Many of you will be familiar with our website which over the years has grown to such an extent that we cannot practically add much of the content we would like to share. This blog therefore aims to inform you about our area of Spain, about Periana in particular and to keep you up-to-date with what we are doing in Restaurante Cantueso and our rental cottages. There are already many postings to advise and help would-be visitors to this area and we would encourage you to browse as mostly they are still applicable. We would be very pleased to receive your comments and suggestions and maybe the odd photo. Our normal website is of course still active here.
The garden at Cantueso never ceases to amaze us with new delights and this autumn we have just tasted a most unusual fruit. The Feijoa or Acca Sellowiana, commonly known as Pineapple Guava, has been growing in our garden for about 12 years and we never new it produced fruit. It is normally an uninspiring green bush that only looks exceptional in spring when it flowers for a week or so and as we are told the petals are edible, watch out for next year’s menu! It is a native plant of South America, although grown around the world, even as far north as Scotland, where fruiting is unlikely.
The green fruit matures in autumn, and is about the size of a small chicken’s egg. It has a sweet, aromatic flavour, which tastes a little like pineapple, apple and mint. The fruit falls to the ground when ripe and its pulp resembles the closely related guava, with a gritty texture.
Our gardener José tells us that the reason it is rarely seen in shops is due to the short shelf life once ripe, and although we kept some in a fridge the taste was never better than when we collected them every day.
Overdosing on them was easy but fortunately, according to the experts, the nutritional values are high, particularly in vitamin C. Next year if we are fortunate to have more fruit we will try fruit smoothies, chutney, yoghurt and maybe jam that are said to be popular in the main growing areas.
Top two photos courtesy of Didier Descouens and reproduced under the creative commons licence.
Didier Descouens [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
We have written about pomegranates before as they are so abundant in Periana and can be obtained freely from friends and neighbours who can seldom eat all of their crops.
They are in season now and when we tell our staff how expensive they are in the UK, they look rather disbelieving, so we photographed a sales ticket in Waitrose. It shows ONE pomegranate costs £2.80 or say just over 3€! Some hand grenade.
Our story about the pomegranate can be seen here: http://www.cantuesoblog.es/2010/10/11/driving-over-pomegranates-in-periana/
About the Pilgrim’s Route
The Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James) is a large network of ancient pilgrim routes stretching about 500 miles across Europe and coming together at the tomb of St. James in Santiago.
Every year hundreds of thousands of people of various backgrounds walk the Camino de Santiago either on their own or in organized groups. Some people set out on the Camino for spiritual reasons; many others find spiritual reasons along the Way as they meet other pilgrims, attend pilgrim masses in churches and monasteries and cathedrals, and see the large infrastructure of buildings provided for pilgrims over many centuries.
Without doubt at the end of their journey they will visit the great Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, where the relics of the apostle St. James are believed to be buried. They will also see Tarta de Santiago in the window of every pastry shop and restaurant.
About the Tarta: Torta de Santiago (in Galician) or Tarta de Santiago (in Spanish), literally meaning cake of St. James, and is an almond cake. The Galician name for cake is Torta but often the Spanish word tarta is used instead. It is made from ground almonds, eggs, and sugar, lemon zest, sweet wine and brandy.
Originating from Galicia in North-Western Spain during the time of medieval pilgrimage, this tart is traditionally decorated with the St James cross. With its wonderfully moist almond and citrus flavours, this torte makes a perfect dessert or partner to an afternoon café con leche.
It is a round shape and can be made with or without a base. The top of the pie is decorated with powdered sugar in the shape of the Cross of St. James, which gives the pastry its name.
At Cantueso we cheated with our photo and placed the cross on a slice rather than the complete cake! But at least you don’t have to walk so far 🙂
José Zapata Camacho our gardener has, in recent years, worked tirelessly bringing Cantueso’s much admired gardens up-to-date. He has replanted many flower beds and at the same time covered them with matting and gravel to minimise water evaporation. The harsh looking gravel is soon lost below the abundant flowers which are selected to give colour and groundcover throughout the year. He is a very experienced plantsman and chooses carefully, varieties that he knows will flourish under the wide ranging temperature and wind conditions that we experience at Cantueso. He is introducing lots of interesting and rarely seen plants.
Erythrina caffra: Many of the plants are grown from seed and one of the latest is the Erythrina Caffra, the coast coral tree or African coral tree. It is a tree native to southeastern Africa, and often cultivated in other countries with warm climates, it is also the official tree of Los Angeles, California.
As can be seen in our photos it is curently a very small plant and the thorns on the stem are there to prevent annimals eating the growing specimens. Once grown however it has flowers of various shades of red and crimson with equally colourful seed pods.
In South Africa, Erythrina Caffra is seen as a royal tree: it is a much respected and admired in the Zulu culture and is believed to have magical properties. Specimens have been planted on the graves of many Zulu chiefs and in parts of the Eastern Cape, local inhabitants will not burn the wood for fear of attracting lightning.
