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Pastillas, hammams and mint tea: it's the best of Moroccan London

By Time Out London contributor
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Morroco's sensory overload makes it feel like the other side of the world from Britain, but in fact it’s less than a three-hour flight away, and the economic and diplomatic relationship between the two countries goes back to the thirteenth century. More recently Morocco has welcomed Brits in their thousands, from ’70s hippies in search of a hedonistic lifestyle to tourists checking in to high-end hotels and spas (or touring the locations for ‘Game of Thrones’).

Plenty of Moroccans have made their homes here too, with the largest settlement in North Kensington. Golborne Road – known as ‘little Morocco’ – has plenty of Moroccan owned cafés, grocery stores and community organisations. Times are changing and more and more chichi boutiques have crept in, but Golborne Road remains the place to get all of your cooking ingredients. You’ll never purchase supermarket harissa or subpar pickled lemons again. Yasmina Cherquaoui

Did you know? Traditional Moroccan dinners are eaten with the hands, plus bread for scooping, with everyone sharing one big plate. The etiquette is: stick to your section and don’t go exploring!

Yasmina's favourite Moroccan spots in London 

 

A photo posted by Artists Rifles (@marsandminerva) on


My favourite spot is Comptoir Mezze: a cute, laidback eatery in Kensal Rise that tastes like my grandmother's cooking. Try the chicken pastilla, a delicacy usually kept for family celebrations.

The weekly hammam (steam bath) is a ritual that's as integral to Moroccans as a Sunday roast is to Brits. The Spa at Dolphin Square has an authentic hammam with beautifully designed interiors.

The Arab Hall at Leighton House Museum was inspired by Frederic Leighton's visit to Tangier in 1877. With its golden dome and intricate mosaics of beautiful Islamic tiles, it's open all year round.

If you fancy a dash of Morocco in your home but don't fancy the flight back with a rolled carpet over your shoulder (there's always one!), London based online shop Maison de Marrakech has a beautiful range of kaftans, rugs, poufs and leather slippers.

A gem of a shop and gallery in Shoreditch, Larache is named after the home town of its owner, the artist Hassan Hajjaj.

The best of Moroccan London, according to you

 

A photo posted by Matthew D. Field (@pugberto) on


'Dar Marrakech!' @big__zak via Twitter

'I'm Moroccan but don't eat in many Moroccan restaurants! One I have been to, though, is Souk Medina off Neal's Yard: good food and ambience.' Leila L via Facebook

'Momo in Mayfair is a very authentic experience. I've missed the taste of mint tea since my last visit to Marrakesh!' Jack R via timeout.com

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