Tag Archives: tapas



Never will I tire of ‘Tapeando’ with friends and family, this is the art and I like to call it that, of enjoying Tapas from one place to the next. A small bite and a copa de vino or Jerez, standing at a bustling bar, or in the market. Maybe indulging in a little lengthier time and sitting at the table an ordering, yet just another to fill the spot, or to sample the new delicacy or gastro tapa to be served.

From simple but tasty local cheeses and olives to mindblowing molecular gastronomy to please the most die-hard foodie like myself or Masterchef in the making.  Malaga delivers on every count, and never disappoints with new innovational bars, alongside cultural and historical institutions of food.

A recent visit with friends, with slightly aching feet, we decided on a one-stop Tapas lunch at the renowned El Tapeo de Cervantes this intimate and cosy restaurant, which is located in the heart of the historical Malaga centre, just steps away from the Cervantes theatre and Picasso’s Plaza Merced, delights with its traditional interior and extensive and exceptional menu of Tapas.

They offer tapas of every guises and taste, listed in an informative way so diners can create their own perfect ‘Tapeo’, if overwhelmed by the choice and you don’t know where to start, let the professionals choose for you.  We did this, not overwhelmed persay, but with 3 differing tastes, we thought let’s go out of our comfort zone and see what they serve.

WOW – Course after course arrived at our table, tapas and raciones (larger plates) of seafood, fish, pork and, duck, enjoyed with a chilled Albariño and a robust Ribera Del Duero.  Each exquisitely plated and served with flair and introduction.  As each dish was delivered there was a moment or two or me wondering ‘How much is this going to cost’…I was paying 😉  But on the delivery of the bill, feeling very indulged and complete, I was delighted – 3 people, 6 Glasses of wine, copious tapas. 65€ !! Perfecto 🙂  Not many cosmopolitan cities in the world, where you can experience that luxury and service on that budget.

Leaving the restaurant on a chilly but bright winter afternoon, we needed to walk off our long lunch, obviously taking in Picasso himself and taking the obligatory photo for my friends, to complete their whistle-stop tour of my inspiring and beautiful city of Malaga, with promises to return.



Malaga Cooking & Culture Tours.

Malaga a must see !


Although living on our mountain in rural Andalucia for the last 11 years, I do have to travel back and forth to the U.K regularly for extra work.  Always on my plane journey the inevitable conversation starts by the fellow passenger next to me ‘ Going on holiday ?’ “no, I live here‘ I reply.  I explain my story in brief, and ask of their onward journey plans.

Most, probably 95% of them say they’re heading off to the Costa del Sol, or even say Malaga, when my eyes and ears light up, as this wonderful city holds a dear place in my heart and those that have visited, no doubt share the same enthusiasm for it , but they don’t actually mean Malaga the city, and have no plans to visit it, they either pass through, skirt pass or miss it altogether .

Maybe secretly in my thoughts , part of me feels this is a good thing, perhaps they’re not the kind of folk who would be held under its spell, of passion, history, art, architecture, cosmopolitanism, diversity and gastronomy.  The other side of me feels, don’t judge the place as an airport, be daring, take a detour, spend a few hours and explore, and get hypnotised by the power of this Andalucian treasure.

Go, Malaga is a must see !

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Even visiting regularly as we do, it always feels a special treat to take a day out in the city.  Luckily Malaga is on our doorstep well just a 30 or so KM’s away, but in the mountains nothing is too close.  We can hop on a bus from our local town of Colmenar, relax for the 40 minute journey, only costing a couple of euros and hop off the other end to explore, shop, eat,&  tapear (eat lots of tapas in lots of places).

This visit, we planned our itinerary around roof-top terraces, lazy lunch, cocktails and views to to die for.  Malaga even in 38 degrees did not disappoint .





Time to catch up !


Oh my goodness, I can not believe I have not sat down and written since May ! . Shame on me, but mind you It’s not that I’ve been not living life to the full, and sometimes it’s just not the right time to write.  Well I’m back after a full to bursting, memory making, new experiences, catering to the max, foam partying, tapas tours & family and friends filled summer.

Family celebrations and special 18th birthday for my daughter with party and feasting and a great day at a stunning beach club to end it off.

A summer of welcoming guests on cooking and culture days from all over the world.  Honeymooners, friends holidaying together, families sharing new skills and cooking the perfect paellas.

big group

Girls from Holland.

Mama mia style weddings were a joy to plan and create for clients, with the Andalucian mountains and rustic villas providing the perfect backdrop for events to remember.  My biggest challenge this summer was to prepare, display and serve 800 tapas for an individual and stunning wedding celebration, it was utterly fabulous.

Holidays over, ninos went back to school, first rains appeared, temperatures dropped then rose again and now a heady Autumn we are enjoying.  Still able to eat alfresco and light up the BBQ, maybe just have to don a wrap or shawl as the sun sets.  Plants and flowers are coming back to life, after a long, hot summer.  Bees are busy on the blooming passionflower, and toads a plenty are coming out of their holes.

New season produce is flourishing, Chirmoyas, pomegranates, sweet potatoes to name a few.  Thoughts and tastes are turning towards comfort food, homemade soups and casseroles, long slow braised dishes and home-baked bread to mop up the juices. Most exciting for me is finally getting my new kitchen, which I’ll blog as #operationkitchen.  It has been a long time in the planning and saving, but soon work will commence.

