Over 100 litres of rainfall in Marbella

It was a wet one. Three consecutive days of rain meant that 100 litres per square metre fell on Marbella in the past three days.

The much needed rains arrived on Wednesday and peaked the following day, when 49.5 litres fell on the town. The rainfall has alleviated the precarious water level of the reservior, although much more is still needed.

During these three days, the State Meteorological Agency (AEMET) activated the yellow alert for rains on the Costa del Sol and the orange for strong waves.

In addition, there was a yellow alert due to strong winds, which is still active until this Saturday afternoon.

The forecast is for a sunny weekend, without precipitation,

El Lago keeps its star

Marbella shines at Michelin

Marbella's reputation as a gastromonic hotspot continues to grown. At the recent Michelin awards in Sevilla, four restaurants received recognition.

Restaurant Skina in Marbella's Old Town, gained its second Michelin star, while El Lago (pictured) and Messina retained their stars and Fernando Alcalá's Kava was awared the 'Bib Gourmand' distinction.

Spain now has 29 restaurants with two stars, three of which are in Andalucia. As well as Skina,  El Bardal de Ronda and Noor in Córdoba now boast two stars.

Congratulations to all concerned!

British Ambassador to address Brexit seminar

British Ambassador to Spain, Hugh Elliott, will make his first official visit to Manilva as the keynote speaker at the town’s fifth seminar to update residents on the actions they need to take to prepare for Britain’s exit from the EU.

The ambassador will be introduced by Manilva councillor Dean Tyler Shelton and Laura Lopez Collado, the Councillor for Foreign Residents. Also speaking will be the Mayors of Manilva, Casares and San Roque, together with Derek A Langley, Regional Vice President of the British Chamber of Commerce in Spain, Alex Radford of My Lawyer in Spain and Joni Burnett, representative of the Colegio de Administradores de Fincas de Málaga. There will also be a Question and Answer session where the panel will be joined by British Consul Charmaine Arbouin and members of the consular team.

Consul Charmaine Arbouin said: “The Embassy and Consulate are delighted to take part in this, the fifth seminar that Manilva has put on to keep its residents informed. As a result many UK nationals have already registered as residents and exchanged their driving licences, but we know that others still have questions about what action they need to take.

“In the meantime, I urge all UK nationals to stay up to date with the latest news by signing up for email alerts to the Living in Spain guide on gov.uk and following our Brits in Spain channel on Facebook.”

Advice for UK nationals living in Spain can be found at: gov.uk/livinginspain

The event takes place this Wednesday 20 November (17:50-19:30) at Villa Matilde Sabinillas, Avenida Leopoldo Alas Clarin 51, 29692 Manilva. There is no need to register beforehand.

Kempinski teams up with Global Gift for final art event of 2019

Axel Bethke, General Manager of Kempinski Hotel Bahía, welcomed Maria Bravo, President and Founder of the Global Gift Foundation as part of the final event of Kempinski’s Art Series 2019.

Maria Bravo with her team were invited to join the event by Dragon Art who brought three international artists to exhibit at the hotel’s art zone. Maria was also joined by her long term friend, Jose Maria Garcia Urbano, Mayor of Estepona. Taking a moment to thank Dragon art for their support Maria also spoke to the select audience about the power and ability to help others in need within the community, focusing on her project ‘Casa Global Gift, a multifunctional centre for children with special needsthat is located in the city of Marbella, Spain.

Dragon Art, who represent the artists on display at the hotel explained to the guests that a percentage of sales from the art exhibition will go to Global Gift Foundation, to help continue its good work both locally and worldwide.

The exhibition which is open till the end of December contains an array of paintings, sculptures and crystalized works, by Anna Schellberg, San B and Hannes d’Haese, making it a spectacular exhibition and a fitting farewell to the Kempinski Arts Series 2019.

Photo  L- R. Anna Schellberg,  Maria Bravo (Global Gift Foundation),  Jose Mª Garcia Urbano (Mayor of Estepona), San B, Hannes d'Haese, Axel Bethke (General Manager)

Another fatal shooting in Marbella

Marbella witnessed yet another suspected gang related killing last night.

Emergency services received an anonymous call for help on Friday at around 7.30 pm. When police and paramedics arrived at the apartment at Urbanisation Andasol in Las Chapas, they found the body of the victim, described as Arabic in appearance, as well as another man who was badly injured. Both had been shot.

No arrests have been made so far and Police are viewing this as another settling of scores between drug gangs.

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.