Hogar dulce Hogar, Spain

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI am lucky enough to say that my family now have a holiday home. My parents decided to buy a place in Benahavis, near Marbella in Spain and although they have now had their new home for about 6 months, I am taking my first trip to visit the place!

My parents have been working really hard to make it into the home that they want, travelling there pretty much every other weekend. I felt like I knew the house because of all the pictures and the stories. I have been so excited to visit…. and the time has finally come!

On Friday I rushed from work to the airport to catch our evening flight. I now know to recommend you guys to travel early if possible when going for a long weekend away. Friday nights see A LOT of hens and stags… and there was A LOT of pre-flight drinking. We walked to our gate to discover a particularly noisy stags headed to the same one as us…. oh please no. This isn’t me being snooty or boring, these guys were off their faces! There were some other hens and stags on the flight but this one group was the one everyone wanted to avoid and were praying they wouldn’t be sitting near. I heard the guy on the desk radio to get them checked as he wasn’t sure they should be allowed on the plane – the answer should have absoloutely been no and I was surprised a company like BA allowed them on the flight. They were intoxicated, swearing, falling about, shouting and being very derogatory to women.

I prayed that they would be sitting far away, but oh no, we were sandwiched RIGHT in between them! They were in front of us, to the right of us and, just to top it off… behind us too! Oh Joy! You could see everyone else were doing mini fist pumps, but also giving us the sympathy look that said “god help you”!

As if someone up there was having a laugh, the flight was then delayed an hour, so we were stuck on the tarmac with them.  The guy next to me was built like a brick shit-house, so I was keeping my mouth firmly shut. Oh I also had one of the stags staring at me for about an hour of the flight telling me I was beautiful and getting everyone to look at me… although he was so drunk, this wasn’t much of a compliment! One stag actually started laying on me at one point (no I am not joking… yes, I wish I was).

Anyway, on to happier times, we finally arrived after what felt like a 9-hour flight and jumped in the rental car to head to our villa. After a 40 minute drive from Malaga airport, we arrived in Benahavis, which is simply beautiful. We raced to see the house and it was only then that I realised how much it felt like home. Hogar dulce Hogar is spanish for Home sweet Home and that is exactly how it felt. I love it so much!!!

Mum and dad have done a great job in making it feel like a home from home and on entry there are beautiful pieces of artwork hung on the walls accompanied by family photos. Dad already has all his tech in place, he loves his gadgets and the house certainly isn’t short of them!

We arrived at the villa late, so after a tour of the house, we all headed to bed… Ed and I made our way to claim the best bedroom as my brother hasn’t visited yet! We had a great night sleep, so good, that we didn’t wake up until about 9:30am.

Daddy had prepared breakfast and we sat on the terrace enjoying the view whilst munching on warm croissants. Dad had put some bacon on the BBQ too! The weather was not looking too great for the weekend, and while the UK was having a heatwave, we found ourselves looking out to fairly grey skies. Rain was not forecast, so we decided to head to Old Marbella for the day.

Old Marbella:

After a 15 minute drive we parked in a fairly quiet Marbella. I think the Spanish take it easy at the weekend and especially around siesta time! We had a wander around some of the shops and it soon became apparent that they have some really unique pieces there. I almost bought a gorgeous white top that I had never seen anything like… but I was controlled and put it back, it was reasonably priced, €56 which is about £38, and it was in a really smart boutique where everything was hung in colour order. I can’t remember the name but it was on the corner of the square that’s full of orange trees (aptly named Orange Square). We actually decided to stop here for some Sangria and it was GOOD! The place was called Casa Del Corregidor and the jug of sangria cost €15 and came with olives. Much to my delight, when we were sat enjoying our drinks, the sun decided to come out and it was a moment of sheer bliss!

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We headed then down some of the Spanish side streets, which were overflowing with colourful flowers… so much so that I had to stop off for some hay fever tablets! We were working up quite an appetite, so we headed down to Marbella Beach to get some tapas (spanish for ‘small plates’ ) and to try the much talked about Pil Pil Prawns – you guys MUST try these if you go to Spain, they are incredible and something I had never heard of before this weekend. Everyone seems to get addicted.

