Wonderful food, a warm welcome and a beautiful location.

A Day at the Finca

Finca[ˈfiŋka] (Spanish for an “estate”) refers to a piece of rural or agricultural land, typically with a cottage, farmhouse or estate buildings present, and often adjacent to a woodland or plantation.

Just below Mairena Emma and David have their finca.  This small plot of land with a neat little building is used for growing organic vegetables, fruit, almonds and olives. Tucked away in a narrow valley it’s a beautiful and peaceful place to retreat to and, not surprisingly, a favourite spot for yoga groups.

For our group of intrepid foodies it’s a perfect place to practice some rustic cooking skills and we’d planned a day of cooking over open fires using foraged herbs and vegetables from the garden.

The first job was to dig a fire pit and get the fire started.  In this dry countryside it’s very important to site the fire away from combustible vegetation and to dig a pit to contain it.  An out of control fire could be disatrous and in 2012 a fire swept up the montain from Ugijar in the valley floor to the outskirts of Mairena before being brought under control.

David at Fire

After a guided tour of the finca to gather vegetables some of the class got stuck onto bread making, paella cooking and other jobs in preparation for lunch. Bread

Pit 2

Cooking at the Pit

Stephen, Claire and Bushman Jay were very happy around the fire whilst some just sat in the shade and relaxed (well it is a holiday after all).


Emma, Eleanor and Holly just take it easy.

Much of the food was cooked over our fire pit. A rabbit and chicken paella felt like a more mountainous version than one with seafood.  A large pot of beans and chorizo with a pile of flatbreads would satisfy any hard working finca labourers.


And an orange and tomato salad added a splash of brilliant colour and vibrant flavours to the meal.


Emma says this dish will be going onto the restaurant menu, a fitting tribute to our group’s inventiveness.