As part of Moroccan tradition, the rite of teatime is considered an art and it is observed daily at any Moroccan homes. While visiting the Royal Mansour in Marrakech and as an afternoon teas lover, my friend and I decided to try theirs. The afternoon tea is served in the elegant dining room, on the terrace, or in the garden.
As I mentioned on the previous article about the Royal Mansour Marrakech (see the link at the end), the afternoon tea was not as lavishing as the palace itself and if I may compare with other 5 stars palaces I had an afternoon tea to, there is still some improvements to make considering the position of the palace.
If the Royal Mansour Marrakech has the ambition to rub shoulders with other great palaces, the tiniest details are more than important to make this opulent place impeccable. The Palace is nevertheless an absolute breathtaking site, you will be blown away by all the fine work. It will undoubtedly leave you speechless.
After having a tour guided by one of the clientele managers to explore the beautiful hotel, the feeling I had when welcomed in the terrace area to enjoy the Afternoon tea was more likely like “ the magic is over, back to reality ”. The contrast between the majestic, jaw-dropping interior and the terrace was significant. I could not really understand it that I wondered if it was actually on purpose to have this part of the palace very basic with the most basic furnishings, not to mentione that some were quiet used – not quiet clean.
I was a bit disappointed that the feeling of “ Thousands and one night” was not prolongated during our afternoon tea.
As for the Afternoon tea, Forian Margaillan, the pastry chef of the Royal Mansour promised generosity, excellence and a touch of magic. I am very sorry Mr Margaillan but I have not experienced generosity, excellence nor a touch of magic. And God knows I was looking forward to being blown away as I was whilst visiting the palace.
Since we were in Marrakech, my friend and I decided to discover two different menus, one afternoon tea à la Morocco and one French because we are Frenchee and also we could compare with other luxurious afternoon tea we´ve been to before, such as in George V, Plaza Athénée, the Shangri-la, the Dorchester and more.
The service was nice although some mistakes were made while presenting the selections of dishes.
The waiter had some issues with the language, mixing Arabic and French in the same sentence and he seemed not to be fluent in French since he was confusing words and searching for the right ones in French during the introduction on both the French and Moroccan afternoon tea menu. However, he had a good attitude, all smiley and gave us the attention when needed.
When it comes to the small dishes, they were beautifully presented for the eye mostly thanks to the fine porcelain service however the pleasure was not so delightful for the palate.
On the French afternoon tea, some pastries were a bit dry (la madeleine, le cake). The mini macarons and the toasts were very nice though; there I recognized the touch and the passion of a great pastry chef.
On the Moroccan afternoon tea, it was not a success, the Moroccan Msemen (square pan-fried dough) and the Harcha (semoline bread)were too dry and too thin for the Msemen which had basically no layers in them. The other one called Baghrir “ Mille-trou” ( a spongy crêpe) was very cold and it also dried very quickly. By a personal experience, these 3 maroccan specialties are much better when served tepid so they keep their softness.
The Sellou, a sweet made from toasted sesame seeds, fried almonds and flour was not well presented. As we, French love to say, we eat first with our eyes. Unfortunately, this plate did not make me feel like plunging into it. I would have been more tempting if it was presented in a small and delicate jar rather than on the plate, which looked like a mound of earth. I had a spoon to give it some credit anyway. It was ok but nothing over thee moon.
Usually after an afternoon tea, I am pretty satiated and delighted by the amazing small dishes. But the experience of the afternoon tea at the Royal Mansour did not leave me with the same feeling. It was not as lavishing as the Palace itself.
The palace Royal Mansour would have reached perfection in my review if the service, the terrace and the afternoon tea experience matched one of the most luxurious palaces in the Arab world.
Perfection does not exist; even The Royal Mansour still has some details to be improved (staff training, the afternoon tea selections and for sure enhancing the terrace…).
Here is the link to read more about the majestic Royal Mansour in Marrakech