Meals at La Maison Anglaise are widely praised – very tasty, healthy Moroccan food. We cater for a wide variety of special diets, including vegetarian and vegan. Meals are prepared with loving care and beautifully presented by our two amazing chefs, Fatima and Latifa.
All dishes are prepared from the bountiful supply of fabulous fresh fruit, vegetables, grains, nuts, oils,fish and meat is available from the mountains, irrigated valleys and the Atlantic Ocean of the Taroudant region. Sourcing of food from local producers is part of our Responsible Tourismpolicy.
Food was also fantastic; we dined at Gazelle D’Or (an exclusive nearby hotel) and it doesn’t come close to La Maison. Bidwell Family, December 2015
The food was the best vegetarian food I have tasted, though it was, of course, not limited to vegetarian food, with beef, lamb, chicken and fish being also available.Geoff Rosser, December 2015
I don’t think I have ever spent a week eating such healthy Moroccan, delicious food. A variety of dishes, simply but beautifully presented.Vanya Constant, December 2015
Throughout the trip,my family kept comparing the level of service and care, the decor and cleanliness, and absolutely the quality of freshly prepared traditional Moroccan food with every one of the other 5 riads/guest houses at which they stayed. La Maison Anglaise is bar none.Sarah Sibley, May 2015
All the meals were wonderful. It was so nice to be asked each day what we wanted it made for looking forward to the next meal. All dietary needs were catered for and asked about and never once were we made to feel it was awkward.A Wyatt, May 2018
Make a date with Morocco: keep your spirits up for the next few months, knowing you have something to look forward to when the nights draw in and thermometers drop. You can then taste the fruit of the autumn date harvest!
Even though the uplifting spring weather in the UK diverts your attention from contemplating holidays in the autumn, we strongly advise booking soon in order that you save a potentially substantial amount on the flights and secure a place; even holidays next Spring (2018) are filling up fast or are fully booked.
Feedback from groups recently
“I am writing to thank you for all your work behind the scenes in organising this experience. I could not have chosen a better place to go to. I feel blessed and changed in ways that I do not fully understand at present. Thank you.”Colin Grimmett, March 2017
“My recent stay at La Maison Anglaise was without doubt the most interesting and unusual holiday I have experienced. The food was excellent – healthy, delicious and plentiful – and the staff were, without exception, efficient, friendly and extremely helpful and informative. All the excursions were very well organised and a real eye-opener into the lives of the local people.”Susan Shuttleworth, Jan 2017
Places on Holidays with Heart October-December 2017
October 14th-21st: Teresa Verney – learn beautiful songs with fun and relaxation. Includes option of 3 additional nights in stunning Anti-Atlas Mountains with opportunties to walk or just laze by the pool Brochure Book Now
November 28th-December 5th: Celia Webb “Singing for Joy” Book now to get one of the last few places! Brochure Book Now
November 11th-20th: Louise Waugh’s ever-popular art holiday runs from November 11-20 2017. Includes a 2 night stay at a guest house at the foot of Mt Toubkal (the highest peak in North Africa). Brochure Book Now
Dances for Universal Peace November 18th -28thJilani and Muiz offer another chance to join their Caravan of the Heart, with 7 nights at La Maison Anglaise followed by a 3-night tour of the remarkable desert and Anti-Atlas Mountains. Brochure Book Now
Experience Something New
October 28th-November 4th:Singing & Nourishing Your Roots of Creativity
A new offering from popular leaders, Pauline Down and Michael Harvey. Both highly respected and experienced arts trainers, they will lead a week of singing, reflection and creativity. Brochure Book Now
December 5th -12thStorytelling with Michael Harvey. Learn about this fascinating tradition in Morocco (rapidly disappearing due to TV and internet). Listen to stories or perfect your techniques of telling your own. Fantastic opportunity to do some Christmas shopping cheaply. Brochure Book Now Family Fun Weeks – Easter 2017 and 2018 Family holidays to include not only our cultural offerings but also a flexible programme of fun activities run by Carol Shepherd & Phil Burton. Sessions in puppetry, storytelling, circus skills, cooperative games, singing, yoga and mindfulness. BrochureBook Now
Our Holiday Calendar
For a full list of our inspiring holidays as far ahead as October 2019 consult our calendar
We are pleased to announce that we have just re-opened an account with Triodos, generally agreed to be the best ethical bank in the UK. We had an account 20 years ago, but had to close it because they were not able to provide the on-line banking we needed. Note: the new account is in the name “Holidays with Heart” but existing cheques payable to Jane will still be processed by Triodos.
