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It’s hard being a surfer in Britain.
Even once you get past the relentless drizzle, despite plenty of coastline we’re not exactly blessed with golden sandy beaches. Apart from a few weeks in the summer, it’s hard to get into riding the waves. No wonder most surfers look abroad to get their fix.
In mid-November, just as the long British winter is setting in, there’s an unmissable opportunity for sun and surfing: the world’s first gastro-surf experience, giving surfers the chance to hit the waves and enjoy world-class food once back on land.
Amayour Surf is a surf camp in Morocco’s Taghazout, benefitting from the nearby idyllic surf break Panorama Point. Founded by Londoner Shiraz Ksaiba and husband Mhand Naciri in 2015, Amayour Surf has been getting rave reviews from surf aficionados and amateurs alike.
As well as offering surfing lessons on one of North Africa’s prime surf locations, they’re also bringing in one of Britain’s best chefs to bring their skills to the beach. Tim Spedding, of Michelin-starred London restaurants The Ledbury and The Clove Club, will feed fellow guests with dishes made from top-quality local ingredients and top-chef magic.
Amayour Surf have already confirmed that Andy Oliver of award-winning Thai diner Som Saa will be the second chef in the series. Both Oliver and Spedding are big surfing fans, so when they’re not cooking up delicious beachside feasts they’ll be joining guests on the water.
It’s already sounding more promising than a weekend in Newquay. But founder Shiraz, who left her life in London to found Amayour Surf, also wants to share the Moroccan experience with guests.
Day-trips to the jaw-dropping Paradise Valley, sampling fresh ingredients at the local souks and excursions to hidden alcoves and bays are all included. Guests are also asked to donate £5 towards helping locals to gain their International Surf Association instructor’s license.
Even without this wider context, ‘gastro-surf’ makes sense. Surfing is one of the most physically demanding sports around. Propelling your body through the crashing waves, over and over again, is what you’d call a real workout. Rather than gorging on takeaway pizza and chicken wings afterwards, doesn’t it make sense to nourish your depleted body with food of real goodness?
Amayour Surf had the same idea. During their week-long residency (18-25 November) guests will not only enjoy Spedding and Oliver’s creative cooking. They’ll also be able to source the ingredients direct from the local souks themselves, watching as the two chefs transform them into something truly magical.
With so much unspoilt coastline, expect fish to be the order of the day. Local fishermen will be providing the much-needed protein with fresh catches everyday. After all, if you’re spending all day on the sea, it makes sense to source your dinner from it too.
When you’ve finally had your fill of the delicious dishes, you can relax on the seaside terrace and marvel at the stars. The dormitories are only a few steps away – share with others in a group, or opt for something a bit quieter with a private double room. Either way, you’ll wake up just moments from the waves. And probably a whole lot of sunshine, too.
Sounds like a good way to spend a week in November? Book your place and support a great family-owned surf camp.
Eat, Sleep, Surf, Repeat with Tim Spedding runs from 18-25th April – prices start at €500 for seven nights room and board. Book here.
Fly to Marrakech with easyJet from just £32 each way – find your flight here