Thursday, 21 May 2015

Tapa a Tapa

Here we are me dears back in Blighty after a fab hol in Sitges and Barcelona.

 photo P1280396_zpsvdyvwtf2.jpg

Quite by chance our little jaunt coincided with the annual Sitges Tapa festival. 
How lucky was that !

 photo tapa-tapa-2015_zpshgw0zwkj.jpg

The town  hosts the "Tapa a Tapa" event and "The Tapa of the year"  which is one of the great gastronomic happenings in Catalonia. 

Some top chefs such as Ferran Adrià have elevated the tapas concept to the category of "haute cuisine".

 photo Sitges-Tapa-a-Tapa-Route_zpsd2issype.jpg

we managed only to tick off a few but our absolute favourite was definitely El Donostiarra.
It was also very close to the hotel, beach and the gay bars.

 photo 10404893_874328292613799_1431651070570891283_n_zpskmueonni.jpg

Very friendly and the food was fabulous 
Next to my wine and sunglasses is a tapa which was -
Chorizo / Tortilla /Foie gras / Tortilla / cured pork loin on a slice of baguette.

 photo P1280418_zpsj99q8nx6.jpg

After 5 days of sun, sea and Tapas it was time to leave our friends who were travelling home separately.

 photo IMG_4030_zpst6qmilsk.jpg

On the very last day, the weather changed. Gone was the amazing sunshine and 30C heat to be replaced by cold and damp.

 photo P1280463_zps6p9wlqmj.jpg

Luckily with a late flight we had already earmarked the day for a troll around Barcelona.

 photo barcelona-gothic-quarter-map_zpsi87rdafl.jpg

Not knowing the city and refusing to pay €30 to sit on a tour bus we ended up in the medieval quarter which was amazing

 photo europe2007-245_zpsshvj59tj.jpg

From there, up the Rambla

 photo out side_zpsrao1skkk.jpg

By chance we stopped at the most delightful cerveseria for lunch

 photo 20130501_DSCN7880_zpscegpqyzf.jpg

Having grabbed the last table outside we were pleased to find that an half hour later there were masses of people trying to get a table both inside and out.

 photo 1028-ciudad_condal_rambla_catalunya-rambla_catalunya_18_hd_zpsw3agjtrx.jpg

Pork fillet with cheese in a very yummy little baguettes 

 photo pork bag_zpskaahxbft.jpg

Tortilla with brochette and a very nice glass of Spanish Rose'.
With out question the best meal of the holiday.

 photo patatas_zpsrktm24bf.jpg

After more wanderings around the city we found the station we needed to get to the airport.
 photo 7834bc012784a3d4ac8c0f67a7553056136629812092_zpsyzcpulaj.jpg

...and took another well deserved rest. 
More needed than enjoyed. it still hit the spot.
It has been compared to as Barcelona's equivalent of London's "Angus Steakhouse" which is a little harsh.

 photo menu_zpsvr7xltds.jpg

Barcelona has three main railway stations. 
We needed Passeig de Gràcia For the airport .

 photo cercanias_renfe_south_zpsaa6yauvj.jpg

If you are entering Barcelona for the first time I strongly recommend you stay on the train and alight at Estació de França ( that's France not Franco by the way )

 photo Estacioacute de Franccedila France Station_zps58vnw71v.jpg

 A truly fabulous and memorable holiday. Fantastic weather and great company.
I would just like to add that I hope the 2 guys that stole my phone in Sitges both rot in Hell

ttfn

Thursday, 30 April 2015

The 'Delargo Towers' Garden - April

Spring has Sprung and everything has started to grow away.
The snake's head fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris) has survived the move last year.

 photo P1280148_zpshje5nw9g.jpg
and has given us a couple of flowers.
 photo P1280148_zpshje5nw9g.jpg

The Anemone blanda has gone into overdrive

 photo P128012720crop_zps5pzdxisq.jpg
 photo 0bf11daf-4c46-4432-bfc6-9b5675cec16c_zpsnhnyvgkz.jpg

After the stars of the show, here we go with the rest of our tour. 
Starting as always with the window boxes.

