September 2013 ~ The Blonde B

20 September 2013

Las Llaves

It's Monday night, which can only mean one thing: Burt Family Dinner.

As the parents work every night running their restaurant, it has become tradition in the Burt household that on their one night off, without fail, we all sit down together and eat as a proper family (with arguments and heated discussions of course!).

Daddy will cook us diner and runs the kitchen like a military operation, which means nobody gets in there to help him. Sometimes we do opt for the more relaxing choice: dining out. 

Last Monday, we spent the day lazing at the beach and then we decided to grab a couple of cervezas. We got back at 7pm and Daddy deemed it far too late to cook dinner so the parentals decided to take me out, as the brother was nowhere to be seen. 

I quickly jumped in the shower whilst Daddy booked a table for 3 at one of our favourite restaurants: Las Llaves. I threw on a dress and a pair of wedges and didn't even have time to blow dry my hair! Whilst Mummy emerged looking immaculate... 

Las Llaves is like a secret garden. Nestled in the back of Torrenueva, you could easily walk past is as it looks like a house. As you walk in you feel you are entering somebody's living room. The whole dining experience inspires to make you feel relaxed, as if you were eating in the comfort of your own home and being served by professional waiters of course. 

Mummy convinced me to try a 'fino', a very dry sherry from Tio Pepe, as an apéritif for the very first time. I think I'm going to have to have a few more before I get used to the sharp taste!

When ordering a drink, they leave the bottle on the table to carry on the feeling of being at home, to top yourself up at ease. AND trust you not to drink the entire bottle!

The menu is classically Spanish. No fancy nonsense, just a good choice of meats and fresh fish. Their speciality is their flambéed meats and desserts.

Mummy had the avocado with prawns, to start. 

I had the Gambas al Alajillo, Garlic prawns, which is usually cooked with lots of olive oil and garlic. I strategically saved my bread roll to mop up all the garlic-y juices. Yummy!

There is a dish in Spain called prawns Pil Pil, which is one of my favourite dishes of all time. Cooked with lots of garlic, olive oil, chillis and a tomato base. Oh it's making my mouth water just thinking about it!The Las Llaves Garlic prawns was halfway between a prawns Pil Pil and a typical Gambas al Alajillo. It was very yummy, but the best prawns Pil Pil I have ever tasted is still from Bogart's restaurant (more on that later).

Daddy had the traditional French Onion soup with a cheesy crouton afloat. 

The Burt family are definitely carnivores. For our mains, all three of us ordered fillet steaks.

Mummy and Daddy ordered theirs on the grill with the peppercorn sauce on the side. I ordered mine flambéed in the pepper sauce.

All of them were cooked to perfection and washed down with some good vino tinto.

The steaks on the grill had a more rustic flavour in the meat, but I would highly recommend getting it flambéed. My steak was melt in your mouth and oozed pepper sauce in every bite. 

It was hands down one of the best steaks I have ever had! (Although not the prettiest site to look at on your plate!).

We decided to skip dessert. As much as I love Spanish food, I'm really not a fan of Spanish desserts.

We went straight to the liqueurs. Usually after dinner Mummy and I would have an Amaretto on the rocks. Instead, tonight the owner was treating us to a Pacharán. He knew Daddy loves Anís Dulce, so treated him to that instead. 

Bottles on the table, always risky business. One time we managed to polish off a bottle of Amaretto between us. We felt so guilty we had to leave extra money just for finishing off the bottles! They must have thought we were alcoholics!

Another great Burt family dinner (minus JoBro!).

Las Llaves. Situated in Torrenueva, Mijas. Try and find this secret garden!

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18 September 2013

Gibraltar Festival

My all time favourite, SS, invited me to go to the Gibraltar Music Festival on the 7th September. It was all very last minute, so I was lucky to get a ticket! It was only their 2nd year and I was super excited to go to a festival so close to home.

Gibraltar is only an hour drive away from Marbella and has been in the British press lately regarding the border disputes with the Spanish. This is an old on-going conflict and I'm not about to bore you with a political discussion here, but it is always hard seeing your two nations fighting against one another like little school kids.

I was worried about how the Spanish might sabotage the festival but we parked in Spain and then walked across the border without any issues. I love the fact you literally have to walk or drive across the Gibraltar airport runway to get in to the centre. It's quite surreal sharing your pavement with a bunch of airplanes!

The festival was held at the Victoria Stadium and could probably be heard across the whole of Gibraltar due to this geographically small British territory! We had the impressive Gibraltar rock as our backdrop and got a pretty good spot with a direct view of the stage. We set up camp with our very own picnic blankets and got ready to enjoy the 12 hour festival.

S's family and friends came with us so it was a full family affair. The little ones were so cute and super excited about seeing Olly Murs (so were S and I!).

The line up for the festival was great: Lawson, Texas, Olly Murs and Emeli Sande, plus a whole bunch of up and coming local bands: Guy Valarino, Orange Peel and Metro Motel. Even La Oreja de Van Gogh, one of Spain's top selling bands, was going to be playing the main stage. It just goes to show music knows no politics. 

There were a load of local food and drink stalls which made it feel like the whole of Gibraltar was welcoming us into their homes and their culture. The sound of English and Spanish being spoken everywhere was like music to mine and S's ears. We felt we could finally speak Spanglish here without everyone looking at us funny. The only bad part is that we could no longer sneakily talk in a foreign language about something as everyone could understand us here!

The only thing they might need to work on for next year is getting their barcode scanner to work at all the doors. As I had purchased my ticket the night before I didn't have time to print it off and just downloaded their ticket code. We tried going through the side entry which had no queues and was nearest the border. However, the internet was only working at the main entrance which meant I had to walk all the way round the venue and queue in the massive line to get in through the barcode scanner. 

We drank Tinto de Verano's all day, one of my favourite Spanish drinks. Just equal parts of Vino Tinto (red wine) and Limon (Fanta Lemon) to make the most refreshing drink, and danced the day and night away. 

Gabrielle Aplin
Gabrielle Aplin

Equipped with the right footwear. I've had my Converse for 3 years now and are hands down still my comfiest shoes. 


S and I both fell in love with Lawson's drummer. Adam Pitts you are dreamy!

This is S's very stylish Mummy. 

Texas were brilliant!
Just a little bit too loud for the young ones...

Then we took some shameless selfies. 

When we wanted a break from the main stage we wandered over to the 2nd stage and watched the very talented Guy Valarino play an acoustic set. He was awesome!
Guy Valarino 
S and I got tired. So we decided to check out the Chill Out area.

Comfortable sofas, cocktails and this really cool acoustic set. We almost had a little siesta!

We didn't chill for too long as Olly Murs was coming up next!
Olly Murs
Olly Murs 

Meet this cute brother and sister. He was too short to see over the crowds, so his sister kept giving him a piggy back so he could watch Olly Murs. It was precious. 

Olly Murs

After Olly gave an amazing performance, full of energetic numbers, crazy dance moves and awesome audience interaction, we all got a bit tired so decided to watch Emeli Sande from the comfort of our own blanket at the back of the stadium. 

Although she is not my favourite artist, her voice really is amazing.
Emeli Sande

Next year's festival has already been announced for the 6th September 2014 and you will definitely be seeing me there next year. It can only be bigger and better! Follow my blog with Bloglovin