The African women of South Africa make the highly decorative seeds of Erythrina caffra into necklaces. Children also love collecting them where they are known as lucky beans. All coral trees produce a poison with a paralysing action, which is used medicinally to relax the muscles in treating nervous diseases. The seeds of all erythrinas are said to be poisonous, and the leaves of Erythrina Caffra are known to have poisoned cattle. The bark of E. caffra is used topically to treat sores, wounds, abscesses and arthritis. Open wounds may be treated with powdered, burnt bark; infusions of the leaves are used as eardrops for earache; and decoctions of the roots are used for sprains. The Vhavenda use the bark for toothache. Erythrina alkaloids are known to be highly toxic, but the traditional uses strongly suggest antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects
They sound like a gowing medical kit. We will of course have to wait a few years to see the trees great beauty and although tempting, are unlikely to try a medical remedy 🙂
There has been lots of interest in this tree and as we have plenty of seeds we will make them freely available to visitors to Cantueso. Just ask!
At Cantueso we are very proud of our team who work so hard in serving the public both in the restaurant and cottages and we would like to introduce them to you.
L to R: Vanesa, Ana, Nicky, Carmen, Lucía, Sheila
Vanesa (front of house) – is new this year and has a gift for mixing our summer special cocktails and no doubt her maths degree helps with our not too friendly till!
Ana (front of house manager) – is here for her second year with us, in charge of front of house. Her winning smile and efficiency makes her very popular with guests. In real life she is a music graduate waiting for a teaching job in schools.
Nicky (the boss) – say no more.
Carmen (head chef) – first joined us in 2007 and has been responsible for many popular dishes which have origins in all regions of Spain. She is particularly proud of the fact that everything is home-made and wherever possible using local produce.
Lucía (head of housekeeping) – was already here when we took over in 2007. She has been invaluable during our many refurbishments, and makes sure that all ten cottages and the apartment are always properly prepared for guests.
Sheila (sous chef) – joined us this year after graduating from the catering college in Malaga. She has already proved to be a great asset in the kitchen, always smiling, industrious and never wilts under pressure.
They are all Periana locals and look amazingly happy considering they had just finished a busy service with over forty diners!
A PS: we do have one male member of the team, José our gardener, who was not present when the photo was taken. He is featured in a separate post regarding our plants and gardens.
Car Hire: Most frequently we are asked to recommend a car hire firm. Our advice is to check via the Internet directly with companies based at Malaga airport (simply Google car hire Malaga Airport) and then compare the cost for those based within the airport. Many off airport companies are fine but being transported to their offices will delay you.
One problem in recent years is that most hire companies now operate a full to empty scam and if you are not going to use a tank of fuel this can be very annoying. They charge you for a full tank at exorbitant prices and tell you to bring it back empty. They know full well that you can’t and one imagines they will benefit not only from the high price charged but also from the half tank or so that you have left. You can sometimes argue against it and the more people that do the better.
Beware also of how you pay. Some companies will give you the option of paying when you collect or at the time of booking. In case you may not be able to get to the airport as planned it makes sense not to pay before collection.
In 2007 we were host to a stray dog called Maddey who had been born somewhere around Cantueso and was a real scavenger. We fed her but she remained aloof and would not permit any hand contact. And then one day we realised that she must be pregnant, and we didn’t have long to wait, as that night she gave birth to seven puppies under the staircase behind the restaurant The most surprising thing about the puppies was that they were all so different This puzzled us until our vet Mario told us that it was quite possible for a litter to have different fathers. We then recalled seeing several man friends visiting Maddey, and these included a Dalmation, Yorkshire terrier and others of mixed breeds.
Our photo shows just five of the puppies but six did survive and after a struggle we found homes for them, with two going abroad one to Germany and one to Finland. The one that went to Finland (second from the front) had been jokingly called Feo (Ugly) because she was a most odd looking, hairy dog, possibly the result of a liaison with an Afghan Hound. However she was registered as “Bonnie.”
Some years ago we had heard from her new owners in Finland and knew she had gone to a good home and now this week we have had an update with this photo of “Bonnie” 11 years old and looking gorgeous.
Footnote: After these unexpected arrivals we thought it best to have Maddey spayed and after a few comedy moments trying to catch her we succeeded and off with Mario she went in a cage. To our surprise she came home after the op in the back of Mario’s car without a cage and completely at ease. This was just before Christmas 2008 and when released Maddey went off into the countryside, no doubt checking the rubbish bins as always and maybe stealing the odd chicken! For a few weeks she came and went as normal but then one day she never returned. Sadly we have no idea what happened to her.
Our chefs have been busy creating some new dishes and many old favourites for this summer, which we hope you will try and enjoy.
As always all our food is home made and please remember we can cope with allergies and food intolerences. Just let us know and look at our special menu which lists all the main allergens. Click below to see full details of our summer menu.
At the beginning of every year we look forward to the new season and arrival of guests, always hoping that their experience lives up to expectations. It is therfore extremely rewarding to get positive feedback from people who have stayed with us. We normally give guests a questionnaire at the end of their stay and find comments very instructive and helpful with many improvements we have made resulting from them.
In this case the comments came via an e-mail from a family who stayed with us in March. Taking the trouble to write and let us know is so much appreciated by our staff and we hope to see you all again soon.
Subject: Thank you
Just wanted to drop you a quick line to say to thank you so much for a wonderful stay at Cantueso. We really appreciated how thoughtfully you look after your guests – not least (child’s name) and her allergies. You have a beautiful, special place.
As we didn’t have a pen we couldn’t fill in the customer survey, but we did take it back with us so here are our responses if they’re still helpful:
We heard about Cantueso online.
The directions were extremely helpful as the sat nav, as you predicted, would have taken us another way including up the dirt track!
