Hidden Gems in Andalucia

We shall leave no stone unturned, no sherry unsipped, no tapas untasted……

The Middle of Somewhere August 19, 2009

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We first visited Archidona nearly 10yrs ago. The desire for me to escape the hooplah of London Town was strong and we needed a central base to explore the many corners of Andalucia. We chose Archidona and a small, family-run hotel called the Escua. Many kilometres and many weird and wonderful viewings later,  Archidona was to become the place where we eventually decided to lay our sombreros. 

Surprisingly, the owner of the Escua and his family generously integrated us into their own extended family and during our first faltering months here, their selfless support and kindness provided a solid foundation for our andalucian adventure. Our friendship has blossomed over the years to where we are now looking to extend our own support and kindness by offering the family’s traditional andalucian lodgings to the UK market.

Many of our own friends and family have enjoyed the local hospitality whilst staying here in Archidona (a number have even been inspired to buy their own bolt-hole) so, if you too, would enjoy immersing yourself in an authentic corner of Andalucia, check out Luis’ various accommodation options in Archidona. It truly is the Heart of Andalucia. 



Buyers Paradise April 24, 2009

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If you are in the enviable position of having money to spend on buying a property in Andalucia, the choice is bountiful with prices which will make your heart soar. Despite the pound to euro conversion, there are still great bargains available. I will be posting particularly good finds as and when I hear of them.

Here´s a beautiful andalucian cottage set in a traditional country hamlet just outside of the village of Villanueva del Rosario. It has 3 double bedrooms, a spacious open-plan lounge, dining room with a wood burning stove, kitchen, large utility room, bathroom, small interior patio and patio to the front of house. At the rear, a hop, skip and a jump from the house is a sizeable allotment and garage. Price: in the region of 140,000 euros. Please contact me for photos and details. SOLD


    eu15                eu13


Natural Living in Andalucia

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I paid a visit to the Soy Natura event held at the Congress Centre in Malaga last week. Whilst it was a wee bit amateur compared to similarly themed events in UK, it was encouraging to see so many locals present keen to learn more about alternative living – the organic food stall was overrun!

I picked up an interesting free magazine called La Chispa http://www.lachispa.net  which is published in both English and Spanish and contains articles and plenty of ads for businesses and individuals offering natural living products and services. I admit it seemed a little light on content verses adverts but it’s a step in the right direction and I look forward to seeing its development.

I visited its website to see if it has any distribution points in or around Antequera but it appears not so i’ve offered to remedy that! I will re-post if any inland pick-up points become available.


Handbag Addicts Unite September 16, 2008

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MISAKO is a spanish chain of handbag boutiques whose stock is always high on style, yet low on cost. All bags are invariably priced the same at around 30euros. They look great, mirroring latest styles and stock is always new and exciting as this brand often run new styles on a weekly basis.

Ok, so they’re not high quality merchandise but they allow you to keep your accessories on-trend without breaking the banco.

This Barcelona-based company are fast expanding their network of shops so I am happy to report that we have stores in both Granada and Malaga.  I challenge you to come out empty-handed!


Amazing Andalucian Venue for hire


Looking for a venue that can provide an authentic and unique back drop for family gatherings? celebratory dinners? corporate away days?  weekend retreats?  development workshops?  Talk to us – the possibilities to create something memorable are endless……..


This traditional andalucian cortijo is set in the grounds of a 300-acre working olive estate. Fully renovated to provide a self-contained venue with 8 en-suite twin bedrooms, large refectory-style dining room, kitchen, huge, yet comfortable lounge, downstairs cloakroom, courtyard and swimming pool. There is a further 50ft room which looks out onto the inner courtyard and is ideal as a formal or informal workshop space. An atmospheric breakout room is also available.



The cortijo is situated 2kms outside of the historic town of Archidona, in the North of the Malaga province and just 45 minutes from both Malaga and Granada airports.

Check out the website at http://www.themiddleofsomewhere.com For further details email kerry.talkthetalk@telefonica.net 

Special rates for people we know? You bet!



Ceramics Hunting in Andalucia September 7, 2008

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You will see a variety of pots scattered throughout the suburban Surrey homes of my family – they can’t help themselves. Every visit is punctuated at some stage by ‘can we go to a pot shop!’ so we are forever hunting out new and exciting suppliers.

To date, we have two favourite spots. La Rambla is a whole town dedicated to ceramics in the south of the Cordoba province as is Purrullena, east of Granada.  Admittedly, there are a lot of bright, colouful offerings which would look out of place in an urban, contemporary setting but every visitor always goes home happily clutching a personal find. I’m a big fan of the earthware oven dishes, olive oil and vinegar sets and garlic pots, oh and the ridiculously low prices of course.

Happy Shopping


It’s a Dog’s Life

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This is a valuable tip for resident ex-pats who, like us, have made several additions to the family since moving to Andalucia – dog-shaped additions. The challenge which followed was to find great boarding kennels where we could happily check in our brood so we could head out and explore the nooks and crannies of Spain. 

We worked our way through the advertised options but didn’t personally feel comfortable with any of them. And then we heard of Paws and Claws, a totally different kind of dog lodgings, run by a remarkable woman called Doreen Cage.

Here, the dogs receive home from home treatment. No sterile pens, no rotated play times. All the dogs live together with Doreen! They have free reign to parts of the house and lots of interesting land to explore. There are even sofa’s and beds where they curl up at night. There is something magical about Doreen. I say she’s an unsung Dog Whisperer. Mutts of all shapes and sizes live in perfect harmony – it’s a total joy to see and our boys love her. You only have to say ‘Doreen’ and they form an orderly queue at the front door.

Paws and Claws are located in the countryside in the north of the Malaga province between Iznajar and Villanueva de Algaidas, 40mins from Antequera.

You can email Doreen on bbirding@wanadoo.es or call landline 952745028