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Posts Tagged ‘Tenerife Magazine’

Friday was our seventh anniversary of moving to Tenerife and it’s ironic that having spent so many years trying to make enough money just to continue living here, we didn’t have time to celebrate it until Saturday night because we’ve been so busy.

But celebrate it we did and several glasses after the cork left the cava, thoughts and conversation turned to reflecting on how the working environment here is so different from the one we knew in the UK.

Here, life has a way of simply getting under foot and you constantly have to try to find a way around it. Partly that’s due to the working from home factor; without a shiny, fully equipped office in which to sit, you’re vulnerable to all sorts of interruptions but also, it’s about rural living on a small island in the Atlantic.

Take Friday for example. Having been working 12 hours a day, seven days a week for the past three weeks to achieve a deadline, I was trying to upload the last couple of hours of work when a friend arrived with two dogs that we’ve agreed to look after for a mutual friend who’s currently recuperating from illness. We’re totally unprepared for dogs here at Casa Montgomery, but having a network of people on whom you can rely is an essential part of living in a rural community. So I abandoned the keyboard, popped the kettle on and greeted our canine house guests and their chauffeur.

 

The latest (temporary!) additions to the household

 

We sat on the tatty garden chairs around the old pine table on the terrace and as we chatted we watched the fat, shiny leaves of the banana plants on the next door plantation wafting in the gentle breeze as if operated by invisible punkah wallahs. Conversation ebbed and flowed between corruption in local politics and the likelihood of acquiring a 30 foot ladder on which to tackle the avocado tree in the garden which has grown to such proportions that it’s now a landmark feature on Google Earth.

Earlier in the day we’d had to visit the Correos (post office) to despatch the last of the week’s orders for Island Drives. We can’t just put a stamp on the guides and pop them into the post box because the Correos operate a weigh and frank system, and two of us have to go because road works have annihilated all the parking in the area and double or triple parking is the only option; so someone has to stay with the car to move it when necessary. On Friday there were 43 people ahead of Jack and a whole hour was donated to the Spanish postal system.

Sitting on the terrace and mentally fretting about my rapidly approaching deadline, I couldn’t help wondering if the folks who would read my Tenerife Expert and Tenerife Insider opinions would have any idea what life out here is really like. I guessed probably not.

 

The megalomaniacal avocado tree

 

It’s been an amazing seven years and a journey that has at times lifted us to new heights and at other times dropped us on our heads. Just 18 months ago we faced the harsh reality that we had just three solvent months left after which we’d have to put the house on the market and leave the island. Today we’re so busy with financially and creatively rewarding projects that we’re struggling to keep the plates spinning… and we’re loving every minute of it.
Last night we realised that it’s almost one year to the day since we sat on this terrace with our friends and colleagues on a red hot day and floated the idea of setting up an online lifestyle magazine. One year later Tenerife Magazine gets 11,500 visits a month, has almost 2,000 fans on Facebook and we’re making expansion plans.

Seven years on Tenerife and the only thing that has remained constant is the inconsistency of living here…and our love of its lifestyle.
We can never relax or become complacent and boredom is a foreign land for which we don’t own passports.
I wonder what the next 12 months hold.

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I realise this offer isn’t likely to be enough to get folks from the UK and the US hitting the Internet and browsing for cheap flights to Tenerife…but for full or part time residents of Tenerife and the Canary Islands, it’s a chance at a fabulous weekend break not to be missed.

The aristocratic Arona Gran Hotel in Los Cristianos is giving away a FREE weekend in this month’s Tenerife Magazine competition and all you have to do for a chance to win is to hit that little ‘like’ icon on the Tenerife Magazine Facebook page.

For anyone who enjoys excellent food, lying around some rather splendid swimming pools and chilling on a sun-soaked balcony with sunset views over to La Gomera, the Spring Arona Gran beckons.
From the moment you walk into its marble-pillared atrium lobby filled with tropical plants and trailing vines, shoulders ease and breathing deepens. But the wow factor doesn’t end at the amazing lobby; heading outside where you’ll find three beautiful freeform swimming pools surrounded by palm tree-studded sunbathing terraces just crying out for a prone body, a bottle of factor 25 and a good novel.

And just to make sure that everything is going to be in tip top condition for our lucky winner, I’m going to be spending this weekend checking out the Arona Gran Hotel and all it has to offer.
I would say “it’s dirty work but…blah…blah” but it clearly isn’t!