The welcome was excellent as was the cleanliness of the house. Everything we could have needed was provided including the delicious evening meal and our survival pack.
The gardens, pool and terraces were excellent as were the children’s facilities. The toy store was particularly appreciated although some are maybe a bit overtired.
The restaurant was excellent across the board and the wine was especially good. Please pass on our thanks to lovely Anna and the chef for being so aware of (child’s name) dietary requirements.
Unsurprisingly we thought the staff were excellent too. We thought Cantueso was great value – just for the view alone!
Please do include us on your mailing list – we’d love to stay again.
With very best wishes,
Last week we were flattered for the second time in three years to see that one of the UK’s leading newspapers, The Guardian, included our cottages in their top twenty family summer holidays in Europe. Very pleasing for all our staff to hear that their efforts are appreciated.
This last year we have seen several returnees: families, one for the fifth time, and a German Tai Chi group (now booked for their fourth visit,) couples and photographers. One photographer Kees Laurijson has made several trips here and his stunning photos show just how things vary thoughout the year.
Some of his photos are now used on our website and can be seen on a previous posting here. Kees and his wife first came in April and then again in September and the difference in his photos is very striking. Always colourful, with green, yellow and blue in spring and then in September brown, orange and flaming red.
The Guardian article can be seen here:
During the winter months we have been very busy changing bathrooms and kitchens in three cottages and in another there has been a complete makeover with lots of other improvements to the terraces and gardens.
Please come and check us out!
For many years we have been driving to and from Spain with our dogs in the car and have always been pleased with the way they travelled. Not a bark or a whine over the two or three days we usually take to cover the 1400 mile journey.
This year however we faced a slightly different problem as we wanted to take Tom our one eyed campo cat back to the UK and we were not sure how he would travel. Would he be best in a small cage or as one person suggested with a harness and clipped to seat belts. But what about a litter tray and water? And what happens when you stop over in a hotel, with dogs that is not a problem but would a cat be ok?
Whilst pondering these matters a friend suggested one of the pet transport companies that regularly take dogs and cats in a specialist transporter to destinations all over Europe. At first we were sceptical that Tom would be as well cared for as with us, but after initial conversations with Diana at Paws Transport Services Ltd in Alhaurin el Grande, we were reassured that all would be well and that we were dealing with a professional operation.
All angles seemed to be covered, not just the logistics but also the regulatory requirements. Pet welfare is a priority and although they drive day and night, stops to walk the dogs are made every five hours. The cats are in snug cages with litter trays and water bowls, and air conditioning runs throughout the trip even when on the ferry crossing.
Paws offer a door to door service and once the transporter is in the UK a tracker device enables owners to see the progress and all pick ups and deliveries being made.
We were very concerned that Tom, who has only ever known the freedom of the campo, would arrive stressed but much to our surprise he marched around his new home and selected what has become his favourite armchair, and after a tasty snack settled down for the night. His four day journey seems not to have affected him in any way.
A mention should be made of the two drivers, Anthony and Steve, who despite their arduous journey were in good spirits and obviously take great care of their charges.
Tom says thanks for everything, including my free upgrade to a larger cage!
Further information about Paws can be seen here: www.facebook.com/
This week we were pleased to welcome back CTND from Germany for their third visit to Cantueso.
CTND hold a series of workshops throughout the week and find the tranquillity of our setting perfect for their specialist branch of Tai Chi which is an ancient Chinese system of health, martial arts, and mental conditioning.
The Chen Style Taijiquan Network in Germany was founded by Nabil Ranné and Konstantin Berberich both of whom have spent many years studying and teaching Tai Chi throughout the world.
Here in Periana they provide an intensive series of workshops teaching the first form (Yilu) in the tradition of Chen Fake, Chen Zhaokui and Chen Yu. The course is suitable for both beginners and advanced students.
CTND also hold seminars and workshops in several locations throughout Europe and further details can be found on their website: www.ctnd.de
We can’t help expounding the nutritional value of figs, and would like to remind anyone locally that the season is close to ending, so find them now. Plenty available along the byways of Periana and even at Cantueso if you ask nicely :).
August in Periana is so very fruitful and we have been enjoying lots of peaches and are now trying to cope with a bountiful supply of figs, grapes and almonds. Bonnie our black lab has a preferred route for her morning constitutional which passes our neighbour Antonio’s plot so that she can pick her own grapes which hang from his hedge (or rather the chain link fence). Around here they tend to be the Muscatel variety, greeny red, very juicy and sweet. but complete with seeds. If you have become accustomed to the supermarket seedless/tasteless varieties just come for a walk around the village and sample these delights.
While on your stroll watch out also for figs which are all around and often never picked. We have this summer been asking our guests to help out so as not to waste these black beauties which grow in abundance in the garden at Cantueso. Figs are full of fibre and minerals such as calcium and magnesium and just two will contribute to your five a day quota.
For those of you reading this in Britain you can of course buy some at M & S but they will cost about 80p each!
We have as in other years turned some surplus figs to good use by making Fig and Ginger Chutney. Not very Spanish we know but our kitchen often make their own version which they call marmalade and use it as an accompaniment to Serrano ham or cold cuts. In case we can tempt you the recipe is below.
Fig & Ginger Chutney
1.3kg Figs, chopped
450g onions chopped
1.1l malt vinegar
450g cooking apples peeled and chopped
450 g seedless raisins or dates, chopped
3 tablespoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
900g granulated sugar
Chop as coarse or as fine as you like.