So best foot forward for me, back to blogging, menu devising and planning for the future.  I’ll try to keep my cool when the demolition starts, but hey I can’t promise 😉

La Bodega


For a few weeks now, I’ve been champing at the bit to visit La Bodega in Riogordo, a new little bar in our nearby town.  Friends had visited several times already, and told me ‘Lynz, you’ll love it‘, They weren’t wrong.

Tucked away down a cobbled street just off the plaza in the centre of the town, La Bodega’s sign is lit.  Behind a curtain, and down the stairs, is a lovely reformed wine cellar , with traditional stone bench seats, wooden bar and cosy nooks heated with under table coal braziers . A hidden gem.

House wines from Ribero del duero & Rioja were copiously enjoyed and served with tapas of mini molletes, local cured cheese and jamon.  Locals were so welcoming and invited us to sample the home-made Moscatel, which was deliciously and unusually dry for the area.

La bodega Riogordo

It was a welcomed change to visit, and a place we will return to again and again .

Hasta Luego La Bodega.



Tapas treat


A warm sunny stroll along the beach front promenade, with a wonderful tapas lunch at the end of it, is my idea of heaven

Whilst I sit here in the clouds on my mountain after 48 hours of lashing down rain, it seems an age ago, but looking back on my week, spending some quality time with my Daughter who was over for half term for the U.K, remembering that sunny day & delightful lunch, makes my grey, damp day more bearable-  yes I know we need the rain in Spain, but enough already 😉

Malagueta beach was the location, and a leisurely walk from the wonderful Muelleuno port after meeting Twitter friends old & new Lisa @familyinspain Fred (@FredshivelyGraham(@Grahamhunt) on his #spanishroadtrip, found us at La Moraga- Antonio Martin. 


The light , airy and retro interior was a welcoming sight.  We sat around high natural wooden islands and were presented with our tapas menu, we chose 5 each, well one likes to sample a little of everything.

We were not disappointed, a fusion of flavours, and textures.  Some a little tricky to eat gracefully, like the Porra on crystal bread, with jamon, one bite and it dropped down me, though that’s not too unusual for me, note to self *remember a bib*.

My favourite was the Ajoblanco with pina colada, so smooth and velvety with a sweet edge.  A couple of glasses of chilled white , some great conversation and our grazing lunch was complete.

I love to dine out with my children, and always find tapas an ideal way for them & me come to think of it, to try new tastes with often unusual ingredients too, presented in a tiny delectable way.



Caqui , or Persimmon to you ;)


My virtual ‘Twitter’ friend @carolmarybyrne, like me lives in rural Andalucia, but although I’m up in the ‘Montes de Malaga’ and feel quite high and remote, at least when some visitors arrive, they often speak about altitude sickness !!! Carol is higher in the unspoilt Alpujarras 1114m UP !

We share a love, of local, fresh home grown produce – We share a love of recipes, cook books and we share a love of sharing this..Gosh that’s a whole lot of sharing going on.

So when I read Carols blog post today ,  I asked if I could share it .

Our next fruit on the seasonal platter is the Kaki, or Persimmon to many, it grows natively in our neck of the woods.  And can be seen its orange globe like presents hanging from it’s tree, well that is if your goat hadn’t eaten your tree, as happened at La Rosilla.

Below Carol shares her recipes to enjoy these fruit at their best…Take note , if you don’t you could be spitting feathers 😉


08 Nov 2011 Leave a Comment

by toptapas in spanish, tapas Tags: , , , , ,

I have been sooo lazy with this blog!  As November starts I shall make an early NY resolution to get on a bit more with it.

We are so lucky to live here in Las Alpujarras and I guess I just neeed to have my camera at the ready a little more – we are spoilt with the bounty of food that we receive from neighbours and friends, and the amount of wild food available, and we do use it all – I´m a great preserver! – I just need to take more photos and blog it as I do it…

Today the bag was from Antonio and the contents a ton of Caqui fruit – persimmon to you!

Now, if you´ve ever taken one and bitten into it straight off the tree – yeuch!

Straight from the tree?

Like the olive – no way baby!

Astringent is the only word, these little fruit can dry your mouth in seconds…………..but there is a trick.

Place a circle of them whole and unpeeled in a stainless steel container, with a shot glass of any clear alcohol – Gin, Vodka – whatever in the middle.

Allow them to ripen and the booze will do the trick of removing any astringency like magic.

Also, slice some harder ones across the middle and lay them on a cake rack on top of your log burner if you have one…or the airing cupboard if you have one of those!

Allow to dry naturally for a super chewy fruity vitamin packed snack…kids love them. Go Moroccan and casserole with Chicken or Lamb.

Use the fruit for cakes with dark brown sugar – yum . Or place in a lidded container with vodka and sugar and allow to develop into a Christmas drink with a punch – wow!

I love Autumn – the fig season has ended – the Granadas – Pomegranates – are nearly all burst open with their fat red jewels – but we still have the Caqui, citrus fruits, wild Saffron Milkcap mushrooms and the olive harvest to come….Like a good Joanne Harris novel – bottles and jars are rattling with anticipation!


You can follow Carol’s blog TopTapas here