When discussing with food stylists Emily Caneer about our upcoming drinks test photo shoot we knew we wanted to include a tea. After a couple of emails back and forth and a phone call we had drawn up our shoot list. The date was set, props and surfaces were scheduled to be sourced and everything was coming together nicely.
Later that evening when I was cooking dinner I saw in the pantry our Moroccan teapot. It was then I had a nostalgic flashback to a vacation that I took with my wife to Morocco. Nearly ten years ago we set off with our backpacks and flew to Marrakech where we started our journey. We were there for three weeks and traveled to several Moroccan cities including: Fes, Essaouira and a coach journey to the Atlas mountains and spend several nights in the Sahara desert with bedouins after an epic jaw clenching 4×4 drive and camel ride in.
Our first ‘must do’ to tick off our list was the Jemaa El Fna Marrakech night market. The colors, smells and sounds were intoxicating. I’ll never forget the spectacle of one of the stalls there serving carved sheep’s head. Which was accompanied by a side plate for you to put any teeth that you might find during dinner. It was after our dinner (Chicken, prune and almond tagine) that we drank our first Moroccan mint tea. Mint tea is abundant in Morocco and we consumed a lot of it during our travels. It is delicious and drunk day and night by what seemed to be everyone: at home, in the desert and in the many street cafes that are prolific everywhere you turn. Like many tea’s there is almost a ritualistic approach to the preparation process. There are numerous health benefits that are associated with teas and Mint tea is no exception. It is widely known for improving digestion, reduce inflammation and assist in boosting the immune system.
The teapot in the photograph is one we purchased in a Souq in Marrakech during our vacation whilst I clearly demonstrating ‘how not to’ haggle. I have been looking for the right opportunity to use it in one of our photo shoot and here it is. My homage to Morocco and our mind-blowing vacation there.
If you ever plan a trip to Morocco be prepared for a fabulous culinary experience and an opportunity to taste and learn tagine cooking. We have planned so many of our vacations using the Lonely Planet travel guide books. They are an invaluable resource and I can not recommend them enough. Personally my preference is for the printed book, the Apps and Kindle editions are just not the same.
One of my favorite restaurants in London has to be Moro. Authentic Moroccan cuisine, a great relaxed ambiance and all round killer dining experience. Their cookbooks are gorgeous and a must for any bookcase.
Tips on haggling- The life of Brian.
For more examples of my photography click here.