The new flights to Agadir (about 50 minutes’ drive from us) from London Stansted are proving popular: more accessible than Gatwick from many parts of the UK. Timings allow travel to the airport on day of flights.
The extended roof terrace has proved a hit with Yogis, dancers and singers already this year. A retractable roof and curtained sides allow use of the space at any time of day. New plants and furnishings have enlivened it.
“… everyone had a wonderful time at la Maison Anglaise with your amazing staff, food and everything on offer there. I love the extension on the roof terrace – what a difference!” Barbara Driscoll
New Olive Oil Project
Having obtained test kits from Greece, we are excitedly awaiting reswults of testing local olive oils for exceptional levels of antioxidants. This will allow us to help small farmers on cultivate, process and market olives to ensure higher levels of antioxidants, enabling them to obtain higher prices for their artisan oils. Read More
Saharan Yellow Bee
At last Youssef from our Busy Bee Centre has been successful in buying some Saharan Yellow Bee Queens, something we’ve been eagerly awaiting for some time. These bees, the original natives in the area, are remarkable in that they forage over a much wider area than other bees, making them resiliant to drought, which is a perennial problem in this part of Morocco – all the more so as climatic change kicks in.
Moroccan Children’s Trust
This excellent project to support street children in Taroudant inspired Circle Dance teacher, Jeanette Whitford to fund-raise; her efforts have met with remarkable success so far. All funds raised until the end of 2017 will be matched by a generous donor. If you would like to donate, please follow this link. Thanks to the generosity of two of the dancers who attended her week at the guest house, a boiler has been installed so that children can have hot showers at the centre. Read More
Students for Students
We have been approached by this Dutch organisation which chooses a project specifically directed at vocational education in Africa. They collect money and supplies; then in July they travel to the project by jeep to deliver goods to the chosen school. We have nominated a very poor village in the Anti Atlas Mountains.
Thanks to Celia Webb’s singing group for the lovely photographs used on this Newsletter.
Jane, Christine and the Moroccan team- the 2 Latifas, the 2 Saids, Dounia, Nordine, Fatima and Rachid
Holidays with Heart at our award-winning, sustainably-run traditional Moroccan Guest House in Taroudant. Authentic activities and community projects
Prices quoted below are in local currency Moroccan Dirhams (dh); exchange rates are approximately 12.5 Dh to a £ Sterling and 10.5 dh to a Euro.
MEALS Adult fee is quoted –proportionally less for youngsters. Dinner including several dishes (various dishes including soup or salad, a main course, a dessert, water and choice of hot non-alcoholic drinks. You are welcome to bring your own alcohol): Vegetarian 110 Dh; Chicken, Rabbit or Fish: 130 Dh; Lamb: 140 Dh; Beef: 150Dh. These prices are intended to raise awareness of the relative environmental damage of each type of food (especially this part of Morocco). Picnics: 50 DH. Lunch (salad and soup with bread and fruit and water): 50 DH. Wheat, gluten, dairy and meat-free options. See more about our meals and special diets here.
EXCURSIONS Prices quoted are guideline prices per person based on cost of transport, fuel, tips we pay to local people who contribute and expert guiding – discounts are available for groups who fill a minibus and a surcharge will be applicable if there are only 2 or 3 participants.
To places within approx. 40 minutes’ drive: Tiout Oasis and the Anti Atlas Mountains, High Atlas Berber Villages: community projects in the Souss Valley (The Pigeon House – Argan oil, embroidery projects; the Permaculture Bee Orchard; the Busy Bee Centre) 250 dh
To places within approx. an hour’s drive: the Atlantic Coast near Agadir (camel rides; Polizzi’s medina, Souss estuary; Mentaga valley trek (near Afensou); Tamsoult or Imoulass (both very high in the High Atlas) 270 dh
To places within approx. an hour and 45 mins drive: Massa Estuary (National Park); Tamri National Park; Tiz n Test Pass (High Atlas); Anti Atlas Paradise Valley;) 300 dh
CULTURAL EXPERIENCES Duration of activities 1 hour – 1 hour 30 mins except where indicated otherwise.
