We Love Spanish Tapas !!

You can get Tapas in the Hondon area, but it’s not widely available or of great variety... least not in the league of Granada and the Andalucia region in general. A new Spanish run Tapas Bar has just opened calls “El Charro” in the Frailes Plaza (see Facebook El Charro)

Having just visited my favourite Spanish Language site “SpanishDict.Com” – they now have a blog and have written about Spanish Tapas

Tapas, those delicious little snacks you can get in any bar in Spain, have recently been making quite a splash in the United States. In the past 3 years, I have seen 4 tapas bars pop up in my neighbourhood alone. And people are crazy about them! The thing is, other than serving tiny bits of expensive food and over-priced drinks, these trendy American tapas bars have almost nothing in common with your traditional Spanish tapas bar.

Spanish Tapas

In many places in Spain, dinner is not served until 9 or 10 o’clock at night. So many people like to “tapear” or go out and eat tapas at a few different bars to meet up with friends, discuss the day, and in general just relax in a fun social atmosphere. In a lot of the major cities and in most parts of Adalucía, when you order a drink, often you get a tapa for free. Or sometimes it is the other way around; if you order a tapa, you get a free drink.

Now, how this tradition came about is debated among a few popular theories. First, it is important to know what “la tapa” means. Literally, it means “cover” or “top,” so it is important to keep this in mind when thinking about its history.

Some say that some sneaky tavern owners from Castilla-La Mancha found that a strong smelling and tasting cheese could “cover” the flavor of cheap wine. This way, they could sell the not so great wine for a higher price by including a free piece of cheese.

Others say that when King Alfonso XII was visiting Cádiz on the south west coast, he ordered a cup of sherry, which is famous in this region. In order to protect the wine from the blowing beach sands, the waiter covered the wine glass with a slice of cured ham. King Alfonso apparently enjoyed it and asked for another glass of sherry with a “tapa” just like the first.

Less legendary is the thought that since you are most likely standing when you are out having drinks with friends, you would need to cover your drink with your plate in order to have a free hand to eat. Or that you would need to top your sherry, a very sweet wine, with bread or ham to keep the curious flies away.

Now what kind of tapa you get with your drink widely depends on the region, but the staples are olives, of which there can be many different varieties, bread with aioli, and some kind of fried seafood. It is also very common to see small slices of bread topped with Spain’s famous jamón serrano or slices of cheese. My favourite is tortilla Española, which is very similar to an omelette with pieces of fried potato and onion inside instead of cheese.

There are thousands of tapa recipes out there and I encourage you to try a few on your own. Being all the fad right now, your friends would definitely be impressed if you invited them all over for an early evening of tapas at your house. ¡Salud! and ¡Buen provecho!

The Hondón Valley… Percy’s View

The Hondon Valley, Spain

The Hondón Valley… A refuge! This quiet sanctuary is away from the pace, hassle and bustle of the world. The Hondon Valley is a beautiful Spanish neighbourhood nestling in between the mountains and less than one hour’s drive from the golden beaches of the Costa Blanca beaches.

It is a region which can trace it’s roots back to Roman Times, the stone terracing still surviving, although unused and overgrown on the mountain side give presence to that period. The small stone huts dotted around the landscape shows evidence of a later period, when men toiled the fields and these stone constructions were places to rest from their labour, or they were for the shepherd to shelter and to take a break whilst looking after the flock.

Most of this has now disappeared as the community has engaged on a different more relaxed way of life from its previous one of farming and horticulture, morphing into a holiday paradise. This has taken place since the turn of the century, when in the year two thousand, development started with the construction of detached houses on parcels of the urban area.

It was in 1840 that self independence of the valley began to develop when the controlling authority, at that time the Dominican Friars of Orihuela, granted self governing powers to the two Hondon villages of Frailes and further to the north Nieves, with the latter being the controlling one of the pair. This changed in 1926 when the two parted company and the smaller of the two with 12.6 square kilometres of land obtained self autonomy, and the two villages developed in their own way. Today the valley is a quaint mixture of farming, residential and holiday makers living side by side.