Place onions in a preserving pan or large saucepan with a little of the vinegar and cook to soften but not brown.
Add apples, raisins or dates and continue to cook until soft and pulpy.
Add the figs, ginger, salt, sugar and remaining vinegar, bring to the boil and then simmer until thick again. Be careful not to burn the sugar on the bottom of the pan.
Pot into sterilised jars.
Hints: if you don’t have a preserving pan with sloping sides evaporation of vinegar will not be as efficient so reduce the vinegar to 1 litre.
Sterilise jars by washing in the dishwasher. Ideally use Killner type jars but any metal cap jar will normally work well as long as they are sterilised.
Makes about 2.2 to 2.7 kg. Keep for at least two months before eating.
Cooking time about two hours.
and if you still have figs why not try
Figs in Syrup
1 kilo Figs
500g Caster Sugar
Juice of one lemon
1 Vanilla bean (cut in half lengthways)
1 tablespoon rum or brandy
Method:Place sugar, lemon juice, vanilla bean and 625ml water in a saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Add the figs lower the heat and cook uncovered for about 20mins.
Remove the softened figs with a slotted spoon and set aside. If the syrup is still watery and pale, boil it a little more until thickened. Place figs in a suitable preserving jar. Let the syrup cool and then pour over the figs adding the rum or brandy over the top.
Place a disc of greaseproof paper on the top making sure the figs are submerged.
Once opened, keep in the fridge and use within one month.
Perfect for pouring over vanilla ice cream.
Many thousands of photos are taken every year in and around Cantueso, and we even had a photo competition one year, which yielded many beautiful views.
Now however we have been able to go further with some aerial photography which we hope you will like.
Paul Lines, of Videodrone, was the photographer, and should you be interested in some unusual views of your property give him a call on 643 62 48 83 or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The camera and drone for those of you who are interested was a DJI Mavic Pro with 4K full HD camera (1/2.3″ CMOS 12MP 4K). This amazing camera/drone folds into a pouch about five inches square.
A short drive from Cantueso Cottages in Periana is the natural park of El Torcal. It is one of nature’s wonders, created over 200 million years ago and provides a fascinating legacy of that period, when Europe and the Middle East was still one continent submerged under the Tethys Sea.
No matter whether you are a geologist or simply a curious traveller, the landscape will amaze with its limestone constructions resembling a far off planet. For a period of about 175 million years, the build up of carbonate sedimentation continued with vast accumulations of shells, skeletons, and dead marine life. Over time these were compacted at various levels forming the horizontal limestone layers we can see today, and which have, since the retreat of the water, been shaped by water, wind and ice.
The fossilised remains of an Ammonite. A hard shelled sea creature that lived 200 million years ago.
Visitor Centre: Adjacent to the car parking area is the visitor centre which is a good starting point for your explorations. There is a small shop selling artisan products and a restaurant, which caters for the needs of the thirsty and hungry traveller with breakfast, lunch and dinner being served. Interactive displays offer an excellent guide to the area and explanation of special sights, and helpful staff members are there to further enhance your experience. You can also join a guided group from there.
Walking Trails: there are well-signed trails of varying lengths open to all. Off track walks are only permitted if previously authorised.
Nature’s Art, in abundance at el Torcal
Do I need a permit to walk un-guided? No, as long as you follow one of the five marked trails.
Can we hire a guide? Yes, a guide is available for groups of from two to twenty. Please check as guided walks are restricted in some months and your own group arrangements must be made in advance. See El Torcal website for details. www.torcaldeantequera.com/
What are the opening hours of the Visitor Centre?
From 1st October to 30th March 10.00 to 17.00 hrs.
1st April to 30 September 10.00 to 19.00 hrs.
During July and August the restaurant and observatory is open until midnight.
Can we walk at night? Only if you join a pre-arranged tour. There are nighttime events called “Nights to Awaken the Senses.” These evening tours start at 19.00 hrs with a two-hour walk along the route of the Ammonites followed by dinner, and finishing with a two-hour session in the observatory. The cost of about 30€ per person, includes guide, insurance, dinner and the services of an astronomer.
Where can I find more information? The official website is: www.torcaldeantequera.com/ which unfortunately is only in Spanish but using Google translate or similar you will get the gist of most things. Most importantly you will get the up-to-date information on special tours and events.
How to get there from Periana?
From Cantueso return to the roundabout and turn right taking the road out of the village towards Riogordo, then to Colemenar/Casabermeja/Villanuevo de la Concepción, and once there you will see signs to “Parje Natural, Torcal de Antequera.”
In total about 55 kilometres and just over one hour, driving at normal speed.
All photographs on this posting by kind permission of Don Bertolette.
We have been working over the last few months on our new menu and hope you will find something to tantalise your taste buds. As always we can accommodate specific allergies and will guide you through the ingredients of each dish, and whenever possible cook a variation to suit your needs.
as at 12th July 2017
We are all used to the notion that nightingales used to sing in Berkley Square, and now can add Periana as another location, as Restaurante Cantueso has played host for the last six years to a couple of songsters and hope they will appear once again this month. They can already be heard out in the countryside and a favourite spot is behind one of the town’s rubbish tips. Not the most salubrious of places but we are sure real “birders” won’t mind a bit.
