Farming

Spring is sprung!

The almond trees have lost their white clouds and are now lush and green and the orange trees are full of little white buds. Local farmers are worried that a late frost will wipe out this year´s crop. Spring has come early. I took the dogs off around the Valencian huerta and loved seeing the fields full of our spring produce: cabbages, lettuces, cauliflowers, artichokes and onions; ready to be picked and shipped all over Europe. And the charm of...


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My New Year

Happy New Year  to you all. My New Year finds me resolved to becoming more healthy and making the most of my new life style; enjoying developing more Rustic Escape properties for our guests and sharing with them my love of nature and the agricultural, culinary and social history of our unique locations. Here you can see me on New Years day starting my diet! I am resolved to take advantage of the lovely fresh produce we have in our...


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CHRISTMAS IS COMING!

On the 8th December the Christmas decorations officially go up here in Spain. The whole of Spain celebrates ´The Immaculate Conception' which , of course, is the very essence of Christmas; celebrating the birth of little Jesus; a time for us all to remember the importance of the purity and simplicity of friendship and family. I love Christmas!  We went into Valencia to see the lights and I am excited to be able to report that Valencia is looking beautiful....


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The Come & Cook in Valencia Escape takes off!

Rustic Escapes listen to our guests! It´s only a couple of months since one of our guests suggested we offer a cookery escape here in Valencia. Her family enjoyed our paella workshop so much that she asked whether we could teach her to cook other traditional valencian recipes. Team Rustic put our heads together and began to contact local chefs , farrmers and people who enjoy cooking in their homes to develop an escape especially for foodies. And we did...


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The veg still keeps coming!

The veg still keeps coming!  We had guests at Partida de la Mar in Almassera early this week. I was thrilled  they were able to ´pick their own´in the kitchen garden and enjoy a supper made entirely from our Rustic Escapes  ´huerta´;  baked aubergines, with tomato and basil stuffing; spring greens with little onions and chilli peppers, sauteed gently with lovely local olive oil and roasted red and green peppers, simply placed in the Aga, no oil, just cooked in...


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The oranges are ready!

I enjoyed a fabulous drive through the sunny countryside yesterday, when I went to visit our Local Expert farmer´s orange trees in Rincón del Toro, to the south of the city. The orange trees of Valencia are now full of bright, golden orbs; juicy succulent oranges!  Our farmer has actually sold all of his crop already; they pick them while they are green, before they ripen; ready to ship up north to provide a burst of Valencian sunshine to all...


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´Making´olives

Don´t think you can just pick an olive off the tree and eat it. They´re terrible! Really bitter and hard.  This week a lovely farmer showed me how to prepare the olives from my tree. This is the recipe for Aceitunas Partidas, olives that are quite bitter but really tasty, to my mind. For the sweeter version you need to add caustic soda. However please await my recipe ,as this substance is highly poisonous:  For now Aceitunas Partidas or Crushed Olives As...


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Trying out ideas for our first cookery escape

One of our guests, last weekend, came up with a wonderful idea...Why doesn´t Rustic Escapes offer cookery courses and escapes dedicated to learning traditional culinary techniques; totally focusing on rice dishes or local specialities? She had visited Italy the year before and had enjoyed three days of cooking in a tuscan farmhouse and on visiting our alquería, Partida de la Mar, as a guest on our ´Escape to Valencia´three night stay, enjoyed using our aga in the farmstead and joined...


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Team ´Rustic´ España have their first meeting

´Team Rustic´, a title coined by one of our UK based Concierges, Nic, have just finished our first summer season here in Spain. To commemorate this we met up in Valencia city to review our guests´ comments and suggestions and to plan for next year. Our guests have all enjoyed staying at the alquería with Javi´s historical ´city tour´ and the paella workshop proving the most popular ´experiences´, although a couple of guests found the ´natural´pool somewhat daunting! Next spring...


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A week in the life of a busy Rustic Escapes´Concierge

I love this job! What a busy week I have had. I started by accompanying our  Spanish local expert concierge, Eduardo , as he taught Susan to make her own paella on the terrace of our Rustic Escape, Partida de la Mar in Almassera, Valencia. The next day saw me jetting off to Spring Cottage in Amberley, West Sussex, where I concierged our first ´I love Antiques´Escape. We visited all sorts of local antique and vintage shops along with Katie...


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