Visit Hondon de los Frailes in Spring

In January the blossom on the almond trees will extend across the valley spreading a vista of various colours of pink proliferating around the fertile land between the Spanish style detached properties, giving the general feeling of Spring, although it has not quite arrived, it gives the impression it is on the way.

Hondon in Bloom! As the early months of the year progress then other plants will follow suit when the early buds that have formed will turn into a blanket of foliage hiding the developing fruit of the vines which will be harvested, starting in September and on to the end of the year. In between this period, the fields of olive trees their crop will have matured and would have been gathered.

This valley, this refuge from the madness of the outside world, it is where the quiet relaxed pace of time is paramount to everyday living. The mixture of different people mainly north Europeans who have found the delights of this place in the clean air of the mountains making it their home, mixing in as one, creating a contented community with its self governing bodies controlling the smooth running of events. The street parties and the fiesta in July and August… not to be missed as people come from far and wide to see the spectacles and to enjoy the cuisine offered by its restaurants.

La Montanosa in the Hondon Valley

From their humble beginnings the two communities of the valley with their grand old Churches to the centre of each built and named by the Dominican Friars all that time ago. As the bells of these structures mark each hour the surroundings progress into the new age well equipped to welcome all who wish to live or holiday in its peaceful environment.

Copyright 2020. This article was kindly written for Hondon Villas and the Hondón Community Percy W. Chattey, a member of the Hondon Writing Circle.

Percy W. Chattey is a local author of award winning thrillers and the “Story Telling” series. You can purchase Percy Chattey’s books in paperback or Kindle via Amazon… just search Percy Chattey.

Post Covid. Brits still want to buy property abroad

Good news! A recent survey of 5000 property hunters by the respected “A Place in the Sun” (APITS) company has shown that despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Brits are still keen and plan to buy property abroad. APITS have recorded nearly double the number of hits to their popular property portal over the Lockdown period, compared to the same period last year 2019.

“UK residents are largely undeterred by coronavirus, and still plan to buy properties abroad once restrictions have been lifted. ” Source APITS, 2020

In fact, 38% of those surveyed reported that their plans to purchase a property abroad were unaffected by the pandemic, and a further 20 per cent stated that they were more motivated to buy a holiday home or permanent residence overseas than ever.

That is not to say that buyer’s plans are on track, of course the lack of travel, work shutdowns and quarantine rules have made progress near impossible and slower for a while. But the survey indicates 58% are not deterred where 22% are delaying their house hunting for a year. Only 3% said they had stopped their plans to but abroad.

Whilst APITS have a vested interest in pushing this message they are saying “As the world starts to reopen, it seems as though the overseas property market will resume in full force, and demand for property will remain high as British buyers remain as motivated as ever.

Other surveys and data we read does seem to back this summary. The Spanish Gov stats, the UK market is seeing a surge, other portals like Kyero has said similar too. Other agents are also saying the last month has surprised them in terms of enquiries. There are many reports and social media posts saying houses are getting offers on the strength of video and emails (subject to getting over to see). In deed a few villas here have been sold “blind”.

We are reading the various news channels for travel, tourism and of course property during the Covid-19 pandemic 2020. All these major European industries of course and so from Governments to corporate businesses to small independent traders like us are wondering what the future of our businesses will look like.

As a result the many news portals and commentators are falling over themselves to pass journalistic judgement and analysis on the current market trends and predictions.

La Montanosa Villa for Sale

Hondon Villas have read enough these last few weeks to be cautiously optimistic about the Spanish Property market. We have seen activity on our portals, websites and other communications to support the general “feel good” factor coming from the “experts” with the data to back themselves up. We are not sure how it will affect house prices but they are expected to fall over the remaining year according to some reports and predictions as people look to change their location / lifestyle amid the inevitable job losses across Europe.

But, of course the pandemic is not over and with talk of a 2nd wave, these predictions may not turn into reality. All we can do is try our best, make some safety and marketing adjustments and play a waiting game. But you can be sure we have not lost our passion to find ken buyers their dream home in the Hondon Valley. Take a look at these luxury value villas on the Urb. La Montanosa …. absolute bargains.