These tiny birds migrate to and from Guinea-Bissau, the former Portuguese colony which is one of Africa’s smallest and least-known states. They return to Europe in April and start making their amazing music not only at night but also during the daytime too. Nesting in dense bushes alongside our restaurant terrace the male nightingale (ruiseñor in Spanish) protects his patch from intruders occupying the same song post every year.
We have been so impressed with the complicated repertoire of the bird that we are hoping to capture the sound on tape and will add to this blog as soon as we are successful. Meanwhile we have added a lovely recording here made in England.
Today, 28th June, we heard the little beauties near Cantueso early in the morning.Maybe a late comer?
Coffee drinking in Spain is very ritualised and Spaniards vary consumption according to the time of day; maybe a solo to kick start the morning or a carajillo at the end of a celebratory meal, but no matter what you need there is bound to be a caffeine solution to suit you.
There are many different types of coffee in Spain and many vary according to region so here we give an overview of the types you are most likely to encounter in Andalucia and are typical of what we serve at Restaurante Cantueso in Periana.
Small black coffee usually served in small cup or glass. Also called Espresso which is really the base for all types of coffee in Spain (made by forcing nearly boiling water under pressure through the ground coffee) and should not be confused with Espresso coffee known to Brits from the sixties when Espresso coffee bars served frothy white coffee, in Spain it is black.
Café con leche
Large cup, half coffee and half steamed milk. Also called a Mitad.
Baiscally a Café Solo in a large cup with added water.
Small black coffee with a dash of steamed milk.
Café Sombra (shade)
As con leche but with less coffee. Also called Café Manchada (stained) One wag descibed this as a drink for those who don’t like coffee!
Café Nube (cloud)
A vaiation on Sombra and Manchada and dependant on where you are may contain even less coffee.
A Solo but with a splash of brandy.
Like a con leche but more froth and cocoa powder sprinkled on top.
Café Hielo (iced)
Normally you are served a glass full with ice cubes onto which you pour a café solo. Good for a summers day when you need a shot of caffeine but nothing hot.
A café solo with condensed milk.
A con leche served in a large glass with extra steamed milk.
Decaff coffee normally requested as “de maquina” so as not to get instant from a jar!
All types of coffee vary not just by name or region but also by bar or restaurant. The following terms may also be encountered.
Largo (extra strong), Semi Largo (strong), Solo Corto (espresso).
Whatever you do don’t be confused, just try something different, and you may get a pleasant suprise! At Cantueso we are always willing to let you experiment so just ask.
The annual festival in honour or the patron saint of Periana, St Isidro, will take place on the 12th to 15th May. As usual it will have plenty of entertainment for all ages and feature some well known Spanish musical performers. The village will be very much alive during the days and nights of the festival with plenty to see and do. Typically the villagers come out en masse late at night accompanied by their children (who normally sleep during the day.) Highly recommended to those with strong constitutions!
The official programme of events is as follows.
THURSDAY, MAY 11
18.00 Hours: Celebration of the festival Saint, with “besapies” (kissing of the feet) and the offering of floral tributes to San Isidro Labrador. Villagers are asked to contribute floral gifts with red and white carnations. These are used to decorate the throne of the patron saint.
20.00 Hours: Departure from the children’s throne of San Isidro to the town fountain. You are all invited to bring along and play musical instruments.
FRIDAY, MAY 12
20:00 Hours: Parade of the Municipal Music Band of Periana, announcing the beginning of the Fiestas.
21:00 Hours: Traditional Proclamation of the Festivities of San Isidro Labrador by Francisco Ramón Larrubia.
00:00 Hours: Fireworks and firing of rockets at the crossing of the Paseo Bellavista.
00:30 Hours: Coronation of the Miss and the Mister of the Festival of San Isidro 2017, in the Municipal House.
01:00 Hours: Opening of the Municipal House with the Melodies Orchestra.
02:00 Hours: Performance of the Quartet La Perdición.
03:30 Hours: We will continue with the Melodies Orchestra as long as the body holds out.
SATURDAY, MAY 13
11:30 Hours: Children’s party in the San Isidro Labrador School with our monitors Sonia and Sandra. Playground.
Election of the Children’s King and Queen of the fiesta of San Isidro 2017.
13:30 Hours: Beer tasting offered by Paco Zorrilla.
Tasting of sausages offered by butcher Pepe and María Dolores.
Endowed by the Panda of Verdiales San Isidro de Periana and the Choir Path of Olivares de Periana.
There will be a wine tasting by courtesy of Spectacles Rosa.
16:00 Hours: 7-a-side female soccer tournament on the municipal soccer field.
18:00 Hours: Ribbons Race on the Bellavista Promenade.
23:30 Hours: Opening of the Town House quartet La Perdición.
01:30 Hours: Support group to be nnounced.
02:30 Hours: The Orchestra of Melodies continues until the wee hours of the morning.
SUNDAY, MAY 14
13:30 Hours: Opening of the Day Fair in the Town House with a performance by the Abraham Ortiz group.
Beer tasting offered by Paco Zorrilla.
Sausagetasting offered by Rafael and Mónica.
18:00 Hours: Fiesta in Honour of the third age with a dance performance by Laura Maria.
Snacks offered to all grandparents of Periana and their villages.
Election of the Grandfather and Grandmother of the Celebrations of San Isidro 2017.
22:30 Hours: Opening of the Town House with the Quartet of Perdition.
00:30 Hours: Performance of the Mesmer “Anian Berto”.