Caleche Ride (at Sunset if desired) around Ramparts and Town: in a horse-drawn taxi with our guide: 80 dh
Hammam 80 dh
Cookery lesson -either prepare an evening meal (including recipes) or learn how to make Moroccan pastries: 80 dh
Shopping: with information on goods that interest you eg spices, crafts etc. We ensure you don’t get lost, buy the genuine article (eg argan oil, saffron, honey, silver are often not genuine) don’t pay too much and take you to some places that visitors are unlikely to find: 50 dh
Feast for the Senses: a celebration of your experiences here- a pity to reveal what it is. Suffice to say it’s very relaxing and enjoyable and is ideally performed after dark: 80 dh. Minimum 8 people
Berber Women’s Band: dance and learn about local traditions: 120 dh (less for larger groups). Minimum 12 people
Massage: guideline prices , since masseurs’ fees vary. Using argan oil and local essential oils : 100 dh for 20 minutes; 200 Dh for 40 minutes
Visit to the Orphanage (or possibly a project for Street Children or School for the Blind): one of our staff accompanies you. Playing with or helping to feed youngsters for this deserving cause: 50 dh or take a donation eg nappies.
Craft workshops (about 2 hours ) Leatherwork (slippers, passport holder, handbags): 210 dh per pair;
Stone carving (ornaments): 180 dh per object Silver Jewellery (pendant or earrings)- tend to be expensive – varies with weight of silver used Henna Artistry (body painting or decorated lampshades): 180 dh (plus cost of lampshade if used); Drum making make a bendir 120 dh (per group/item)
Bamboo (baskets, lampshades): on request. Note you require some strength to do this.
GETTING TO MOROCCO Flights to Morocco are remarkably cheap (some under £30 one way), with direct flights from a variety of UK and European countries. See more information here.
B and Bincludes a generous breakfastcosts £32 per person per night in a twin or double room; this includes use of the substantial communal facilities – library/computer room, activity room, the solar heated hammam and the gardens and pool. Singles: supplement varies with season and availability of rooms.
Wifi: free of charge. Laundry: 70 dh per load (it is a large machine) or less in proportion to amount for hand washing
opportunities to visit, learn about and contribute to our variousprojects
wide variety of authentic activities in town and countryside including free time to relax on our roof terrace in the sun or shade or wander into town and browse in the souks
highlights include excursions to stunning mountain locations where few other visitors set foot.
Lots to See in the Area
A wide variety of contrasting environments are accessible from the town: mountains, valleys, urban, rural and coastal.
I had a fabulous time at La Maison Anglaise. The staff could not have done more for us, the food was great and the whole atmosphere was so friendly and homely. Highest praise to the staff for their patience, and their ability to make us feel individually special in a genuinely sincere way. Sue Bullock, February 2015
Travellers often stay on the periphery of societies they visit, but our staff take you straight to the heart of a Moroccan family home. Besides, on one of our group holidays you get the chance to bond with other like-minded people. Our holistic approach to nurturing the whole person means you feed your spirit as well as your body.
Your commitment to sustainability puts many of us in England to shame and it was such a pleasure to stay for a few days with people who appear to be living their ecological and spiritual beliefs rather than simply paying lip service to them. Liz Woodford, March 2016
Our menus have been lovingly devised with a strong emphasis on providing some of the best vegetarian food in Morocco.
The aid projects we support are on a human scale so that visitors can meet and interact with the beneficiaries and feel positive energy, compassion for people, animals and the planet.
Most of all, Holidays with Heart give you a real chance to tread carefully on the Road less Travelled, leaving an imprint only where appropriate and having opportunities to be involved – contributing ideas about products, volunteering, introducing volunteers, bringing donation for the projects…
We have received awards and are accredited for our efforts in this field including Lonely Planet selecting us as one of the Top 10 Ecostays in the World in 2014 and being voted Number One on Trip Advisor.
