Charming country cottage inmersed in the spectacular natural park of El Montgo.
Esconced in the Natural Park of El Montgo, (between the coastal towns of Denia and Javea) Ginger Bread Cottage surrounded by pine forests, and wild Mediterranean brush, offers the best of both mountain and sea, where one can either enjoy peace and tranquillity or if you are looking for more action there are plenty of activities at hand, depending what it is you are looking for. Walking, swimming, sailing, cycling, tennis yoga, etc..... Its all a stone's throw away.
Cecilia has put all her energy to ensure that her home is both comfortable and well equipped. Ideally suited for a couple looking for a romantic getaway or a family with small children looking for something special, Ginger Bread House is bound to seduce you with its charm, and magical atmosphere.
Decorated with fragments collected from her travels around the world, Cecilia has aimed to provide a space where you can relax in a homely atmosphere, exploring the wonderful collection of travel, art and photography books collected over years working as a travel and interiors photographer for magazines around the world.
Cosy cottage provides the perfect platform from where to contemplate nature, sitting around doing nothing, or from where one can set off to discover the network of paths that meander the park of el Montgo, otherwise known locally as"La Plana".
In the garden, dinosaurs and lizards peek out shyly from time sculpted rocks found during her lengthy walks, butterflies, birds and insects dip in and out of the succulents Cecilia has collected over the years. Every nook and cranny is waiting to reveal some hidden detail surreptitiously placed to make one gurgle with pleasure.
It's all about beauty Cecilia confesses, the absolute need to create beauty around her, for the pleasure of all those who have an eye for this type of scenario, for she believes it requires a special kind of eye to appreciate the detail. If you are looking for a sterile, clinical, environment this is not the place for you. On the other hand if you are creatively inclined and appreciate nice things you will no doubt be in your element.
Little by little Cecilia has been investing in necessary changes that are contributing towards making Ginger Bread house more convenient for herself and her guests.
A modern bathroom extension has just been built as part of a significan upgrade, that has enlarged the kitchen, permitting a more comfortable sitting room area. What was once the living room has now been converted into the guest room that doubles as TV room when there are no guests around. This is a perfect space for kids, if they tag along as part of a family.
Ginger Bread house is entirely surrounded by fence or forest, giving it a wonderful sense of intimacy and protection, conveyed by the halo of solar lights at night. The amazing variety of plants which line the interior fence, mark the bounderies and attract the chirping birds.
The house can only stretch so far, as its a thimble after all, but considering its size, it's amazingly flexible. You have to remember you spend most of your time outdoors anyway, so the boat has been pushed out, so to speak, to make the outdoor living as amenable as possible, given the building restrictions in the protected area of the Montgo.
A new pergola (that will not be blown down by the wind) has just been built to provide shade and a more extensive exterior sitting area protected from the sun and wind. The latter is "a must" as the "Levantine" winds can be quite un-abating. Taking the good with the bad, La plana boasts a micro climate that makes this part of the coast so much more tolerable than being down by the sea. It makes sense. We're on a Cape, and this enables the wind to consistently cool the terrain. In the evenings I would even recommend wearing a pullover as it can get quite chilly. Go down to the coast and you might suffocate from the humidity.
This makes this lieu a very privileged spot indeed, with so many options where to hang-out both inside and out. What "seemed" to be a tiny house, has unsuspectingly multiplied to provide many nooks and crannies where to chill out, rest and play, be it stretching out on the yoga platform, unwinding in the hammock or sitting back on the sofas.
"Ive become a bit of a hermit," Cecilia confesses, admitting to only going into town when she needs to shop for food and necessities. "Otherwise I have everything I need here, peace and quiet being the two most important ingredients". Its something visitors to the house systematically remark upon when visiting the house, as there is no traffic coming by, other that from ramblers on route to the "Cova Tallada" or the ancient Moorish tower overlooking the sea and facing the island of Ibiza. This spot is definitively off the beaten track.
