“An exquisitely restored late 18th century house in the heart of Fes' medina, with 3 sumptuous rooms and an exciting chef's residence scheme”
Upstairs each of the 3 bedrooms overlooking the courtyard is like a cleverly styled set piece for Elle Deco.
The first is the so-called Standard Room, with beamed ceiling, original carved cedar cupboards and a screen dividing bedroom and sitting areas. Light is filtered through deep red and saffron window glass, and you can sit on orange python-skin cushions beneath a pair of 1920s fans from Italy (largely decorative). The bathroom (private, but across the landing) has a copper sink in a large terracotta olive oil pot.
The Junior Suite has a rabbit-fur throw on the bed, Moroccan door ornaments as side tables, a 1930s Venetian glass mirror on the wall, and a roomy sitting area. There are no fans or air-con, but thick walls keep all rooms cool, even in summer. The walk-in shower in the ensuite bathroom is like a mini hammam, complete with buckets and loofah.
Climb another flight of twisting stairs and you come to the Master Suite, with a magnificent painted ceiling, which links by private balcony to a bathroom-cum- sitting room running the whole length of the house and dominated by a pair of green leather barber’s chairs. There are whimsical touches every-where you look: an antique china phrenology head and psalmist’s hand on a side table, old canvas suitcases stacked artfully on top of a cupboard.
Breakfasts might include fresh juices such as lime and anise, homemade yoghurt with fruit and pancakes, goats cheese and pumpkin omelettes, fresh bread with honey and homemade jams.
Next door, Resto 7 is open for lunch and dinner. International chefs are invited to spend 1-4 months in the kitchen, developing Moroccan dishes with an international twist which use ingredients from Fez’s impressive food markets. No matter who the chef is, each day offers a new set menu, which is written up on the black board; you may get chilled fava bean and almond soup followed by baked sardines or braised chicken. Feedback has been consistently good.
If you want to head out, the spectacular 19th-century Palais Mnebhi is very close, but Stephen can recommend a few lesser known restaurants, from the cheap and cheerful to ceremonial dining with live music.
Children of all ages are welcome, but due to the riad's layout, there are lots of steep steps.
The Standard Room can accommodate 1 child on an extra bed (no additional cost), but there are no cots. If you rent the whole house you can use one of the salons as a child's bedrooms.