A recommendation from the owner of our riad, One Up was the perfect restaurant choice to finish our Essaouira holiday on a high. The stunning interior (by interior designer and hairdresser John Quinn) seems to take inspiration from traditional Moroccan styling but with a welcome contemporary twist – hanging lanterns, stumpy-legged armchairs, walls covered with mirrors and contemporary art, and bowls brimming with roses on each table. Every last detail has been considered, right down to the hammam-like bathrooms which are all black marble, mirrors and candlelight.
One Up’s service was certainly the best we encountered during our entire stay in Essaouira (at other establishments, it was always nigh-on impossible to order a drink, or pay your bill!?) – from wine samples to menu explanations, nothing was too much to ask from the engaged and knowledgeable staff.
An amuse bouche of gazpacho and marinated peppers started us off, followed by starters of smoked salmon salad and goat’s cheese. “The famous fillet of beef” impressed Chris, while my confit of lamb shoulder was incredible, with glazed almonds and Moroccan spices, all accompanied by some excellent Essaouiran wine.
Dinner for two, with two courses and wine: 750 dirham / £50.
1 Rue Laalouj, Essaouira 44000, Morocco
No website – TripAdvisor page.