Muy Tranquilo in Hondón

If you know the Hondón area you’ll soon realise it has one stubborn but very quaint foot in it’s agricultural past and the other slow marching into the 21 first century. The valley has a long fertile farming history, particularly grapes, olives and almond groves. But over the last 20 years it has seen masses of foreign investment in property sales. Times they are a changing! Well, local expat’ Richard Seal, a teacher and writer, observes the traditional of Hondón village life…

Counting Sheep!
The Spanish shepherd nods at the sauntering expat who has stopped in front of his flock on the mountain path in the Hondon Valley. Goats sit, staring back in defiance at the intruder, whilst the sheep set themselves to square up to the fluffy dog rounding them up. As the man runs the gauntlet, the group stands together calling the human back – if he thinks he is hard enough.

Nuts!
Further down the road the expat watches a farmer, moving slowly in the sun, leather-faced, dog pant-wagging at his side. Suddenly a mobile phone becomes a foreign object, not working or welcome here – decades melt away with each drip on his sweat streak-striped shirt. Silence shimmers in the heat, disturbed only by almonds dropping, shaken down from his trees.

Village Folk
Arriving in the village of Hondon de los Frailes, expat tips his hat to the aged couple, sitting on rickety chairs outside their house, listening to a crackly radio, with shutters closed against the August afternoon heat. On a low wall near the English bar, clear of the waves of Geordie and Cockney tones, sits a group of old Spanish men. Hewn from rock, faces carved in granite, they say nothing … their brown eyes are sharp, darting, sparkling over small cigars. An elderly lady stands beside a tree, leaf framed, small and proud, in timeless silhouette.

Speaking of Spanish
The expat eschews the English bar in search of paella while the locals enjoy their lunch at home. Lingering in the cafe, he luxuriates in the Senora’s sensual smile and mellifluous voice. He would love to share her song, fancying flamenco. His shaky grasp of the language falters further to broken words barely held together by a ‘bueno’. Watching the man struggle, searching for Spanish, the waitress hovers and flashes him a smile. A giggle sneaks out, brown eyes twinkle at his stuttered words. Returning with the bill, his ‘muchas gracias’ is met by a breezy ‘de nada’.

Strands, written by Richard Seal. Available via Amazon.

©2020. This article was kindly written for Hondon Villas and the Hondón Community by Richard Seal, a member of the local Hondon Writing Circle and has published “Strands” and many other stories / poems inspired by his Spanish & Hondón life.

Percy Chattey Books publish ‘Story Telling®, a series of Short Stories and Poems in both digital eBooks & paperback formats available online via Amazon and Kindle.

Q. Are you buying property in the Hondon Valley? Check out our Exclusive Hondon Villas for sale. We are a local family run business in this area for 15 years. We know Hondón well!

The 10 most asked for Spanish Dream Home Features

According to Kyero (one of Europe’s largest international property portals) the following property features are high on most buyer’s tick lists. Do you agree. We think it is there or there abouts depending on the location & budget. But Kyero have the data to prove it so we’ll go with it in general.

A big part of a real estate agent’s job like Hondon Villas, is to match properties to buyer’s criteria. That can sometimes be easy but often discerning clients might be hard to please. It’s a skill and one we take pride in through the hand-holding and Q&A we do with new buyer’s of course knowing our property portfolio and local market is essential too. When we get that match right.. it’s an offer and hopefully a sale to completion. Job done and all parties are happy!

Before we reveal the Top 10 property features for a Dream Home in the sun, it’s worth noting that there is a big difference between what locals buy and the affluent foreigner looking for a holiday or retirement home. hat is especially true in the Hondon Valley where we mainly operate. Knowing the key features that buyers want helps us to source desirable properties and market them with carefully crafted property descriptions for our target audience.

So without further ado here are 10 top features that are attractive to the international buyers browsing Spanish properties through Kyero: ( source )not necessarily in this order of course!

Air conditioning

When moving to a country with a warmer climate, the first thing on many searchers’ lists will be to make sure that their new property can keep them comfortable, even in the height of summer. In the Hondón area most people opt for the “inverter” types that can blow hot or cold air as it can be chilly in the winter.

