Sandos San Blas Tenerife Holiday

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Sandos San Blas Tenerife

Our first trip to Tenerife, having grown very fond of the Canary Islands over the past two years. Having completed several contracts in a row, and with nothing lined up immediately after my time at Cambridge Audio, it made sense to fit this 10 day trip now before picking up some more work in March.

The Sandos San Blas hotel is beautiful and I am relieved with the choice after going through so many hotel profiles before deciding upon this one.

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Around the hotel there are things to do, and a walkway along the coast but we didn’t feel we were seeing the best of Tenerife whilst wandering either side of the hotel. There were marinas, local seafood restaurants and all else you might hope for, but very few people and a slightly tatty environment which maybe needs more tourism to force an improvement.

It was after several days of popping in and around the hotel that we realised we would need to pick up some excursions in order to see the best of this island, which we were visiting for the first time.

We have a preference for all inclusive at the moment because it can save a lot of money so long as the hotel food is of a good enough standard. We tend to then eat out towards the end of the trip as the hotel food starts to become monotonous.

Thankfully, the food in this hotel has been great, and also varied. It has also been better than some of the local restaurants that we have been to for lunches during the holiday. Veal is not something I have enjoyed before, but several dishes here have changed my mind towards Veal and I will certainly try it again in future.

The guests in this hotel seem to come predominantly from Spain, UK, France and Germany, approximately in that order. All Inclusive buffets, therefore could be meat and potato heavy but thankfully the stylish salads and fish dishes are more greater in number here.

Ruby has been stocking up on all the seafood, as usual, and has enjoyed octopus kebabs, various grilled fish and a selection of melon.

Ruby eating at Sandos San Blas.jpg

One downer for the Sandos San Blas must be the wifi, unfortunately. Our room was a good distance from reception, and this is where I suspect the main wifi hub is. As such, even with pretty new iPads and phones we were struggling to get a consistent signal from our room.

For this holiday, the idea was to get away from it all, including technology, and so it hasn’t actually bothered me that much about the flakey wifi in our room – if there were any important emails I could always sit closer to the reception for a better signal.

Talking of small issues with the hotel, we have found the staff to be fantastically friendly and helpful but during dinner there often is not enough of them. I felt to see them working so fast to make up for the lack of staff providing table service, with some customers even resorting to self-service out of frustration.

We took up several activities in the hotel, of which there are many available. The highlight was our first attempt at kayaking, which unfortunately involved the boat turning over within seconds of us setting sail. After that super soaking, though, we actually did quite well and got a good rhythm up, though I’m not sure Ruby would have been strong enough by herself to make much impact on the direction of the Kayak.

Other activities available at the Sandos San Blas in Tenerife include Beach Volleyball, Tennis, Table Tennis, Pool, Bar Football, Basketball and, of course, Swimming.

There is also nightly entertainment in the discotheque, two floors below the reception. Ruby ended up onstage for a clown’s performance, smashing symbols together as part of an impromptu band. She was actually quite happy up there in front of everybody and was one of the more musically talented of the audience members brought up.

Ruby on stage at Sandos San Blas, tenerife

We have found the out bound excursions to be very popular and normally fully booked when trying to find places the night before. We managed to get several in the end, though, including a full day in a nearby island of La Gomera as well as a trip to a nearby nature reserve and a full day trip of the scenic splendour of various parts of the island.

Prices for these trips seem very reasonable, with La Gomera the most expensive at €64 each, but this included an hour each-way ferry journey from Tenerife to the island, as well as lunch and many other highlights packed into a busy 12-hour tour.

Abel & Cole Food Delivery

Abel and Cole

I recently signed up to Abel & Cole after bumping into one of their door-to-door salesmen in Greenwich, and have had three deliveries so far, in as many weeks.

Initial experiences have been good, with fruit, vegetables and meat arriving each Monday, carefully packed and on time. There are foods available that we cannot source easily, such as Pheasant, Venison and various game. Most supermarkets near to us are small, with limited choice, making Abel & Cole very suitable for us.

This week’s delivery included some Rabbit which we are having tonight, though i’ve no idea which Chinese dish Ruby is planning to create this time.

UPDATE (March 2015): One month later and we are still using Abel and Cole for most of our vegetables. We have switched to a large veg-only box in an attempt to force us to have a larger proportion of vegetable in our diet. The plan seems to be working so far.

The Yacht Pub, Greenwich

The Yacht has been my Greenwich local for a good while now. The staff are the best bit, whilst it has great views of the Thames as well as Sky Sports and BT Sport on tv.

Greenwich is undeniably brilliant when it comes to pubs, with my other favourites including The Union, The Trafalgar Inn and also The Cutty Sark. The Union stocks plenty of beers from the local brewery (Greenwich Meantime Brewery) and there is always someone willing to explain the latest arrivals.

Greenwich Meantime Brewery also now has it’s own bar for those who have just been on one of their tours, or simply want to pop in to try some of their latest labels.

The Yacht itself is becoming more and more popular at weekends, to the point where i may even need to start booking a table in order to make sure i get a good view of the tv.

The food is great, too! Current specials include a fab Game Pie. There is also a huge Fish ‘n’ Chips which is big enough for both Ruby and i to share.

Travel Plans for 2015

2014 was awesome for holidays, with trips to Ibiza, Norway, Portugal, Belgium, Canary Islands, China and Malta fitted in to a brilliant year. 2015 is more about putting away some savings, though, so i will have to be a little more selective with travel plans.

Ruby had been hoping to go on a cruise for many, many years and it was exciting to finally make that wish happen with our trip around the Norwegian Fjords, which was breathtaking. We also enjoyed the cruise type of holiday enough to try another at the end of the year, covering the Canary Islands, Madeira and finishing in Lisbon.

With my contract at Cambridge Audio coming to an end soon, it is time to think about perhaps fitting in a quick trip before my next work comes in.

Russia is somewhere i have thought about recently because of the appaling state of the Ruble, making any trips over there much cheaper than they would normally be. St Petersburg is a city which has appealed to me because of the excellent art galleries there, and that could be one good choice over the coming months. Moscow is then the other obvious alternative. Russia would be a cultural trip, for architecture and art, though the food does not really seem that attractive from the little that i know of it.

The Canary Islands have become a favourite of ours over the last couple of years and we could plump for one of the islands that we have yet to visit. This includes Tenerife, Fuerteventura and we also could return to La Palma which seemed to deserve another visit. Sun at this time of the year is always an attraction for me, which is why i have never been ski-ing yet!

I spent last winter obsessively collecting holiday brochures from the likes of Cunard, P&O and Princess Cruises in order to build some excitement around whereever our next trip will be. During the UK’s long, dark winter nights, it is great to have something to look forward to.

Liang Ban Tu Dou Si & Qie Zi Bao

This is the first of a regular feature in the blog, covering the wonderful dishes created by my lovely wife, Ruby. I will try to make the descriptions helpful for those looking to learn more about Chinese cooking and maybe try the dishes yourself.

Liang Ban Tu Dou Si

Potato
Black pepper
Red pepper
salt
soy sauce
Vinegar
seasame oil
Garlic

Qie Zi Bao

Pork
Aubergine
Ginger
Spring Onion
Carrot
Fresh mushroom
Red pepper
Salt
Soy sauce
Coriander

Liang Ban Tu Dou Si & Qie Zi Bao

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