01:30 Hours: We will continue to dance until the body gives in, with the Quartet of Perdition.
MONDAY, MAY 15
11:00 Hours: Solemn Mass in honour of our patron Saint Isidro Labrador, officiated by our parish priest Eduardo Romero.
Election of Mayors 2018
Mass enlivened by the rociero choir “Camino de Olivares” and Periana Municipal Music Band
13:00 Hours: Transfer to the Fountain Square of Santa Maria de la Cabeza, accompanied by the Mayordomos 2018.
Tasting offered by the Mayordomos 2017 in Plaza de la Fuente.
16.30 Hours: Departure of the procession of San Isidro Labrador accompanied by the Band of Municipal Music of Periana and Band of horns and drums La Estrella
23:30 Hours: Opening of the Municipal booth by the quartet “La Perdición”
03:00 Hours: Closure of San Isidro Labrador accompanied by fireworks
At Restaurante Cantueso we are always seeking to offer you new or different Spanish delacacies either “para picar” or on the a la carte menu. This summer is no exception.
Potato Bombs (Patas de Bomba) is the latest and as we are already getting favourable feedback and questions about the dish’s origins we thought we might explain. It is currently the signature dish in many of Barcelona’s tapas bars and was created by an enterprising bar owner (Maria Pla) in the late 1920s. It turns the humble croquette into a bomb shaped potato ball which, whilst maybe not too explosive, has a deliciously piquante filling.
During the ’20s and ’30s before the civil war had begun there were many anarchists operating throughout Catalonia, particularly in Barcelona, where they had copied the techniques of the Italian underground movement to wreak havoc against the nationalist authorities. During this period, because of these anarchists, Barcelona became known as la rosa del fuego, the rose of fire. And the weapon of choice in this urban warfare was a steel ball, filled with explosives, and having a string fuse. This became the inspiration for Maria Pla and her culinary creation found immediate acclaim. No doubt when George Orwell sat writing his famous works on the bloody wars surrounding him in Barcelona he would have also been familiar with this less damaging bomb. Not only is it now a reminder of those troubled times but also a credit to the gastronomic resilience of Catalonia’s tapas culture.
We hope you will come and try this latest dish and maybe some of our other new additions.
As the season has just started and with the restaurant reopened after our winter break it was nice for staff to see such lovely comments as these posted on another website.
Review #17309028 “Cantueso Rural Cottages with Mountain and Lake Views”
A beautiful and tranquil location with a bird’s eye view of the lake & fantastic hospitality!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
We spent three idyllic nights in one of the cottages on site. They are all arranged cleverly to take in the amazing views of Lake Vinuela. We had the most amazing view from our veranda and spent most of our time outside, by the pool or our three children would be exploring the many areas thoughtfully designed to entertain them; trampoline and crazy golf overlooking the lake, games room with table tennis, darts board, table football and a host of toys for smaller children. We adults were blown away by the standard of the tapas food that was served at lunchtime and overindulged both times we ate there. Nicky was a great host, very smiley and welcoming. The property had a rustic charm, very cool inside despite being unusually warm during our stay (27/28 degrees in April!) and well equipped with everything you’d need to cater for yourselves. It was lovely to be part of a small community of other cottages, with other families and children around. The pool was lovely with a good shallow end for smaller children but also a deep end for the children to dive into. We will definitely be back for another quiet getaway in the future. Thanks again for your hospitality!
Date of arrival 12 April 2017
Horario de apertura en primavera:
De 13.00 a 15.30 horas y de 20.00 a 22.30 h
Los domingos sólo servimos el almuerzo
Cerramos los lunes
Los martes hasta los viernes sólo servimos el almuerzo
Los sábados servimos el almuerzo y la cena
The Spring bar/restaurant hours are:
Lunch 13.00 to 15.30 hrs and Dinner 20.00 to 22.30 hrs
Sundays we only serve Lunch
Tuesday to Friday open for Lunch only
Saturday open Lunch and Dinner
Summer opening Hours:
The restaurant hours are:
Lunch 13.00 to 15.30 hrs and Dinner 20.00 to 22.30 hrs
Sundays we only serve Lunch
Tuesday to Saturday open Lunch and Dinner
Horario de apertura:
El restaurante está abierto: de 13.00 a 15.30 h y de 20.00 a 22.30 h
Los domingos sólo servimos el almuerzo: de 13.00 a 15.30 h
Cerramos los lunes
Los martes hasta los sábados servimos el almuerzo y la cena
Die Öffnungszeiten der Bar und des Restaurants sind:
Mittagessen von 13.00 bis 15.30h und das Abendessen von 20.00 bis 22.30 h
Sonntags bieten wir nur den Mittagstisch an.
Dienstags bis Samstagen bieten wir den Mittagstisch und das Abendessen an.
De openingstijden van restaurant zijn:
Lunch van 13.00 – 15.30 uur. Diner van 20.00 -22.30 uur
Zondags serveren wij alleen een lunch
Dinsdag t/m Zaterdag open voor zowel de lunch als het diner.
On Sunday, 23rd April Periana celebrates its eighteenth Verdial Oil Day, which this year will again be attended by various radio and TV personalities. This celebration honours Periana’s extra virgin oil (verdial variety), offering visitors one of the best products in the land known locally as “liquid gold.”
