Recent Local Snaps


A new EU law on food allergens means that gluten-free food will be more easily identified and available to those with coeliac disease or any of the many other common allergies triggered by problem foods.

Since last December, Cantueso, along with other restaurants and food outlets, have been legally obliged to list and advise when dishes contain any one of 14 key allergens known to cause allergic reactions. They must display a notice advising customers that this information is available, and


Hotel Finca el Cerrillo sits just outside the village of Canillas de Albaida. The Hotel was created from an olive mill that sat on this site for over two hundred years. The terraced gardens were once home to paseros (raisin beds) where the owners made raisins from the Moscatel grapes as families in the area still do today.

Sue and Gordon Kind bought the run down property in 2001 and spent two years rebuilding to create a haven that is popular with walkers, painters and people who just want to relax. Their challenge was to preserve the charm and character of the old Andalucían Finca that they had fallen in love with whilst installing modern comforts.

Today their hard work has paid off and their 13 rooms boast air-conditioning for the summer months and underfloor heating for the winter. The original mill room with its stone pillars provides a comfortable lounge that hardly changes temperature throughout the year.


Gardeners and non-gardeners alike often confuse agaves and aloes, understandably! Even experts can have some trouble with them as they often appear so alike. If we delve back into their fascinating history, the differences become a little clearer, though they are an example of what we call convergent evolution. This means that two completely distinct genera of plants develop in two different parts of the world yet develop a very similar appearance and way of living. Both have adapted to live in dry inhospitable places and are invaluable in our gardens to provide form, structure and drama with almost total neglect!


There is always tension when cultures meet and none more so when you are a sick Expat, have poor Spanish and you have been admitted to a Spanish state hospital. Having spent over a week recovering from major surgery in Colemar Hospital I have made some observations to help the hospitalised Expat cope with the experience.

Medical care in Spain is among the best in Europe, technical expertise is high and world class in some areas like cancer treatment. Wards are cleaned regularly and hygiene is superb. Food is nutritious and has a Spanish emphasis.

Apart from the obvious language difficulties in a Spanish hospital (most hospitals now have part time translators to help you if your Spanish is weak) there are many other significant differences to contend with in attitude, expectations and family involvement with the patient. Not to mention living close to other patients that have an entourage of family supporters coming and going at all times that tend to set up 'camp' in your two person room.

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