A change is as good as a rest, and with a few challenges of late, I jumped at the chance to escape for a few days. To spend time with friends, eat with friends, cook with friends, explore with friends and last but not least to sip with friends of course ! All of these being a few of my favourite things .
So a mini road trip was planned and with my Thelma by my side aka the lovely Lisa from @familyinspain we abandoned our duties and made our #escapetovejer. (search on twitter)
Windows down, sun-shining, tunes playing, tweeting #escapetovejer started, tongues wagging, well according to Lisa probably just my tongue wagging, we made our coastal journey from the Costa del Sol to Costa de la Luz. Stopping in a favourite haunt of us both, for a wave washing coffee in the chill out Tarifa. Waves crashed against the chiringuito walls spectacularly backed by a sky so blue, suitably revived from an afternoon caffeine shot, feet wet (this is what happens when you film big waves ) and raring to go we continued on, eagerly looking forward to our arrival in Vejer de la Frontera.
Being tweeted by our fellow week-end companion @cookinginspain the delectable Annie B, that our champagne was chilled and a view off the roof terrace was ready and waiting, there was nothing to stop us.
Vejer de la Frontera of Cadiz is a beautiful town, perched high upon a hill, cobbled, narrow streets, a ‘Foodie’ heaven and would be our home for the next few days.
Parked at the bottom of town, we hauled our suitcases and wicker baskets full of goodies to share (never have grasped the art of traveling light), on our uphill climb to Annie B’s Spanish Kitchen. Lisa nicknamed David Bailey, stopped at every conceivable twist & turn of the walk, to take photos, although I jibed, I appreciated the stop to gather my breath (note to self *GET FIT) .
On arrival it was Tattinger on the terrace, enjoyed with Moroccan dips of carrot & preserved lemons, and courgette & feta, and the start of a weekend with my mentor and friend Annie. To indulge in food and wine talk, to share recipes, and notes on ‘foodie’ places visited for a whole week-end . I was in heaven.
For supper we moved to the wonderful kitchen, where I donned Annie’s apron and cooked a favourite starter dish for my friends – Morcilla, Apple & Cane honey, quaffed with countless bottles of fine wine. Annie had marinated some chicken in lemon and Moroccan spices and this was cooked under the stars on the BBQ and musical tables was played and we took our poolside positions, to enjoy the rest of our meal, amazing to sit outside on a late Octobers Eve.
Retiring to bed, full, happy & content ….
The next couple of days, followed the same indulgent pattern, Visiting the intriguing Barbate fish market to buy amazingly fresh caught fish, to turn into delicious dishes on return to the kitchen. Local farmers and housewives, lay out little tables to sell their produce, herbs picked from the countryside and dried, tiny live camarones wiggling away, bought by the cupful, to turn into tasty little treats like Tortitas de camarones. The fruit and veg stalls were piled high only with seasonal produce, bursting with all types of pumpkins & squash, cauliflowers, sweet potatoes , chestnuts and walnuts all the flavours of Autumn and the first Mandarinas of the season, fresh picked adorned too with their shiny green leaves.
Dishes we created in the kitchen were enjoyed with a lazy lunch in the courtyard by the pool. Arroz Negro, a Spanish black rice dish with cuttlefish & prawns, tinted by the blackest unctuous ink from the Cuttlefish – Not a dish to eat on a first date, as I found out when my follow diners, said “is my mouth as black as yours Lynsey “ Oh yes I replied – ‘I don’t think so’ they giggled. My whole mouth was stained black, my teeth , my gums, my lips – How attractive, very fitting for Halloween !!!
We took our siesta in the afternoon sun, and curled up on the sofa in the evening, P. J’s on, T.V in the background, chatting until the early hours, sipping Cocktails of Vodka, Pomegranate & OJ , and nibbling on Goats cheese and sun dried tomato paste. The joys of a ‘Girls night in’
Sunday morning lethargy was upon us, a plate of vitamin and energy boosting fruit was needed, and deftly prepared by Annie, juicy Mangoes, pomegranate seeds and a squeeze of lime, & Ginger and lemon tea, to aid our digestion, preparing us for more culinary treats, later in the day.
We needed to do a little exercise, walk off the calories, so we explored Vejer de la Frontera by foot, expertly guided around the cobbled streets, buttress walls, taking in the Moorish architecture. Bustling with people on this fine Sunday, dressed in Sunday best, from church and meeting friends for Alfresco lunches.
We ended our #escapetovejer with lunch, of course why not ? 😉 at the enchanting Califa Hotel in the Plaza de Espana – a hugely Moroccan influenced menu, all delicately spiced, each mouth fall bursting with flavours – The finish a necessary cafe solo, and a to die for Date Cheesecake with 3 spoons 😉
Inspired, relaxed and full to bursting #escapapetovejer I loved you…
Thank-you to my week-end companions, I promise next time I’ll let you get a word in edgeways.