Saturday, 8 February 2014

Another successful Olive Weekend at Ca'n Reus 

We had a good turnout this year for our latest, the sixth Olive Weekend at Ca'n Reus.  Exactly 20 people came.

There were showers on Saturday but that did not put a dampner on the cookery class where we were shown how to perfect chocolate olive oil mousse (see the picture) by the Michelin star cooking team on the island.

Sunday was sunny for the annual St. Antonio Animal Festival in Fornalutx where horses galloped through the village and the priest blessed the animals who paused and stopped for his attention.

We walked to lunch at the Mirador, taking care to bless any animals we met on the way (see picture of Danny Woolf and her friends) and tucked in to magnificent Mallorquin fare - potato croquettes, suckling pig and almond cake.

Do book with us next time. The next Olive Weekend will be on October 31st. See you there!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Our special Romanian guests...

Georgiana and Diana from Romania
August has been difficult with temperatures in the high 30s most days. But guests at Ca’n Reus may have been surprised to see no drop in standards – not least due to our guests from a Children’s Home in Romania who have been staying with us for the past week. Although they were staying here as guests, they were determined to help. Every morning the 12 year old girls, Georgiana and Diana, would help lay the tables and 12 year old Albert and 13 year old Marcel would sweep the terrace.

Marcel's meatballs went down a treat!
Marcel is a super cook who plans to be Romania’s Jamie Oliver one day. (When I visited their home in Romania last year, he showed a copy of the Jamie Oliver cookbook, his most treasured possession, translated in to Romanian!) He cooked French toast and omelettes for breakfast and, in the picture, that is Marcel in an apron with his back to the camera having just prepared the most delicious Romanian meatballs for a dinner for 22 people!

The boys Albert & Marcel
But it was not all child labour here at Ca’n Reus. They went to the beach, to Aqualand, to the Aquarium, on our boat, to the swimming pool, they ate kilos of ice cream and still had time to make lots of friends from among our guests and the many Romanians who live on the island.

They leave today and I don’t know what we shall do without them. We have had so much fun introducing them to Ca’n Reus and showing them the island. I hope their first trip abroad was as memorable for them has been for us.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Strawberry Daquiris!

Yalina with her famous daquiris
The weather is now settled for at least the next five months - long, sunny days and warm, balmy evenings. 

There are some disadvantages, however. Well, only one. Nick and I walked from Soller to DeiĆ” yesterday and concluded that it might be the last walk of the season. It is getting too hot for walking for us, though that does not seem to deter the younger of the hotel guests. 

We have one British couple here who are determined to complete all nine of my walks listed in the hotel information pack in the week they are here and, by the end of today, they will have done it.  The older generation, like Nick and me,  prefer to spend the days by the pool, on the beach or on our little boat. Funny thing about boats, isn't it? However hot it is on the shore, as soon as you get a hundred meters or so away, there is a cool, refreshing breeze.

But the best thing about the summer, for me, is the evenings. I just love sitting under the stars and in the warm until the early hours of the morning. Nick and I are doing our weekly BBQ and the Bar Sa Placa in Fornalutx has organised a programme of Thursday night live music which is pulling in the locals and hotel guests alike. We had the "Old Cats" last week and the "Blue Devils" come next. The bar owner, Jaime, has been clever enough to engage the services of one of our employees, Yalina, a Cuban from Havana, for these nights. She mixes the best Mojitos and Daquiris in the business. On Thursday, Yalina treated me to her speciality - Strawberry Daquiri, which was delicious. I can easily forgive her for making me turn up for breakfast duties on Friday mornings a little worse for wear!

Come and join the fun!

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Winter in Mallorca, olive weekends, renovation...

WINTER IN MALLORCA is great. Since I got back here from my London chores in mid December, the sun has shone almost non-stop. We have taken long hikes in the mountains and have taken the little boat out. We sit outside for lunch and even have sundowner drinks on the terrace.

