Ginseng & Thyme on Tour
It probably won’t come as much of a surprise to know that G&T have recently been on holiday. To our loyal followers on social media we apologise for the envy-inducing snaps, and to our loved ones for the endless moaning about how awful it is to be back in the real world. Last week we went to Tenerife for some well-deserved friend time. Of course, the blog was discussed a little, we couldn’t help ourselves, and as well as being super relaxed, we have some exciting things in the pipeline for Ginseng & Thyme.
Although we succeeded in our paramount requirement of September sunshine, it seems that G&T may have made the wrong decision on the location of our virgin voyage abroad. The anxiety started when T told a friend who was familiar with the island where exactly she would be going, only for him to laugh in her face. Playa-las-Ameri-can-we-go-home-now. Turns out we’d picked the Blackpool of the Canary Islands complete with rowdy stags, pushy club reps and all the horrendously tacky tattoos you could get your hands on. Talk about Brits abroad. The operative description for our hotel was ‘it’s fine’ in a slightly high-pitched squeal, ever hoping to increase the star rating with every rising octave. To be completely honest, the hotel was pretty decent for the area we were in and all we needed was a good old British stiff upper lip and some sunshine and we would be on our way.
We relaxed, we chatted, and we bonded but eventually, the hotel buffet became too much for us to handle. In all honesty, the hotel food was nowhere near as bad as we anticipated, apart from the fact that chicken nuggets (commonly referred to colloquially as ‘nuggs’ we believe) were served at breakfast, lunch and dinner. The idea of a buffet filled us both with dread, but we were pleasantly surprised with a range of local dishes, fresh salads and locally sourced meat and fish grilled up before your eyes. Be that as it may, we wanted to sample some proper local cuisine, so we did a little research and decided upon a restaurant called El Molino Blanco tucked away in the foothills and only a short taxi ride away.
What a choice it was. The setting was utterly charming with an outdoor terrace sheltered by twisting tendrils of emerald green plants and a couple of parrots chatting in the background. We sat outside on a rather romantic candlelit, rose-petal-adorned table and drank sangria while the sun set in the distance. For a couple of hours, we forgot where we were staying and pretended we were on the other side of the island. Our waitress Christina was wonderfully attentive and non-judgemental about is being ‘those girls’ who take 15 minutes to photograph their food before they eat it. Trust us, we would love to eat a hot meal occasionally too. We devoured grilled king prawns which were deliciously salty and as fresh as can be. It is such a lovely treat to eat fresh prawns that don’t have that unnatural crunch to them from being frozen and instead simply melt in the mouth as these did. We also enjoyed beef carpaccio with rocket and balsamic dressing, Iberico ham and mussels cooked in Marinara sauce, which was so sublime T is now converted. And yes. Before you ask we did have two starters each – but it is important to point out that a) we were on holiday and b) there are no calories in food which is shared. True story.
For mains, we both enjoyed the catch of the day, which was a local fish called Corvina. It is a white, flaky fish like sea bass but with a little more sustenance. This was served with salad, Canarian potatoes (a.k.a “wrinkly potatoes”) and the two, famous Mojo sauces. These sauces come in a red and green variety, with the former consisting of red pepper, garlic, cumin, smoked paprika, olive oil and vinegar and the latter made up from green pepper, green herbs, garlic and olive oil.
These are the most indicative foods from the Canary Islands, and we were ecstatic to finally try them. They went perfectly with the grilled fish. These sauces are so versatile, with the red (Mojo Rojo) providing bolshie, punchy flavour to the otherwise delicate fish, or the green (Mojo Verde) complementing the fragile Corvina. We turned down dessert (we know, we’re impressed too) and instead opted for more wine. Spoiler alert; this evening ended with two very drunk Brits sat on the beach staring out at the waves in a red wine/gin induced coma, but the meal we very much enjoyed. The service was fabulous, the setting was charming, and the food sublime.
All in all, the holiday was a little on the tacky side, but we managed to sniff out a decent restaurant with some authentic Canarian dishes. The holiday served its purpose. We are both refreshed, relaxed and ready to take on whatever life throws at us next.
Next year? Cannes.
See you next Thursday,