Mercedes-Benz Fashion Show Weekend in Ibiza

The second edition of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Weekend will be held in Ibiza and is to feature top Spanish labels Alvarno, Andrés Sardá and Jorge Vázquez as well as 2nd Skin Co. and Custo BCN as well as beach and swimwear by  London-based Melissa Odabash.

These top labels in Spanish fashion will return to strut the catwalk  this summer resort collection at the Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel on 25th May.

Custo BCN

This year will see a more comprehensive collection of labels, a greater number of catwalks and more presentations from Spanish brands. The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Weekend or MBFWIbiza for short,  has become the country’s second biggest Spanish fashion show after the prestigious Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid.

Andrés Sardá beachwear

The catwalk programme offers a unique opportunity to discover the most cutting edge and top class brands in Spain in a Mediterranean beachside setting. Bringing not only the most current labels to Ibiza but also  marking one of the biggest social gatherings in Ibiza. It will also position the Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel as a meeting-place for key fashion influencers from around the globe.

Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel

Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel the luxurious 416-room hotel features the Ushuaïa Club, with an amazing poolside stage, and The Ushuaïa Tower, with breathtaking views. Ushuaïa is designed for the traveller seeking the fun and entertainment associated with Ibiza. Ushuaïa offers Swim-Up room options, daytime parties hosted by celebrated DJs, “chromotherapy,” the ability to set the room-mood with LED lights, ensuring that the party never stops.

Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel

Its range of dining options is one of the island’s best, from Ibiza’s first premier steakhouse Montauk Steakhouse Ibiza and Minami Japanese Restaurant to The Oyster and Caviar Bar beside the pool, the relaxed Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Club providing the perfect fuel for Ibiza party-goers and Sir Rocco Beach Club serving the best Italian cuisine.

Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel, The Tower Restaurant

Visit http://www.ushuaiabeachhotel.com

Luxury Barcelona – Wine, Culture, Gastronomy, Golf or Beach – Tailor-Made Tours

If you’re heading to Barcelona and want a trip to remember having a tailor-made tour professionally planned by long-term locals who will help you with every step of your holiday is the key to an incredible experience.

Gran Reserva

Whether you want to visit a winery and sample some cava, enjoy a day playing golf or wander around visiting the best culture and monuments all combined with sampling the great gastronomy that Barcelona offers then Barcelona Inside and Out can help create your bespoke holiday.

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Wine is an essential element of many of their holidays and visitors love to discover the stories behind the wines and just how good Catalonia’s wines are getting these days.
As all their holidays are tailor-made they can include a wine tour  wherever guests are planning to go, although the DO’s they work with  mainly are in Catalonia are Penedes, Priorat and Bages.

Winery Tour Catalunya, Spain
Wine tours can be part of a holiday touring Catalonia or a day tour from Barcelona. The Penedes is a 45 minute drive from the city, while the Priorat is 1hr 40mins and is only really a day option for those who already know the regions’ wines and want to go for a particular reason.

Spanish Catalonia Winery

In the Penedes they work with the very well regarded Llopart winery. Llopart’s vineyards have a special position on the hills above San Sadurni with wonderful views of Montserrat. The effect of the extra altitude on the Maccabeu, Xarello, Parellada and Chardonay grapes is said to give Llopart’s cavas their especially well balanced and rounded character.

Visitors to Llopart are given a complete tour of the installations and vineyards. Followed, of course, by a comprehensive tasting of different varieties of their cavas.

Llopart Cava Winery

There is also the option of cycling through the vineyards on electric bikes provided by the winery and having a delicious homemade picnic lunch, full of good, traditional Catalan fayre and served in individual picnic baskets at the outdoor tables dotted around the vineyard. Alternatively guests are taken to a nearby Catalan masia for a more substantial, great local lunch – whatever you want, they will organise it for you.

Spanish Winery Picnic

If you prefer, you can visit a smaller winery, such as Cava Guillera or Albet i Noya, to provide a contrast. Here you will discover the processes on a more human scale and also some of the regions’ award winning reds and whites, which show how the Penedes is evolving and becoming well known for its wines as well as its cavas.

Hot Air Balloon Flights, Barcelona

Beach days, skiing, seeing Catalonia’s human castles or Barcelona from the air, whatevery you want to include in your holiday plans Barcelona Inside & Out will individually craft your holiday or your tour.

