I hope you all enjoyed visiting Bangarang on the Queen of Hoxton’s rooftop this summer; it was great, wasn’t it? All good things must come to an end, but, to be honest, I don’t really care as long as long as they are replaced with something just as good. And I am happy to report that they have.
This winter one of the coolest venues in London invites its guests to follow the trail up to the Marrakesh inspired rooftop. Anybody who has been to Marrakesh, knows that it is a magical place, full of wonderful sights, smells and experiences you find nowhere else in the world. From spending the mornings strolling through the narrow alleys of the souks looking for a bargain, seeing the famous Jemaa el-Fnaa square transform into a giant food market and performance space in the late afternoon to spending the evening under the stars on the rooftop of a riad – it’s easy to feel like having stumbled into a story of 1001 Nights.
The Morrocan Medina at the Queen of Hoxton rooftop wants to recreate this feeling and everybody involved has done a marvellous job. As soon as you reach the top of the stairs, you step into a giant wigwam decked out in Morooccan carpets, tiles, lanterns, cushions and drapes, with a giant lamp containing a private snug right in the middle of it. If I didn’t know that the souks of Morocco were the inspiration, I would have said, somebody has seen reruns of ‘I Dream of Jeannie’, as it reminded me of Jeannie’s famous bottle. In any case, it’s beautiful.
Step outside the tent and you find the rest of the roof top and bar has been inspired by one of Marrakesh’s most photographed sites, The Jardin Majorelle – or the Yves Saint Laurent garden. Cobalt blue walls, cacti and twinkling fairy lights all add to the illusion of being in a different world altogether. Fire pits are burning to keep guests warm and if you want to add to the experience, there are shisha pipes you can hire and their sweet aroma mixes with the heady smell of Moroccan spices and burning wood.
You might not be able to see the Atlas Mountains looming in the distance, but after a few cocktails from the bar you won’t care anymore.
Warm yourself up with a Spiced Hot Buttered Rum or hot Kasbah Coffee Martinis with a hint of cardamom and pots of Fragrant Mint Tea (available with or without booze) or get one of the refreshing cocktails including Shimmering Gold Pomegranate Bellinis or the Majorelle Man, made with orange liqueur, whiskey and a homemade date and pistachio puree. Wines, bubbles and beers are also available.
I have never been disappointed by the food at the Queen of Hoxton’s rooftop events and I wasn’t this time. The kitchen serves generous and seriously tasty portions of Halloumi Fries, a warming and beautifully spiced Lamb and Apricot Tagine with couscous, Shwarma Chicken Burgers, Meat or Vegan Mezze Boards or Bowls and a variety of wraps. Not a boiled sheep’s head in sight, but that, for me, is a good thing.
Of course there will be special events program that will be Moroccan themed. This winter The Queen of Hoxton has teamed up with Arts Canteen, a London-based collective looking to create artistic links between Europe and the Middle East and independent publisher, Saqi Books, which specialises in books from North Africa, among others to bring you unique experiences. Events include Henna Workshops, Moroccan Shoe Making, Storytelling, Comedy, Film Screenings, Lizard Life Drawing and much more… For more info and to book a place, click here.
The Moroccan Median is open until the end of March 2018
The Queen of Hoxton
1 Curtain Road
020 7422 0958
Nearest tube: Old Street / Liverpool Street / Shoreditch High Street /