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An Afternoon in Paradise

It’s always good to change your horizons; to get some colour and inspiration in your life.

The fresh mountain air was a welcome relief from Dubai’s long and fierce summer. I spent a couple of weeks with my family, nestled on a mountain top in Spain. A busy time of year for my parents: almonds to harvest, grapes to pick and press – and of course, copious amounts of vino and tapas to consume!

Picking the last of the Shiraz grapes. It doesn’t feel like hard work with the hazy afternoon rays bouncing off the panoramic landscape.

You can’t just throw the bunches of grapes into the buckets. Each bunch needs to be lovingly inspected and any green or young grapes, or ones with mildew, removed (as they will change the sugar levels and the taste.)

Look at those beauties! Resplendent in their majestic purpleness. My dad's other babies!

1 bucket down … more to pick!

Prepping the fish ready for the paella. No bunny rabbits in this one as I’m a pescetarian :)

Adding the stock. Love the reflections and sheen of the liquid.

Bursting with colour and flavor, it’s almost ready to devour.

So pretty and toothsome.

The final touch, a squeeze of lemon. Best squeezed by my dad’s grape-stained hands! All in a day’s work in el campo.

Choosing your mussel: eat the fishy jewel and then use the shell as a spoon to scoop out your paella. Saves washing up cutlery!

Tuck in!

I look forward to next year when those juicy grapes have fermented and created a fine Shiraz; grown and picked with love ♡

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