Monday, 3 February 2014

Seeing the New Year in with style...

I was lucky enough to see in the New Year of 2014 in the most amazing way - skiing in Sierra Nevada Spain, Europe’s most southerly ski resort. At 3,478 meters this means mucho sun and mucho snow!

Although the top of the resort was not yet open the snow canons were firing and the snow & conditions were very good. 
Since first visiting this resort as a child in the nineties the past few years I have re-visited and it seems to become more hip & happening each year, much thanks to the funky young snow boarders & free skiers who come here to ride the slopes & snow park then enjoy the après-ski scene! As with most places I have visited in Spain there is a real party atmosphere here!

In my ongoing search of the ultimate aperitif  (the first beer after a days skiing is a million times more rewarding than that first beer after a hard day at the office!) 

I can conclude my 3 favorite locations in the resort :-

Firstly the cheeky little Verve Clicquot champagne bar & terrace complete with DJ and what seems to be an endless supply of the bubbly stuff is perched half way up the mountain. It is a small but perfectly formed trendy pit stop, perfect for chilling out to the Ibiza style soundtrack while watching your fellow skiers hurtle past on El Rio slope!!

In the actual resort one of the best locations to catch the last of the sun after an exhilarating day of throwing caution to the wind and yourself down the mountain is on the westerly facing terraces of Plaza De Andalucía where you have a choice of several great bars & restaurants.

Finally El Lodge Hotel owned by the Marbella Club is THE most luxurious hotel in Sierra Nevada that opened in 2012. This place is the ultimate in James Bond style luxury ski & spa resort. Built in a Nordic style wood cabin with the only outdoor heated swimming pool in the resort it is in the perfect position to get the most of the sun as it sets in the west. The interior is a very cool mix of retro & contemporary Swedish style, (which just so happens to be my favorite style!) and is the work of acclaimed interior designer Andrew Martin. The accommodation includes deluxe rooms, suites and for those travelling in bigger parties or who just want to indulge in pure unadulterated extravagance you can reserve a whole floor of the hotel exclusively to yours truly!!

We came across the sun-drenched terrace of El Lodge on our last day as we skied down the amazing Aguila red ski run; it was like an oasis in a snow-covered desert!! The chill out terrace looks like the set of a James Bond movie with fire pits & sheepskin blankets to keep you warm as the sun sets over the mountains, with cocktail in hand I just couldn’t imagine a more perfect end to the day...

 Veuve Clicquot Nevada Terrace

El Lodge Ski & Spa Resort

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Christmas Party @ Dassa Bassa

December saw me experience my first Spanish office Christmas Party!!
We were lucky to be treated to a luxury fine dining experience at the trendy Dassa Bassa restaurant!

Located in the district of Salamanca close to El Retiro park and my home, the interior of the restaurant is a very atmospheric white washed exposed brick cellar with cool lighting and contemporary furniture. Upstairs the bar serves wine, beer and cocktails making it the perfect place for the aperitif before going downstairs or for a relaxed tapas lunch.

The food was a taste sensation, the menu offers Spanish nouvelle cuisine and is presented beautifully.  I would recommend the langostino (prawns) and solomillo (steak)and to finish the Gin Tonics were to die for served in massive goldfish bowl glasses!!

Adding to the overall experience, not only was the service and staff impeccable. The delightful chef & owner Dario Barrio came to chat with us at our table, a very sociable guy with a sense of humour joined in our Christmas ritual of Secret Santa by sporting a pair of geeky glasses!! Although he still managed to look hot!! Dario a former TV chef and star of the Spanish version of Splash! is also a self confessed adrenaline junky with a love for skydiving.

The delightful Dario Barrio

Upstairs bar perfect for cocktails & tapas

Restaurant downstairs

Secret Santa presents....!!!