Yesterday we took a Sunday wander to the beautiful city of St Albans, for our first visit there. We both have colleagues who live there and rate it so highly, so it was time we went to have a look. I think it’s the perfect mix of town and city with the best of the high street mixed with a humble pub culture and non of the overcrowding or expense of London – but that’s if you can afford the St Albans price tag.
We went for a look around the Roman era St Albans Cathedral before moving on to the labrynth of the town/ high street. We caught happy hour in the Snug – great cocktails – before taking up the recommendation of a friend to have dinner at Little Marrakech, which is the highlight of this post and our evening. Little Marrakech is on Market Place, just off from the main road. It has an exterior which you could easily pass by thinking it’s a Morrocan interiors shop if it wasn’t for the sign over the door and the menu on the wall.
When you step inside it’s very similar to being in a small restaurant in Marrakech. There are bright orange walls adorned with ceramics and paintings and large golden chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. Then you have little hidden cushioned booths and small wooden lining both sides of a narrow corridor. Classic Moroccan decor. Then you have an Arabian nights soundtrack lightly dancing in the background underneath the mumblings of other guests.
Tell me about the food already! Ok so here’s a link to their menu where you can see the full menu. We ordered the Taktouka (red pepper salad) for starters which came atop a thin bread and peppery rocket salad (along with these gorgeous hand painted plates!)
For the mains we ordered the chefs recommended Sultan’s Kadra (lamb shank) tagine (£15) and I had the Mendoubia (chicken tagine with preserved lemon and olives at £12). This was and is my favourite Moroccan dish and it bring back memories of the real deal in October when we were last on holiday in Marrakech.
The tagines were absolutely delicious, the meat falling apart and the onions, carrots and peas simmering into a delicious brothy gravy. H had the lamb shank which was on a full bed of veg including potatoes, carrots, figs and dried almonds. Our only small gripe is that as bread lovers, we ordered a portion of bread and it was about half a dozen small traingles for £2. Having been to Morocco we were expecting a basket of fluffy bread to mop up the sauce. That would be the only downside of our meal, apart from that the taste, atmosphere and experience was the best Morrocan Food we’ve had in London/outside of London!
The whole meal cost us £39 with drinks so it was quite reasonably priced also. Warning: the portions are large so don’t go OTT on the starters or you might look like this by the end…
So if you’re looking for somewhere to escape London on a sunny Sunday and in the mood for a gorgeous tagine why not visit the lovely St Albans and Little Marrakech?! If only we could afford to move there we would tomorrow!
Thanks for reading