On many stands, around the centre of town, this superior oil will be offered for tasting together with bread for dipping, and from 10 o’clock you may savour the free Miller’s breakfast. It comprises cod, beans and of course oil from Mondrón and Periana.
Visitors can also purchase other local products such as bread, brandy, sweets, seasonal fruits and meats.
Throughout the day there will be bands, prize givings, and children’s entertainment.
We have now added a timelapse view to our normal webcam page as shown above. It can be found below the live webcam picture here. You will also find more information about the local weather trends. It is interesting to note that our webcam generates up to 2000 viewers each week and on the www.webcams.travel website (which is our source of timelapse images) there were nearly 50,000 hits since 2014.
Rutas de los Olivos Milenarios de Periana
We have written before about Periana Gold the verdial type olive oil produced in the village cooperative and it will interest walkers and lovers of the countryside to see that three new walking routes around the olive groves have been established.
These walks are designed to show off some of the district’s ancient trees, one of which is thought to be over 1500 years old. Several others exceed a thousand years and all have been calculated by measuring the girth of the trunk one and a half metres from the ground. Each metre is thought to equal between 200 and 250 years. The oldest to be seen on the walk is known as “El Chato” with a girth of 7.4 metres. Various other wonderful specimens to be seen are known as “The snail”, “The shelf” and “Box Office” all names describing the shape of the trees.
The three routes vary in length and will take between 1.25 and 2.00 hours. The olive oil cooperative are offering guided tours or you may walk independently using maps provided, a link is here. You will see that the routes can be walked separately or joined together for a much longer hike.
The closest route to Cantueso is called “Ruta Cortijo Blanco – Rio Seco” and is 6.3 Km long and should take 1 3/4 hours. In fact Cantueso is along the route so you may start and finish here and no doubt need a cooling drink at the end 🙂 Please make sure that you go prepared for walking in warm weather with proper shoes and plenty of water.
The cooperativo has also produced a special limited batch of Millennium oil using olives from the ancient trees. It can along with several other types be purchased from the cooperative shop in Periana.
For more information on walking in Axarquia see our website walking page here.
And if you are interested to read more about Periana’s Olive oil please see our previous blog here.
During the winter months when the Cantueso restaurant is closed we offer a personal chef service to guests staying in our cottages. It enables them to have a special meal cooked and delivered to them or cooked in their cottage. We provide a suggested menu but will cook to order any Spanish speciality (within reason!).
Paella is always popular and many treat it as a master class with it being cooked in front of them so that they can see the little twists that make it so special.
Over Christmas the Ter Maat family took advantage of this service and our chef Joel Falcone cooked a Paella for them.
Joel has been with us for the last 8 years and is responsible for devising and cooking our summer menu. When we re-open in March you will be able to try the Paella too 🙂
The Euro continues to move in favour of the pound sterling and other currencies which will benefit tourists to Spain this year. Today against the £ the commercial rate is about 1.42, the highest it has been for almost ten years. If we can put this another way, it is a good time to visit because not only are accommodation costs lower, but airfares also remain down due in part to reduced fuel costs. Food and drink will also be less expensive and of course house prices, which are already at bargain basement levels, will be even cheaper if you are converting from sterling.
Since the Euro was introduced back in 1999 it has had a chequered history with plenty of wobbly moments. In Spain Euros are sometimes called Pavo (turkey), “Lend me 20 Pavos” is rather like saying “lend me 20 quid.” And if you are lucky or wealthy enough to have some 500€ notes (the denomination of choice for the criminal classes) you may hear one referred to as a “Bin Laden.” Because apparently almost nobody has seen one!
We hope to see you soon with or without some Bin Ladens 🙂
From June 8 the UK two part driving licence will change. No longer will the paper part be valid and all convictions, classes of vehicle that may be driven and your penalty points record will now be held by the DVLC centrally. In some ways this is a welcome change and means you no longer need to carry that bulky paper part around in your wallet. However it may cause trouble when hiring a car abroad and at the present time there is no clear guidance as to what foreign hire companies will need or accept.
Before you travel abroad it will be prudent to ask the hire company what they need. The DVLC will allow you to look at your driving licence details online or even download a summary. There is also a facility to create an access code which is valid for 72 hours and this will allow a hire company to go online and check your details.
Go to the DVLC page “View your driving licence”
You can use this service to: view your driving record, create a licence check code to share your driving record with someone else, eg your employer or a car hire company
The check code will allow someone to see what vehicles you can drive, any penalty points or disqualifications, your name and the last 8 characters of your driving licence number. To get this information you will need your driving licence number, national insurance number and post code that is on the licence. Better to get this sorted out before you travel rather than stand in the car hire queue with your smart phone!
See also our blog entry regarding travelling to Cantueso from Malaga airport and our tips for avoiding those car hire queues.
During May guests at Cantueso are able to join in the village festivities in celebration of “San Isidro” an annual event lasting several days with lots of fun for all ages.
San Isidro Labrador is the patron saint of Periana and once a year the inhabitants celebrate a successful harvest with a procession through the streets taking several hours and after which the parties start.
The history of the procession is said to date back to a time when a there was a poor summer with little rain and a resultant low yield harvest. The local farmers paraded the statue of St Isidro though the fields and afterwards the harvest improved and subsequently the grateful villagers were inclined to give their weight in grain every year in thanks.
