The June 2016 Málaga Getaway wasn’t all tearing around town, as I also got to enjoy some lovely chillax time at Casa de los Principes. I especially loved the mornings there and also when the late afternoon sun came through the windows. But well, okay, most of the time I was tearing around. Had a biz meeting Friday morning and then on Friday evening and Saturday lunchtime I met up with other friends I hadn’t seen yet. Checked out two new eating establishments: Aire Gastrobar (meh) and Brunchit Organic (good). Also, there was a fair bit of walking, though I didn’t make it out to Pedregalejos this time. I almost ended up staying over the weekend, but then decided to come home, thinking that perhaps I’d pop back down for another short stay late-July. And maybe even fit in the two day-trips with Victor that we’d originally planned to do. We shall see..
It was almost two years ago that my pal Antonio Carrasco, who I met while he was working at La Azotea in Sevilla, told me he was moving to Málaga to start a new job at Restaurante Amador, which belongs to the the splendid hotel Villa Guadalupe. And he said once he was settled in I HAD to come and see him at the restaurant. And I said – hey great! – because of course I am ALWAYS in Málaga so of course we’d be seeing each other again very soon. Ahem…
So this visit I was determined to finally visit the restaurant and, as Victor had already been up to see the place, and had also met Antonio, we decided to make a date and go together. You see, part of the reason I hadn’t gone earlier is that Villa Guadalupe is located up on a mountain way the heck out of the centre of town, so you do need a car to get there. But let me tell you right now… it’s worth it.
I mean, obviously it’s a “special occasion” type of place, though the prices aren’t prohibitive. The food, the wines, the view… all make for a superb night out. Antonio had come up with a personalised tasting menu for us, including some smaller versions of dishes on the regular menu and one spectacular special of the day. I’ll be writing a proper review over on Azahar Tapas soon, but I think you get the idea from the photos.
Here are Victor and Antonio – bless Antonio’s heart that he got in a bottle of Botani just for me as it’s not on their wine list. He also recommended a couple of other wines to pair with certain dishes, which were simply perfect. It was a fabulous evening and the only “downer” was that I had had my heart set on getting down to the beach to see the bonfires of San Juan, but after the Antequera Adventure ealier that day, and this amazing meal at Amador, there was simply no energy left. Instead we watched the midnight fireworks from our privileged viewing spot overlooking the city and harbour and enjoyed a nightcap before heading home. Thank you Antonio! xx
When I first made plans for this Málaga Getaway a few months ago, the idea was to take a couple of day trips with Victor (in his NEW CAR) to visit friends in Alhaurín de la Torre and Colmenar. It turned out I couldn’t have chosen a worse week as both friends were up to their eyeballs in work, so we came up with a Plan B, which was to visit Antequera and introduce Victor to the delights of Charo Carmona’s Arte de Cozina. But first Victor wanted to show me the stone monolith dolmens and the amazing rock formations of El Torcal. All went well until we got to El Torcal and Victor asked if I wanted to do the shorter “low effort” trail. “C’mon”, he said. “It’s easy”, he said. So like a fool I said “Okay!” and off we went.
Turns out it’s easy if you’re a mountain goat. Or Victor. Or at least NOT an overweight 59-year-old woman prone to tachycardia with arthritic knees and twice-sprained dodgy ankles. It also would’ve helped if Victor had warned me about proper footwear, if it wasn’t mid-day under a blazing sun (34º), and if we’d brought some water with us. The 45-minute trek ended up taking just over an hour – the thing was that by the time I realised just how impossible this was going to be for me it would have been just as long going back as keeping on. Duh. Also, I’m very stubborn, so I refused to give up. But every step of the way (seriously EVERY step) I kept envisioning another swollen sprained ankle and me having to be air-lifted out of the place by helicopter. Because there really was no path to speak of, just seemingly endless clambering up and down the rocks. I tell you, I was so happy to see the Fin de Senderos (end of trail) sign, and that cold beer was the best I’d ever had in my lilfe. And, once it was over, I was really glad we’d done it.
Then it was off to Antequera for lunch, and although arriving as a sweat-soaked bedraggled mess hadn’t been my intention, it was great to see Charo again. We opted for snacks at her Arte de Tapas next door instead of the full restaurant experience next door (since we were going to be having a full restaurant experience in the evening at Restaurante Amador). Everything was great – the croquetas, morcilla with mango, fried rabbit ribs – but that unassuming looking tapa (lower middle photo) is worth taking a trip to Antequera for. It’s lomo de orza, or cooked pork loin that’s been preserved in pork fat inside large clay urns (orzas). It was served over confit potatoes on toast and each bite was heaven.
