Written April 5, 2013
Rain, rain, rain and more rain. All day bands swept through the region, a good reason to not have an over-packed itinerary and one that allows a day off from sight-seeing. Even more fortuitous is that on Friday, being the Muslim version of the Christian Sunday, the souks are closed anyway.
The easy drive from Meknes to Fes takes just over an hour on the toll road. Arriving in the Fes Medina on a Friday made negotiating traffic and parking much easier. Nonetheless, Mohamed, the host at Dar Seffarine, met us at the end of Recif Avenue and showed us where to park (60 dirham for the two night stay).
Dar Seffarine is a gorgeous old house off of Place Seffarine. The 700 year old structure, with dizzyingly high ceilings off a central courtyard, is beautifully restored. Charming worn tiled floors and doors remind you that this is the real deal.
Bedrooms are large but bathrooms are tiny and may not be suitable for those needing a lot, or really, any bathroom-counter space. The Wifi connection, however, did work in our room.
The first week in April, after some heavy rains, we and some of the other guests had problems with mosquitos that made sleeping at night difficult. The next morning, one young woman’s face was covered in bites.
Dinners are served family style in the roof-top dining room. Started with a vegetable soup followed by an assortment of small plates – fava beans, a smoky eggplant and tomato spread and potato fritters; and a chicken tagine with prunes and apricots. Some of the best food we’ve tasted in Morocco. Conversation between guests flows freely in the convivial atmosphere.
Breakfast is also served family style. An impressive selection of mostly bread products and fruit plates, accompanied by jams, butter, eggs and processed cheese. Big thermoses of hot coffee, tea and milk complete the spread.
Views from Dar Seffarine terrace.
Dinner at Dar Roumana
This elegant American owned riad is highly rated on Trip Advisor for both its accommodations and its restaurant. While the dining room in the restored traditional courtyard is one of the most elegant spaces we’ve seen in Morocco, the food falls short of what a good French chef should produce. The limited menu offers a selection of primarily French starters and mains. We tasted the artichoke salad, roasted tomato soup, the monkfish with leeks and the John Dory (fish) served with a cauliflower puree. Everything was good, but just good, nothing wonderful. I did, however, love the caramel and almond tart, a dark caramel full of nuts and severed with vanilla ice cream.
The service was a bit off this particular night with an hour wait between the starters and the mains. With so many excellent reviews on Trip Advisor I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and suggest that this was just an off night. Tant pis pour nous! Portions are smallish but prices a reasonable 275 dirham for two courses and 350 for three.