Watch Tenerife Magazine for my report and meanwhile…you have to be in it to win it 🙂

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There was an interesting little snippet in one of the local newspapers this week in which one of the goatherds at Puerto’s Midsummer bathing of the goats revealed that, after their dip, the goats liked to enjoy a bit of rumpty. It seems that the old Guanche legend of increased fertility as a result of the annual dip is not just superstition and legend, it’s a fact.
Coincidentally but not at all surprisingly, statistics have apparently shown that quite a few human births follow on nine months down the line from the San Juan beach party and midnight swimming too.

The potent magic of ‘Summer Nights’ is most definitely upon us and Hotel Las Aguilas in Puerto de la Cruz have been making the most of it by offering romantic summer weekends for couples.
The luxurious four star hotel which sits above Puerto in its seductive haven of landscaped gardens and sexy swimming pools is the perfect venue to get away from it all. At just €180 per couple for a weekend half board in one of their sea view rooms, the price tag alone is enough to encourage the libido to raise in line with the thermometer.

And this month Hotel Las Aguilas are offering a fabulous prize in conjunction with Tenerife Magazine. Just become a fan of Tenerife Magazine on Facebook and your name will go into the draw for a FREE week’s accommodation including half board.

Thanks to Hotel Las Aguilas, I don’t think it will just be the goats who are enjoying some holiday romance in Puerto this summer…

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The best place to be if you need a reminder of why you love Tenerife

Sometimes events conspire to make me wonder why on earth I continue to live in a region of Spain.

A week or so ago I was chatting to my brother who lives in the UK and after my groans about the stagnant feel of the tourist market at the moment and the slowness of work, he said:
Oh well, the World Cup starts soon so at least that’s something to look forward to.”
Except that it wasn’t. Well, it was…and it wasn’t, because although I love the World Cup and would happily watch every single game (in the unlikely event that deadlines permitted), Spain is one of the few countries in the world that is not actually airing all the games on free-to-view TV.

But the World Cup is all about embracing nations in the love of the beautiful game! For God’s sake, Andy, get out of Spain and get back to Britain where you can at least watch the footie!” said my bro’.
I laughed and explained that the list of reasons in the ‘for living in Tenerife‘ column far outweighed the ones in the ‘against living in Tenerife‘ column, but a seed had been planted.

Only showing one live game a day and concentrating on Spain performances is indicative of a country that exhibits astounding levels of insularity. Hamstrung by outdated monopolies and an autocratic business culture, Spain has a complete aversion to looking outside itself for anything, and ‘best practice’ and ‘benchmarking’ are not just conspicuous by their absence – they’re an anathema to Spain. When the rest of the world saw the financial crisis looming and took damage limitation measures, Spain carried on with business as usual which is why it’s now facing financial melt-down. I could go on…

A couple of days later Jack and I walked the Chinyero Volcano route for a new walking guide we’re preparing and within 5 minutes of setting off I had mentally registered any number of things I loved about Tenerife. The smell of the pine forest; the fact that I could see the sea from almost everywhere on the island; the unrestricted ability to walk wherever I wanted; La Gomera and La Palma on the horizon…

Some time ago, when we first set up Tenerife Magazine, Joe Cawley wrote a short piece entitled ‘10 things I hate about living in Tenerife‘ and clearly it rung a bell with lots of people who added their own pet hates to the list. So when I got back from my walk, I compiled a list of ‘10 things I love about living in Tenerife‘ – mainly to remind myself why it is that I continue to live in Spanish territory. It’s not an exhaustive list, it’s just the ones that popped into my head and I’m sure others will have their own reasons which will be nothing like mine.

I just wish Tenerife wasn’t in Spanish territory and could sub-contract its World Cup coverage from the BBC. That’s number one on my ’10 things I wish about living in Tenerife’ list.

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Buenavista Golf Course, Tenerife

Okay, there’s no point in trying to busk my way through this with any attempt at credibility as anyone who’s ever placed an iron against a white dimpled ball will quickly deduce that I know diddly squat about golf.
However, I do know two things:

Firstly, Tenerife is an amazing destination for golfers. Where else can you tee off in warm sunshine most days of the year, on 9 fabulous, sub-tropically landscaped courses with infinity views over the Atlantic Ocean; and a whole sophisticated infrastructure of hotels, beaches, restaurants, shopping and nightlife to pass the time between rounds?
Secondly, those who take up golf appear to become instantly addicted and spend what time they’re not actually on a course, plotting the quickest way to get back onto one.

So, armed with these two essential facts, I’m pretty confident that to the golfing fraternity, this month’s Tenerife Magazine prize is going to cause something of a G.A.S.P.
Tenerife Isla de Golf are giving away one of their Summer Golf Packages worth €135 which includes 3 Green Fees at 3 different golf courses, and you can choose from:
Buenavista – the stunning coastal course set at the foot of the Teno Mountains in the northwest of Tenerife.
Costa Adeje – set in the sun-soaked south of Tenerife with views over the neighbouring island of La Gomera.
Las Américas – an oasis of chic tranquillity set behind the popular holiday epicentre of the south.
Golf Del Sur – the magnificent coastal greens of the south east of Tenerife.
Tecina Golf – the Bond-like cliff top setting of La Gomera where Mount Teide shimmers on the horizon.