As well as our conservation efforts, we support a number of appropriate projects. These include our own projects: soap-making, beekeeping and embroidery; the orphanage, the School for the Blind, a project to support Street Children andwomen’s cooperatives including rug-making and argan oil, wildlife conservation, animal welfare and several more. Education, particularly of young people, is important to us in order that good practices become second nature.
We provide detailed information both before and during your visit to ensure that the maximum cultural insight and enjoyment is gained from the holiday. Morocco is an open, progressive society, which has an open attitude to the West. Moroccan open-mindedness means, for example, that although our staff don’t drink alcohol, they are happy for you to bring your own alcohol to the dinner table.
Our staff are like one big happy family and they care for you as if you were a precious member of their own family. They have a fantastic range of skills and knowledge which all combine to make your holiday really special.
Your visit may be as an independent traveller or small group; or you may choose to join one of our Special Interest Holidays. Whatever you choose, our staff are there to add an extra dimension to your holiday.
“The ethos of ” the boss” always affects a team, so it must in part be thanks to Latifa for running such a professional and helpful group. What a lovely woman she is, perfect in her role as manager.”Holly Anderson Nov 17
“Your staff are wonderful – helpful, cheerful, so hard working, and so willing to share their knowledge and life stories.” Sylvia D Nov 2017
“Since my stay there has not been a day go by without my thinking about you all with fondness, appreciation and admiration” S Stewart November 2015 “The staff could not have done more for us, the food was great and the whole atmosphere was so friendly and homely” S. Bullock February 2016
Our Guides and Drivers
Said, our chief guide, has a real passion for the environment.
His exceptionally detailed knowledge of wildlife is supported by a degree in biology and geology. He’s also a mine of information about most things Moroccan. This includes abee keeping project and is the Leader for the BirdWatching group.
He has a wonderful sense of humour and he’ll be perfect in another role- supervising the new building project.
Dounia enthuses everyone with concern for human welfare, especially women’s rights and her fascination with culture. She loves taking visitors to villages in the mountains (where her family live). She also supports a variety of handicraft projects and charitiesincluding the local orphanage.
Rachid is a delightful, kind man with a lovely sense of humour. He drives people carriers with great care and skill.
Said is multi-faceted, with a degree in physics and great musicality which he shares with guests. Rachid is a good mechanic and sings beautifully.
Latifa has managed the Moroccan office and staff with great skill and good humour since 1997.
She programmes our visitors’ activities, skilfully matching possibilities to each client’s needs. She has a degree in Englishand Arabic and has supported a number of anthropologists and volunteers needing help with the Berber language.
Jane conceived the project in the early 1990s and has worked with her 8 staff to create a unique, flexible and varied programme of authentic activities.
She is in the UK most of the time (though she’d like to be in Morocco more often!). Jane loves to be involved in researching anything to do with sustainability and Morocco and fundraising for projects.
Martyn runs the UK office and knows Morocco, the guest house and staff well. He is a brilliant all rounder – with IT, maths and the written and spoken word . He started work in the Moroccan tourist sector in 2007.
Martyn and Jane are responsible for handling bookings,answering queries , advising clients, receiving and passing on your lovely feedback, managing the charitable work we do and devising new programmes.
They are also happy to pass on their knowledge to others through their cookery lessons. Sales of their cook book raise funds for community projects.
They are also accomplished dancers (which they will demonstrate with joy) and Latifa is a wonderful masseuse. They also love to take women to the local hammam, an unforgettable and highly therapeutic experience.
“For me and also the rest of the group it was far more hospitality and kindness than we ever expected” Rahel, April 2016
The ever-smiling Nordinelooks after everybody and everything that needs attention around the house. He accompanies visitors on a variety of activities around the town such as guided rides in horse-drawn taxis and craft workshops.
Travellers often stay on the periphery of societies they visit, but our staff take you straight to the heart of a Moroccanfamily home. You bring your heart to the heart of Moroccan communities and go away knowing a lot more and feeling very different. Holidays with Heart are special.
Our holistic holidays bring a real connection with local people, the landscape, the culture, the environment, the food and our community projects.
