Last Orders at Dani García

It's the end of a foodie era in Marbella. Dani García's eponymous restaurant is due to serve its last meal this Saturday

Dani García at Puente Romano, where the chef won his third Michelin star only last November, will close its doors on Saturday evening."The Last Supper", as it is being called,  will be marked by an exclusive cocktail reception with friends and family, as well as chefs including Ferrán Adrià, Joan Roca, Quique Dacosta, Ángel León and Paco Roncero.

García took the decision to close the Puente Romano restaurant to concentrate on other aspects of his business, which include restaurants in Tarifa and  promoting Andalucian cuisine to a larger audience, as well as his increasingly frequent appearances on Spanish TV.

Whether those plans include another "Dani García Burger" with McDonalds remains to be seen!


Hannes d' Haese

Kempinski Hotel Bahía ends its Art Series 2019 on a high

Kempinski Hotel Bahía brings its Art Series 2019 to a close with an incredible exhibition of artists in conjunction with Global Gift Foundation and Dragon Art.

Running from November 14 till the end of December,  three international artists - Anna Schellberg, San B and Hannes d’Haese  - will be on display in  hotel Art Foyer and Art Gallery.

Hailing from Germany, Belgium and the UK, these artists will bring their latest works and collections to the hotel. An array of paintings, sculptures and crystalized works, by will all make for a spectacular exhibition and a fitting farewell to the Kempinski Arts Series 2019.

The inauguration takes place on November 14 at 19.30, with a Q&A with the artists. Special guest Maria Bravo from Global Gift Foundation will also discuss the role of her charity in Marbella. Dragon Art will also be making a percentage donation to Global Gift Foundation from any of the pieces that are sold at the event.

San B is a fast rising London artist who works with Swarovski Crystals. His journey started by creating clothing which led to designing for celebrities and artists including Bruno Mars and Hip-Hop act Wn Tang Clan. San B creates portraits at a larger scale of inspirational and timeless icons, such as Prince, Elvis and Amy Winehouse.

Ann Schellberg hails from Germany. Ann’s background lies in journalism and interprets the world in a profound way, almost, ‘reading between the lines’. With her paintings, Anna Schellberg wants to tell stories. Shattered dreams, lost hopes or broken personalities find their way into her art, but also the intertwining of past, present and future are themes that will be found repeatedly in her works.

Hannes d’Haese is a Belgian painter. A self-taught artist, his approach aims to give priority to dreams and imagination, offering images full of hope and life. His sculptures of animals are the product of his project "imaginarium", a tribute to Noah's Ark. This project immerses us in the artist's worldview, between the recognition of social emptiness that invades us and the reconquest of a more sincere human solidarity.

“This is the first event combining Global Gift Foundation, Dragon Art and Kempinski Hotel Bahía, and we hope it’s the beginning of an excellent relationship going forward in 2020, supporting both art and culture as well as the local community around us is part of our core values at Kempinski” explained Axel Bethke G.M of Kempinski Hotel Bahía.

The inauguration takes place on  November 14 at 19.30 till 21.30. To register for the inauguration cocktail please email Justine.haughey@kempinski.com


Marbella celebrity journalist jailed for child abuse

Marbella celebrity reporter Felix Ramos was sentenced to eight years in prison on Thursday after a Tangier judge found him guilty of statutory rape and indecent assault of two minors.

The prison term came after one of Ramos’s victims filed a complaint against the Spanish national in June last year. Although the 20-year-old Moroccan withdrew his complaint in September this year,  prosecutors pursued the case.

Anti-pedophilia NGO “Don’t Touch My Child” - that the judge ordered Ramos pay MAD 60,000 in compensation -  believes the victim received money from Ramos’s circle to drop the allegation.

The victim claimed that Ramos, who was a regular on the Marbella Media scene and had his own television programme, first raped him when he was 14 and living in a homeless shelter in Tangier. According to local Press reports, Ramos promised the boy Spanish documentation and accomodation, before taking him to a five-star hotel where the abuse took place.

Subsequently Ramos continued to rape the boy for a period of three years, taking him to Casablanca, Marrakech, and Chefchaouen. The victim was paid hush money to stay silent during this time.

Ramos, whose celebrity friends include Spanish televison presenter Manuel Parada and flamenco singer Falete, denied all the allegations during the trial.

Ramos is also under investigation by Spanish and Moroccan courts for selling false titles and diplomas on behalf of several organisations.

Photo. Ramos with Bo Derek at the Starlite Gala, Marbella


Sunday mutterings - Crutch control

I’m still recovering from last month’s tumble when I managed to jangle most of the nerves in my left ankle.

The face long sprawl down a friend’s steps and the resultant sprain meant that I have been hobbling around Marbella like an extra from “Pirates of the Caribbean” for the past few months – all crutches, bags and pouches about my person and frequently muffled oaths.

As a writer – though famously I was once derided as not being a ‘proper writer’ by an up and coming scribette who had the boho attitude, Frida Kahlo notebook and tome of Sylvia Plath poetry – I live by the mantra that ‘It’s all material’, and have made the following sage observations about life on one leg. The Flamingo Follies, if you will.

