Monday, November 22, 2010

new artist in the team

We’re very excited to introduce you to a new artist in our team , Kathleen Gray, and she will be with us in Spain 23 September to 3 October next year.
Kathleen is from the Pacific North West and, having spent her childhood in Spain, has very strong connections with the country and it is where she discovered her calling to be an artist. Her course will be called ‘The Soul’s Mythic Journey’ and the themes of her artwork are personal mythology and the collective unconscious. She uses transparent images, colour overlays and collage to create  her expressive art, creating an intimacy for the viewer. This will be for 11 nights, so please check out our website for more information and get in touch with Cindy at Travel Concepts –  Cindy@trvlconcepts,com

While we are in Cordoba with Kathleen’s group next September we will be visiting the Madinat al Zahra – ancient ruins of a fabulous city just outside Cordoba, from the 10th century, which they say was more wondrous than the Alhambra. After 100 glorious years it was unfortunately sacked by the hard-line Berbers, but restoration is now well under way.
So, later on this week we are going to see the ruins again to check out the on-going excavations as it is two years since we were last there, and we already know that they have unearthed a whole lot more

Hopefully we will have more photos of the Madinat next week

Till then, hasta luego

Lari and Mike

Monday, November 1, 2010


November 1st

Hello there

The white flesh of the quinces turning a lovely amber as they cook

Well, now we thought that quinces were just a bit ordinary and eaten with runcible spoons in pea green boats, but now we know different!
Today we’ve been cooking and bottling our quinces and when you walk in the kitchen you immediately conjure up heady visions of exotic sultans’ palaces,  Tales of 1001 Nights, sultry, smouldering Arabian starlight and faraway places. The perfume given off by these extraordinary fruits is amazing, with hints of orange and rose water and a lot of very sexy under and overtones too, but of course the vision crashes to the floor as your eyes stray to the rest of the kitchen with pots and pans, syrup, quince peel and cores – the price of preparing food!

Now don't these quinces look good enough to eat? Maybe with a slice of mature Manchego cheese?

Be that as it may, the quinces are now bottled and ready for next year, and if you haven’t experienced quinces, or pomegranate molasses, or preserved lemons, fresh almonds and tangy olives from our garden then any of the courses next year are for you - because they will all be part of the exciting menus we have to offer. – So, go for the Cooking, in April, CoreBody or Nick Bantock in May or with Kathleen Gray in September or Suzanne Northcott in October.  Bring your tastebuds as well as your paints.... 

This is how they look on the tree - rock hard and astringent

We are getting more excited about the Arabic influence in Spanish cooking, and the affects of sweet, sour, bitter, salt, pungent, and hot on how foods are perceived. But all that will be  revealed, and much much more,  in our Cookbook which is forging ahead now. Hopefully we will have all the photos done by the time we leave in December

At the Mill - Nick photographing a basket of just-picked-pomegranates for the Cookbook

So, now back to the photography for our Cook book and must try to get out in the lovely sunshine.
Keep well
Love to you all
Lari and Mike