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Pil Pil Prawns are prawns (obviously) soaked in a chilli, garlic and olive oil. You eat it with bread and let the bread just soak up all the juice and then add the prawn – delicious. Porto De Marbella Marina is where we ate and as long as you don’t mind the locals trying to sell you knock offs, then it is a lovely place to eat.

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It started to get a little chilly, so we headed back to the car. It was only 2:30pm so we decided to head up to Ronda, which is said to have some of the most beautiful views, but unfortunately after getting half way up the mountain, torrential rain started. The football was on and I was outvoted, so we headed back to the villa.

Luckily the rain seemed to only be in the mountains, so I indulged in some blogging duties on the terrace. We had booked to go to my parents favourite restaurant that evening and so we all got ready to venture into Benahavis to eat at Bodegons Gallery.

I had packed my favourite new purchase and couldn’t wait to style it for our evening out. So many people have asked me about this skirt and I have to recommend it 100%, it is so beautiful and from a midi-skirt addict, this is the comfiest one I have ever worn… probably the most expensive too though, it’s a small price to pay in my eyes and I think it is worth every penny. Ed (my other half) even encouraged me to buy it which is telling you something!!!

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Shirt – Urban Outfitters // Skirt – Maje (OMG – NOW IN THE SALE) // Shoes – Manolo Blahnik

I put this photo on my Instagram page and you all went crazy for it! I think it is my most liked picture ever. I have received so many private messages about the skirt and now you can get it for yourselves – and in the sale! I am totally obsessed with this brand and I can’t recommend their products enough. The material is incredible and you can instantly tell it’s a quality piece of clothing!

I bought it in Selfridges and I got it in a size 2 (M online), just to put the sizing into perspective for you. Size 2 fits me really well and like I said earlier, it is so comfortable. Had I bought the 1 it would perhaps not have been so comfy.

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You may have noticed my new hair do… I decided to take the plunge and have my hair chopped into a bob, my fab hairdresser did a wonderful job – as always! I absolutely love it and my hair feels so much healthier and thicker. If you are thinking about taking the plunge with a new style, Chloe is your lady – find her here.

Benahavis:

After a stroll about Benahavis we went to the restaurant. We were promptly greeted by Jorge, who owns this restaurant with his family, and he was so attentive and welcoming, He knew mum and dad and after having a little chat, lead us to what I would say was the best table in the house, right next to the window that looked out onto the streets and bustle of Benahavis.

This meal was incredible and I recommend this place 100%. It is called Bodegon Gallery and is known for selecting great wines to suit each dish/course. Unlike the UK, great wine is not expensive, often €10-15 even in a restaurant.

While we were looking at our menu, Jorge brought over a wonderful platter with cheese, olives, bread, dips and crisps. We thought we would overindulge and went for the Pil Pil Prawns yet again to start with. These looked different from the ones we had had for lunch, but my word were they good!

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For my main, I went for the burger because I had heard great things about it and I had to see if it lived up to its reputation… it was so good that I think my brother would even be raving about it and he is like the king of burgers.

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Everyone really enjoyed their mains and felt full to the brim by this point – this is, however, until I saw the brownie on the desert menu. This is my thing and if there is ever brownie on the menu, I can never resist! Sorry I couldn’t wait for the picture and had to tuck in first!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Dad decided to share it with me, while mum and Ed sensibly had coffee’s. This is a family run business and all the dishes are homemade. Jorge’s daughter had made the brownie and was eager to know what we thought. The brownie had some kind of nut in it and it was served with both cream and ice cream. I loved it so much that between us we polished off the entire thing regardless of being fit to bust (and the skirt still didn’t have to be undone. This family is so lovely and welcoming, Jorge’s English is incredible and the service is excellent. If I could recommend one thing for you to try when you are here, it would be this place.

We headed back with very full and satisfied tummies.

Love Life,

Emma xxx

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2 Comments

  1. Alexandra
    12th May 2016 / 10:28 pm

    Love the photos & everything

    • Emma
      12th May 2016 / 10:31 pm

      Thank you ☺️

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