A Food Blogger Visits Spot-M

A chance encounter in Marrakech led Astrid to booking a short stay at Spot-M Surf camp and ended staying much longer.
4 Dec

Astrid The Food Blogger Discovers Surfing With Spot-M On Her Tour Of Morocco

Last Year We Met Astrid A Food Blogger From Norway Who Booked A Short Stay At Spot-M Surf Camp But  Caught The Surf Bug, Fell In Love With The Laid Back Vibes Of Mirleft And Stayed Longer Than Planned… So We Asked Her To Share Her Favourite Moroccan Dishes From Her Travels And Her Experience Of Spot-M Surf Camp. Here’s What She Sent Us:

 

Courtesy Of Guest Writer Astrid Magnusson.

Embarking on a month-long journey through the enchanting landscapes of Morocco, I found myself captivated not only by the vibrant culture and breathtaking scenery but also by the rich tapestry of flavors woven into the country’s culinary traditions. From the bustling markets of Fez to the coastal charm of Essaouira and the serene beauty of Mirleft, each destination unfolded a unique gastronomic adventure. I would have visited more of Morocco if it wasn’t for the magnetism of Mirleft for me but in all honesty this was my greatest discovery of the trip and Spot-M were the perfect hosts……

Every meal we had in Morocco revealed something new to me about their incredible cuisine and there were so many wonderful meals enjoyed that I could have easily made this list 3 times longer but here’s 10 of my favourites in no particular order:

  1. Couscous Royale in Fez: Our culinary journey began in Fez, where we sampled a sumptuous plate of Couscous Royale. This iconic Moroccan dish featured delicate steamed couscous adorned with succulent lamb, chicken, and a medley of seasonal vegetables. The magic, however, lay in the aromatic blend of spices, including cumin, coriander, and saffron, creating a harmonious fusion that danced on the palate.
  2. Tagine with Prunes and Almonds in Marrakech: In the heart of Marrakech, we indulged in a Tagine that was a symphony of sweet and savory. The succulent lamb, slow-cooked to perfection, was complemented by the natural sweetness of prunes and the nutty crunch of almonds. The spices, featuring cinnamon and ginger, added a warm and comforting layer to this traditional delight.
  3. Bastilla in Taroudant: Taroudant welcomed us with the exquisite Bastilla, a savory pastry that showcased the intricate layers of Moroccan cuisine. Filled with a delicate mixture of shredded chicken meat, almonds, and spices such as cinnamon and powdered sugar, this dish was a delightful blend of textures and flavors, perfectly encapsulating the essence of Moroccan culinary craftsmanship.
  4. Grilled Sardines in Essaouira: Moving westward to the coastal town of Essaouira, we savored the freshness of the Atlantic through Grilled Sardines. Seasoned with a mix of chermoula, a traditional marinade featuring coriander, garlic, and paprika, the sardines were a revelation of bold flavors, perfectly capturing the essence of Moroccan seaside cuisine.
  5. Zaalouk in Mirleft: From the kitchen of Spot-m surf camp Zara the head chef made this incredible dish among many others. This one we discovered is called Zaalouk, a delectable aubergine and tomato dip that showcased the simplicity and sophistication of Moroccan vegetarian fare. The dish was elevated by the earthy tones of cumin, paprika, and garlic, creating a harmony that spoke volumes about the country’s culinary artistry.
  6. Mechoui in Fez: Fez beckoned us to a feast of Mechoui, a celebratory dish featuring slow-roasted whole lamb. The succulent meat, infused with a blend of aromatic spices like cumin and coriander, was a testament to the traditional methods of Moroccan slow-cooking, resulting in a melt-in-your-mouth experience.
  7. Ma’qouda in Marrakech: In the bustling streets of Marrakech, we delighted in Ma’qouda, a crispy potato fritter infused with aromatic herbs and spices. Cumin, coriander, and parsley transformed this humble dish into a flavorful bite-sized treat, highlighting the diversity and creativity inherent in Moroccan street food.
  8. Seafood Pastilla in Essaouira: Essaouira’s coastal charm also graced us with Seafood Pastilla, a delicate pastry filled with a medley of fresh seafood, saffron, and a hint of cinnamon. The combination of flaky pastry and savory seafood made for a tantalizing culinary experience, bridging the gap between land and sea.
  9. Harira in Taroudant: As we explored Taroudant’s vibrant markets, we couldn’t resist a bowl of Harira, a traditional Moroccan soup. This hearty dish, featuring lentils, chickpeas, tomatoes, and a fragrant mix of spices including cinnamon and ginger, served as a comforting reminder of the country’s deep-rooted culinary heritage.
  10. Couscous with Seven Vegetables in Mirleft: Our culinary journey concluded in Mirleft, where we relished a classic dish again thanks to Zara and her team —  Friday Couscous with Seven Vegetables. The couscous, steamed to perfection, was adorned with an array of seasonal vegetables, creating a symphony of colors and flavors. The aromatic blend of Ras el Hanout, a traditional Moroccan spice mix, elevated the dish to a culinary spectacle….. After surfing for 4 hours this was the most welcomed meal of the trip.