One of the things that makes this abode so unique is the care that has been taken in its decoration. Festooned with bits and pieces collected in her travels working as an "Interiors" photo-journalist, its no wonder cecilia wants to make her home special too. The bedroom, adorned with motifs from India reflects the interest and time spent in that country. A beautiful silk painting found abandoned in her boyfriend's garage, depicts the "Rhasa dance" from Hindu mythology. Though dominating the room, it fills the space with a flurry of energy and bright colours. It describes Krishna multiplying himself infinitely to dance with his beloved's maidservants, bringing joy to the heart, gladdening the spirit and sweetening one's sleep.
Food and entertainment form an integral part of Cecilia's life, so despite the cottage being pocket size, the dwelling accomodates many for meals and spontaneus cooking often takes place for guests dropping in to savour the "fusion" cooking Cecilia loves to indulge in. Having lived in many places, she brings in all these influences into her food. The cuboard is full of exotic spices you can experiment with if cooking is your thing.
But to enjoy this food the outdoor dining area is ideal when the warmth graciously arrives. A new roof was put on this winter when the last, built of recycled material, caved in with the heavy rains. Now it is solidly built and well protecd from the sun, the rain, and the sneaky winds. The kitchen, well equiped for those who have a preference to do their own catering, is also furnished with a functional oak table that doubles as work surface or dining table.
For all this feasting, there are two wonderful municipal markets in Denia and Javea where you can do your food shopping to satisfy all tastes. Organic and health foods can be found in several locations for those who are interested. You have only to ask and I will point you in the right direction.
If you are looking for "high life big city", you have plenty to choose from. Ten to twenty minutes down the hill there is an ample selection of restaurants and bars running along the coast where you will find the answer to your dreams.
All in all Ginger Bread House is equiped with all the ingredients necessary to make it a special and unique escapade. If you decide to go for it, undoubtedly you will be treating yourself to an unforgettable holiday!
Accès des voyageurs
Échanges avec les voyageurs
If Im around, I like to help and interact with the guests as much as possible. If Im not available its because Im away working abroad but there will be somone taking my place.
The cove I recommend is Cala Ambolo - see photo airbnb web - near Cabo de la Nao. I’m not sure what it’s like now but the road last year was difficult to access and the council does nothing to repair it. As a result parking is terrible thus you have to arrive early to find a slot but its well worth the effort as the beach is DIVINE. I recommend you take a picnic kit.
In the same neighbourhood is also located Granadella beach. Beautiful but crowded in August. There is a spectacular hike to do in the surrounding area if you have the energy and its not too hot. You can eat agreat paella under the pines trees.
When you want to get to away from the maddening crowd, the only beach where you will not find people is in Cala de los Franceses. (“Cala” means cove beach) Impossible to find without indications. This cove is named after the French family that live just above it, a family that bought this prime land hovering above it and owned by a famous painter called “Lambert”.
When I get too lazy to embark on these trips to the beach, I take the easy way out and go to the harbour instead. Early morning dip is miraculous to awaken the spirit. It’s refreshing and the water is clean and clear. After which you can have breakfast in one of the bars that are scattered all along from the harbour to the Parador.
For hippie shopping you have “the mercadillo”, spread in front of the Arenal. There are some stalls with very beautiful, quality stuff and a lot of rubbish too.
However there is a shop that I have a particular affinity to and that is INDIGO, in front of the harbour in Javea. I would decorate my entire house with the wonderful selection of things for the house from this place. You can also stop there to have tea and cakes whilst looking at the boats going by....
If you want to eat out, I recommend "La Tasca" in Jesus Pobre. (Evening) One of my favourites but you must book in advance as August is very busy. Contact (PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN). Calle Obispo Hervas 4. The restaurant is located 20 minutes drive from GB house and a great opportunity to see the other side of the Montgo. It serves Mediterranean food, which translates into a combination of Spanish, Italian and Grilled BBQ meat. The setting is delightful, and food excellent. Tuna fish to die for. The chocolate “bomba” desert amazing.
