Opened in 1923, the legendary La Mamounia Hotel stands on the site of a residence that, in the 18th century, belonged to the son of the Alaouite sultan Sidi Mohammed. Over the years the iconic luxury property in Marrakech has won a handful of awards, including Top Hotel in the World via 2018 Conde Nast Traveler’s Gold List
It’s a haven for VIPs looking to loiter in luxury on holiday, with past guests including Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Nicole Kidman, Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet, Catherine Deneuve, The Rolling Stones, Yves Saint Laurent, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston, Juliette Binoche, Orlando Bloom, and Andrea Boccelli.
After a two week luxury tour of Morocco I had enjoyed my fill of tasty tagine’s and steaming bowls of couscous so was delighted to skip through La Mamounia’s contemporary Italian culinary concept.
The simply titled L’Italien Restaurant is both warm and romantic, featuring a menu prepared with fresh seasonal products from La Mamounia’s own vegetable patch and selected producers. Its baroque style, dark purple tones and beautifully lit terrace offer an undoubtedly classy and intimate atmosphere.
Just like a theatre’s stage, the curtains are raised above the entrance and two sweet-smelling red bouquets rest on the counter. The restaurant’s interior features curvaceous armchairs, crimson fabrics, red, blue and green stained-glass windows, silk brocatelle on the walls by Maison Prelle, in perfect harmony with the dining room’s chic velvet and copperware.
The dishes served by Chef Luca Signoretti are equal to the setting – delicate, feminine and bright. Highlights include a fig and fennel flower muddled cocktail, creamy burrata accompanied by a tower of panzanella and sweet tomatoes, pillows of tortelli stuffed with nettle and ricotta cheese and swimming in truffle cream sauce, and a simple plate of perfectly cooked slices of beef filet hugged by a salad of arugula, cherry tomato, and parmesan.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth be sure to leave room to pay homage to the restaurants supremely talented pastry chef: Infinity Lemon featuring gelato bursting with citrus resting on a mountain of thinly shaved pineapple, and a decadent Hazelnut Praline which still manages to flash here and there in my dreams.
Le Jardin de la Mamounia | absolut elyx vodka infused with figs and fennel flowers from the hotel’s garden, grapefruit juice, rhubarb bitters
Burrata | panzanella with burrata, tomatoes, basil pesto
Tortelli | nettle and ricotta cheese tortelli, cream sauce, black truffle
Tagliata | beef filet slices, arugula, cherry tomato, parmesan, balsamic reduction
Infinity Hazelnut Praline
Pistachio Mignon and Almond Cake with Pistachio and Chocolate