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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Get Scrubbed in Marrakech


5. Oddball Day

Learn to make traditional pastilla at Le Maison Arabe (left), then visit Yves St. Laurent and Pierre Bergé's exotic gardens (right).   

Spend the morning making local specialties like pastillas, tajines, and vegetable couscous alongside other students at Le Maison Arabe, a cooking school run by dadas, traditional Moroccan chefs. After a midday meal, stroll among orange blossoms, roses, rare cacti, and bamboo at Le Jardin Majorelle, the exotic gardens owned by Yves St. Laurent and Pierre Bergé. Then wind your way back past the pungent tanneries of the souk to the closet-size Serge Lutens fragrance boutique, where you can sniff scents with notes of dried figs and cloves inspired by the Maghreb. Next, grab a five-minute taxi to Chez Ali on the outskirts of the city, where you can watch a show of horse tricks by black-clad Bedouins, veiled dancers, and a glowing fireworks display. Finally, end the night with a traditional tajine of monkfish and prawns and a Casablanca beer at the Grand Café de la Poste, a velour-and-leather-clad brasserie founded in 1925.

Published on May 27, 2010 as a web exclusive.

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