Recent Local Snaps

10 YEARS OF E.G.O HAIR AND BEAUTY

10 years ago Mel and Andy first opened their salon doors to their customers so Happy Anniversary e.g.o hair and beauty! They have come a long way in ten years. Mel and Andy came out to Spain last September 10 years ago and as Andy was a qualified hairdresser it was only natural to set up business straight away. The aim was to be mobile for 6 months to a year, to test the market and the need for another hairdresser in town, build a client base and hopefully be able to open a Salon sometime in the future. However it soon became apparent this plan had to be adjusted to opening a salon after only a couple of months! Andy had attained so many clients he couldn’t fit them in, as he had to travel to them. So the need for a salon where people came to him just made more sense. Once they decided a premise was essential, Mel swung into action and located a place, furniture and all the necessary equipment and within a month they were open! Business was great for a good few years and then, as with all businesses they saw the effects of recession, but rather than rest on their laurels they expanded! Mel had already been on some training courses in Spain and soon provided manicures and pedicures but in order for the beauty side of the business to expand they needed a bigger Salon with a private treatment area.

MORGAGES IN SPAIN

Anyone who is in the position of applying for a mortgage with a Spanish bank would have certain questions: i.e. How much can I borrow? How do I go about it? What do I need? This article will attempt to answer all of these questions so that anyone who is currently applying for a mortgage, or perhaps contemplating doing so, will know what is required. Firstly, the amount of money that you can ask for must be established. Generally this varies depending on whether we are talking about tax residents or non tax residents. As a general rule for those who are tax residents, the limit would be 80% of the purchase price or of the banks valuation of the property, (the lower of the two values is the one used for the calculations). On the other hand, for non-tax residents the maximum amount would be 65-70% of the lowest valuation.

WRITING AXARQUIA

It's late December and I am sitting at the bar at Casa Paco in Cómpeta, looking out at the rain-soaked paving of Plaza Almijara. A wet dog roams around the abandoned tables and chairs, an advert for disappointment. The cold wind sends a plastic bag break-dancing across the scene. The conditions are reminiscent of a holiday I once had in Abergavenny, until the waitress's warm greeting, in which I have graduated from chica to guapa, brings me back to all the ways in which Spain is very different to Wales. I am here to meet two new members of our community, Andrew and Fi, writers from London who are setting up creative writing classes here in the Axarquía. I've met their kind before, I think to myself before they arrive. Writers from London – I'd better get some wine lined up. Meeting them for the first time they are all smiles, warm and approachable. 'Sorry about the weather,' I say, as if it's my responsibility to make the sun shine.

CHRISTMAS WITH BODEGA BENTOMIZ

Christmas time is the time for wine! Did you know that one of Malaga's most prestigious wineries is right here in the Axarquia? Just above Sayalonga, about 20 minutes from the coast (or 10 from Cómpeta!) is Bodegas Bentomiz, where they make the wonderful Ariyanas wines – white, red and rosé, sweet and dry – in the most beautiful setting imaginable. Their glorious views of the mountains and the Mediterranean are complemented by their beautiful building. It is built in a modern style – very light and airy – but blends in with the landscape as the outer walls are clad in slate, which matches the slate 'terroir' of the vineyards. This setting has been delighting visitors for years. The winery's tours, wine-tasting, lunches and concerts are extremely popular – their 5-star TripAdvisor listing is full of eulogies to these experiences. “The Complete Wine Experience” describes their combined tasting and lunch service, as well as reflecting the bodega's philosophy: it is all about beautiful wines! The food isn't bad either. Created by the chef Juan Quintanilla, owner and manager of the Sollun restaurant in Nerja (named for Juan's daughters, Sol and Luna), the menus are designed to pair perfectly with the wines they accompany. This is the reverse of standard practice: as Juan says “In my restaurant the food comes first and then the wine; in Bodegas Bentomiz the wine is first and then the food.” Juan works with André and a dedicated kitchen team to produce from fresh, local ingredients, exquisite dishes to delight and surprise. They look for lightness, delicacy and elegance. They aim to use ingredients that are really fresh – fish bought from the coast that morning; herbs picked from the garden 20 minutes before – because the fresher the food, the more taste it carries with it.

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