An Afternoon in the Souks

BY Lisa Lindblad

October 30, 2011

We had a delicious late lunch at La Terrace des Epices, a fun rooftop restaurant with perfect views over the winding streets of the souks below.  It’s quite a good idea to have a hungry stomach to carry you past the first floor of independent shops all the  way to the top; otherwise, you will end up, as we did, combing through French stylist Laetitia Trouillet’s selection of handbags, Stephanie Jewels with its threadlike gold necklaces and bracelets, Sissimorocco’s pillows, pottery and paintings with their charming painted  camels and donkeys (we didn’t manage to leave here without some damage).

After lunch we wandered back through the wool dying district, the tanneries and the many babouche shops and cheich shops where the current come-on entails lassoing the tourist with a length of cloth (cheich), dressing her up with yards of cloth and then pressing for a sale.

The streets are remarkably quiet, and remarkably clean.  Not like the days of old.  I know there has been an ongoing initiative to clean up the Medina but the lack of business, I am told, stems from the Arab Spring and, more recently, the bombing of the cafe in Place Djemma el-Fna.

Just before exiting the souks in Place de Mouassine we stopped in at my friend, Viviana Gonzalez’s lovely boutique, Atelier Moro.  A Colombian designer who lived in Kenya prior to moving here, Viviana has a divine shop of home objects, lovely textiles, clothing and jewelry.  She has a wonderful eye and the quiet, curated shopping experience is a huge relief.

Atelier Moro, Souks 114, Place de Mouassine

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Urban Zen Promotes Shopping With A Purpose