Being forced to be flat on my back, one leg in the air is not my favoured position in bed. Stop sniggering at the back. It did, however, enable me to rediscover my love of reading. I know that sounds like a particularly anodyne thing to say, but in a world where we would rather scroll and hit ‘like’, getting lost in a book is a rare pleasure. I managed to finish three books in four days. And only two of them required crayons.

Moving on one leg also means that you live at a slower pace. On my first day on crutches I misjudged a corner and ended up sprawling across the kitchen floor. It was so painful that I invented an entire vocabulary that sounded like a cross between Dark Orcish and summoning the Balrog. From that point I did everything at half speed, and there is a rather satisfying feeling when most of your morning is spent carefully preparing lunch.

Even though one leg was out of action, there are health benefits as well. Propelling yourself around on crutches requires employing upper body strength and I even started to get ‘definition’ around my abs. Spraining an ankle is not a training programme that I would recommend, but there is an up side!

Finally, people in general are happy to help. I’ve had doors opened, shopping trolleys pushed and even heavy items carried for me, confirming that, despite my dark and twisted worldview, there is a glimmer of good in everyone.

Luckily I’m due to watch Joaquin Phoenix in ‘Joker’ later, so abnormal service will be resumed…


Panorama scoops top Prize

Panorama, Marbella’s longest established real estate agency, won the highest award in the category of Best Real Estate Agency Spain (Single Office) at the European Property Awards recently.

Panorama won the 5-star classification of the award recognising the hard work and know-how of the company, led by Christopher Clover, founder and Managing Director of Panorama, who established the agency over five decades ago on Spain’s Costa del Sol. As the winner of this category, Panorama is automatically nominated for the Best Real Estate Agency (Single Office) in Europe.

Christopher Clover commented  “Marbella area real estate and tourism in general has now entered into a New Golden Age, offering some of the highest quality properties on the entire Mediterranean, in an environment which has maintained its natural beauty, very high level of services and infrastructure, and with a full twelve-month season due its southernmost location in Europe.

"Winning the award for best real estate agency in Spain is a reflection of our team’s joint effort, and of our commitment to clear and transparent communication and providing an unbeatable service to our clients." he added.

Photo: Managing Director and founder of Panorama, Christopher Clover, with his son Alex and daughter Katinka.


Kempinski Hotel Bahia takes international award

Kempinski Hotel Bahía was voted Best Hotel at the recent EURHODIP awards in Istanbul.

Director of Human Resources, Pedro Hidalgo, receieved the award that recognises a the training of students internationally. More than 200 hotel and tourism education professionals from all over Europe were at the gala dinner organised by EURHODIP, the leading international association that focuses primarily on the quality, vitality and public position of hotel and tourism education.

Educational faculties which are members of EURHODIP aim to teach their students the necessary work skills to aid them when joining the tourism industry, and therefore host internship programmes which promote integration and professional development in hotel companies internationally.

The organisers praised Kempinski Hotel Bahía, for its dedication to student education and job integration, creating the perfect scenario where each student can put into practice their knowledge and skills with total dedication, feeling supported by Kempinski.

Photo - Axel Bethke, Director of Kempinski Hotel Bahía and Pedro Hidalgo, Director of Human Resources, with the award

 


British Ambassador addresses expat concerns

An open letter from HMA Hugh Elliott to British citizens living in Spain

You will all have seen that the EU has agreed the UK’s request for a further extension. This means that the UK will not now be leaving the EU on the 31st of October. The extension sets a new deadline of the 31st of January 2020.

I met with some of the citizens’ rights groups yesterday here in Madrid and we talked about recent developments, about the continuing feeling of uncertainty and about the concerns of British nationals living in Spain.

The three month extension removes the immediate threat of no deal and provides an opportunity for the deal - which protects citizens’ rights - to be ratified.

For as long as we remain in the EU, UK nationals will retain their full EU citizenship rights. So if you are a UK national living in Spain now, nothing will change on the 31st of October. The current rules on registration, healthcare and travelling will remain exactly as they are now.

However it is still important to be prepared for Brexit. The extension period is a good opportunity to make sure you, your friends and family are fully prepared.

So I would encourage you all to use this time to ensure you are correctly registered as resident in Spain and registered for healthcare. And to ensure that you have exchanged your driving licence and checked your passport validity.

Secondly, I’m sure you have seen in the media that a general election will be held on the 12th of December. If you are a UK National who has been here for less than 15 years you can register as an overseas voter (further information can be found at gov.uk/voting-when-abroad). The deadline to receive proxy vote applications will be the 4th of December.

The Embassy and our network of Consulates will keep you updated on further developments. We will continue holding outreach events – meetings, pop-up events in your local supermarket and the like; details are on ourhttp://www.gov.uk/living-in-spain and on  Facebook. Please do make sure you are signed up for the Living in Guide on gov.uk and stay in touch through our Brits in Spain Facebook page.


Outcry at Triple A "attacks"

The Marbella community has come together to show solidarity with animal charity Triple A after a series of recent articles in the Press made sensationalist claims about the organisation.