 photo P1280143_zpsbcq50lfe.jpg
The violas were looking tatty and had been taken out to the back after doing sterling work all winter.
They were replaced by the Cineraria last month. they have recovered very well in the extra sunlight. 
The Cineraria have now been moved to make way for the tulips
 photo a189d34d-8f53-483c-b0db-a0bae36aa265_zpssv2o9nha.jpg

 photo DSC_0997_zpsdynml18y.jpg
 photo P1280234_zpsuvn0ndrq.jpg
 photo P1280233_zpsou5doarh.jpg
 photo P1280236_zpskjeevlfn.jpg
the end of the month saw the return of the violas as the tulips started to fade.
 photo P1280245_zpsjqqg9ph3.jpg

We had a grand show of daffs this year.

 photo P1280136_zpsjku47cxg.jpg
These have now been superseded by the fabulous Wallflowers
 photo P1280240_zpsvslt1c8o.jpg
 photo P1280238_zpsffe0nikh.jpg

Out the back the beds are coming on nicely.

 photo P1280248_zpsmfla2vie.jpg
the sweet peas are in
 photo P1280249_zpsrc06x8dl.jpg

and a new hand crafted planter is being constructed 
(from a wardrobe drawer some one had thrown out )

 photo P1280263_zpstrkz0wxc.jpg

The apple trees are in full blossom

 photo 180fb756-f11e-4ce8-b2ae-bff83d052821_zps0dnzwzop.jpg
 photo DSC_1004_zpsxrmd9liw.jpg
 photo c5db18a1-2195-45e4-83bb-079df69aec6a_zps2anpwfzt.jpg

and as April slips away the bluebells have started to come into flower

 photo 4227ec72-6044-46d2-ad19-8a1eb97ced43_zpsqbpr4qkf.jpg
 photo 0961ec80-84c4-423b-8154-ad2a89746a17_zpsbnl6uhz4.jpg

Looking forward to next month -

last years dahlias have done well through the winter and are all but ready to plant out

 photo P1280252_zpsdwema0pe.jpg

seedlings are being hardened off, while more are being sown.

 photo P1280253_zps95ftvbaa.jpg
 photo P1280260_zps5plapxiv.jpg

all in all a rewarding month - and Doncaster Donny is looking rather pleased...

 photo P1280250_zpssbfn0odw.jpg

ttfn

Random Memories - Dartmouth Bluebells

Spring has sprung and even if its still a little chilly so have our very own native bluebells

 photo P1280284_zpswj233qyu.jpg
As joyous as they are to us they do make me a little home sick for the great bluebell carpets of Devon

 photo Dartmouth_Old_Quay20-20The20Onedin20Line_zpsortciyvm.jpg

Particularly around Dartmouth. This is the 'Old Quay'. I used to live just behind the position of this photo. It was used in filming the TV series the Onidin Line.

 photo 383811_cc4725df_zps9r5b8gev.jpg

looking down towards the sea and 'Gallants Bower'

 photo 34727_69775_IMG_01_0000_zpslizspz2l.jpg

A wonderful place for wild flowers of all types but truly magical in Spring.

 photo nt20galants_zpsnodojkk3.jpg

Once a hill fort it has stunning views up the river Dart.

 photo 942972_648310055183705_1384552112_n_zpsa6avr4ep.jpg

and out to sea

 photo Gallants-Bower-11.3.14_zpss3lgvszu.jpg

And as said the setting of the most beautiful display of bluebells that I know of.

 photo 2799521_2a19b42c_zps8oarlgmu.jpg
 photo Gallants-Bower-bluebells-needs-permission-starburst_zpsrtraq2il.jpg
 photo 253295_648310031850374_517604016_n_zpseotouuxf.jpg
 photo 559534_648309928517051_1327624784_n_zps05ibafdn.jpg
 photo 968984_648310165183694_225747327_n_zpsdtzamape.jpg
 photo 603703_648309991850378_1193012304_n_zpswxals1xe.jpg
 photo 946798_648309981850379_289645520_n_zpsmsmi7lhv.jpg

I have many happy memories of walking here and hope you enjoyed sharing them.

 photo GallantsBowerBluebellPath_1000x300px-1000x300_zps9fuceiq7.jpg



ttfn