For more than 30 years via her eight TV series, nine cookbooks and prolific food journalism, Lyndey Milan has been illuminating the delights of food. She is also an international tour host and is returning to Morocco in April to lead a small group culinary tour.
Start the day with a real Moroccan breakfast, in the beautiful gardens of the family-owned Villa Mandarine. Enjoy a simple traditional m'smen crepe made from flour, water, a little yeast and local olive oil, dripping with local honey, a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice and an espresso. Bliss. See villamandarine.com
The recently opened Mohamed VI Museum of Contemporary Modern Art adds a new dimension to the cityscape and is well worth a visit. Across the road there is the Museum Cafe, where you can relax on cushions made from kilms, sip a refreshing mint tea (ask for no sugar unless you want to go into a sweet coma), and nibble on a Corne de Gazelle – luxuriously sweet almond meal and orange blossom water, encased in a crisp buttery pastry shaped as a horn.
Cross the Bouregreg River via the new bridge to the marina, for Al Marsa Spanish restaurant, where you can sit looking towards the Tour Hassan, Mausoleum Mohamed V and the city. Try the oysters from Dahla, on the south of Morocco, Oualidia crab salad, or crisp calamari, all washed down with a glass of locally produced gris wine (a cross of dry white and rosé), served icy cold. (No website; Port de Plaisance, Marina de Bouregreg.)
Bastilla (or pastilla) is an absolute must and one of my favourite Moroccan dishes. A type of pie, the filling is traditionally made with pigeon simmered in spices, thickened with egg, encased in layers and layers of thin ouarka pastry (like filo) and topped with icing sugar, ground almonds and cinnamon. Sounds weird, but it's scrumptious. It is only this good in Morocco. Find it in traditional Moroccan restaurants.
Before sunset, get a car to whisk you away to the edge of Rabat Medina. Just a few steps down a narrow alleyway enter Dar Shaan through enormous wooden doors into an ancient stone hallway. A lift takes you to the roof terrace to enjoy a canape of crisp seafood briouates, followed by the specially prepared tagine of the day, with fresh ingredients chosen and cooked by Meryem. Beef, lamb or fish are on the menu.
The Moroccan Culinary Tour with Lyndey Milan runs April 16 – April 27, 2020. From $8850 a person. See bypriorarrangement.com