Surrounded by plants and beautiful details of Moroccan architecture, the restaurant Le Jardin has this cool and relaxed atmosphere. It’s a real haven of peace! But who is behind this beautiful decor? It’s Anne Favier, a talented interior architect based in Marrakech. She created a unique space, which set the tone to a beautiful gastronomic experience. No wonder that Le Jardin is on the list of the top restaurants in Marrakech .
Tell us a little bit about your background.
I have been working as an interior designer and decorator for many years. It was in Marrakech that I realized one of my very first projects in Morocco: the “Café des épices” on the Rahba Lakdima square. We had imagined it with Kamal Laftimi (the restaurant’s owner) as an authentic and restful stopover to tourists who wandered through the souks, where it was impossible to drink a coffee! This has changed a lot since then… We have opened the way a bit and probably helped to change the way people look at the medina! Since then, I have led many projects in France and Morocco such as offices, restaurants, private houses and even a hotel that I am currently renovating in the south of France.
What was your starting point in the creation of the restaurant Le Jardin?
As with the Café des épices, my objective with Le Jardin was to respect the spirit of the place: the spirit of the medina of Marrakech of course, but also the spirit of this former 18th-century residence which was originally a real riad, with its buildings on the ground floor and its four small gardens. However, this old house was totally in ruins and had to be reinvented. During a trip to Damascus in Syria, I had been very impressed by a nice restaurant “Jabri House” which inspired me a lot for “Le Jardin “. And with Kamal Laftimi we also felt the need to make this place a little hidden and secret oasis: you push the door and you are plunged into a world of greenery and tranquility.
Do you use local materials in the design of your projects?
My inspirations are always the traditional materials of the medina and Morocco in general while revisiting and reinventing the craft to create contemporary atmospheres. For Le Jardin, I used the bejmat of Fez (type of paving stone) which have this particular green like the color of the original openings of the riad… Everything was made by local craftsmen, with materials from Marrakech.
What was the biggest challenge for this project?
Given the success of «Le Jardin”, we had to recently imagine extensions of the restaurant without distorting the balance we had found during the first renovation of the house. It was necessary to preserve the soul of the place while opening new lounges on the upper floors. It wasn’t easy. I’m very happy with the atmosphere we’ve been able to create in these newly opened lounges, where old films are occasionally screened. With Kamal, we dreamed of these film screenings right from the start of the project ten years ago!
What do you like about Marrakech?
For me, it’s the magic you feel in the evening when you dine in at Le Jardin, with its unique subdued atmosphere. It’s really Marrakech! I have always loved this city, most of it because of the family ties that bind me to this country but above all because this city is for me bewitching. It’s impossible to explain. Marrakech has always fascinated me and still does. I love its energy, its inventiveness and its incomparable human warmth.