On Sunday afternoon in Jesus Pobre a market is held in the evenings from 7pm, which is bubbling with atmosphere. You can find local crafts but the highlight is the enormous selection of home cooked tapas and fine organic vegetables for sale. The atmosphere is lively, and familiar. The first Sunday of the month also includes antiques fair but I think antiques in the morning, food evening. All very select and tasteful. Don't miss it!
If you want to order paella to eat at home, there are two options. You can order one at the restaurant "Amanecer" next to the house, where whilst you are waiting you can have a dip at the pool OR you can order it at Tonica's, a woman from the village that makes, in my view, the best paella in Javea. Seriously GOOD. You can pick it up at her house next to the church in the old town and return the dish after. Her Contact is (PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN). Call from my behalf or I will call for you. I order it the previous day to give her time to do the shopping. 8€ per head. She serves very generously. A total bargain!
The municipal market in Javea is worth a visit. If you don’t want to shop at the supermarket, this is a great place to buy your fresh produce. I enjoy having breakfast in one of the bars, which is next to the entrance. I do not remember the name but they serve delicious "pinchos de tortilla". I particularly recommend the fish one. Otherwise the toasts, with tomatoes and olive oil. You can ask for cheese or whatever on top. Very nice indeed.
Street food market and plus takes place on Thursdays in the car park next to the police station old part of town.
The municipal Market in Denia is also excellent. Open from 8 – 2pm. Friday is the day for Street market right next to it. Get there early as parking can be a bit of a nightmare in the summer. There is a very good Asian supplier for those who like Asian ingredients, otherwise a little difficult to come by, as Spaniards don’t really eat Asian food. Thursday, Friday and Saturday you have organic food stall open. Great tea and coffee shop in this location.
Another place to eat tapas, which I’ve been going to since I was a kid, is “The Clavo” in the port of Javea, in front of the beach. Beautiful view. I love the fried fish and grilled veggies accompanied by a cold beer and the “patatas bravas”, the best in the whole of Spain. Seriously, I’m not joking! Even if you leave everything else out its worth going to just for this.
A bit more up market is “Sancta Sanctorum”, Calle Sandunga 56, telf: (PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN), a traditional tapas bar in Denia, that I go to regularly with my family. The setting is modern, the quality of the ingredients excellent and not expensive, though depends what you order and how much as fish is the basis of the menu and fish is relatively dear…. however worth every penny. My favourites among many of the delicious dishes are the “sepionets” tiny sepias pan fried in garlic, chopitos, baby sepia fried in batter, “pulpo a la gallega” octopus done gallego style, croquetas de bacalao…. the apple tart is light and to die for.
Tuesday and Friday morning you can drop in “La LLauradora” in Calle Loreto, (Denia) next to the hostal for an “almuerzo” (11´es) of “Cocas”, typical of the area. These are made on the premise, served warm and are I have to say the best I’ve tried anywhere. The best way to describe them is that they are like little mini pizzas but with regional toppings. In India they have an expression which goes “same same but different” and this is what its like. Similar concept to pizza but different. I love them.
The restaurant is run by a friend of mine, Danny, who is sweetness itself and who will look after you like gold if you tell him you are coming on my behalf. The food is good here something you can tell because it’s a restaurant for families who come looking for guaranteed good traditional food.
By the way, Calle Loreto is a pretty lively street with bars and restaurants to hang out in and watch the world go by.
Best place for homemade ice cream is the Italian ice cream shop called “Gola e Tentazione” on Marques de Campo 58, the main street in Denia. I’m not much of a sweet tooth but I have to say I could eat the house down, as the ice cream is not too sweet and chocolate tastes of chocolate!
If you are into bread, a new bread shop has opened at the bottom of the Marques de Campo in Denia that looks marvellous and they have everything under the sun. Otherwise I try to find the German bakery’s as Spanish bread is not the best. There is a German bakery in the municipal market in Denia or Liddell, believe it or not has an excellent supply. I tend to go there as it’s easy to park and its freshly made two or three times a day.