 

Where to stay in Barcelona?

Winery – Bodegas Tradicion in Jerez

Bodegas Tradicion

Although Bodegas Tradicion is a fairly new winery it is the successor of the oldest one in the Jerez wine producing area.

The original winery was Bodega CZ, J.M. Rivero which  dated back to 1650 and was the supplier of the Royal Houses of Spain and Portugal winning many different international rewards.

Art Gallery Bodega Tradicion

Opening in the late 1990s by a descendant of the oldest sherry house the bodegas are open for viewing as well as wine and brandy tastings while viewing the considerable private art collection. It is reported to be one of the best  collections of Spanish paintings  in Andalusia and contains over 300 paintings, some of the works are by Grand Masters Goya and Velazquez  amongst many others 15th – 20th century  artists.

 

There are two types of unique and limited production Tradicion Brandies and six fabulous wines:

Fino
Palo Cortado VORS
Amontillado
Oloroso VORS
Cream VOS
Pedro Ximenez VOS

A trip to this winery will have you taking away a great choice of fine wines and brandy – if there’s any remaining.

For more information or to book visits go to the Bodega Tradicion website.

Local Cheese & Wine in Jaen, Andalusia

I don’t know whether it’s ever happened to you but on a recent outing with visiting family we headed to a local winery for some more of their fabulous Syrah grape red wine. The nicest Spanish Red I’ve had, and living in Spain I’ve tried a few of them – and then we find some great cheese to go with it.

Bodegas CampoAmeno

This winery or bodega – CampoAmeno – in the Sierra Sur de Jaen bordering on Granada province produces four reds, three whites and a rose with locally grown grapes. I’d had one of them in a restaurant in Alcala la Real and rather liked it. Then while visiting the fabulous Fortress La Mota there were a couple of different ones in the shop – we had to try them. My stepfather took a bottle of the CampoAmena Syrah back for a wine conoisseur friend who very much enjoyed it. So we then had to visit the winery shop to try all the reds before his next visit.

Bodegas CampoAmeno

Having sampled three of the reds, both hubby and I liked the same one best (always handy that!) So with stepfather visiting again the winery was definitely on our visiting list. We bought several boxes, not all for us, a presentation pack for said wine conoisseur and happy with our purchases headed into  Frailes for a much needed bar and beer. But as things happen and as wine goes with cheese, there was a cheese factory on the way selling it direct and – Quesos Artesanos de Frailes was open. We had to go in.

After sampling two – a cured and a semi-cured goat’s cheese made on the premises from the neighbouring goat herd’s milk we all liked the smooth and creamy texture of the semi-cured one, which has won many a prize, best.

Quesos Artesanos de Frailes

So back to the wine laden car laden with the cheeses we had the best pairing possible of locally produced and bought slow food and slow wine, both exquisite.

Quesos Artesanos de Frailes

Sadly to say neither lasted long and one of the cheeses took a journey to the UK and so adding a few food miles and making it not so slow. Ours didn’t.  It went from factory to car to fridge to stomach and there it was gone.

The up side of that is we live near enough and so have to go again – the down side we’re probably always going to have to do it now we’ve discovered both!

If you like cheese and wine I know a very good spot to shop.

Visit the Cheese shop website (in Spanish) the winery website  (in Spanish) read about Fortress La Mota and here’s where to stay in Alcala la Real – Atelier 88.

Dixtinto Gastro - Arroceria

Jaen Restaurant ~ Dixtinto Gastro -Arroceria

Restaurant Dixtinto or to use it’s full name Dixtinto Gastro – Arroceria in the lively, downtown area of Jaen is a fun place to eat.

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Light and bright, eat inside or out with a choice of Mediterranean and Traditional cuisine as well as specialising in rice dishes  means making a choice is not easy to do.

Dixtinto Gastro - Arroceria

Manuel Frutos, chef and 3rd place prize-winner in the 2015 International Competiton for Valencian Paella, is from Jaen. Weaned on local extra virgin olive oils, the base of all Jaen’s gastronomy which this days are getting better and better. Not only the oils but the presentation of them too. Frutos also did his training in Jaen, so what better qualifications could he have. For a showcase of young, avantguard Jaen cuisine by a great upcoming chef this is a great place to experience.