Balcony / terrace

The MUST HAVE for northern Europeans used to wet and windy weather! So easy access to alfresco dining is always a tick-in-the-box for buyers are emigrating to a warm country like Spain. Hondon is mainly a sprawling landscape and affords large villas with large terraced plots so dining outside is no problem. Many envisage a life of breakfasting on the terrace in the morning sun.

Garden / outdoor space

And as well as a terrace many home buyers will be looking for more outdoor space. In Hondon the villas can have plots from 350 SqrM to 10,000 so again there will be something to fit this criteria. They want space to wander and breathe in the warmth of the air and feel the sunshine on their skin. Many would also enjoy the space to plant some flowers, or grow fresh produce perhaps that they could not have grown in their own country.

BBQ / outdoor grill / pizza oven

Can you see a theme emerging? Eating, socialising and spending time outdoors are huge motivating factors for international buyers coming from colder climates. As such, ready-made outdoor cooking facilities will always be a big plus. The larger villas often afford full size fitted kitchens outdoors… literally you’d never need to use the indoor one!

Spanish Villa with a Pool

Swimming pool

Whether for the kids or for fitness, a pool is often high on the list of priorities for international buyers looking to emigrate to sunnier shores. It’s the kind of luxury they might not have been able to justify at home, but will be a big attraction in their new life in Spain. The majority of villas in Hondon have a private pool. Luxury and a god-send in summer when it’s great to cool down, even at midnight!

Parking

International buyers will most likely want to make sure they have somewhere to park their car safely within easy reach of their property. Again, villas in the Hondon Valley area ar so large you can get several cars on the drive or plot. many have double garages or large carports to protect their car from the harmful heat and sun rays.

Large windows / stunning views

Even when they’re not outside, your international buyers will want to be able to see the outside space. A beautiful view, whether across the hills, a city-scape or the sea, will be a huge selling point. Even better if it comes with huge windows through which to view it.

Villas in Hondon are know for the large patios / nayas and conservatories with views of the Sierras… watch the sunset with a G&T from your lounge or naya is part of the dream tranquil life.

Walking distance to the beach

Not applicable to the Hondon Valley… If a buyer is looking for properties in a coastal location, one of the biggest questions on their lips will be, “How long will it take me to walk to the beach?” However, in Hondon they do want to know how long it takes to drive to a beach. Thankfully there are several from 35 to 50 minutes drive. So often they go out for the day with some town shopping or lunch.

Internet access

More so than ever… we all need to be connected these days. So it can be vital for keeping in touch with family and friends back home, or for running a business from their new home. So it’s not surprising that international buyers prize a reasonable internet connection speed above many other things. Hondon has a few providers to help there and in general is very reliable but you may not get speeds as fast as your home country, Hondon is rural after all. But most manage and many people do work from home successfully.

Wine fridge / cellar

While probably not a deal breaker, a wine fridge or cellar can be a real bonus for international buyers looking forward to a new, relaxing and sociable lifestyle. It sells a vision of sitting on a sunny terrace sipping a chilled white rioja, and that dream is what will secure the deal.

Well? Do you agree? They are quite generic and not too surprising for us here in Hondon to be honest. Apart from 2 (Beach/Wine Cellar) they are often asked for in the Hondon Valley property market we serve. At home valuation time we note these and they will form part of our online property write-up.

CONTACT US: If you want to buy or sell your home in the Hondon Valley then Hondon Villas is a premium family agent for the area located in the Hondon de los Frailes high street. We have 15 years in the valley and Maureen Cook, the Director has 30+ years in real estate. We are AIPP registered for Pro’ standards and were voted Business of the Year 2015 by the Costa Blanca News.

