Living in Spain and bringing up a Spanglish family during the current 'crisis' and trying various ways to make some 'dinero'. Enjoying life in the sun, crafting and blogging as much as possible.

27 Nov 2012

The Best Christmas Markets in Europe


If you're looking for some festive cheer, the following markets, listed by country, are ideal for gingerbread, present-hunting and the odd glass of mulled wine... (Source of article)

Germany

Yule love Nuremberg

Germany is King of the Christmas markets - with a whopping 125 popping up over the festive period - and Nuremburg is home to the world’s largest. Hundreds of stalls decorated in red and white cloth offer gingerbread, roast sausages and traditional ornaments. Vendors are under strict rules. No tat here - this is the real authentic deal. Tuck into lebkuchen - famous German Christmas biscuits and feuerzangenbowle, the tastiest gluhwein laced with rum or brandy - and often set alight.
Festive fact: The oldest gingerbread recipe in writing dates from the 16th century and can be seen at the Germanic National Museum, in Nuremberg.
Details: Three nights at NH Nurnberg City on a room-only basis costs from £252pp. Price includes return flights departing December 4 2012. Lastminute.com, 0871 222 5969 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 0871 222 5969 end_of_the_skype_highlighting. www.lastminute.com.
Couple at a Christmas market
Mistletoe and wine: Christmas markets are an ideal way to stock up on gifts and enjoy the festive season

Cologne’s cosy Christmas special

Gabled houses, gothic cathedral, timber framed stalls - Cologne makes a magical winter scene. And the city’s six markets add plenty of dazzle - the Rhineland’s largest Christmas tree, artisans at work, the brother’s Grimm fairytales done up in lights, Santa’s grotto - this is Christmas at its most sugary (there’s even a market in the chocolate musuem).
Festive facts: Legend has it that the 'Heinzelmännchen' gnomes are responsible for Cologne’s Christmas show. Mind where you step.
Details: Stay two nights at a four star Best Western Grand City Hotel Koln on a room-only basis for £151pp. Price includes return flights departing on 11th December 2012. Contact: 0871 222 5969 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 0871 222 5969 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, www.lastminute.com. Eurostar travels to Cologne in just over 4 hours. Tickets start from £85 return, 08432 186 186 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 08432 186 186 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, www.eurostar.com.

Berlin Baubles

There are over 60 markets across the capital. Disney couldn’t have dreamt up a better location than Charlottenburg palace. This baroque beauty is transformed with over 150 stalls selling enormous sausages, intricate wooden decorations, mulled wine and more. There’s plenty for children across the city, including old fashioned carousels and ferris wheels.
Festive fact: Berlin’s Potsdamer Platz Christmas Market has an impressive toboggan run, which is 12 metres high and 70 metres long.
Details: Market opens from 26 November to 26 December. Entrance is free. Stay three nights for the price of two at the Art’Otel Berlin Mitte from £525 pp – saving £80. Price is based on two sharing and includes flights (London), private transfers, accommodation with breakfast. Book through Kirker Holidays on 020 7593 2283 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 020 7593 2283 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, www.kirkerholidays.com.
Berlin Gendarmenmarkt
Going for Gluhwein: Berlin's market takes up the whole square in front of the cathedral

Sweden

Glittering Gothenburg

Self styled as ‘Scandinavia’s Christmas city’ Gothenburg really glows. A two mile lane of illuminations will spark up, from the wheel of Gothenburg at the harbour to the Liseburg amusement park, fizzing away with millions of lights. At Liseburg, you’ll find a fairy tale castle, ski slope, ice rink, plenty of reindeer and the julbord - a seven course Christmas extravaganza. The market opens from 16 November - 23 December.
Festive fact: Father Christmas is known as Jul Tomte in this part of the world.
Details: Two nights’ B&B at five-star Rica 25 (two sharing) in Gothenburg, return flights (London) and 48 hour Gothenburg City Card (free public transport and entry into sites, including Liseberg Amusement Park) costs from £330pp. Valid for travel until 31 December. Book through Best Served Scandinavia, 020 7838 5956 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 020 7838 5956 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, www.best-served.co.uk.