Dixtinto Gastro - Arroceria

Dixtinto is an Oleo Tour Jaen Restaurant, a group promoting ‘Olive Oil Tourism‘ be it restaurants, spas, olive oil mills, producers and olive oill museums. Normally there’s a display and the possibitlity to purchase of extra virgin olive oils on all these premises.

Oleo Tour Jaen

Dixtinto

Just two of the extra virgin olive oils we got to taste, dunk lovely fresh bread into fresh and vibrant olive oils, each one different, is a perfect start to you meal. Then taster after taster of beautifully prepared, artistically designed tapas kept arriving pared with a very good couple of local red wines. When in Jaen……

 

I visited Jaen as part of a blog trip for the promotion for its 20 year anniversary as ‘Jaen Inland Paradise’. As I  live in the province I will be re-visiting Dixtinto, my sons too who first told me about it.

Barcelona Food Market – La Boqueria

Barcelona has around forty food markets  but the most famous, probably because of its location is La Boqueria or Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria. It’s a thriving hub of shoppers and eaters and if you are going there to eat you’ll be lucky to find a bar stool at any of the eateries and there are many. Don’t you just love those light fittings?

La Boqueria market, Barcelona

The choice of stalls from Seafood Restaurants to Tapas take-outs is fun and makes for a difficult decision. If you’re going there to buy fresh food or cooked food for a takeaway picnic you’ll while away plenty of time oohing and ahhing over the incredible array on offer.

La Boqueria market, Barcelona

I found everything so enticing and even though it was too early to eat I came away with several tasty morsels such as  bite-sized chunks of fresh pineapple and my favourite snack – again mouth-sized coconut pieces.

La Boqueria market, Barcelona

La Boqueria has a long history with locals selling meat by the city gate in the 1200s, it was opened offcially as a market in 1840 and has since undergone many alterations to became the amusing, interesting and tasty place it is today. From dried spice stalls to sweet counters, meat, dairy, fresh vegetables the 200+ colourful and attractively arranged stalls  make it a great place to visit if only to look.

La Boqueria market, Barcelona

Just off La Rambla La Boqueria is quite mesmerizing, hold onto your wallet or handbag and enjoy the throng of people the shouts of the vendors and the atmosphere. It’s one of those great places to visit but do try to eat there if you can, the atmosphere is just amazing.

Have you been to Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria in Barcelona? Would you like to go? Share your experience or tell us why you’d like to go in the comment box below.

Fine Dining Chef Ruben Cabrera at Gourmet Restaurant La Cupula, Tenerife

Ruben Cabrera,  Head Chef  at the gourmet restaurant La Cupula on Tenerife, has won the ‘Best Chef in the Canary Islands’ award. Cabrera’s passion for gastronomic excellence in fine dining, which you can experience at Hotel Jardines de Nivaria, earned him the title of ‘Best Chef’  at the regional  ¡Qué Bueno! Canarias Heineken  gastronomy awards.

Chef Ruben Cabrera
Chef Ruben Cabrera

La  Cupula, located in the five-star Hotel Jardines de Nivaria, has become a must-do dining experience for all foodies and fine-diners on the island of Tenerife. Cabrera’s innovation and passion for gastronomy excellence keeps winning him awards.

As well as being the chosen  chef  to represent the Canary Islands in last month’s Madridfusion Gastronomy Summit, he has had an impressive culinary career so far. Cabrera won the ‘Best Chef’ award at the National Gastronomy Contest for the second year in a row in 2016 and he also won the first prize at the International Creative Cuisine Competition ‘Gamba Roja de Denia’ in 2015.

 

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Cabrera, Head Chef at La Cúpula since 2007,  conjures up his delicious dishes  on the fourth floor of Hotel Jardines de Nivaria. An eclectic mix of  fusion,  French and local Canarian cuisines. Not only does the chef have several awards under his belt but the restaurant  had a full refurbishment in 2016 and you can dine with floor-to-ceiling windows giving panoramic views over the Atlantic Ocean.

The Hotel Jardines de Nivaria is part of the Adrian Hotels group  which has another two hotels on Tenerife:

5* Roca Nivaria Gran Hotel

4*Hotel Colón Guanahani

 

Tenerife calls!