This is the basis of the procession which today stops under any balcony in the village displaying a decorated shawl or blanket, and the householders pour sacks of wheat into the waiting carriage below. The image of St Isidro, adorned with spikes and red and white carnations is specially constructed so that grain poured from above passes through a funnel into a hopper below. This hopper holds about 500 kilos of grain and when full is put into sacks which will eventually be sold and the proceeds used to defray the cost of future celebrations.
Years ago only the rich could afford to donate wheat (never any other grain) as many families only had enough for their own families, but nowadays many villagers are pleased to take part as a thanks for their families health and prosperity.
The procession was previously in the control of four stewards and their wives always newly married and childless. However it now usually needs ten to fifteen stewards to carry the statue and it is they who control the day’s events and work throughout the year planning and organising.
The original statue of St Isidro was destroyed along with the church in the Periana earthquake of 1884 but subsequently replaced, and during the civil war it was hidden by a quick thinking villager and so survived those troubled times.
This year’s programme can be seen here: http://www.periana.es/es/noticias/paginaNoticia.html?pos=1&pag=1&query=
It is not often we would describe a visitor as unwelcome, but last Saturday we had a power cut that stopped our restaurant operating and left guests in our cottages without power. A great saga ensued due in the main to Endesa the electricity supplier failing massively to give the service we pay for. We are supposed to have a 90 minute emergency call out but on Saturday, after more than 25 telephone calls they turned up after 8 hours! And then to blithely say “not our problem get someone else to fix it.”
To cut a long, long, story short we finally found a competent contractor that could help at 7.30 am the next morning. It took him 20 minutes to change a fuse (one that was as long as your arm) and we had power restored, which brings me to the nub of our story. A visiting Genet had decided to climb the pylon and electrocuted himself in the process, and this in turn took out one of the three phases.
Genets are cat-like carnivores closely related to the mongoose and most of them have a spotted coat with long bushy tails, and whilst seldom seen they are not rare creatures, but found throughout Europe having originated in Africa and most likely been imported as pets many years ago.
Nowadays wild Genets live all over Spain and can live in olive groves by eating small animals and insects. They are nocturnal and generally live alone.
What our Genet was doing up an 80ft pylon we will never know and quite how it climbed up is puzzling as its retractable claws would presumably be of little use on steel. Not the ideal way to see our first Genet and hopefully we won’t see another in such circumstances.
New Laws on food labelling of allergens for restaurants and food providers
At Cantueso we have long been able to help people who suffer from allergies and food intolerances because fortunately we produce all our own dishes and do not rely on bought in pre-prepared products.
However new regulations from December 2014 will cause considerable work as it will mean that we have to ask all suppliers of a raw ingredient to similarly identify what is in their product. Even the wine or oil we cook with will have to be analysed for the allergens.
It is estimated that 1-2% of adults and 5-8% of children are affected. This equates to millions of people throughout Europe with a food allergy, but does not include those with food intolerances. This means the actual number of affected people living with a food allergy and/or a food intolerance is considerably higher. (Interestingly when people in the UK were asked about allergies 20% claimed to suffer!)
An allergic reaction can be produced by a tiny amount of a food ingredient that a person is sensitive to (for example a teaspoon of milk powder, a fragment of peanut or just one or two sesame seeds). Symptoms of an allergic reaction can range from mild symptoms such as itching around the mouth and rashes; and can progress to more severe symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, wheezing and on occasion anaphylaxis (shock).
There is no cure for food allergy. The only way to manage the condition is to avoid food that makes the person ill.
When we re-open Restaurante Cantueso on the 20th March 2015 after our winter break, we will have available on request, a menu with the allergens shown and a member of staff to advise.
In the past we have helped many families who come to Cantueso with children (who it seems suffer in greater numbers than adults) and made sure we cook dishes for them that are safe to eat.
No doubt we will also have diners again who tell us they are lactose intolerant and carefully select their starter and main but when they see Carmen’s home made desserts, they look thoughtful and say “well I suppose a little won’t hurt” 🙂 !
The new laws for food businesses relating to the labelling and provision of allergen information centres around a list of the 14 most common triggers.
• Cereals containing gluten namely wheat (such as spelt and Khorasan wheat), rye, barley, and oats.
• Crustaceans and products thereof (for example prawns, lobster, crabs and crayfish)
• Fish and fish products
• Soy beans
• Milk and milk products (including lactose).
• Nuts (namely almond, hazelnut, walnut, cashew, pecan nut, Brazil nut, pistachio nut and Macadamia nut (Queensland nut)
• Sesame seeds
• Sulphur dioxide and sulphites
• Lupin seeds
• Molluscs for example: mussels, clams, oysters, scallops, snails and squid.
In Spring of 2013 Dutch photographer Kees Laurijsen stayed at Cantueso Cottages and took some splendid photos of our complex and the surrounding area. We were very pleased to be able to share them on this blog and you can see the original post here.
Now this year Kees and his wife came back for a second visit and as before he couldn’t resist the photo opportunities. There are so many photos to admire and we hope that in the near future we will be able to make a slide show, but for now you can see a sample below. It is particulary interesting to see the difference the seasons make to the landscape; those panoramas that in Spring were so verdant are now glowing with oranges and warm reds. Kees came at the end of September and we had not had rain for three months, so no doubt one of the reasons why the colours of the soil are lacking in green.
Kees has a blog and you can see his entries regarding Cantueso here: http://www.kees-laurijsen.nl/
and his website here: www.kees-laurijsen.nl