From food to walking (so you can burn all these calories down from all the food eaten I’ve described!)
There are many walks you can do from GB House. The paths are marked by white and yellow markings (see photos) it's worth exploring as long as you don't go off piste. The scrub is fierce. Wear trousers because it can scratch. Bring shoes with good support, as the ground is rocky and unsteady.
The walk to Cova Tallada is superb. If you want maps you can get them at the tourist office. You can go down, have a swim if the sea is not too rough and climb back up via the tower. Or do the reverse. It is one of my favourites!
Another walk is following the path that starts out from the cute cottage belonging to my neighbour up the road on the left. Directly opposite his house, this path is a short cut to the old ruin that was once the barracks of the civil guards. When you arrive at the headquarters, you can take a walk through the canopied forest toward the Cape of San Antonio. It's very pretty! You can return the same way.
If you want to head down to the port on foot, go to the end of the cape walking or with the car. At the first “parking” on the right hand side, you can see the path zigzagging down. Reward yourself with a cold drink in the Pope beach, between the cliff and the yatch club on the left hand corner where the peer begins. The view is fab though the personnel can be a little grumpy. There is also a great place to have fish in front of where the fishing fleet park their boats and the fishermen mend their nets. This fish market is called “La lonja” and you can buy your fish from the boats that have just come in.
There are many, many more walks but I will explain them on a one to one if you are interested. Otherwise I recommend you pop down to the Javea Tourist Office where they will provide you with maps and more info.
By the way its worth looking at the cultural programme going on in both Denia and Javea. There are many summer concerts going on.
If you like films, www.Cine Jayan has an excellent programme of indie movies and films in V.O. (original version).
If you are into Yoga and want to keep up with your practice, a friend of mine gives classes down in Denia every day and this is where I go. (URL HIDDEN)
For a massage you might want to seek out "Jason" who works in "La Siesta" in front of the sea in Javea. He´s a Canadian who combines a series of disciplines into a relaxing treatment that will leave you feeling like new. To book call (PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN)
The house rules are simply to have respect for the property and its belongings. Please remember this is a HOME not a hotel, where I share the beautiful and precious things I´ve collected from far and beyond and with love and attention. All I ask is that the content of this home is looked after as if it were your own as these things are ultimately irreplaceable having been collected from trip around the world!
Please, NO FIRES or BBQ's. Its illegal in the park, particularly in the summer because of the risk of spreading fire as pine forest is highly flamable and we are sitting right next to it.
Please don't play loud music so as not to disturb the silence of the place or anyone else that might be in the neighbourhood. If there are no neighbours around feel free to do as you like but I do recommend the sound of silence (and birds).
Animals are welcome as long as you pick up their droppings so no one else steps on them.
Smoking is permitted outside the house. Please use the ashtrays not the floor for the butts.
EXTERIOR: The switch for the exterior light is located on the left hand side of front door outside. I switch it on if I go out but once back in the house I turn it off if Im going to bed.
Fairy lights outside, above tables, go on and off automatically on a timer and go off at midnight.
BEDROOM: Right hand side of the entrance to the bedroom there is a switch for the light located above the door entrance.
Fairy lights around the picture are on timer. The switch is to the left hand side of the bed if you want it off. switch plug sort of hidden permits them to go on and off. Goes off at midnight. All others are self evident.
All organic material can be put into the silver bin next to the sink. Once it is full you can put all contents into the black composting bin where the cars are parked . No meat and bones allowed. I always put lots of water with the organic matter in as it helps with the decomposing. I use the water that I use to rinse the bin with for this purpose.
MOBILE phone access is not the best in the world here as were sort of end of the line but it nevertheless works if you find the right place for it. All depends on the phone company. We are lucky. There are some people on the Plana that don't have any internet or phone at all!
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