Stockholm sparklers

The archipelago city plays host to four Christmas markets. The one on Skansen - the open-air island musuem - dates from 1903 (stallholders dress up in 19th century gear), and there’s another in picturesque Gamla Stan - Stocholm’s old town. Look out for Swedish speciliaties such as reindeer meat. Stortorget, Gamla Stan’s main square, offers a lantern-lit food fair selling homemade delights. For something really traditional, head out of Stcokholm to Sigtuna, Sweden’s first town, founded in 10th century. The Christmas markets start here on 27 November and are held on the four Sundays before Christmas Day.
Festive fact: Feeling energetic, then get your skis on. Vikingarännet (the Viking Run) is a 48 miles skating race between Uppsala and Stockholm, via Sigtuna.
Details: British Airways offer two nights at the 5* Sheraton Stockholm from £289 person, based on two people sharing, for travel in December. Price includes return flights from Heathrow and accommodation with breakfast. British Airways, 0844493 0758 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 0844493 0758 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, www.ba.com/christmasmarkets
A young woman serves a bag of roasted nuts at a Chistmas market in Salzburg
Warm welcome: The weather may be chilly, but the reception is far from it in Salzburg

Czech Republic

Wrap up in Prague

The city is on song for Christmas with daily performances by carol singers, lashings of hot wine, cool Czech beer, waffles and straw decorations. The main markets are held in aptly named Wenceslas Square and Old Town Square, where there’s an animal stable and nativity scene. The markets run from 1 December to 6 January 2013 (including Christmas day).
Festive fact: The giant Christmas tree in Old Town Square is a show stopper, shipped in from the Krkonose mountains in the north for the occasion.
Details: Stay four nights for the price of three at the four-star Casa Marcello from £446 pp (two sharing) including flights (from London), private car transfers and B&B. Kirker Holidays: 020 7593 2283 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 020 7593 2283 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, www.kirkerholidays.com.

Austria

Vienna’s snow storm

Stately Vienna gets into the spirit with several markets and Christmas villages glimmering temptingly across the city. Traditionalists will like Old Viennese Christmas Market on Freyung, which has been held here since 1772, and where you can buy cribs, glass ornaments, ceramics. Away from the stalls, wander specially decorated and lit City Park. At the cultural and Christmas market in the Ehrenhof, in front of Schönbrunn Palace, the jollity carries on with a New Year’s market.
Festive fact: Vienna is home to the snow globe. The first one was created in 1900 by Erwin Perzy and Edwin Perzy III still makes them.
Details: British Airways offer two nights at the 4* Arcotel Wimberger from £279 person, based on two people sharing, for travel in December. The price includes return British Airways flights from Heathrow and room only accommodation. For reservations visit www.ba.com/christmasmarkets or call 0844493 0758 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 0844493 0758 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Prague Christmas market
Czech mate: Prague also has a festive market in its central square

France

Twinkly Lille

Roll in on the Eurostar for a French Christmas - bright lights, tempting tarts and 80 traditional wooden chalets. Children can have their pictures taken with Santa. Parents can rise above it all on the 50 metre high ferris wheel situated on the Grand Place.
Markets open from 21 November to 30 December.
Festive fact: In France Saint-Nicolas has a partner, le Père Fouettard - the whipping father - whose job it is to decide whether children have been good or bad.
Details: Tickets to Lille on Eurostar start from £69 return: 08432 186 186 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 08432 186 186 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, www.eurostar.com

A market extravaganza

Can’t decide which to choose? Take them all in on a Christmas cruise with Ama waterways along the Danube. Sail aboard a thoroughly festive ship (garlands, trees, lights, santa) for 7 nights between Nuremberg and Budapest, including trips to Salzburg and the medieval city of Regensburg in Germany.
Festive Fact: St Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors. He lived in the city of Patara (on the Mediterranean) during the third century.
Details: AmaWaterways’ 7 night Christmas time cruise costs from £1265 pp, (based on 12th December departure) including all meals, wine, complimentary daily tours and excursions, free use of on-board bicycles, excluding flights. AmaWaterways: 0808 223 5009 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 0808 223 5009 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, www.amawaterways.co.uk

Great Britain

Winchester’s winter wonder

This gentile city opens up its cathedral close for commerce - with stalls offering gift ideas from Moroccan lanterns, pottery, apple boxes and traditional British sweets. Market opens from November 22 to December 23 in the cathedral’s inner close. A lantern procession marks the start.
Festive fact: The 12th century Winchester bible is one of the finest examples of its kind and features illuminations in gold leaf.
Details: Rooms at Hotel Du Vin, Winchester start from £125 per night. Contact: 01962 841414 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 01962 841414 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, www.hotelduvin.com

