When we travel picking the hotel is usually an obligatory task – you have to sleep somewhere, don’t you? Nevertheless, in some rare occasions the accommodation itself becomes the most exciting part of your trip. This is what happened to us 3 years ago, when we stayed in the Dar Seffarine, a hotel established in a more than 600-year old antique house, in the marvellous medina of Fes. The years went by and we already started to forget all the details of the most beautiful mosques and madrasas of Fes old town, but we still only had to close our eyes to remember either the beautiful courtyard of this antique building or the smile of the people working there.
A stay – a real traveling experience
This is exactly why the most awaited part of our return to Fes – this time with our little boy, Diego – was to spend a few days again in the Dar Seffarine. Several years have passed since our last visit, and we were a bit afraid not to find the same magic we encountered back then. You know how it works, the world is changing so quickly and beautiful things are often last such a brief time. It happened many times to us that in a restaurant we loved for years our favorite waiter left or they changed something, and the magic just evaporated.
Fortunately, none of these fears has become true. When we arrived, we were greeted with the same warm welcome, and more importantly the same people. Kate and Alaa – the charming owners of the house- , together with the family that has been working for them for many years made us feel as if we had returned home. You can notice the fruits of such stability provided by reliable and loyal staff working in the house, who probably keep working here, since they feel appreciated by both the owners and guests. Stability doesn’t mean things don’t change, when we were there, they were just upgrading part of the roof terrace to make it more comfy and secure.
A dinner like no other
One of the main features of Dar Seffarine is the dinner they offer every single night. In most Moroccan accommodations they offer nice dinner, but the culinary experience we had here for the second time is rather different from others for several reasons. The first is the quality of the food. We have eaten in many restaurants in the country, and we haven’t had a better meal in any other places – maybe the lamb tajine we ate in the Merzouga Desert can compete with the standards.
The other secret of the cuisine in Dar Seffarine is the variety. They prepare not just the usual tajine and couscous dishes, but all kind of vegetable creams, salads prepared with lots of imagination and sophisticated main courses. Instead of providing a menu with the usual choices, they serve a fixed three-course dinner, which consists of a nice soup, a main course with several kinds of salads and a delicious dessert.
Every afternoon mother and daughter start preparing the dishes for the dinner in the kitchen. They cut the vegetables, prepare the sauces and in a short time, the kitchen stove is covered with pots and saucepans, where the delicious food is cooked. We enjoyed watching them as they prepared everything with lots of care and love.
While they were preparing the meal in the kitchen, the son in the family started setting the table paying attention to every single small detail. The courtyard of Dar Seffarine is a wonderful place, and when the table decorated with flowers and candles is set in the table, it’s a simply amazing sight.
Nevertheless, the real treat comes with the dinner itself. Another particularity of the dinner in the Dar Seffarine is that all guests dine to together around a a long table. We don’t know if it’s just pure chance, but every time we spent our dinners in wonderful company. It’s like the magic of this place would attract special people.
We would have a hard time to pick our favourite dish, but the tajine prepared with date, apricot and almonds or the fried eggplant in tomato sauce were just ridiculously good.
We hope that our article can make you appreciate our enthusiasm for Dar Seffarine, a place where we will definitely go back every time we return to the Medina of Fes. We also would like to express our gratitude to Kate and Alli to make us feel part of a big family.