“Most travel, and certainly the rewarding kind, involves depending on the kindness of strangers, putting yourself into the hands of people you don’t know and trusting them with your life.” Paul Theroux, Ghost Train to the Eastern Star You really can trust our staff
Holidays With Heart – Connecting with People
From the moment you arrive in Morocco, there is the chance to get to know a group of enthusiastic, genuine, interesting people: our staff and their contacts.
Their engagement with you brings a feeling of connection with the Moroccan culture and local people in thisfascinating area.
You also have the chance to bond with like-minded guests.
Holiday With Heart – Connecting with Our Projects
The projects we support are on a human scale so that visitors can meet and interact with the beneficiaries and feel positive energy and compassion for people, animals and the planet.
Projects include the Bee Orchard, the Orphanage, Street Children’s Project, the Busy Bee Centre, Soap-making, Embroidery and various cooperatives.
Many projects support women and children.
It’s about feeling:
responsible, excited and connected
aware and wanting to contribute
good through giving and receiving support.
It’s not an ordinary holiday. It’s more than that. Responsible Tourism is a part of it; choices are another part. We make it easy for you to use resources responsibly, by providing for example:
Tassels for towels so that you can keep track of yours when it’s hung on the terrace to air.
Buckets to fill with surplus water in the shower. Grey water can then be used to irrigate plants etc.
Nothing’s prescribed; we make it easy to go with the ethical flow.
“You are very committed to sustainable practices. So much so that guests don’t even need to think about it!” G Mark. Dec. 2015
Most of all, Holidays with Heart give you a real chance to tread carefully on the Road less Travelled, leaving an imprint only where appropriate and having opportunities to be involved – contributing ideas about products, volunteering, introducing volunteers, bringing donations for the projects…
Made to Measure and Group Holidays at La Maison Anglaise Garden Ecolodge
La Maison Anglaise is a sustainably-run Eco Lodge, certified by Green Key, which has offered group holidays since 1997. For couples, friends and families and holistic themed, Holidays with Heart , combine culture with your chosen theme (dancing, singing, wildlife, walking, art, yoga etc).
STOP PRESS! The opening of our innovative ecolodge with large gardens and a pool will have taken place before the end of 2019. The old guest house has now closed after 22 years. We have added the words “Garden Ecolodge” to our name because we are now on a large site of one acre. Features include a large activity room with a sprung floor, a huge private roof terrace with what must be the best views in town across the town walls to the High Atlas, 12 en suite bedrooms (plus two more for staff – including our leaders), a 19 metre long pool, a lovely courtyard for dining and a huge kitchen. All buildings are single storey and we have one bedroom with disabled facilities. A few preliminary photos to convey some of the beauty ………….
Connect with other members of the group, local people and the environment. Take part in exciting and informative activities and trips to enjoy the fascinating culture and scenery of Morocco. Visit the people and projects we support.
We are Located in the ancient walled market town of Taroudant in the fertile Souss Valley between two mountain ranges. These are the lofty High Atlas and the parched Anti-Atlas bordering the Sahara. It is the closest place to the UK that you can get real winter warmth and sunshine as well as off the principal tourist trails. It is an ideal place to enjoy an attractive, genuinely Moroccan environment and to soak up the local culture and the sun. Even in winter, the day time temperatures are 20-26˚ C (it’s the warmest town in Morocco then) falling to only 8-12˚ at night. See more on weather.See more aboutthe Areaand its remarkable Location.
Our guests love it!
Read some reviews from our previous guests and on Trip Advisor. We are listed by Lonely Planet 2017 asa‘Must Visit Recommendation’ and in 2014 they awarded us one of the Top 10 Ecostays in the World
“Excellent guides and activities including trekking, Berber village visits, wildlife trips, cookery lessons and visits to the soap-making and beekeeping co-operatives they support. Day trips to the valley at Afensou in the High Atlas involve walking through olive groves to a swimming hole. On a quite street north of Taroudant’s central hubbub, this Green Key certified medina house makes a welcoming base run by a brilliant team of locals. As well as nine rooms, there is a kitchen for self-catering, a roof terrace with views of the High and Anti-Atlas, and a small library. Meals get rave reviews from guests. What really makes this British-owned guest house special is the staff, who help you get to grips with the local culture, whether on their tours or by just pointing you in the right direction”. Lonely Planet 2017