Wonderful food, a warm welcome and a beautiful location.

Classes: Cook with us in Spain


In 2014, we took a walking holiday in the lovely Spanish village of Mairena on the Southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada.  What we found was everything we had hoped for – a warm welcome, tranquility, good food, lovely people and lots to explore.  We so fell in love with it that we hatched a plan with our hosts and owners of Casa Las Chimeneas in Mairena, David and Emma Illsley, to put on some food and travel breaks so that you can discover this timeless region of Spain for yourselves.

Mairena is in the Alpujarras, a fertile region to the south of the Sierra Nevada.  It is little changed and many of its residents still follow a very traditional way of life.  You’ll gain an insight into that life and enjoy the wonderful bounty of the region when you join us for a 1 week break.

We are just back from our October week and our next one is from the 4th-11th February 2017; we can’t wait to return and we’d love you to come with us. Just give us call and we can book you in – 01803 752943 or email us on info@mannafromdevon.com.

The week is £795 per person.

What’s covered – pick up from Malaga airport; accommodation; meals at Casa La Chimeneas; all activities.

What’s not covered – your flights to Malaga airport for a 1pm pickup and a 10am drop off on the arrival and departure Saturdays; your bar bill; meals and snacks outside Casa Las Chimeneas (we’ll collect a kitty to cover these of 45 euros per person); travel insurance.


These itineraries may change with weather and availability of hosts but all the main elements will remain in place.

Late Summer Week. 1st-8th October 2016

October can be one of the very best months to visit. Sunny and clear during the day, with a pleasant temperature, and cool at night.

Saturday 1st October

Arrive Malaga Airport for 1pm transfer to Casa Las Chimeneas, Mairena. Welcome drinks and dinner.

Sunday 2nd October

Walk in the hills surrounding Mairena with a picnic lunch. Visit to local vineyard and bodega for wine tasting of local wines followed by dinner at Las Chimeneas.

Monday 3rd October

Hands on cooking class of typical Andalucian Tapas with Holly, David and the las Chimeneas cooks, Sole and Conchi. Afternoon walk followed by sherry tasting and dinner.

Tuesday 4th October

Walk to las Chimeneas Finca (small holding). Explore the olive groves before a flat bread and al fresco cooking class before lunch. Visit the local olive oil mill followed by a tasting of olive oil before dinner.

Wednesday 5th October

Visit Almeria – tour of the fish market, lunch in a great tapas bar, visit the amazing Moorish Castle followed by tea and cakes at a Moroccan tearoom underneath the castle walls.

Thursday 6th October

Fish cooking workshop with Holly and lunch then a trip to Jubar and an evening cooking and eating at the woodfired oven.

Friday 7th October

Morning hands-on baking workshop with David followed by lunch. Afternoon walk to the olive groves. Tasting of Cavas before a final dinner

Saturday 8th October

Transfer to Malaga for 10.30am drop off. Head home via Malaga airport.

Olive Harvest-time Week - February 2017

Early February is an industrious time in the Alpujarras.  Everyone is gathering in the olive harvest which will provide their families with oil for the year.  For all that it’s also the time when we stop and gaze upon the wonder which is almond blossom in the Sierra Nevada.  Temperatures can change between warm spring and the last chills of winter so come prepared for both.

Arrive Malaga Airport for 1pm transfer to Casa Las Chimeneas, Mairena. Welcome drinks and dinner

A stroll between two villages before lunch from the traditional wood fired oven at Jubar. Visit to a local bodega and wine tasting.  Evening Dinner in restaurant

Olive harvesting at the finca with a lunchtime wood fired paella and flatbread workshop. Evening Sherry tasting in the main house followed by dinner

Traditional Spanish cooking and sausage making workshop Sole and Conchi, the Las Chimeneas cooks, followed by lunch.  Afternoon walk in the hills above the village finishing at the olive mill to meet Adolfo the miller and see the mill in action. Evening olive oil tasting in the main house; Dinner in the restaurant.

Trip to Yegen to visit an artisan jamon producer – talk and lunch at the jamonerie.  Walk back to Mairena for those with the energy for it.

Trip to Almeria for a tour of the fish market, castle and lunch at a great tapas bar and afternoon tea in a Moroccan tearoom

Tapas making workshop and lunch. Afternoon walk through almond groves.  Evening Dinner in the restaurantCava tasting and fish dinner.

Transfer to Malaga for 10.30am drop off. Head home via Malaga airport.

Feedback from Previous Trips

Thank you so much for making my week’s stay so very special. Every outing was made special by your knowledge and care, the fabulous food and wine and the incredible staff at Las Chimeneas. I have returned refreshed so thank you both! Chuffy

I don’t think I need to tell you how much we enjoyed ourselves, it was just such a brilliant week and I still have a little warm Spanish glow inside to sustain me despite coming back to the cold weather. We just loved it and it was even better than we expected it to be (and it sounded pretty amazing anyway) so thank you both very much for a really special week. So many wonderful memories, not least the sausage making – hilarious fun! I attempted to make tortilla last night – not as good as Sole the Tortilla Queen of course but not half bad really. Thanks again – it was just wonderful! Val

Thanks again for a terrific week. It was everything I was hoping for and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with you.  Hopefully I’ll be able to join you down in Devon sometime for another taste of Holly & David’s perfect manna! All the best, Fiona.

Thanks again for all your work for the cooking week at Las Chimeneas. Jane and I had an extremely enjoyable and informative time. Good luck for your future plans. Best wishes, Steve and Jane.

Thanks again for the great lessons and everything else you did for the fantastic week.  Andy and Clare

Thank you so much for an absolutely brilliant week.  There was a really good variety of activities but it never felt rushed.  You maintained an easy laid back style.  Thanks again.  Robert & Eleanor