Yes, I am one of those annoying people who LOVE Mondays… for me the concept of something called Blue Monday can only be something beautiful and blue.
I have been thinking about where to go for a big 60th BIRTHDAY TRIP, since I reckoned that making it to my 7th decade on January 7th was indeed something to celebrate. But my first choice (San Sebastián) fell though because my friend Gabriella is going to be away all month, and one of the main highlights of going to SS would be to hang out with G. And then I thought about Lisbon, but direct flights are difficult to find, so I may hold out on that one until I can go by car. Also, both places are iffy weather-wise in January, especially as I was planning to spend a week wherever I went, and a week in the rain anywhere would not be pleasant.
And so I have come up with a new plan, which is to celebrate my birthday all month long (!!!) with a different overnight getaway each week. Four destinations that immediately came to mind – Cádiz, Ronda, Córdoba, Granada – are all places I haven’t visited for a couple of years (or more) and so I thought this would be a nice way to “catch up”. Also, since I’ll be travelling by train or bus, I can pretty much book last minute, and avoid rainy days.
So… first stop Ronda! 🙂
So I woke up today (December 29th) thinking about my upcoming (60th!) birthday next month and also how next year will be my 25th (silver!) anniversary of arriving in Spain. And I realized that it’s going to be quite a special year in terms of personal milestone moments. And so after visiting the fabulous Murillo-Velasquéz exhibit at Hospital de los Venerables I found myself having a glass of wine at La Azotea (aka The Office) and I decided to start taking this anniversary thing seriously. As in… it was time to plan A PARTY!
So far I have a first draft guest list and a possible venue. But the date was clear – I shall celebrate this very special anniversary on May 29th. I think the actual day I arrived in Spain was May 23rd 1992, though that may have been the day I left Bristol. And as there was no Internet back then, I cannot check back to confirm this. But May 29th is a Monday – great for my friends who own or work in bars and also easier for booking the venue I want. And well really, it’s close enough. And also exactly five months from the day I decided to do this. So there. 🙂
This will just be a short getaway, and it came about just by chance when I saw this poster on Manni’s Instagram announcing a special Menú Cervantes at Arte de Cozina. Soon plans were made for a few of us to meet up, which has now ended up with 10 for lunch tomorrow!
I’m leaving this morning because I haven’t been to Antequera for awhile (in fact, over two years!) and thought it would be nice to spend some time there. I was actually going to spend two nights but the weather forecast for this weekend is solid RAIN, and my friends Angela & Mikel are going to be away, so it’ll just be for tonight and I’ll catch the train back home after lunch tomorrow. Right, gotta go catch my train!
There’s a new wine shop in town, very dangerously located about a three-minute walk from my house. Welcome Lama La Uva and its founder Ana Linares, whose idea is to help us reach all the good grapes (unlike the fox from the fable), so no sour grapes for us.
I was invited to the opening this week and went along with @SVQconcierge and @JetslikeTaxis. It’s a small attractive space, with the shop downstairs and the tasting room above on a mezzanine. Along with the wines you can also purchase quality food items, and there will also be some wines available to try before you buy. Have to say that Plaza Regina is fast becoming one of the hippest places in town.
It was my first Finos Palmas tasting since 2013, so I was pretty excited when I got an invitation to this year’s special event in Sevilla, which was held in the exquisite Palacio de las Dueñas. Read all about it (and see more pics!) over here on Azahar’s Sevilla…
Another menu tasting invitation this week – this time at the always fabulous La Azotea (I was invited to their Santa Cruz location, aka The Office). As I had a day off on Tuesday it seemed like a good opportunity to drop by and try some of the new dishes on their updated seasonal menu. As you can see… it was all delish.
- Delicious amuse of ajo blanco with mango, mojama and basil oil
- Avocado and tomato salad with pancetta, miso & pipirrana vinaigrette
- Spiced roasted chicken salad with honey mustard vinaigrette
- Ortiguilla (sea anemone) mousse with passion fruit chutney and seaweed mayo
- Hake en papillote (wrapped & unveiled) with vegetables and lemon infused olive oil
- Confit cod with black trumpet mushrooms and SOBRASADA POTATOES
- Steak tartare with green apple slush and spicy herb mustard
- Oxtail meatball with mushroom duxelles, cauliflower and carrot cream
Ryan, plotting world domination…
Comes a time during every new We Love Tapas guide’s training period when they do a practice tour with a couple of specially chosen
victims “clients”, and me tagging along to “observe and intimidate”. 😉
This time up I called once again upon dynamic duo Ang & Ryan (aka @JetsLikeTaxis) for their services. It was their third time and I have to say they are really getting the hang of it. So much so that next time I might just be able to stay home and wait for their report.
Most uncharacteristically *ahem* the tour ended with a penúltima (or three) at The Office (aka La Azotea Santa Cruz). As you can see, nobody was the slightest bit inebriated. Thanks again, guys!