Aliens Take on (Spanish) Wine

Wine Tourism Spain’s brief: to explore the possible relationship between wine and extraterrestrial life. How would aliens react to wine? Would wine play a role in the way that aliens perceive Earth?  It’s tricky, a little off-piste for me (with a 500 word limit), but here you go … Aliens Take on (Spanish) Wine Two aliens observe the Salamanca scene – … More Aliens Take on (Spanish) Wine

Music in Málaga

This was not my small child, but every passerby was charmed by her (and the music). She refused to leave the busker, who played beautifully and almost tenderly for his new biggest fan. Soon they both had an audience. Her parents beckoned her onwards in vain – so eventually her father returned to grab her hand, tugging it … More Music in Málaga

No Paella in Valencia

It’s not all about paella in Valencia – arroz (rice) can be rustled up a hundred different ways. And Paella Valenciana will be adapted to suit the season and region – and kitchen. But we eat none of it, much to our surprise. Because we stop in these places instead: Bodega Casa Montaña (for the ultimate classic tapas) Ubik Café (for a bit of … More No Paella in Valencia

Café Sant Jaume

It’s a good feeling when you stumble upon a travel gem without even trying. Café Sant Jaume is our small find in the old quarter of El Carmen – only later do I read of its enviable reputation as one of Valencia’s best bars. On the café terrace in the late winter evening, people sip cocktails, cervezas and wine. We step … More Café Sant Jaume

Bodega Casa Montaña

Bodega Casa Montaña has achieved legendary status in legion guides and little black books. Many proclaim it to be Valencia’s top tapas bar, and it’s certainly one of the oldest. It opened its doors as a grocery store in 1836, establishing itself by selling wine and oil to merchant ships moored in the nearby port. The bodega’s reputation for keeping an excellent and extensive wine cellar endures today. And the food is … More Bodega Casa Montaña

Horchatería de Santa Catalina

Horchata de chufa or Orxata (in Valencian) is an unmissable ice-cold treat in Valencia. Cafés that specialise in serving it (Horchaterías) are everywhere, but we head straight for one of the oldest and best-known in town, the Horchatería de Santa Catalina. It’s bustling, and prettily-tiled in a traditional style. Eventually we bag a seat, and order the sugary beverage that … More Horchatería de Santa Catalina

A Lesson in Spanish at Bodega LaPeseta

I wait pathetically, unnoticed and hungry, yet half-amused by my inability to attract attention. My pitiful Spanish renders me invisible – I can’t call out … anything. I know not what to do. My daughter is cautious and unimpressed. Peopled by pretty couples perched on stools, families spread across tables, and gangs of friends catching up, Bodega LaPeseta in the east … More A Lesson in Spanish at Bodega LaPeseta

Ajo Blanco becomes Mazamorra

Ajo Blanco looks and tastes greater than the sum of its parts: white garlic and blanched almonds, together with day-old bread, extra virgin olive oil and sherry vinegar. Whizz. Thin with ice-cold water. Season with salt – that’s it. Sensationally simple. A recipe as old as the Moorish occupation of Andalucía, although apparently rooted deeper – without the almonds – in … More Ajo Blanco becomes Mazamorra