Category Archives: Cooking Course

Trumpet blowing.


So lovely when visitors take time to write a review and say Thank-you, and that they’ve gone away with happy memories of their visit …

Subject: Lynsey’s Cooking Class

La Rosilla, Lynsey Drake’s cooking school, is a must for visitors to Spain.  My husband and I, Americans from Texas, met Lynsey in the mountain town of Colmenar, population 4,000, located about an hour from the Costa del Sol.  We chatted over coffee and sandwiches (Pitufu Catalana- Small roll with tomato, garlic, olive oil & Serrano ham) at the Hotel Belen, walked the streets of Colmenar, drinking in the flavor of the local people, shopped for chorizo and blood sausage at the factory and bread at the bakery.

Lynsey then drove us to her mountain home where on her sunny terrace we ate various cheeses and sausages and sampled sherries and olive oils.  We then proceeded to Lynsey’s kitchen where we helped prepare five Spanish dishes including paella and gambas pil pil for our dinner.  Lynsey’s husband, and their daughter,  a gracious teenager, joined us for our meal.

Tasting time .

After dinner they drove us back to Colmenar where we picked up our rental car and returned to the Coast.

What a delightful day experiencing life in a small Spanish town and a Spanish feast, a definite treat for visitors to Spain.




My life through the eyes of others.


After our recent ‘Jolly’ to Cordoba, last Sunday morning, whilst laying in bed with a cuppa and my ‘Tablet’, well I can’t get a Sunday paper delivery in the mountains – back of beyond 1st on the right. I received an amazing email which went something like this

Hi Lynsey,

Recently in Cordoba Spain, you met our dear friends from Texas U.S.A in a restaurant, where you shared recipes & chatted. Well we’re from Texas arriving in Andalucia on Monday, and would love to visit you at La Rosilla, and attend your Cookery & Culture Day –

How cool was that. ?

So I speedily replied, and started planning, and juggling to be able to fit in a day in my already full ‘Foodie’ week .

My Cookery & culture day, allows guests, to experience a little of our life in rural,real Spain.

Why I love it, It makes me stop and think, it makes my appreciate why I’m here, it makes me see my life through the eyes of others, it allows us to share food, wine, stories and experiences, and enables me, and my family to meet a diverse and interesting array of people, all with one thing in common the love of food.

My guests were delightful, a 73 year old couple, we baked, stirred, whizzed, ate,sipped, & laughed together. They are making the most of their retirement and traveling from one ‘Foodie’ location to the next , what a life to aspire to.






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.

Welcome to your home away from home!!


A glowing write-up from a recent guest, all the way from Australia.

Welcome to your home away from home!

A food connoisseur’s dream and suitable for all ages. This tour was the highlight of my time spent in Andalucía. There were many things to see and experience that a typical tourist would miss out on.

The day started in Colmenar, where Lynsey met me and took me out to a traditionally scrumptious Spanish breakfast. After that we took a tour of Colmenar Town before heading back home for our cooking session. The recipes were simple but full of flavour.

After an olive oil tasting we indulged in our 4 course meal of Gambas (prawns) pil pil, beetroot gazpacho, albondigas (meatballs) and of course a dessert, orange and almond torte. This went down really well with a bottle of local wine and while soaking in the views. What an afternoon!

After being fully indulged, I retired to ‘La Casa Media Luna,’ a nearby bed & breakfast for a typical Spanish siesta. More spectacular views, a beautifully presented clean room and bathroom to myself, pool and dance studio! Tango lessons are available to immerse even more into the Spanish culture.

After a well-deserved rest and good night’s sleep we were back to our touring. This time off to Comares, the highest village in the area. There we saw the whole valley from the lookouts, explored the shops and indulged for another scrumptious 3 course lunch in a local restaurant. Lynsey’s description of the area, the people and customs gave me an excellent understanding of the local community.

Once again I retired back to the Bed & Breakfast to relax for the afternoon then later was time for the Paella demonstration.

What an amazing and versatile dish. A dish of many flavours and Lynsey taught me many different ways it can be prepared. Another bottle of local wine and another evening of pure indulgence! What a fantastic way to enjoy the flavours of Spain and see some spectacular countryside. All the recipes were nicely bundled into a souvenir pack for home. I can’t wait to share these experiences and recipes with family and friends!

-Jasmine, Australia.

To enjoy real Spain, like traveling & exploring with friends, love cooking traditional dishes & enjoying them in a unique surroundings ????  Why not come and try a Cookery & Culture day at La Rosilla.