Events taking place in El Puerto
This exhibition, diplaying some of Fito Carreto´s (reknowned photographer in southern Spain) most magnificent photos, takes place from March 19th to April 9th in right here in El Puerto. If you are interested in photography, do not miss this!
Blanco y negro – art gallery/pub
This bar is unique in that every few weeks they display different artists and types of art. From now until April 17th, it is the turn of artist Juan Lara´s students. Why not enjoy some art with a beer in this portuense pub/gallery?
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Fancy a trip to the cinema to see a classic?! Check out this “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (1975) in colour on the big screen at Cine del Puerto.
Live Music – Hector and friends
Check out this punk rock/indie band when they perform in the public theatre “Teatro Municipal Pedro Muñoz Seca”. Entry 6€ or 4€ with a student card.
Looking for something to do this Friday, March 25th? Why not relax and take some time to enjoy the “Javier Gallardo Quartet”, on stage from 23:30 in the Sala Milauwke.
Events taking place in neighbouring towns and cities
The grand prix of motorcycling is taking place in Jerez this April from 1st to 3rd, so expect an influx of avid motorcyclists in the southern Spain area.
This annual literary extravaganza is taking place in Cordoba from March 14th to April 10th and draws the hottest poets from all corners of the world. It is an unmissable event for peotry fans, as they get to enjoy writers performing their pieces on balconies, halls and on street corners in the 8th edition of this festival.
At the Malaga festival of Spanish film, premieres, homages and conferences are just some of the exciting events associated with the Malaga film festival which takes place from March 26th to April 2nd.
Today, I have decided to talk about one of my favourite topics, food.
I won´t lie though, I am a picky eater. I know what I like to eat and how, and I am not always willing to try new things, “don´t fix it if it ain´t broke” and all that…
However, since my move here, that has changed radically. Most of this change is not my decision, but rather, due to peer pressure; my friends or colleagues telling me I “have to try it” or a simple “man up and eat it” from Fiona.
If like me, you are a picky eater but are considering becoming more adventurous, I have two pieces of advice.
- Do it! Your taste buds will thank you
- Start small
Tapas. Tapas are a well known type of appetizer/snack associated with Spanish cuisine. They are a great way to experience new foods in a clever way (hey, if you don´t like it, it probably only cost you 2€ anyways..). Eating tapas also means you can try many different varieties of foods, for a small price.
When we first arrived here, Doug and Inge took us out for tapas. We went to “El Asador” in the centre of El Puerto. When we walked in, the first shock we got was the fact that everyone who was eating tapas was doing so at the bar. Some were sitting on bar stools, but the majority of folk were standing, while talking, eating and laughing. This “standing up while eating” concept felt completely bizarre me.
The second, and far more frightening shock I got, was Doug announcing he had ordered bull´s tail (yes, you read that correctly) and pig´s cheek for us to try. At first I thought he was joking, and I looked at Inge and Fiona for a laugh but didn´t get one. When I realized he was serious, I really did need a bar stool to sit down on.
Doug and Inge let us start off gently with the first round of tapas including; a piece of manchego cheese (a well-developed cheese from La Mancha in Spain), “patatas bravas” (small chunks of potatoes served warm with a spicy tomato sauce), a mini peppered steak, (succulent meat served with a large helping of pepper sauce) and some green olives. They were delicious, with the peppered steak being the tastiest, in my opinion.
Too soon, those tapas were demolished and the rest of our food arrived. I was surprised to see both of the bull´s tail and the pig´s cheek looked quite appetizing, if only I didn´t know what they were…
After some serious “you only live once”, “just try it” “it’s not going to kill you”, I relented (I feared I would be sent back to Ireland if I didn´t…joke!).
The bull´s tail was served with crisps in a delicious sauce and the pig´s cheek was tender and moist, quite possibly the most delicious pork I have ever tasted.
In the end, I survived to tell the tale (excuse the pun!), and I would even go as far as to say, I highly recommend you try all of the foods mentioned above!
All this talk about food has made me hungry..that’s all for now…!
We at Spark Spanish are delighted to announce that our sister company, El Centro Ingles, has been voted the best private school in all of Andalucia! What an achievement. El Centro Ingles, which was founded by Linda Randell in 1969, received this honour in the 2nd of March 2011, when Spanish newspaper “El Mundo” voted them the best in Andalucia. The English centre is a bilingual private day school of primary, secondary and ‘bachillerato’ education in El Puerto de Santa Maria. If was founded over 40 years ago and has been providing excellence in English language school. El Centro is also currently ranked 41st best school in the country of Spain! Congratulations El Centro Ingles, you really deserved this!
Good news! Our Spread the Word competition is all ready to go which means that our competition can now start! If you would like to participate, please register in our Spread the Word and Affiliate area in order to send out emails and links to others who might be interested in signing up to our newsletter, thereby competing for one of our amazing prizes! We have also created a video / screen cast to help you a little bit and guide you through the process of signing up and sending on information. This is a very useful introduction to this programme, so please have a look at it! Read More
Ever wanted to have your own cinema at home or play your favourite console on a gigantic size screen?
