Sunday, May 26, 2013

La Noche Blanca in Cordoba - A Flamenco Feast - 22nd June 2013

On 22nd June 2013, Cordoba city once again bursts into Festival flamboyance with their biggest all night Flamenco Festival : La Noche Blanca.

Hearfelt songs and spiralling dances, clapping of hands and rhythmic stamping of feet will echo through the narrow hazy Cordoban streets from taverna to bar, from restaurant to plaza.

Carmen Talagona

Year on year, Cordoba becomes a world stage for Flamenco superstars like Jose Merce, The Lebrijano, Rosario Flores, Fosforito, El Cigala, Miguel Poveda, Manolo Sanlúcar, José El Francés, Chambao, Medina Azahara, Luis de Córdoba and El Pele, among others.

El Pele

More than 200,000 people came for the first Night, rising to 280,000 last year, making it without a doubt one of the biggest Flamenco events globally organised.

And if you want to stay somewhere heavenly, away from the noise and bustle of the city but going in to watch the show for as long as you wish, of course our luxurious accommodation near Iznajar, in Andalucia is exactly the place you're looking to find.

And if Flamenco isn't your thing, we have a suggested list of 101 different things you can do in our area.

To make a booking or to enquire, please email

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Los Patios de Cordoba 2013

Once again, May in Cordoba was absolutely breathtaking thanks to Los Patios de Cordoba and many other stunning festivals that pack Andalucia's spring explosion.

The Puente Romano, with the Guadalquivir rushing beneath it.....

The gardens of the Cordoba Mezquita, a fantastic living example of how two religions can peacefully cohabit.
 The Mezquita from the South side of the river.

It really is this beautiful .......

Come and stay at Casa La Celada and take a trip to the Patios any day you fancy during (roughly) the first ten days of May every year !

Monday, February 02, 2009

The world's most beautiful rural holiday home has arrived .....

Well, being as I seem to be getting gazillions of comments on this post, I figure if you are all going to use me to make backlinks, I too should use this page to tell you what I actually do!

This is why I have this page : Casa La Celada, in Iznajar, Andalucia - A Stunning Luxury Holiday Rental.

I used to run it as a B&B, and if you check out our comments on Trip Advisor, Go on, you know you want to!

We sleep from 1 person to 14 people maximum, although 8 is considered to be a really comfortable maximum if you want loads of space each.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Holy Crap this is a brain drain ...

Thanks to a fabulous friend sending me a three mile long email on how to make blogging work for me and encourage people to want to come and stay in our gorgeous B&B in Spain or to buy my paintings, I am now up to the nostrils with being freaked out ....

RSS feeds, Twitterdecks, Twitpants, oh GOD this is enough to make this technophobe have a hissy fit ....

Will do best to stay calm but


Monday, December 22, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Snow Boarding holidays in Andalucia

Thanks to a local young man with a lot of nerve and a great deal of experience, Casa La Celada is now thrilled to offer


In the Sierra Nevada mountains, you'll be taken through your paces by our guide and mentor Steve.

The package includes all rental equipment, transport to and from Casa La Celada's front door, ski passes and any necessary coaching on the mountainside.

Why not couple it with a pamper day the next day to ease out any aching muscles?

It's all available here - all you have to do is ask : 0034 957534939 or visit for further information.

Barefooted, on knees, candles in hand ....

Barefooted, on knees, candles in hand ....

On Monday night, with a huge group of friends and acquaintances, I joined the hundreds and hundreds of thousands of devotees to watch Iznájar's annual spectacle celebrating the day of the Virgen Piedad - literally translates to "Piety", and is one of the most popular Saint Days encompassed every year by our Feria Real (Festival de la Virgen de la Piedad) from 7th - 11th September.

The streets are coated in sand.

The houses adorned with brightly coloured scarves and banners.

The people dress in their absolute finery.

The bouncy castle owners set up their stalls.

And at 9.30pm, the immense procession begins.....

Iznájar's band lead the devotees - drumming rhythmically, hypnotically, dressed in their military style uniform, looking sombre and focussed. The crowd all sway together awaiting the passing of the immense effigy of the Virgen, supported on the shoulders of more than forty men, many walking with tears pouring down their faces at the honour of being selected as one of the chosen few to steady this immense weight.

Down the steep and narrow winding streets of Iznájar the Virgen passes, some twenty feet above our heads. She is cradled in a golden cage, her face beatific, her robes exquisitely bright - red and gold, fringed with white, cascading out behind her and surrounded by an immense quantity of the sweetest smelling white flowers.

"Viva .... Viva ..... Viva" comes the chant from the people behind the Effigy. It's almost as if they are in another world of the deepest reverance. Some of the devotees can be seen barefooted now, and you will still see some of the oldest villagers following on their knees - a promise made to the Virgen in prayer to save the life of a dying friend, for crops to flourish, for a grandson to pass through school ... And if the plea is answered, the devotee follows the procession as promised to the Virgen.

To say it is moving would be a gross understatement. It makes the hairs on your body stand up all over and your mouth go dry. The pure adoration, the effort made, and the incredible quantity of people who fill the streets, spilling out of every balcony, travelling from all over Spain to spend these few days here ....

It's my second year watching, and I will definitely be back again next year. I wouldn't miss it for the world. It is humbling.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Driving through the olive groves we stumbled upon Zuheros ...

I had the absolute pleasure yesterday of driving my nephew and his charming new wife back to Córdoba train station for their night train to Barcelona.

I don't normally look forward to the drive so very much as it is mostly motorway, but we decided to leave in plenty of time and take in a few of the local villages "off the beaten track".

We drove through Cabra without stopping ... Cabra means Goat in Spanish, and this particular town is one where I have determined to spend more time - the architecture is lovely - there are big open parks with pergolas under which you'll often find outdoor performances going on - and the road that winds down to it competes with a ski resort's access ....

But we went to have sangria and tapas in one of my fairytale destinations here - Zuheros.

About 40 minutes' easy drive away from our Guest House, skirting around the western side of the Sierra Subbética mountains, and absolutely accessible in a small car without wheel insurance (!), this village is a treasure. It is perched in a plunging ravine which splits through the Sierra and would have originally been the basis of inhabitation - an obvious water supply.

The swallows were swooping and chittering, and the crows (my personal favourites), cruising around chattering as the sun made it's way to the horizon and the castle lights came on, throwing everything into the most romantic lighting relief imaginable.

It has views stretching up to the Sierra Norte north of Cordoba with Baena in the middle ground, and the sunset from the castle is out of a fairy story, especially when enjoyed with a jug of freshly made sangria and local cured ham.

After wowing our socks off and taking lots of photos, we left shortly after 8.30pm to take the back road into Cordoba itself and the AVE / Renfe station which took us through several gorgeous villages - but the one that really stunned us was Espejo - Spanish for Mirror - because the light had become that late evening rich royal blue with smatterings of the darkest red as we rounded a corner to find the crescent moon hovering just to the right of a beautifully lit up castle, with a carpet of white houses spreading out at the castle's feet. It was, to quote my nephew's gorgeous Australian wife, "totally awesome".

The train station in Cordoba was a dream to find and had me driving through the "new" area - something I haven't done before and something I am determined to do again - wonderful wide open spaces and some of the most striking fountains I have seen in rural Spain ....

For another time I think.....