Al you have to do, is become a fan of Tenerife Magazine on Facebook.

And as it’s Tenerife’s number one online magazine jam packed with facts, features and photos about the beautiful island of Tenerife, I can’t think of a single reason why you wouldn’t want to be a fan of it anyway!

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Sunset views over Las Vistas beach from The Watermelon's terrace

When Chris Clarkson and Alan Gilmour of tenerife.co.uk came to visit from the UK last week, Jack and I jumped at the chance of spending an evening in the bright lights of Los Cristianos. So we checked into The Pearly Grey Ocean Club Resort in Calleo Salvaje, joined John Beckley of Sorted Sites and headed to The Watermelon Tapas Bar/Restaurant in the chic San Telmo district of Los Cristianos.

Although we were extremely impressed with the rather chic décor (frosted glass sheet water fountain, Gaudi-esque tiled mosaics on the walls and stone benches and sleek, silver and black furnishings) and the fabulous views from the terrace over Las Vistas beach and the sun setting behind La Gomera; we were less impressed with the food and the service.
There was a good ten minute delay between the first two dishes arriving and the other three which meant that Jack and I either had to start eating before everyone else or Jack’s scrambled eggs with chistorras (Canarian sausage) and mushrooms was headed to the stone cold zone.

My toasted bread with smoked salmon and tomatoes served with rocket and parmesan was beautifully presented but was bland and there was too much bread. The other specials when they arrived were kebabs served in foil parcels with fresh vegetables and everyone seemed to enjoy them but they lacked any real wow factor.
The house red wine on the other hand was delicious and slipped down very easily.

Postres proved to be a bit disappointing but that was more a case of confused recommendation rather than any fault with the food. Alan and I being chocolate lovers, I asked the waitress to recommend the chocoholic’s choice and after a great deal of chatting and an admittance that she didn’t particularly like chocolate herself, she told us to go for dish number one. When it arrived, dish number one turned out to be mainly ice cream with some chocolate shortcake slices. Alan and I waited for everyone else’s to arrive, convinced that this wasn’t the one we ordered but it took so long that our ice cream began to melt so we started eating. Dish number four when it finally arrived for everyone else turned out to be hot chocolate fudge cake covered in chocolate sauce and served with ice cream – d’oh!

I didn’t see the bill but I wouldn’t mind betting it wasn’t cheap.
The atmosphere was lively and the venue was unsurpassable but for me, the culinary offerings had a touch of the Emperor’s new clothes about them.

Dinner over, we lingered over that delicious red before heading back towards the Arona Gran Hotel, where Chris and Alan were staying, and heading into Legend’s Snooker Club. While Tenerife Magazine took on Tenerife.co.uk on the pool table, Carol and I reminisced about our misspent youth in the clubs of Manchester and we all chilled out over some more drinks in the über-friendly atmosphere before Jack and I got a taxi back to our fabulous room in Pearly Grey.

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When the novelty of building snowmen, having snowball fights, sledging, skating and playing ‘spot the gritter’ have worn off, you might feel it’s time to remind your body what it feels like to walk out of the house with less than 20lbs of clothing on. And when that happens, there are few places ready to dish up the sunny goods quite so efficiently as Tenerife’s Los Gigantes.

Blessed with some of the longest sunshine hours and fewest rainfall inches anywhere on the island, Los Gigantes is the resort with the most stunning location on Tenerife.
Backed by sheer 500 metre cliffs, the village climbs the hillside behind its sparkling marina from which trips leave daily to spot the bottle-nosed dolphins and pilot whales that inhabit the warm waters. When the sun finally bids adios it paints the horizon and the tip of Mount Teide in vivid streaks of violet and blood red before slipping silently behind the neighbouring island of La Gomera.

A 10 minute stroll out of the village is where you’ll find the elegant El Marques resort with its luxurious apartments, beautifully landscaped gardens and heated swimming pool, which is where the incredibly generous people at Wimpen Leisure are giving away a free week’s holiday to fans of Tenerife Magazine.

So, if you feel you can pull yourself away from short days, cold nights and nose-running temperatures to watch dolphins and whales play in the bay; and trade drinking cocoa with your feet on the radiator for sipping cocktails over spectacular sunsets…all you have to do is become a fan of Tenerife Magazine on Facebook and hope that your name comes out of the hat.
Err, that’s a sun hat, not a beanie.

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