A very merrry Manchester

Over 200 wooden chalets appear in the city offering Christmassy treats from around the world (there’s even a dedicated world market on Brazennose street) - Hungarian goulash, paella, bratwurst, dutch pancakes - take your pick. Market runs from November 17 to December 23.
Festive fact: Manchester City fans wore sky blue and white Santa costumes at home games one year as they could not bear to wear the red and white associated with their traditional rivals United.
Details: Bed down in the stylish Mal Maison from £119 per night, 0161 278 1000 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 0161 278 1000 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, www.malmaison.com 

26 Nov 2012

CYBER MONDAY SALE


SALE TODAY ONLY

Use coupon code CYBER12 for a 20% discount of any purchase in my ETSY Store

http://www.dengradesigns.etsy.com 

19 Nov 2012

So Where do you Sell?


With the following article just published on the BBC News Magazine I am curious to find out from other craft folk - where do you sell your crafts? Do you use Etsy? Folksy? eBay? Local Craft Markets? any other web based site? etc? what are your experiences? which ones work better for you?

I have tried Tophatter but since the day it started to present day they seem to change their rules, up their prices and you see the same people getting priorities and others not getting a look in

I have tried eBay but they too are extortionate with their fees etc

I cant list on Folksy as I am based in Spain

I have had no luck with Dawanda, Artfire or Handmade

The best one for me is definiely Etsy.........I love Etsy and the custom support team, marketing advice, blogs etc etc......PLUS they are NOT a rip off with their fees

SO........come on folks......tell me your experiences.......



Article below from BBC News Magazine

Etsy, Folksy and the mania for making crafts

Mouse in gladiator costume
Arts and craft-orientated websites are now showcasing a bewildering array of homemade, pop culture-influenced knick-knacks. Craftmania is among us. Why?
It's a toy mouse clad in leather armour. Complete with shield and sword.
It's a gladiator mouse and it costs £19. Somebody has made it - and somebody out there is willing to buy it.
This mouse is part of a trend, one of millions of handmade craft objects being made at home and sold online.
There is a subculture of crafters. They congregate on online marketplaces like Etsy and Folksy. They craft everything from bunny-shaped bookends and knitted jam jars to Union Jack radiator covers and shabby chic coffee tables.
Items can be bafflingly niche. Twilight fanatics can purchase anything from blood cup and saucer sets to vampire-fang dreamcatchers.
Someone has collated the 10 weirdest "Game Of Thrones" finds, including a Direwolf handpuppet and a "Dothraki onesie". There's a list of the 15 creepiest guinea pigs and someone else gathered together 12 unusual, unexpected, and downright odd crafts.
Crafts, weird and otherwise, are growing.
(clockwise) ornamental eggs, dragon sun catcher, ornamental pin, t-shirt detail, mug with slogan "Winter is coming" (Images: Etsy) The fantasy Game of Thrones, now a TV series, has inspired a number of craftworks (Images: Etsy)
Etsy says the number of active sellers - people who have listed, advertised, sold an item or opened a shop on the site within a 12 month period - has risen from 150,000 in 2009, to 800,000 in 2011.
Sales on the site have risen from $176.8m (£110m) in 2009, to $525.6m (£328) in 2011, while members have risen from 3.8m in 2009 to 17m in 2012.
Folksy, which launched in 2008 and focuses exclusively on UK designers and makers, says sales increased by 526% from June 2009 to June 2012.
It's not primarily a professional thing. Students, stay-at-home parents and those with rat race escape aspirations are among the crafters.
Nikki McWilliams The designer in Selfridges
Nikki McWilliams Nikki McWilliams, 26, is a homeware and accessory designer from Dundee Custard Cream cushion Custard cream cushion Tunnock's Teacake cushion Tunnock's teacake cushion "I did a degree in fine art, graduating in 2008, but also use a lot of the skills my mum taught me as a little girl.
"I make cushions with playful, biscuity designs - like custard creams or bourbons.
"Having an online presence is like having a window to the world.
"There is a nice community on the sites, and people make treasures of items.
"The exciting thing was I ended up getting my cushions in Selfridges' windows for 10 weeks over the Jubilee. I never thought that would happen to me and my products."

