One week in Tenerife, Spain

Happy New Year, everyone! I can’t believe it’s almost mid-January and this is my first post of 2015! My husband and I kicked start our New Year with a one week trip to Tenerife and we just came back on Tuesday. We had an amazing holiday – it was beautiful, the food was delicious, and the weather was great (we had sunshine all week; temperature was in the region of 21 degrees celcius all day… not bad, huh?). I think Tenerife (south Tenerife, in particular) is a great destination if you’re looking for a bit of sun, sea and sand in the winter. It’s only 4-hour flight away from London and it’s a place that won’t break your bank account.

We flew British Airways and was treated to this view as we approached the island – it was a promising start to our holiday:

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We stayed in the south west of the island, around Costa Adeje, Playa de Las Americas and Los Cristianos – one of the most popular resorts on the Canary Islands and definitely the place to be for sun worshippers. I don’t recommend staying in the north if your purpose of going to the island is to escape the winter chill – we did a day trip there and it was freezing!

So, in the south, we love…

The beaches (of course), feeling the warmth of the sand under our feet, soaking in the sun, swimming in the sea, and just lazing around all day.

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The food… particularly tapas and fresh seafood! I love seafood! Two restaurants that we really like and highly recommend is Cafe Epoca in Los Cristianos and El Mago in Costa Adeje. Both are highly rated on Trip Advisor and rightly so. They serve great and tasty food minus the hefty price tag. El Mago is more expensive, but it’s not overpriced… we paid around 45 euros for 3 tapas, 2 mix paellas, and 3 drinks (the beer was 1 euro for a pint). And it’s a beach front restaurant, so the view was amazing. But if you’re after cheap eats, then go to Cafe Epoca – you probably won’t pay more than 15 euros for 2 persons for a decent lunch.

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I know I said that we went to Tenerife for the sun, and of course, we got plenty of that, but we also spent a couple of days exploring the north of the island and the mountain. We had to wear our winter coats most of the time, but these places were worth it. Rent a car – you’ll be glad you did, it’s the best way of getting around the island (we pre-arranged with British Airways when we bought our tickets and picked up our car at the airport).

So, away from the sun, we love…

The majestic El Teide – the highest volcano in Spain and the highest point above sea level in the Atlantic. It has a lunar landscape (a must-go if you want to experience how it feels like to be on the moon) and it has been a popular filming location for many sci-fi directors. Do take the cable car to the peak (well, almost… you need a special permit to climb to the actual peak), but a 10-minute ride on the cable car takes you close enough and it costs 26 euros. My husband went, I didn’t – pregnant women are not allowed on the cable car! There’s a cafe at the cable car station though and with a very good wifi connection too… so, it was okay.

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Pyramids de Guimar. These pyramid-shaped structures were built from lava stones; they were discovered in 1998 and have been dated to the 19th century AD though their origins remain a mystery. It costs 12 euros to enter and takes about 2 hours to explore. You can ask for an audio guide (or not)… I think it’s worth a visit if only for the views.

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The cliff of Los Gigantes. It doesn’t need much explaining. There’s a beautiful port and town at the foot of the cliff – popular with tourists and I think it’s a nice place to stop for lunch. We did; we had a paella at a restaurant called La Paella Rustica – it was really nice, but that was before we tasted the paella at El Mago. Still, it was a good lunch.

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The mountain village of Masca… simply stunning… enough said! My only advice is: go when it’s still bright… navigating in the tight twisty mountain road at night is really not fun!

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There you go… the highlights of our trip to Tenerife. We wished we could have stayed longer, but hey, London calling!

So, to wrap it up, here’s what we brought back with us…

The recipe for our favourite coffee ‘Barraquito’: coffee with milk, condensed milk, cinnamon powder and a slice of lemon. So yummy! I’ve been making it since we came back – a perfect winter warmer.

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And of course, souvenirs. We bought quite a few things (the usual: fridge magnets, arty crafty stuff, etc), but these are my favourites: raw pearls (and I even got the seller to give me the shell which still has pearls in it for free), a bracelet made of volcanic stones, and another bracelet made of Olivine or Peridot (that is, green minerals that grow inside lava stones in Lanzarote). I’m happy!

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Going Japanese: Ajiichiban, Greenwich, London

I love Japanese food! I really do. Especially in winter when it’s freezing outside – I just think it’s a perfect food to warm you up. Imagine… a good bowl of ramen, or one of those hot bento boxes, or a donburi, coupled with pan-fried gyoza or tempura and a heart-warming miso soup… yum…

So, that’s what my husband and I had last weekend. We went to a Japanese restaurant in Greenwich called Ajiichiban. It’s our second time there. We really like this place – it’s cute, very clean and welcoming. It’s also very authentic, which is important (obviously), and the food is delicious – definitely one of the best Japanese food we had in London.

We started off with Wasabi Prawns. We haven’t seen one of these in other Japanese restaurants in London, so we thought we should give it a try. We were not disappointed; they’re delicious (and that’s saying a lot considering that I’m not a fan of wasabi). Although, if you really “can’t stand the taste of wasabi at all”, then these prawns are probably not for you. But don’t worry, there are plenty of other mouth-watering starters to choose from – I recommend the gyoza or tempura (we ordered these the first time we were there… loved them).

Ajiichiban Wasabi Prawn | www.angeliquelee.co.uk

Wasabi Prawns

Moving on to main, I ordered Katsudon (that is, pork chops with breadcrumbs and eggs on rice) and miso soup, and my husband ordered a bowl of Crispy Duck Ramen. Both were delicious! Very very tasty! And the portion is huge – you certainly won’t leave feeling hungry (I eat a lot, so for me, that’s also important!).

Ajiichiban Katsudon | www.angeliquelee.co.uk

Katsudon

Ajiichiban Duck Ramen | www.angeliquelee.co.uk

Crispy Duck Ramen

Oh, did I mention that they’re also not overpriced? £6.80 for the Wasabi Prawns, £8.50 for the Katsudon and miso soup, and £8 for the Crispy Duck Ramen.

So, the verdict: really good food, big portions, not expensive, lovely place, and great service – a perfect casual dining experience, don’t you think? We can’t recommend this place enough and we will certainly go back.

Ajiichiban is located at 8 Nelson Road, Greenwich, London SE10 9JB.

Disclosure: this is a non-sponsored post; all opinions are completely my own based on my personal experience.