1 May 2015

Sun & Sangria in Tenerife

Hello all!

I decided to make my return to the blogging world to tell you about my long weekend with Mary in Tenerife. I had so many comments on my Instagram and Twitter pages asking where this beautiful little oasis of calm on the biggest and best-known Canary Island could be. So I'm going to write all about it!

Welcome to Royal Garden Villas - a cluster of twenty-eight individually designed villas nestled in the hillside of Costa Adeje, overlooking the Atlantic sea. It's rather secluded; the entrance is hidden behind a high whitewash wall and a large wooden gate. But once inside, the magic starts to happen. We were greeted with a glass of Cava (always a winner in our book!), quickly checked in then walked to what was to be our jaw-dropping abode for the next three nights.

After about half an hour of over-excited squealing as we explored Villa Joanna, travelwear was replaced with bikinis and the sangria was ordered! We spent all three days lazing around in that villa as it was so damn wonderful. Even our plans to go to Siam Waterpark went out the window in favour of this bliss!

The breakfasts were fantastic. Their morning buffet had so much to choose from and there was even a daily table of pretty cakes, donuts, waffles and sweets! Not quite sure why but I loved the idea! 

Each evening we'd have a couple of drinks on our beautiful terrace before heading out on the town.

And now I'll tell you where we went.

Night Uno - El Molino Blanco 

This pretty restaurant in Costa Adeje was kindly recommended to me on Instagram by Karen Draper who has a holiday home in Tenerife. We enjoyed local wine, crusty warm bread, amazing cheese, fresh seafood and the Canary Islands' own honey rum - our new favourite after-dinner drink! It's magical stuff: after almost crashing around 10pm following our sangria-filled afternoon, it brought me right back to life! The locals clearly know how to keep the party going!

This restaurant is rather unique in that it has its own resident opera singing chef! And why not?

El Molino Blanco is a lovely little restaurant with a great atmosphere and delightful food.

Afterwards we headed off to Playa De Las Americas and an area known as Veronica's strip. It was a rather different experience to what we'd had earlier in the day. Think classic Brits abroad; football shirts, Elvis impersonators, people falling over and "come in our bar and you can have four vodka Redbulls and eight shots for two Euros". That kind of thing. 

It was a hell of a lot of fun though and we made it home alive at around 4am! Although we do look a little miffed in the one sensible photo I found on my camera from that night.

Night Dos - Papagayo Beach Club

We turned up at Papagayo unintentionally an hour early. For the last two days we'd been thinking we were an hour ahead of London. Of course, we weren't. The night prior we had turned up to El Molino Blanco at 6.30pm. 6.30pm! That's practically early-afternoon for dinner by Spanish standards!  What idiots we were. We both blamed our phone clocks...

Papagayo Beach Club is a whole different kettle of fish to the nightlife we'd experienced the night before. This place is much more South of France - chic, chilled out, a tad pretentious. Sure, the service was a little iffy at times but we ended up having a fabulous time, eating good food and sipping Cava in our cabana as the sun set. The people-watching was awesome. We were even entertained for ages by a guy who appeared to be our own private magician!

There seemed to be fewer British people in Papagayo; it was much more of a cosmopolitan place than Veronica's. Well, that was apart from the big group of English lads who arrived half way through the night, one of which was dressed as a giant inflatable penis. You can't help but feel proud can you?

Night Tres - Casa Tagoro

Found in the classic fashion - via Trip Advisor - I booked us a table in Casa Tagoro not only because the reviews were excellent but also because it appeared to be the kind of place you'd want to happily while away the evening over good food and good wine. We didn't really want a big night as we had an early Ryanair flight the next day and coping with that on a vodka-induced hangover would not be enjoyable.

Without wanting to blow my own trumpet, I'd made a lovely choice of restaurant. Inside it was cosy and homely (despite the slightly saucy pictures on the wall!) with a classic family-run atmosphere. The food - inspired by Spanish, Austrian and international cuisine - was creative and really yummy.

We spent hours there until we were the last guests left. Still, we weren't made to feel rushed in any way. In fact, we ended up staying past midnight for one last glass of honey rum before heading back to the villa and to bed.

It had been another fantastic break! 

P.S. What place do you think Mary & I are off to cause trouble in next?  Yes! Vegas again! How did you possibly guess that?

Roll on late-June...

22 March 2015

Tapas On The Dock

I love St Katherine's Dock. When I worked in the city I would often spend my lunch break strolling along the waterside, admiring the yachts and on sunny days envying the people sat outside the bars and restaurants, sipping on wine. It's a beautiful place to be during the warmer months but even on a chillier day like this particular Saturday afternoon, it's still worth the journey. No surprise that it's often described as one of London's best kept secrets.

Laura and I were meeting for a catch up. With the exciting discussion of a possible girl's holiday in San Sebastian on our agenda, I suggested tapas and Cava on the dock might be appropriate! 

We had a fabulous long lunch at Bravas Tapas, eating croquetas, Spanish cheeses and patatas bravas before walking over to the SkyLounge at Tower Hill for scones and cocktails. All the ingredients for the perfect ladies lunch!