Shirley Woosey

The account clerk and hobbyist

Shirley Woosey, 58, from Preston Shirley Woosey, 58, from Preston, works part time as an account clerk Russian doll book cover Russian doll book cover Night owls iPad cover Night owls iPad cover "I've always been interested in sewing and craft work, but it was only a hobby. I gave things to family as presents, but I'd never sold anything.
"About 18 months ago, I realised how easy it was to sell things online. My granny taught me to make book covers. But I recently bought an e-reader and realised there weren't many individually made covers, so I started making them too.
"I started selling on Folksy and I've sold about 200. I joined Etsy about nine months ago and have sold about 300 there too.
"My most popular designs are owls and Russian dolls. I send items to Japan, Singapore, Australia, Canada. Knowing that people have things with my label in all over the world is a really nice feeling."

Marion McConaghie

The mother in John Lewis

Marion McConaghie Marion McConaghie, 42, from Lewes, East Sussex, is a full-time mum Blue Butterfly Dictionary Art Print Butterfly dictionary art "I did a degree in fine art and got a job in graphic design. But I've always done my own work too.
"When I had a child, I wanted to move into other areas, which felt like a natural process.
"Craft fairs didn't work out for me - and I feel more in control working from home. I'm a full-time mum, so it fits around my life better.
"I started selling things on Etsy at Christmas 2011, and found Folksy in March. Both are really good sites in different ways.
"A positive outcome was a publisher acting on behalf of John Lewis approached me through Etsy and I was offered a contract. They took on a selection of my prints in September."

Rachel Jinks

The full-time statistician

Rachel Jinks Rachel Jinks, 31, from Hersham, Surrey, works as a statistician London skyline cat safety collar London skyline cat safety collar Union Jack cat collar Union Jack cat collar "I'd always done little crafty things as a teenager - my mum is an artist. As I student I'd make pocket money out of it, but I hadn't done anything since.
"I started selling cat collars in October 2010, basically because I got two cats and they kept losing their collars.
"It took me by surprise that people wanted to buy the collars, but I love that people like my things. Most of the sellers on the sites are women, and a lot will go the extra mile to make something special.
"It's nice to have something to channel my creativity into but I'm not seeking to expand at the moment.
"I wouldn't have done this without the internet. I couldn't spend time at craft fairs or pet shows with a full time job."
James Boardwell, who runs Folksy, says a small survey suggests 70% of sellers sign up to the site because they "like the act of making rather than for any financial reward".
Another 20-25% make a significant second or third income from the site, while only about 5-10% make their living through their work, he says.

Popular crafts

  • Folksy says jewellery and accessories account for 40% of all items
  • It says Christmas decorations, cards and buttons are also popular
  • Etsy says personalisation and customisation remain top trends
  • Wedding craft such as customised save the dates, invitation sets and cake toppers sell well
  • Steampunk style is a big trend on Etsy
  • Pop culture influences sellers
Source: Folksy and Etsy
Richard Sennett, author of the Craftsman, agrees crafters are "not just bored people with time on their hands".
"A lot of people are finding their day jobs pretty empty, whereas learning a craft provides a real satisfaction. It's a skill - things like carpentry and weaving are mentally and physically stimulating, and people get inherent pleasure out of that kind of work," he says.
The craft calling also reflects a growing desire to reassert individuality in a culture of cheap mass-produced goods, according to Richard Cope, director of insight at Mintel Inspire.
"In an era where everyone is walking around with Kindles and PCs and the same MP3 player and Superdry clothes, handmade and niche items are a real opportunity to express personality," he says.
(clockwise) leather book, butterfly hair grip, compass, goggles, eye necklace pendant (Images: Etsy/Folksy) Steampunk style is popular amongst customers (Images: Folksy/Etsy)
Consumers too put more value on tangible, tactile objects, he says.
"Since the digital age, things like books, DVDs, records and CDs have started to disappear. It's eroded people's sense of having to own physical products because everything is virtual instead, and this is a reaction."