Finally it was time to go home, rest up a bit, and get ready for our evening out. By now my hair couldn’t have looked any worse so we drove back to Málaga with the top down and I managed to get this great shot of Victor driving with the Peña de los Enamorados in the background. An amazing day.
The latest Málaga Getaway got off to an amazing start yesterday when I walked out of the train station and saw the amazing Victor waiting for me outside with his trusty steed Rocinante, ready to whisk me away – top down of course – to the fabulous Casa de los Principes (my new nickname for Thane & Bob Prince’s Málaga apartment). After that we had a quick snack at Atarazanas market and I went off to do a bit of shopping and unpack.
I didn’t realise until I got here how much I really need a break, even just these few days. A “real holiday” probably would have felt too stressful, but here in Málaga I feel at home and things feel both familiar and different. Have really missed the sea air! Anyhow, heading out now for lunch with Victor and Andrew, so gotta run! xx
Casa de los Principes
Ever since I took my first summer holiday in over twenty years (when I ended up taking with this little munchkin to Málaga with me) I have spent every summer since then frankly delighted that I am finally able to afford to take some time off and travel a bit. But I remain unused to travel plans that can’t be decided last minute and achieved by a shortish train journey.
For this summer I was suddenly faced with the delightful dilemma of having several fab and affordable opportunities present themselves in Málaga, Santiago de Compostela, San Sebastián and London. So of course I want to do them all! Well, I mean, why not, eh? I have a generous rental offer in Málaga, a free place to stay in London, great off-season airbnb price in Galicia and the offer to stay at my friend’s place in the San Sebastián. So it is ALL do-able. And this is where my panic sets in.
I almost cancelled Málaga this month because I was so busy, there was this and that to take care of, how could I justify taking time off….. until my friends Elena and Thane convinced me that the summer will feel extra long if I don’t take a few days now. So after much dithering… Málaga Getaway is GO. June 20-25th.
Once I got that far I realised I should seriously look into the Galicia Getaway, as my friends Anna & Jorge @thekilomeaters have been urging me to come up there for, well, almost forever. So today was the day! I not only booked my flights for the end of August, but also booked a cute AirBnB place just ten minutes from them. DONE.
Feeling empowered, I thought I should then go ahead and book my London Getaway… and I actually had possible flights based on the availability of my friends flat there (such a generous offer!). And then it hit me… what’s the expiry date on my passport? (turns out it’s Oct 2016) And will that affect me being able to travel to the UK in August 2016? Of course by the time I’d come to this point it was after closing hours of all consulates and embassies everywhere in Spain (ie Friday at 2 pm) so I shall have to wait until Monday morning to see what the deal is. Looks like I will have to renew my passport FAST, but can I still book my London flights? We shall see?
As for San Sebastián… that is something I was hoping to enjoy in July. Depending on the availability of the ONE PERSON in SS @tenedortours (ie, the me of the north 😉 ) who would make the whole experience worthwhile. But I still have time to book that one.
What I found interesting was how much every fibre of my being rebelled against booking flights and accommodation SO FAR IN ADVANCE (2 months?) and it made me realise how I very weirdly don’t like feeling “locked in” when it comes to plans. I’d always rather buy a last minute train ticket than feel like I have to be somewhere at a certain time. Anyhow, I also realise that some things need to be planned in advance, so I am totally thrilled now about Málaga, Santiago and London. And I suspect SS in July will be confirmed too.
What are you guys doing this summer?
The downside of travelling for me is missing this little girl so much. I mean, I do miss the other two as well, but somehow I just can’t be away from my Morcilla. Though of course this makes coming home again all the better… my own bed, my cats, my STUFF. It’s all good.
What do you miss the most when you travel?
Today I got to introduce two good friends to each other: Anna (Galicia) and Victor (Málaga). We met up for a quick lunch at Las Teresas and had a fabulous time. Looking forward to seeing Victor again on his home turf during my next Málaga Getaway in June. And there are also plans afoot for me to visit Anna in Santiago de Compostela (first time ever!) in August. Other getaways may include San Sebastían and London. Looks like it’s going to be a busy summer.