Mantis prawns, tapas and more seafood – preparing for New Year’s Eve in Spain

Mantis prawns, tapas and more seafood – preparing for New Year’s Eve in Spain

As the family get ready for the New Year’s Eve celebration –  the second main celebration of three over the festive season in Spain –  Benjamin and I take a trip to the jetty where the fishing boats come in with their daily catch. Benjamin’s mother has already been here earlier this morning to buy the seafood for the family evening meal on December 31st. There are twenty-two family members coming for dinner and Carmen (Benjamin’s mother) insisted on going…

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The night of the three kings; Christmas in Spain and the magic of Three Wise Men on donkeys

The night of the three kings; Christmas in Spain and the magic of Three Wise Men on donkeys

One of the three main celebrations over the Christmas period in Spain is the arrival of Los Reyes Magos, otherwise know as the Three Kings or Three Wise Men. The Spanish barely have time to recover from the New Year’s Eve celebrations before they start all over again with the preparation for the visit from Los Reyes Magos (The Three Kings or Three Wise Men) on January 6th. January 5th in Spain Traditionally, the Reyes Magos deliver presents overnight on…

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Five reasons to choose Backwell House as the perfect writing retreat venue

Five reasons to choose Backwell House as the perfect writing retreat venue

This summer I was invited to spend an evening at Backwell House boutique hotel near Bristol with the Bristol Bloggers group.  I was keen to visit this nine-bedroom country house hotel, featured in the magazine Great British and Irish hotels 2017-18, as clients often ask me to recommend a retreat venue. My first impression, after spotting Backwell House from the woodland driveway, was that I was in for a treat. We had an amazing evening at the event and here are five reasons…

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Retreat venue Spain; 5 reasons to choose Sierra Alta

Retreat venue Spain; 5 reasons to choose Sierra Alta

Five reasons to choose Apartamentos Sierra Alta as a venue for your retreat in Spain When it comes to choosing accommodation or a retreat venue in Spain, you could be spoilt for choice, so how do you go about making a decision?  You want your guests to be comfortable and get the Wow! factor in a special location. Since 2013 our friends and family have been staying in these wonderful apartments nestled in the beautiful backdrop of the Sierra de…

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Exquisite tapas in Andalusia: Bar El Cura, Trebujena, Cádiz

Exquisite tapas in Andalusia: Bar El Cura, Trebujena, Cádiz

Tapas in Trebujena    Follow my blog with Bloglovin The white village of Trebujena, perched on the top of a hill overlooking the estuary and surrounded by marshes, is not on the tourist path. However, if, like me, you enjoy excellent tapas, then Trebujena is definitely worth adding to your go-to-list when eating out in the province of Cadiz. About 30 minutes from Jerez de la Frontera and 20 minutes’ drive from Sanlucar de Barrameda, Trebujena is a quiet, unassuming and…

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Café con leche: How to order a coffee in Spain

Café con leche: How to order a coffee in Spain

How to drink coffee in Spain If you have ever been to Spain and wondered what type of coffee, or café as it’s known locally, to ask for then this guide to ordering coffee that I came across recently is just for you. Spanish coffee is strong and down to earth. You won’t find a menu with lattes or cappuccinos. So, whether you choose to drink it hot, with ice, decaf, with or without milk or very sweet with condensed milk,…

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Love and literature: World Book Day in Spain

Love and literature: World Book Day in Spain

World Book Day Follow my blog with Bloglovin For book lovers and writers in Spain, April 23rd, World Book and Copyright Day, is characterised by an expression of love. A book and a rose are given as presents to loved ones to celebrate El Dia del Libro (Book Day) all over the country. Originally started in Barcelona, in the 1920s, by the writer Vicente Clavel, Book Day later went on to become declared World Book and Copyright Day by UNESCO. Cavel,…

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Sweet treats in Spain: Torrijas at Easter

Sweet treats in Spain: Torrijas at Easter

Semana Santa, or Holy week, is a week of processions and traditional food leading up to Easter in Spain. If you have never seen a Semana Santa procession, it’s quite something. In the larger cities, people come out in their droves to watch the religious effigies passing by accompanied by sombre music. The procession goes on for hours at a time and consists of a paso – large wooden statues of Jesus and Mary on a float along with other representations…

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Spicy chocolate, truffles and change

Spicy chocolate, truffles and change

Chocolate, the perfect business As I sip my spicy hot chocolate, the flavour hits the tip of my tongue. Cinnamon, cloves, chilli and star anise. It’s warm, exotic and luxurious.  Just like hot chocolate should be. I stir my chocolate and think of Nicola Eaton.  When anyone mentions living the ideal life and having the dream job to Nicola, she shrugs and smiles to herself. She considers she already has her ideal lifestyle. “I don’t need to go up Everest. I’m very…

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Alicia in the land of ceramics

Alicia in the land of ceramics

At 5.00 pm the white hilltop town of Ubrique is just beginning to start all over again. During the mid-afternoon heat the locals shut shop and go indoors for lunch. Now, the town is getting ready for the evening. The shops open their doors again and the bars and cafes start to fill with people drinking coffee. A tree-lined avenue provides shade and a home for the chattering birds. It takes you through the more modern part of town before…

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