 

What began as a month-long exploration of Morocco took an unexpected turn towards the exhilarating world of surfing, tranquility, and cultural immersion. Our journey was set to continue until a chance encounter with Spot-M Surf Camp from a felllow traveller we met in Marrakech. She had just been dropped to her Riad by one of the Spot-M drivers and we met her in a cafe in the Djma Al Fna and once she started regaling us of the adventures she had surfing in Mirleft with Spot-M, the beaches, waves, food, hosts we were sold within minutes. So Sandrine gave me the website and contact number for Duncan who could not have been more helpful with his honest and friendly approach made the whole booking process a real pleasure and within minutes he had a transfer booked from our hotel the next morning and  a private en-suite room in their pool villa for the next 3 days. Such seamless and helpful service is not something you find in this business very often and it made all the difference for us as Duncan took care of everything for us. So 3 days it would be….. however the captivating waves of Mirleft, the thrill of surfing and the enchanting atmosphere of Mirleft convinced us to extend our stay until we had no more days left in Morocco.

Surfing With Spot-M

The expert instructors at Spot-M provided not only professional guidance but also a contagious passion for surfing. Our first foray into the Atlantic waves was a revelation – the thrill of catching my first wave, finding my feet and then crashing into the water less than a second later had me instantly hooked. With the stunning coastal backdrop to feast our eyes on made for an unforgettable experience. Under Samir and Yassine’s watchful eyes, we quickly became hooked on the sport, transforming our itinerary into a delightful blend of cultural exploration and surf adventure.

Each morning after another delicious breakfast of fruits, yoghurts, pancakes, omlettes and so much Moroccan tea and hot coffee we would be collected by Youba from the villa and taken to the Spot-M surf school on possibly the most beautiful beach I have ever seen. Taking in the captivating views of perfect lines of waves breaking in such a beautiful way I could have just watched them all day. But no we were here to join in so down we would go to the surf school where we would always get a warm welcome from the team, have another coffee and then be given our wetsuits and boards before starting our first of two daily lessons. With a much needed lunch and rest inbetween we could sit back watching the waves and laugh with the other guests about our surfing and epic wipeouts before embarking on our next forray into the surf.

Mirleft’s Magnetic Atmosphere:

As we delved deeper into the soul of Mirleft, the town’s unique atmosphere captured our hearts. The laid-back charm, coupled with the warmth of the local community, created a sense of belonging that we hadn’t anticipated. Mirleft offered a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle, allowing us to recharge our spirits amidst the rugged beauty of Morocco’s southwestern coastline.

Spot-M Villa:

Our accommodations at the Spot-M villa became a home of comfort and relaxation. The well-appointed rooms and communal spaces exuded Moroccan hospitality, offering a perfect balance between modern amenities and traditional aesthetics. From the rooftop terrace, we marveled at the breathtaking sunsets over the Atlantic, providing a serene backdrop to our evenings after a day of surfing.

Extended Stay in Mirleft:

What was initially planned as a brief visit to Mirleft transformed into a 10-day sojourn, thanks to the magnetic pull of the town and Spot-M’s irresistible charm. Our days were spent surfing the waves, exploring Mirleft’s hidden gems, and savoring the unique blend of flavors that characterized the local cuisine. The Spot-M team, with their genuine passion for surfing and dedication to creating a memorable experience, played a pivotal role in making Mirleft feel like a home away from home.

As our journey in Morocco drew to a close, it was the unexpected detour to Mirleft and the embrace of Spot-M Surf Camp that etched the final chapters of our adventure. From the thrill of surfing to the tranquil beauty of Mirleft and the warm hospitality of Spot-M, this leg of our trip became a testament to the serendipitous joys of travel. With the sun-kissed memories of Mirleft and the rhythmic waves of the Atlantic in our hearts, we bid farewell to Morocco, carrying with us not only the flavors of its cuisine but also the stoke of a newfound love for surfing.

I will be back to surf with Youba, Samir and Yassine again soon. Thanks to Duncan, Youba and all the team especially Zara for her sublime food, see you all in 2024!

Astrid and Mike 🙂