Or jealous that all your friends have a Wii and you don’t have one yet?
Ever wanted to have unlimited access to any book at any moment?
Or perhaps feeling behind the times, because you don’t have a blu-ray player yet?
Well Spark will help you out! We will be rewarding the Spark supporter who most successfully spreads the Spark word with the prize of their choice.
How to participate
To participate in this competition all Spark supporters need do is the following:
- Sign up to our “spread the wor(l)d programme”.
- From there you will have access to your own spread the word area and affiliate code, which will allow you to do the following things:
- Forward on Spark information to friends or interested parties.
- Personalize your own email with targeted Spark information (specific programmes, offers etc.) that might interest your contacts;
- Place spark banners on your own website, blog or even social network pages like facebook.
Sign up scores
Anyone who went to www.sparkspanish.com via one of your links (email or banner) and then later signed up to our newsletter would be recorded in your affiliate programme as a “sign up” for you and count towards your total. Also anyone who registered and recorded your unique code would also be included.
We will inform you of the sign up totals on a regular basis via a blog post, so you could keep track of how you were doing and see if you are in contention for the exciting prize. We would also have special Spark runner up prizes for those who pass a certain number of sign ups. This competition closes the end of June providing the leading “spark follower” has generated at least 20 newsletter sign ups, if at that point, no one has reached that target, the competition will close when the first affiliate reaches the 20 signs ups.
Believe it or not but there is MORE! Your affiliate account would also record who of your contacts later bought a Spark programme (even if that is a year later) and for this sale you would be rewarded a 5% commission on the course price (excluding accommodation nor add ons). And for especially active Spark recommenders, this commission can be raised after a certain number of sign ups and purchases.
Don’t forget to vote for your prize you would like to win and to sign up to our Spread to Word Programme to get started!
We thank you for sparking the world and for believing in us…..now let’s get sparking!
The Spark Building has officially been born. For the first time since the renovations began, the Spark Building has finally got a name publically displayed above its door. This white banner is for our English Academy, which will be starting in October 2011. Our Sparkville building will be ready in May 2011,with courses begining in July 2011 also.With a large white “lona” (canvas banner) now gracing the front wall of the Sparkville Residence, I think it is fair to say (and to see) that the Spark Structure is well and truly on its way to success!
Vote for the prize you would like to win and find out more about how to win the prize of your choice in the competition details of Sparking the world!
El Puerto is truly a wonderful place and there is no better way to realise that than through video, so in this blog post we attach you links to two videos on El Puerto that we liked. The first shows you images of the the whole city as well as some images of the 15km apx of coastline El Puerto has. The second is a bird’s eye view of our wonderful beaches, less professional than the first but in my mind a joy to watch. I hope you enjoy them and if you wish to see some more El Puerto videos, please don’t hesitate to leave us a comment or suggest a video to upload. La vida bella existe en El Puerto.
VIDEO of EL PUERTO:
BIRD’S EYE VIEW OF EL PUERTO:
Well, let’s start with an introduction, my name is Audrey and I work as the Spark Administration Responsible. I am originally from Ireland, but I´m currently living and working in El Puerto de Santa Maria. I plan to keep our Spark followers updated about everything and anything, both Spark and El Puerto de Santa Maria related, over the next couple of months. Here goes…
Today, the 9th of February, is my eight day as Spark secretary. I am slowly adjusting to my Spark responsibilities and the Spanish way of life in El Puerto. So far it has been an intense but very enjoyable time. The first few days of my arrival here in El Puerto were hectic, to say the least. I really believe that getting lost three times in one hour on the way to a Mexican restaurant is a new record. I don´t know what we would have done had we not randomly met Inge on our third attempt at locating “Zapata” restaurant.
During my first week of work, I got to do many interesting things, including, a visit to the Sparkville Academy/Residence. As I had been told the Sparkville building was currently undergoing renovations, I have to admit I was expecting a very basic building with a few shovels and maybe some cement mix. However, I was very pleasantly surprised by what I saw. Firstly, the building, which used to be an old hostel, is in a prime location, with lots of shops, cafes and bars nearby. The interior of the building is very spacious and parts of the beautiful architectural structures, from the hostel remain intact. These include some authentic stonework archways and walls. Even though the building is still quite far from completion, the core framework and interior design is very evident.
I also really liked one of the exterior “chill out” zones, a massive roof with a nice view of the town. We visited the spark building on the 2nd of February, and even then, the sun was beaming down on us as we explored the roof. I can just imagine how lovely it would be on nice hot day for a bbq, a chat with some friends or even just to have a few drinks and cool down.
All in all, my first experience was really interesting and I´m looking forward to seeing the progress at the Sparkville residence next time!
Until the next blog!
Restaurant Aponiente, in El Puerto de Santa Maria, appears on the list published by the New York Times with 10 restaurants around the world worth a visit! Other restaurants on the list include restaurants in London, New York and Singapore amongst others. The mentioning on the list is a second big success for Resaurant Aponiente that was also awarded a Michelin star at the end of 2010. For the full list and a description of the restaurants by the New York Times, click here.