• Gachas – Famine Food

    Mari, my expert on Cartajima food traditions, mentioned gachas the other day. Never heard of it, said I. What is it? I enquired.  Salivating, she described a porridge of wheat flour and water which didn’t sound exactly appetising. But, it…

  • Sacré Bleu!

    Many cans of “pitufo* azul” paint are emptied every day as Juzcar’s old walls are prepared for the big event on an unspecified day but rumoured (Sony aren’t saying anything) to be 16th June in advance of the launching of…

  • Less risky Los Riscos

    Behind Cartajima lies a strange wonderland of extraordinary rock formations. Called Los Riscos, meaning crags, these limestone outcrops are a dangerous place to wander without a local guide. Many of my guests long to explore the area but we always…

  • Ultimate Prawn Cocktail

    In the seventies, the standard meal “out” was prawn cocktail, steak and chips, black forest gateau. The prawn cocktail was a simple affair – shredded iceberg lettuce, prawns and a yucky pink sauce. Last night I decided this humble dish…

  • English Breakfast in Andalucia!

    I broke a long-standing vow today when I cooked an English breakfast for a guest – bacon and egg, tomato and mushroom. I have always believed that an essential part of travelling is sharing local food – it has always…

  • A traveller’s tale from Libya

    Recent guests of Los Castanos, whose visit was marred by concerns for their friends lost in Libya, sent this report which they have given me permission to reproduce here: It now all seems a distant but lovely memory of our…

  • The most beautiful Coton de Tulear puppy is born

    My daughter, who lives on the Costa del Sol, breeds Coton de Tulear dogs – a rare and exotic breed of small fluffy white dog from Madagascar. They are famous for their super sweet personality, anti-allergenic fur, and are called…

  • Like a phoenix Mjojo sails again!

    Once upon a time when we were very young and stunningly beautiful, my husband and I built a boat on the island of Lamu in Kenya where there was no electricity and no cars.  Just lots of boats and a…

  • Cartajima chef awarded Michelin star

    His ambition was to get a star in two years. He achieved that dream in just nine months! While Baltasar’s wife was growing their son, he was heading for the stars. Not just Michelin’s “Rising Star” category but One Star….

  • Parsnips in Spain

    I can quite understand why there aren’t any parsnips in Andalucia as it is too hot for this frost-loving root. What I cannot understand is why there is a Spanish word for it when they don’t exist anywhere in Spain…