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 [...]

Posted By Category: Farming, Naturaleza, Tradition, ValenciaComments: Comments Off

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 [...]

Posted By Category: Farming, Naturaleza, Tradition, ValenciaComments: Comments Off

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 [...]

Posted By Category: Farming, Naturaleza, Tradition, ValenciaComments: Comments Off

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 [...]

Posted By Category: Farming, Naturaleza, Tradition, ValenciaComments: Comments Off

Enjoying the rice harvest in Valencia with Rustic Escapes

Rustic Escapes`guests joined our expert local concierge, Eduardo, for a trip to see the rice being harvested around the Albufera lagoon, 10 minutes from our alquería, Partida de la Mar in Almassera. It was fascinating. Tractors came and went, piling high the enormous mountains of rice while our guests were invited to join farmers as they inspected their crops. The ´Senia´, ´Bomba´and `Albufera´rices are all harvested locally and the guests were invited to walk amongst the rice mountains and [...]

Posted By Category: Farming, Naturaleza, Tradition, ValenciaComments: Comments Off

Let´s get a donkey!

We´re going to get a donkey for Ibiza! Two actually. They need company. Either Ibizencan donkies or donkies from the sanctuary that we can take care of. These will be our first animals on the farm we are creating for Rustic Escapes. We have also applied to a typical ´pagés´farm to adopt five sheep. I love ibizencan sheep. They are completely different to those found elsewhere.  We have a lovely big field for them and are thinking of installing [...]

Posted By Category: Farming, Ibiza, Naturaleza, TraditionComments: Comments Off

Schools ready!

School is ready and thriving so now I can start developing my Rustic Escapes project.  I worked hard all summer to redevelop and design the gardens of our lovely school in Valencia, along with several classes that needed refreshing and now I can get back to preparing my next Rustic Escape in Finestrat, Alicante and carry on enjoying seeing guests arrive in Spring cottage and Partida de la Mar

Posted By Category: Tradición, TraditionComments: Comments Off

My New Life!

Having worked for over 35 years, founding my own British school here in Spain, which now has  1700 students, from all over the world , on roll, and is acknowledged as one of the best educational institutions in Europe ( in 2014 we were awarded the category ´Best International School´by the British Independent Schools´Association) I am embarking on a new project to fulfill an interest in social history, agricultural history and rural culture , by founding Rustic Escapes. Naturally [...]

Posted By Category: TraditionComments: Comments Off

It’s Autumn – let’s go mushroom-hunting!

In much of Europe, it is often a tradition to set off with family and friends and a large basket to hunt for mushrooms in the autumn. Once the heat of summer has passed and before winter arrives, the  damp conditions of autumn encourage these wonderful fungi to make an appearance. There is a huge variety and it is often tempting to collect and cook them yourself. But of course you must be very careful and be guided by an [...]

Posted By Category: Sussex, TraditionComments: 0

Review from our guests re “Mill Experience at Weald and Downland”

Bringing rural history to life in Sussex   Rescued rural homes and buildings bring history to life at the Weald and Downland Living Museum in Sussex which demonstrates the lives of the people who lived and worked in South East England over 1,000 years.  Join their programme of traditional rural trades and crafts courses such as stone carving, blacksmith skills or participating in a medieval feast. Or just enjoy exploring the beautiful gardens and the woodland, seeing the farm animals – and [...]

Posted By Category: Sussex, TraditionComments: 0