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Travelling in a material world

Stuff

Travelling throughout the world, we tend to buy different things in different places. (Hey, what do you expect from two wanderers who have very little else to do?) Here are some goodies that we brought with us from our latest trips: a goddess statue from Gran Canaria; a round metal lamp from Agadir; and candle holders (we can’t recall where we found them). You might call us materialistic but these things (that are not necessarily expensive) truly feel great to look at, long after the trip is over. If you think that we are shallow, well, then you should take a look at Sam’s porcelain dog collection; your grandma will be green with envy!

Bamboo Thai – cozy atmosphere but no sea view

Bamboo Thai in Agadir, Morocco, is a Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese and Japanese restaurant all rolled into one. Tempura, sushi, dim sum and chicken satay with peanut sauce are offered at reasonable prices in a very pleasant setting (even though we missed the sea view). It’s located some serious meters away from the main boardwalk. The starters are quite big and the main courses are not small either. Wash it down with some wine or beer and leave space for dessert. OK, it’s not the best Asian restaurant we have been to, but it is good enough to spend an evening indulging oneself in some spicy stuff. It will not cost you a fortune and it is a nice place to chill out before you hit the Agadir night scene.

A So Good Christmas!

Michelin star level cuisine, live music in a night club ambiance with champagne by the gallon, roses  on every table and an air of exclusivity. Voilà, welcome to Christmas dinner at So Good restaurant in the Sofitel Hotel in Agadir.

Oyster

The clientele is French (except for the Sam and the dunes team) and the food speaks the same language. The wine is Moroccan. A discreet bass in the background performs Christmas songs while you feast on poached oyster, foie gras on ginger bread with fig chutney (that would fit in comfortably at a State reception) and roasted blue lobster. One small note, though: the menu was perfection, but there was just too much of it (when you have eight dishes coming one after the other, your taste buds tend to start screaming “help!).  Roses

So Good was fully booked for Christmas as most other establishments in Sofitel – a mecca for the glamourous and the haute jeans crowd from Paris, Cannes and Nice this time of the year. Before dinner, a welcome drink was offered in the lobby while an African band was drumming it away.

An enormous Christmas tree reminded us all that the holiday season just started and it was time to kick off the celebrations, which we did with a vengeance. The night flew by like a meteor with guests departing around midnight, or after (depending on one’s stamina and resolve).

The happy, if tired, faces at breakfast the next morning said what needed to be said: This was one So Good Christmas!

Last check

Finishing packing before we’re off to Agadir and Marrakech for the holidays.

– Food? –Woof

– Water bowl? –Woof

– Dog shampoo? –Grrrrrrr!!

– OK, OK! Badminton racket? –Woof

Try the fish, any fish!

"Une autre idée du restaurant"

La Madrague restaurant in Agadir, Morocco, was one place everybody recommended we should try out. And we did, with great pleasure. Located in the marina with a comfortable terrace offering breathtaking views of the ocean and the mountains, La Madrague can be described as a traditional Mediterranean place of the upscale type.

The menu is vast, we mean vast, on offer you will find numerous seafood dishes, meat of all shapes and sizes and even foie gras has not been overlooked. But go for the fish, it’s fresh, cooked to perfection and melts in your mouth. We highly recommend the seared tuna and the shrimps. The wine list is acceptable if a bit short-ish and the service is meticulous. La Madrague is not cheap but worth the effort: It’s a nice hang-out to savor some good food and wine, look at the yachts and contemplate life.

Résidence No 6 M3/M4 – Marina Agadir
Tel: +212 528 84 24 24

An oasis of luxury on the Atlantic

We have stayed in many fabulous hotels all over the world but even as seasoned luxury travellers we were flabbergasted by Sofitel***** in Agadir, Morocco. A true oasis of tranquility (just take a look at the lobby), fantastic service and amenities that make you go wobbly in the legs.

The rooms are decorated with great style, rose petals on the bed and in the bathroom, classy furniture and one comfortable bed makes you want to order room service throughout the day. Don’t be tempted, though, the rest of the hotel is just as fun.

You can be pampered around the pool with waiters tending to your every need, or enjoy a drink in the lobby where chicha smoke and cool people interact.

The restaurants offer some of the best fare in Agadir, from a mouth-watering buffet in the evening with the menu changing every day (don’t miss the Asian theme), to nice snacks and salads by the pool. The service is attentive and friendly.

Pets are just as welcome as any other patron, Sam loved the place.

Now, to be fair, one can find faults here, but let’s be honest, to quote P.J. O’Rourke, that’s like complaining about Sharon Stone’s toenails. The Sofitel is pure luxury perfection, a place we plan to visit again in the future, inshallah. And we highly recommend you do the same.

More reviews from Agadir: Restaurant So Good, La Madrague and Bamboo Thai.

Rating: 4/5

Cat fight

Home, humiliated…but alive

Yesterday afternoon we all set off for a peaceful stroll on the Agadir boardwalk. Sam, while sniffing around, suddenly noticed two kittens. Being the good hearted chap that he is, Sam tried to make contact (or so he thought) with a different species for the first time. Imagine the shock when out of the blue, mother cat (who made the German shepard guarding our hotel look timid) jumped  out  from the bushes and went for Sam. Hanna quickly grabbed the dog but the cat didn’t let go, so Alex ran to the rescue finally scaring it away (what a man). All of this commotion happened just in front of a group of construction workers who were laughing so hard that even Sam got red in the nose. Humiliated by this tiny but, oh, so nasty little animal, our team quickly retreated back to the hotel.

Lobbying in Sofitel

One thing we can say about the Sofitel Hotel in Agadir, it has a lobby that baffles and enchants with its size, sophistication and service provided. It is built in a style that resembles a mix of an old-fashioned French train station and a traditional Moroccan Souk. In the evening a guitar player entertains the guests with some groovy rhythms while clouds of chicha smoke perfume the air with scents of apples and raisins. Palm trees and bonfires add to the ambiance, one of romance and decadence reminiscent of an age long gone.

Sam the man

Wait...where is my Martini?

Agadir is a really cool place, not to mention the hotel we are staying in that welcomes dogs, especially our Sam, with a panache  dwarfing all other 5-stars. Every morning one of us gets up around 6 AM to take him out for  an exercise and other known dog activities, braving the stray ones that roam the boardwalk as well as the guard dog, a ferocious German Shepherd, that tends to jump poor Sam. Still, like clockwork he wakes us up at the crack of dawn ready for another battle with his brethren. After a hefty breakfast organized under code name “Operation Flying Sausage” (don’t ask), Sam wanders off to the pool for a lazy afternoon. Here Sam rules (at least we allow him to think so).

Soukaholics

A small selection from our shopping spree in Agadir - Argan oil and candle holders

When we decided to visit the Souk in Agadir we promised ourselves not to spend more than a couple of hundred dollars. A few thousand later (yes, dollars) we exited this establishment with a chess board, two bed covers, candle holders, four bottles of Argan oil and a carpet size XXL. We bid farewell to our personal guide, got into a mini-van (courtesy of the Souk) and upon arrival at the hotel, downing several drinks, we then tried to convince ourselves that this was a great bargain (Sam was not convinced).

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