sur cette table dans des junk shops, brocantes et Emmaüs locaux. Récemment je craque beaucoup sur tout ce qui est en bois pour les plats, je les achète généralement alors qu'ils sont encore recouverts d'une couche de vernis bien moche, du coup ça implique un peu de travail de les poncer complètement mais ça en vaut la peine, surtout quand une pièce coûte un ou deux dollars.

I made this chocolate babka from a recipe found in a book, unfortunately I won't be sharing it since it was good but really needed some more work for a moister brioche and less sweet filling. It was still nice enough for breakfast with a cup of tea though and I got to try that little tin pan I had thrifted the week before. It is a weird thing of mine but I get inspired to cook by a dish or a pan, I really do, I think of what would like good in said dish and then go ahead!

J'avais fait ce babka au chocolat à partir d'une recette trouvée dans un livre et malheureusement je ne la partagerai pas parce qu'elle mérite d'être un peu retravaillée pour obtenir une brioche plus moelleuse et une garniture moins sucrée. C'était quand même bon avec une tasse de thé et j'ai au moins pu utiliser le petit moule en fer blanc que j'avais chiné la semaine d'avant. C'est un petit truc que j'ai, je suis inspirée à cuisiner en premier par un plat ou un moule, vraiment, je réfléchis à ce qui serait joli dans le dit plat et je commence par là!

So this was our sunday morning a couple of weeks ago, we do not get to do that every weekend but once or twice a month I try to bake a nice breakfast or afternoon tea. It reminds me of our Sundays at home with my mum, we would always make a little cake together and share it later in the afternoon. Food gathers people together!

Alors voilà, c'était notre dimanche matin il y a deux semaines. On ne fait pas ça tous les weekends mais j'essaye une ou deux fois par mois de préparer un bon petit déjeuner ou un goûter que l'on prendra plaisir à partager. Ça me rappelle mes dimanches avec ma maman, nous faisions toujours un quatre quart et le mangions durant l'après midi. La nourriture réunit!