Rustic Escapes in Ibiza; restoring our finca Can Toni Pera in the January sun!

Can it really be January? … It´s so beautiful here in Ibiza! Oh my gosh. I always get emotional when I step out onto the terrace in Ibiza, and see that beautiful blue sea and the blue, blue sky. It never ceases to amaze and delight me! It is just so beautiful. I often burst into tears when viewing the countryside of this island that is so dear to my heart. I just get overwhelmed with the beauty of it [...]

From farm to fork! Ready and raring to…grow!

No rest for the wicket I said I was retiring not resting! Sitting quietly in the sun is not for me. No sooner was I out of the classroom, my passion for the farm to fork movement took over and  I was in the fields, starting the all important preparation of the soil, ready for planting this spring. In our lovely two hundred year old farm in Sant Josep in Ibiza we have waited for this moment for over five [...]

Too many harvests missed!

Trepidation. Panic. I´m retired! Finally. I can`t believe it! After 35 years at the chalk face, following a brief spell in Fleet Street (the first ´girl´in London´s then renowned Press Association) more of which another time; I have finally left school behind. It has been very difficult, immeasurably so, an unimaginable wrench, leaving what was literally my home for all those years. Literally thousands of children ´sown´, ´nurtured´and ´harvested´; days and nights of toil, laughter and tears and the [...]

Posted By Category: Farming, Naturaleza, TraditionComments: 0

Spanish markets…Joy on earth!

If you´re a Rustic Escapes sort of person, as I am, you will, I know, be feeling increasingly aghast at the advertising on television. as Christmas time approaches, by the large supermarkets; earnest in their drive to make us believe Joy at Christmas will be found down their aisles, with rows and rows of packaged, mass produced, highly processed  Christmas fare. I went to the market and I just had to share with you real Joy. Food markets in [...]

Come for Christmas!

Wow what weather! And how beautiful it is here in Finestrat! I popped down to La Casa de la Campana, our Rustic Escapes´ property in the little mountain village of Finestrat, Alicante, yet only 7 km from the beautiful seafront of Villajoyosa and the bustling metropolis of Benidorm; and it was glorious weather-mid-November and yet like summer! You have just got to come here this Christmas or New Year! Look how sunny and lovely La Casa de la Campana [...]

Out today! Our latest Vlog

As promised here´s how to prepare delicious dates ready for Christmas. You can eat them straight off the tree. However, as parrots and all sorts of undesirable rodents also like dates it is best to pick them when they are still orange. Also, should it rain heavily the dates can be ruined overnight. Once you´ve ¨shimiedup¨ the palm tree (rather you than me!) you can use a sort of metal rake to remove the dates from the branches. Once [...]

Posted By Category: Farming, Naturaleza, Tradition, ValenciaComments: 6

No more dates for the parrots!

I can´t believe it! Fifteen years watching while squawking green parrots decimate my date tree; feasting every autumn on my dates. Days and days of nibbled yellow dates lying on my lawn, attracting all sorts of other nasty nibblers! I was always told that the dates in my tree were not the edible kind; the wrong kind; the yellow kind…all manner of reasons (was it me?!!) why my dates were just not good enough. Somehow defective. Story of my [...]

A lovely day with the ´Datileros´

Wait until you see the video footage I took while watching the date harvest here in Valencia. I spent a day with the ´Datileros´or ´Date family´as they are affectionately known in the area. Ma José , Pepe, Eduardo, his son and his father and grandfather before him, have all earned this title over hundreds of years and are renowned for their trade; caring for the palms , picking and preparing the dates , every year for sale in the [...]

Posted By Category: Farming, Naturaleza, Tradition, ValenciaComments: 10

Piles of Rice!

A lovely couple of days watching the rice harvest here in Valencia. 120 million kilos of rice harvested each year! The photo shows piles of ´bomba´rice awaiting collection in El Palmar village, in the centre of the lake. You get to the village over little bridges, across the mudflats.  I love watching the herons standing majestically amongst the reeds, the ducks taking flight as the boats move across the lake;  while the more audacious of the birds swoop down [...]

Posted By Category: Farming, Naturaleza, Tradition, ValenciaComments: 5

Thank you Emma! Well Done Spring Cottage

Emma,one of Rustic Escapes´ Concierges in Spring Cottage, in Amberley, West Sussex, sent me these beautiful photos she took while enjoying a day out, with our guests, in the beautiful, historic Arundel. We are so lucky to have Arundel on our doorstep, with its fascinating Castle and grounds, the cathedral, the antique shops and beautiful medieval and later, Georgian houses,all those cosy pubs and its river and lake. It has something for everyone and , as you can see, [...]

Posted By Category: Naturaleza, Sussex, TraditionComments: 5