Why people craft

  • Sense of accomplishment
  • Relaxation
  • Memory keeping
  • Health
  • Economy/Value
  • Recommended by friends or family
  • Enables spending time with others
  • Interaction with children
Source: Craft and Hobby Association
Shoppers also tend to get more excited by something another human being has put individuality into, rather than something that is factory made, argues Sennett.
"It's particularly true in food, which people don't tend to think of as a craft, but is actually the most prevalent craft people practise," he says.
But if craftmania is in some way a reaction to mass-produced goods, machinery and systems, it is also indebted to it.
"The internet has enabled individuals and small companies to have a global footprint, it allows people to sell all over the world," says the Work Foundation's Spencer Thompson.
"Before people would have had to travel or gone to craft fairs to turn crafts into cash - it couldn't have happened on this scale."
Clockwise (rabbit, Elvis Presley Meerkat by NiftyKnits, bee, teddy bear, zebra) Quirky animals are another popular craft (Images: Folksy)
The craft calling can be seen as an extension of the knitting craze which took off about 10 years ago.
Jennifer Pirtle, who owns the Make Lounge, in London, says craft courses used to be long and expensive. Now basic skills in everything from crochet and paper cutting art to soap and lampshade making can be learned in a few hours.

Professional craft-maker's average craft-related income

  • UK - £19,827
  • Wales - £18,594
  • Northern Ireland - £18,925
  • England - £19,774
  • Scotland - £20,920
Source: UK Craft Council
The internet has also made craft more accessible. Searches for terms like "handmade craft ideas" have increased by 70% in the last 12 months, according to Peter Fitzgerald, director at Google UK, with "crafts" and "handmade craft" searches ranking the highest in the US, Canada, South Africa, the UK and Ireland.
Broadwell says for a long time, much of the professional craft community saw online selling as "cheapening their art". But he says they are "gradually accepting" the marketplaces.
And with good reason, according to Sian Rees, who has been a creative director within the art publishing industry for 20 years.
(clockwise) detail from leather cuff, skull keyring, leather iPod holder, earrings, detail from leather wallet (Images: Folksy) Accessories and jewellery feature prominently on Folksy (Images: Folksy)
She says her customers, which include John Lewis, Next and Heal's, are always looking for new talent, and she scans Etsy and Folksy on a daily or weekly basis for up and coming artists and designers.
"The resource is hugely useful. You can approach people from your desk rather than getting on a plane or going to a gallery. But you have to move fast, because lots of people are looking," she says.
However Rees warns the sites are "not an easy fix" for aspiring department store stockists as there is a "tidal wave of content - with lots of copying and mimicking". People need to be special to stand out.
Six images of personalised cakes and stationery (Images: Folksy/Etsy) Wedding items are increasingly common, part of a wider trend for personalisation and customisation (Images: Folksy/Etsy)
So is craft going to continue to rise?
Boardwell says although there has been "tremendous growth" in the number of new sellers, it seems to be "plateauing".
Sennett believes there is a limit to how far consumers want craft to go too. "Few people can afford to buy bespoke cars," he says.
But Cope says the entrepreneurial side of craft is part of a wider trend of consumers learning to do things, such as cooking from scratch, for themselves. And he says that is here to stay.
Thompson agrees. "Coffee shops and bars are moving towards locally produced, interesting products rather than generic items.
"Craft making was seen as old fashioned but there's been a shift. Now people want authentic, one-off products, as opposed to going to Primark," he says.

14 Nov 2012

Winter is coming........now is the time to.....


Important information written by a friend of mine.........

With winter just around the corner, now is the time to check your car over, to reduce the chance of it breaking down and hitting your purse / wallet.

Ensuring that your car is in safe mechanical condition is a year-round job for every motorist, but it’s particularly important as the winter weather takes hold. There are also some specific cold-weather checks and maintenance that you should carry out.

Add anti-freeze to your radiator. Engine coolant can crack radiators, even the engine block itself, if allowed to freeze, which will land you with costly repair bills. Check your handbook for details on which product to use. (Its normally recomended to change the antifreeze every two years. It should normally be a deep and clear colour, either red, purple, green or blue. Its its not get it checked pronto)

Keep your windscreen washer reservoir well topped up with appropriate screen wash containing anti-freeze additives. Examine the wiper blades, front and rear, and replace them if they’re worn.

Cold starts place an extra strain on the car’ battery, as does the increased use of the headlights and demisters. If your car is sluggish to start in the morning, consider replacing your battery.

Make sure the battery’s contact terminals are free from grime. You could also grease them to prevent charge leakage.

Check your tyres. Low tread or unevenly worn tyres are dangerous, particularly during the winter months. Its best to have at least 3mm of tread, nearly double the 1.6mm required by law. Don’t forget to check the spare, too. Make sure the pressures are correct.

