El Palomar de la Brena

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Dec, 2012

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Travelling through Andalucia in December, we came across this lovely Hacienda. It is open 365 days a year and will appeal to those interested in peaceful, rural surroundings and history. Our room was great, with original thick beams, spotlessly clean and with bags of old character, in a brilliant location and the food in the restaurant was just stunning. The most amazing menu, and the taste and quality of the food was even better, absolutely outstanding, like fine dining. Total value for money at 35 euros B& B and meals from 12 euros.(eg: tuna carpaccio with radish icecream, fig and baby leaf with goats cheese) The place was situated on its own a kilometre down a sandy track set on a hillside overlooking a valley in a natural park consisting of a huge area of Stone Pine trees with cliffs down to the sea. The trees produce enormous cones and every year the edible pine kernels are harvested. The place we stayed was called El Palomar de la Brena and had great interest around the building itself as it hosted what was the largest dovecote in the world, which made up a huge area attached to the back of the main building, although now quite dilapidated. This consisted of many, many walls forty feet tall with row after row of nest holes for doves. 7770 nest holes and when in use each nest could raise one or two chicks every three weeks. The whole place was used for harvesting the guano to use in fertiliser and for making gunpowder and for eggs and meat. Astonishing statistics. In the eighteenth century ten people worked here and they harvested up to 100,000 birds each year for meat and 10 -15 tons of guano. It was certainly an interesting place to stay, if a little off the beaten track. We were delighted to have found it.


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