Facebook almost melted with indignation, as Marbella residents showed their support for Triple A and voiced their condemnation of the erroneous articles Clickbait Journalism?. And other local newspapers couldn’t disguise their glee at seeing their competitors’ discomfort.

Further fuel to the Facebook fury was added when networking group Costa Women appeared to post last night that they would no longer be supporting Triple A and were cancelling a planned fashion show.

Condemnation of the action was swift and when Planet Marbella contacted Lilly van Tongeren at Triple A this morning, she confirmed that they first that she knew that they had been dropped by Costa Women was via the Facebook post.

We then contacted Ali Meehan of Costa Women who explained “To be clear, we have not decided to drop Triple A; I have written to Lilly to apologise for the stream of misunderstanding and promised to include their press release in this week's Costa Women newsletter.

“Our local organiser felt obliged to postpone the event that she was kindly doing until next year due to the number of women who cancelled due to the controversy caused in Diario Sur and The Olive Press. The event will take place, but at the time it was felt that would be better at a later stage when the controversy is at a safer historical distance”.

Once again the Coast has come together magnificently to support Triple A, and I will be interviewing Triple A Founder Jan Weima on www.tre.radio this Monday at 11.10am


Clickbait Journalism?

Popular Marbella animal charity Triple A hit the headlines once again at the beginning of the week. Several local papers reported that it had been found guilty of a variety of offenses, including the organised killing of animals in its care.

One of the more sensational claims was that the charity cut out microchips from animals, and specifically selected out black cats for "sacrifice".

The erroneous reports resulted in a Social Media frenzy, and today Triple A published the following statement

"Dear Triple A Members and Friends,

As you are aware, in 2016 legal proceedings were initiated against some members of the Triple A Association.
Despite this, and with great determination, we have not stopped working and helping the animals for a single day. We have welcomed and cared for all the animals that both Seprona and Marbella’s Department of Health have placed at our facilities, there have been many over these years.

The interpretation by the press of the Court Order gives the impression that the conclusion is negative, but this is very far from the truth. What began as something exaggerated and magnified out of all proportion and supported by a malicious campaign in the media, supposedly orchestrated intentionally years before as if we were terrorists, now begins to lose strength and credibility: In the COURT ORDER (note it is not a JUDGEMENT because there has been no trial, so is provisional and not yet final) which is being spread and referred to in the press, some of the alleged crimes initially investigated have been dismissed. Furthermore, most of the people initially under investigation are no longer so, because the case against them has also been dismissed. This is very positive and, indeed, a breakthrough for both the association and our colleagues, as well as for the animals we protect every day.

The unjust campaign of harassment, slander and public contempt to which Triple A has been subjected, based on half-truths and alleged facts, must be proven in the course of a judicial proceeding. This will not prevent us from continuing to work for the well-being of our best friends, the animals. We will continue to fight through social media and our daily work to show society that the authors of this dishonourable campaign, who are acting out of self-interest, are wrong. Likewise, we will do our utmost to prove to the Court that the facts are not true and the persons investigated are innocent.

We do not want to be drawn into the malicious game of slander on social media, rather we would just declare that we have faith and belief in Justice and we assert our Fundamental Right to the PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE. The accusations must be proven, and as long as the contrary is not proven, we maintain our innocence and feel as innocent as we did on the very first day the investigation began.
We understand the outrage of those who do not know the reality of the facts, those who do not know our work, in short, those who do not know the Triple A Association. Even more so, we understand the indignation of those who do know us, as that indignation is ours.

For this reason, we request the support and trust of those who really know us and the work carried out by the employees and volunteers of the Triple A family in Marbella for the last 28 years".

The press reports are only the latest in a series of attacks that Triple A have undergone over the past five years, which have included a police raid in body armour, and Triple A officials being taken in for questioning.

Having seen the amazing work that the charity does, Planet Marbella stands strongly with Triple A against these sensationalist claims.

Clickbait or conscience? It's your call...


Hype. are launching an exciting new collectiom with Specsavers

Do believe the HYPE.

HYPE., one of the UK’s most cutting edge streetwear brands, is bringing its trend-setting designs to Spain.

An exclusive collaboration with Specsavers has seen the creation of an original range of  prescription glasses and sunglasses that channel HYPE.’s apparel collections.

Distinctive prints, combined with future-focused shapes form the 16-piece #HYPExSpecsavers collection, with prices starting at €129 a pair, making it a must-have for trend conscious glasses wearers.

Stig Hansen, Specsavers head of design and product development, said: ‘HYPE. is known for its fresh and fashion-conscious designs and we’re thrilled to have them on board. This collection is perfect for the specs wearers who love to stand out by expressing themselves through print and colour.’

HYPE. co- founders, Liam Green and Bav Samani, added: ‘Specsavers just feels natural for us. When you think of glasses, you instantly think of Specsavers. Our partnership is a no-brainer! We are so excited to see this develop and progress into something great.’

Styles include classic aviator-inspired styles, bold, yet versatile camo, tortoiseshell glasses with contrasting black sides and classic yet cool matte black sunglasses with a round retro shape.

Find your nearest Specsavers Ópticas store at www.specsavers.es