Last weekend's Olive Weekend was a great success. Our guests included Britons, Americans, Germans, Indians and a glamorous Iranian lady journalist thrown in for good measure. It was fun, very international with lots of good talk besides the scheduled olive picking, olive oil making and cookery class. 

We had a Spanish Classical Guitar concert in the entrada of Ca'n Reus on Saturday evening by Antonio Miranda. whose sophisticated and professional playing successfully blends classical with modern jazz. My husband Nick and I have become Antonio groupies and are going to a jamming session by him and fellow musicians at the Jazz Club in Palma next week.

But now Ca'n Reus gets down to some serious work. For the next month, we have only two rooms open while the roof is repaired and insulated, new air conditioning units are fitted in to all rooms, two bathrooms are being renovated and everywhere gets a lick of paint. As I write this, I am sitting in a pile of dust and packing boxes but the workmen promise me all will be finished on schedule.

What’s more, Can Reus is finally getting round to launching its online booking system. It’s designed to be interactive; all guest will be able select the room and dates they prefer instantly from the website. The system also uses PayPal to ensure a fast and secure payment.

By the time we reopen completely, in time for Valentine's Day, we shall be in fine shape...

Hope to see you all here soon

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Olive weekends: past and future...

The October Olive Weekend was a great success. Great company, fabulous weather, good walking and excellent eating. The concert by Philip Lange in the candlelit entrada of the hotel was an additional, romantic treat of exceptional musical quality.

The winter months are wonderful here. As I write this, the sun is streaming in to the hotel from the terrace, the sky blue and the grey, rain sodden skies of England (where I was yesterday) feel blissfully far away.

January and February seem like the most depressing months in Northern Europe, but I have good news - we have another Olive Weekend coming up in January.

We call it the Soller Valley Experience because we combine the olive picking, eating and walking with the local annual village animal festival. There will be a BBQ and bonfire in the village square and, on the Sunday, the priest blesses the full range of village animals from canaries in cages to dogs on leashes and handsome stallions racing through the cobbled streets.

It is great fun and reminds me of what living in Spain is all about – fiestas, fun and lots of sun.

Do join us!

The details are on the hotel website.


Saturday, 29 September 2012

Autumn musings

A lot of my friends thought we were daft when we decided to move to Spain nine years ago but looking out on to perpetually blue, sunny skies over the last week, taking the boat out, swimming in the sea and still dining out under the stars at the end of September, I know we took the right decision.

Nonetheless, I took a shawl with me last night. There is a hint, but only a hint, of autumn in the air. Given that I live here for the walking, I still have a lot to look forward to - lots of hiking through the Sierra Tramuntana with friends, picnics, drinks in mountain refuges and sustaining lunches in hilltop restaurants.

The landscape will change for the better - the oranges and lemons will soon be back on the trees and the olives are beginning to ripen. Our October Olive Weekend is now booked out but we still have vacancies for January when, if the record of the last nine years is anything to go by, the sky will still be blue!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Fiesta Season Cometh

The Mallorca summer proceeds at its leisurely pace. Endless blue skies, picnics on the beach, boat excursions, cocktails on the terrace of Ca'n Reus watching the sunset, late, Spanish style dinners in the open and those long, sultry nights when, if you are a local, you are considered a wimp if you go to bed before dawn. And the best thing about living in Spain? We have another three months of the same!

And, in the unlikely event that you might need a little more excitement, we have fiestas galore. The feast of San Bartolomeu, a pyromaniacs' delight, in the main square of the town of Soller, 10 minutes away, on August 28th.

Fireworks at the Festival of San Bartolomeu
Crazy floats, wild dancing and extravagant fireworks to indulge the Spanish love of noise and danger.And - highlight of the local calendar - the Fornalutx Fiesta on September 7, 8 and 9th. Folkdance and music, communal village feasting and, for the stronghearted, the Running of the Bull through the streets of the village. Not to be missed!