Even in winter you should run your air-conditioning for at least an hour a week. This allows the coolant in the system to lubricate all of the moving parts and prevents the build-up of elements which can corrode pipework.

It’s especially important that you continue to regularly check all of the fluid levels, lights and tyre pressures through the winter. If you find something incorrect, fix it before you set off.

Make sure your car is serviced according to the manufacturer’s schedule to ensure it’s in proper working order throughout the winter.

If you dont know how to check any of these items, ask a friend or your local garage owner. It wont cost a lot, and could save you a fortune in repair bills and inconvenience.

13 Nov 2012

Unlikely Bonding



This is the second book in a trilogy,called the Art of Stupidity. It follows the antics of Brian Wilson and a bunch of characters who stagger from one calamity to another. It is based in a Comprehensive school in middle England ,but ends up on the high sea's. The following is a section in which the staff are expected to go on an outward bound course and Brian is having a few thoughts about a sexy fellow teacher.
" Like I say, if you need some personal coaching, I will only be too pleased to assist,” replied the Head of Physical Education.
“Bet you would,” muttered the science teacher under his breath, “anything to see Mary Telford doing press ups.”
“Blimey,” said Brian who overheard him, “I’d be happy to raise a sweat, in order to see that. If she is going on this thing, then so am I, she can be in my team any day. Just think of it, you and Mary Telford alone on your home made raft, drifting into the sunset, exhausted from following you through the obstacle course, she settles back in your arms…”
“Shut up,” said the science teacher.
“Why?” said Brian, “I was just getting going with the imagery.”
“Shut up because she has moved up behind you, that’s why,” grinned the science teacher, having a good idea what was coming next.
Brian smelt the fragrance of perfume and the slightest touch of female skin on his cheek as Mary leant close to his ear and with perfect pouting lips whispered. “Listen slime bucket, fifty says I can beat you at everything, you could never keep up with me darling, in any physical activity, know what I mean?” And with that she drifted away, not that Brian noticed, he was still revelling in the fact that a sexy woman had just whispered suggestively in his ear.
The first book THE ART OF STUPIDITY is available on Kindle and should be read first. Following on from this second book comes
THE OLD TUB ,GOOSEBERRY.

9 Nov 2012

From Spain with Love - Annie Sibonney

I really enjoy watching the food channel on the tv (no262) and it is even better at the weekend when I can watch 'from Spain with love'. Tonight Annie was in Granada.

About

An intimate food adventure series, From Spain With Love immerses viewers in the rich and diverse culinary culture of Spain, as seen through the eyes of passionate gastro nomad and host Annie Sibonney.

Host: Annie Sibonney

A passionate gastronomad and expert on Spanish regional and haute cuisine, Sibonney has spent the past five years eating her way through Spain in search of the most memorable meals and ethereal culinary pleasures. Along the way, she has forged relationships and friendships with world-renowned chefs, local characters, food critics, historians, wine makers and artisans, all rooted in a shared love for celebrating life through memorable food, wine, travel, friends and experiences. Born to French-Moroccan parents and based out of culturally rich Toronto, Sibonney has traveled the globe in pursuit of culinary adventure. Her mastery of five languages, including Spanish, has allowed her to fully explore some of the richest gastronomic centers of the world including Morocco, France, Egypt, Spain, Italy, Peru and Mexico.

While completing degrees in Hispanic Studies and Spanish-English Translation, she opened Flavours, a boutique catering company that specialized in creating dishes inspired from her journeys and experiences abroad, using ingredients and flavor profiles significant to a particular country or culture and doused with innovative and creative flourishes.

Annie launched Relish Culinary Tours in 2007, which designs exclusive, fully arranged, escorted gastronomic excursions to Spain and Italy for private groups and individuals as hungry for adventure as she is.
Follow Annie on Twitter: @AnnieSibonney  (source)

1 Nov 2012

All Saints Day and All Souls Day

The end of October brings All Saint's Day and All Soul's Day in Spain, another Bank Holiday weekend and an important family occasion for Spanish families. Work is underway to clean cemeteries, repainting and replanting ready for the visits of family and friends, the bakeries filled with "saint's bones" and sticky arrope, candles, flowers and sweet pink potatoes on sale in village stores across the region ready for the events of the next few days.

Don't forget, the 1st November is a National Holiday.