February 2017 Newsletter
After waking up to 4-5 inches of snow on the terrace, the view obscured by massive snowflakes and the feeling that we had somehow been transported somewhere else, it was hard to imagine what other surprises the weather in Spain might have in store for us this winter. The high winds, record waves and storms that followed have caused devastation to the coastline, mountain areas and (not least) to the vegetable and salad crops, affecting prices, exports and hitting the headlines in the UK. As always there is a silver lining and relief for some as the reservoirs are full again and the end of the three year drought is especially good news for the olive growers and oil producers. In Comunidad Valenciana, the hardest hit of any region of Spain, the production of olive oil dropped by 60% and prices of extra virgin olive oil, as production falls short of demand, have risen by 23%.
It seems to be a period of ‘records’. Spanish News Today reports that ‘British visitors propelled tourists spending levels to record highs’ in 2016 and the Spanish government is hoping to welcome them back again this year by pitching in to help repair the coastline before the first “sun & sand’ brigade arrive at Easter. Airlines are offering some new routes and increasing the number of flights. Let’s hope we get the sun back and the weather stabilises again before too long!
Back in the UK, the record number of people becoming interested in veganism continues to grow and PETA reports on how the big brands are managing the resulting demands for change. This article is a good read (with photos good enough to make you hungry) and much of it will be of interest to those of us who regularly travel through the airports where Pret, M&S and other big names are our pit stops for veggie food. Pret now offers vegan pots, dairy-free soups, and coconut milk in drinks (coconut hot chocolate!), while M&S have added two new ‘green and superfood’ sandwiches to their vegan range. Zizzi, encouraged by the success of their vegan options are introducing more in March. For those with a sweet tooth, vegan desserts are also creeping into the menus!
Locally, rumours continue to circulate that a vegan restaurant is about to open in Javea. If anyone knows anything factual we would love to know. Watch this space!
We recently revisited Carnaval on the Arenal and were pleasantly surprised by a (new to us) menu including several veggie and vegan options (not only their vegan burger), so we are pleased to be able to recommend the restaurant on our website once again, after years in the veggie dark.
The Olive Tree in Moraira cooked up a storm for our Sunday lunch in January and is committed to provide more veggie/vegan events in the future. Next month we are visiting Tres Arcos in Benitaxell (attached to the Bull & Bear). We had a very tasty Sunday lunch there a few weeks ago and were very impressed by the new owner and his chef. The menu is a bit different. It has its own take on veggie and vegan food so we hope you will be able to come along and try the food. We look forward to meeting up with you at the end of February.
In February we have arranged a veggie menu in the Tres Arcos Restaurant located in Benitaxell. This is another new restaurant for the group.