Luxury Hotels

MARRAKECH – 9

Well just occasionally Girlahead deviates from her strict self-imposed regime and it happened the other day at La Mamounia, in Marrakech. The pastries on the pool-side breakfast buffet – see the video below – were not only enormous and obviously as light as air but one had pistachio on it. See above. Oh boy oh boy. It turned out to be a pistachio-enhanced petit pain au chocolat, as shown above. It also turned out to be sheer heaven, and it was a Pierre Hermé creation. M Hermé also does breakfast items at Le Royal Monceau Raffles in Paris (note for self, go back there fast…)

Hermé has, as well, an eponymous burger on La Mamounia’s private dining menu. It had to be tried. It turned out to be a cheeseburger with fortunately not too much cheese and excellent beef. An appetizer of Moroccan salads brought no less than eight dishes, and entertainment was memorable. Unable to draw the manual drapes. Call housekeeping.  Unable to draw the manual drapes. Call engineering. Unable to move the big rings on the horizontal metal rod at the top of the manual drapes. Fetch a tall ladder. Proper it up against said metal rod at a precarious angle. Had the ladder swung over backwards the engineer, in full uniform, would have landed on his back in Pierre Hermé and attendant salads. Meanwhile, of course, Girlahead ate on.

There were so many memorable moments at this gorgeous, stylish and so up to date hotel (and gosh, it was 100 last year). Apparently on New Year’s Eve there were 600 dining variously around the establishment, including in a gourmet pop-up that miraculously temporarily replaced the main lobby. Reception and concierge desks became bars.

Girlahead dined with two superb specimens of European hoteliers, one Finnish, one French. The menu, in the Italian restaurant, was Kaviari oscietre on Meyer lemon jelly, Tuna tartare with Périgord truffle, Sea bass crusted with nuts and seeds in sweet-sour broth, Seared Black Angus filet with Périgord truffle and potato cracker and, finally, the crowning glory, a pistachio concoction.  A caramelised pistachio shortbread pastry shaped like an artist’s palette complemented pistachio mascarpone cream, and other pistachio somethings….