Travel Sparkles ✨

And she’s off again…

Yes, I grabbed another opportunity to head for a little Lanzarote sunshine recently to celebrate my cousin’s 60th birthday. It was a short trip, just four nights and we packed a lot into our three full days together. There were nine of us altogether for the birthday celebrations. Three of us had travelled for the four night break, the rest were out there for varying times between a week, a fortnight or six weeks (how lovely).

The sun was setting as we came into land in Arrecife.

Costa Teguise is known as quite the foodie resort these days and I have to say, in my limited experience of visiting here, (this was my third visit), there is a vast array of restaurants of every style within the area. I have not had one bad meal so far and this visit was no exception. Thursday evening we visited El Bocadito https://www.instagram.com/tabernaelbocadito/ a typical Spanish restaurant and when you see somewhere frequented by the locals and a waiting list to be seated, you know the food is good. Lanzarote was on level three covid restrictions when we were there and therefore mask wearing outside was mandatory as was no more than six people to a table. All the restaurants were very accommodating ensuring that our tables were close enough together to converse whilst also being within social distancing guidelines.

This restaurant accommodates all food tastes and is very much a meat eaters dream. There are huge display cabinets containing award winning cuts of meat and you can watch your steaks or burgers being cooked on the grill. I am not a meat eater so I chose the Cod Steak with Mash which was just delicious. I also tried the Polvita for dessert. Polvita is a thick caramel sponge, drizzled with caramel sauce, chopped meringue and topped with cream and more caramel sauce. It’s a surprisingly light dessert and moreish. It’s a lovely restaurant, very friendly staff and gorgeous food.

Friday was my cousins birthday and the celebrations commenced at 11 am with eight of us going into the sea. My cousin has always gone into the sea at all times of the year and she really wanted to do this on her birthday. Surprisingly it wasn’t as ice cold as we expected however it was quite rough on that day so we all felt like we had been exfoliated once we got out. Main meal of the day was at 1:30 pm and it was a long, leisurely lunch of homemade paellas. One fish paella and one meat paella served with homemade warm bread rolls and Canarian wine. We ate at El Guachinche de Luis https://www.instagram.com/elguachinchedeluis/ and Luis does all the cooking himself. Absolutely delicious food and excellent service. Luis is open for breakfast, brunch and lunch and also has a takeaway service. Luis was close to closing his lovely restaurant due to the lack of trade from tourists over the last two years so it was wonderful to see the restaurant full and bustling with trade once again.

After our amazing lunch we returned to the house and had birthday cake with champagne. Oh wow the cake, I know it looks in the photo like it is a very heavy, stodgy kind of chocolate cake but it was quite the opposite. Light chocolate sponge with light chocolate cream layers alternating with a semi sweet layer of cherries. Think a variation of Black Forest Gateaux and you’ll get the picture. Talk about a lifetime on the hips and well worth every mouthful.

Birthday Cake

In the evening we visited a wonderful Italian/Spanish wine bar called Eat Italian. This really is a hidden gem of a wine bar serving the most delicious tapas and the ladies that run it have extensive knowledge of wine and stock quite an array of wines, spirits and liquors. Think chilled out music, warm breeze evenings, plentiful tapas and delightful wines all served with huge smiles and time to stop and talk. We had a fabulous night there and my cousin was joined by a number of ex-pat friends made on her many trips to Lanzarote over the years.

It’s safe to say that we were all a little delicate on the Saturday morning and we had a very quiet, relaxed day. We had no plans except to sit in the sunshine, go for a walk, have a coffee and chat. Perfect. The sea was a lot calmer on Saturday so we did have a paddle.

Saturday night was my final night of the trip and we ate at Restaurante La Chimenea https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g659633-d3374635-Reviews-or320-Restaurante_La_Chimenea-Costa_Teguise_Lanzarote_Canary_Islands.html None of us had ever eaten there before and we all really enjoyed our meals. We would visit there again for dinner, once again, beautiful food, friendly staff and great service.

Chicken la Chimenea

I am so glad that I decided to grab this opportunity to spend the time with my cousins celebrating a special birthday in Lanzarote. This trip did take place just before I commenced my healthy eating and fitness plan, hence the desserts, chocolate cake and wine consumption. Life is for living and if the chance comes along to do something, especially with family you love, grab it.

With love and sparkles xxx

Travel Sparkles ✨

A Surprise Getaway

Time to board.

During a Houseparty video call my cousin said ‘Dawn, the flights are £9.99 each way, book and come out for a week’. So I did! I admit I was apprehensive about travelling even though restrictions had been lifted. I decided that if I didn’t go for it, I would keep putting it off and end up never going back out there. I completed the relevant forms, downloaded apps, booked flights and packed my cabin bag. I was ready for off.

Restrictions were in place at Birmingham Airport and people complied. All documentation was checked, I had a row to myself on the plane and mask wearing was mandatory. All documentation was checked at Arrecife, Lanzarote’s airport and the bus company had provided individual taxi’s rather than the usual mini bus to Costa Teguise. Oh how good it felt to feel the warmth of the Spanish September sunshine. We took so much for granted before the pandemic. We could choose to go away for a trip, research the trip, book and go. It’s a very different story now with the various rules and regulations and I felt very lucky to actually be in Lanzarote after such a long time.

It’s so lovely to wake up everyday to beautiful sunshine, to know there was nothing to do but relax, stroll, swim and enjoy the day. After the previous few months dealing with and healing from burnout, this week away arrived at just the right time.

We walked every day, we swam and I was so pleased with myself. I went from four lengths of the pool to fourteen. Although we had our treats, especially some delicious cocktails and ice creams, I didn’t gain any weight, what a result!!! I can only put it down to the exercise. So much easier to go out for a long walk in the sunshine than the cold and pouring rain. Note to self – must push myself to exercise more over the Winter.

Summer clothes were bought and worn. Lockdown weight gain had ensured my usual Summer wardrobe no longer fitted me (a definite note to self – fit into your clothes for next Summer). There was something so healing and gentle about having the week with my cousin in Lanzarote. Regular readers of my blog will know I love Spain and all things Spanish. I was so happy out there. There’s something very therapeutic about being away from home. I can’t worry or stress about anything because I’m not there to deal with it and that thought somehow completely relaxes me.

Back home and feeling empowered to follow my dreams. My cousin is wise and when I am caught up in my head with all the things I am doing, want to do, need to do, hope to do and yet nothing is getting done because of demands on time. Talking things through with her helped as she forced me to see the obvious way forward which I hadn’t been able to see as I was trying to do everything with no real organisation which isn’t really like me at all. Anyway, since the week away I am far more organised, I have implemented a more structured approach to my week and what I’m doing. No-one can make things happen but me. I am definitely emerging from the hard times and leaving some things and some people behind. Life evolves, time evolves, people evolve. We learn lessons and we teach lessons. Sometimes we need the break from the day to day to put life into perspective, take an outside view and move forwards.

Self belief is a must, whatever it is, we can do it. Take the first step and go for it.

With love and sparkles xxx