View our Exclusive Hondon Properties and Homes here >

Business Hours / Horas de Trabajo
OFFICE HOURS: Monday to Friday 10.00 ~ 17.00
Lunas – Viernes 10.00 – 17.00
WEEKENDS & EVENINGS by Appointment
Sábado y domingo con cita previa

WEEKDAY TELEPHONES:
OFFICE +34 965 075 357
MOBILE +34 683 635 339

EVENINGS & WEEKENDS:
MOBILE +34 683 635 339

Local Office / Dirección Oficina
Hondon Villas S.L. [ NIF B42662981 ]
Calle Juan Carlos I #24,
Plaza Central
Hondon de los Frailes.
Alicante Region GOOGLE MAP
03689, España (Spain)

EMAIL
property [@] hondonvillas.net

Article Source / Copyright: Based on a report by Kyero.com

New Listing! Hondon Valley Country Villa

Ref #952: Hondon de los Frailes Country Villa
This is a large immaculate detached villa and a Hondon Villas Exclusive! It’s ready to move into now… just a suitcase of clothes and sun lotion should suffice.
++ Guide Price: €239.950
++ More Details on the Hondon Villas website

KEY PROPERTY POINTS:
Within walking distance to village
Large rooms throughout
Build 227m2 : Plot 3947m2
Large Private Pool & Terraces
Detached Garage
Glazed Naya to 2 Sides
3 Double Bedrooms + En Suite & Family shower room
Central Heating & Air Con
Superb Lounge / Dining Room
Large Fitted Kitchen & Diner

CONTACT:
Email: property @ hondonvillas.net
or the FRAILES OFFICE: (0034) 965 075 357

WEBSITES & SOCIAL MEDIA:
UK Site: https://www.hondonvillas.net
NL/BE: http://www.hondonvillas.nl
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hondonvillas/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/hondonagent
Blog: http://www.villasinhondon.net/

hondonvillas #hondonvalley #hondondelosfrailes #hondondelasnieves #spanishproperty #realestate #spanishproperty #costablancasouth #estateagent #spanishproperty #inmobilaria

Our Four-legged Friends in Hondón

She was an active little thing black and white with brown markings. After the loss of one of our family the need for the remaining little male to have company to help with his mourning was real.

Hondon Valley Animal Charities

The steel mesh cages at the home where the strays are housed had about twelve dancing and excited faces running around which came to a stop as we appeared. They clambered over each other to get to the wire, each trying to be the nearest to us, all with sparkling eyes a yapping tongue with tails a wagging.

We were visiting ‘Hovar’ (Hondon Valley Animal Rescue) situated between the two villages of Hondon de los Frailes and Hondon de las Nieves, who, similar to Barkingside rescue abandoned animals and find new homes for them.

We now had a problem … what one to choose? The long-haired ones, sausage type dogs, skinny ones and the opposites all pleading in their own way to be chosen. They were all excited to see us which made us feel sad as we could only take one of them.

There was a little female Jack Russel smarter than the others, she stood on the outside of the crowd quite still and when she knew she had our attention her little face lit up, giving a short bark, turning around and running a little way up the enclosure, turned again and gave another little bark as if she was talking to us and wanted to play.

She was now certain she had our attention and went into a kennel and disappeared. We felt a little disappointed because in our hearts she was exactly what we were looking for and now she had gone. Then her little face appeared around the corner of the opening and looking straight at my wife Jean, as if speaking to her gave a couple of sharp yelps before disappearing again, only to quickly reappear and repeat the process.

Meg had chosen us, joining our family that day and has become a lovely little friend. Like a child she loves company and cuddles and always knows how to get her own way with looks and sulks and different attitudes of expressing herself sometimes with a low woof.

Seven years on and we still do not know how old she is as it was not known when she came into our lives. She understands our way of living and has become very protective of her home and us, in doing so she has developed into a beautiful lovely dear old friend, who sits near and follows us everywhere.

Would you like to help our local Animals?
The Hondon Valley has numerous animal charities always in need of volunteers or donations. They work 24/7 all year, so if you can help you’ll find them on Facebook, or just search Google or Facebook for “Hondon”. Thank you.

Copyright 2020. This article was kindly written for Hondon Villas and the Hondón Community by Percy Chattey, a member of the local Hondon Writing Circle .

Percy Chattey Books publish ‘Story Telling®, a series of Short Stories and Poems in both digital eBooks & paperback formats available online via Amazon and Kindle.

Firsts! Hondon Villas lead the way…

FIRSTS are good! #LOVELOCAL #HONDONVILLAS
+++++ Proud and Happy! +++++

FIRST local Registered & verified AIPP MEMBER celebrating 5 YEARS!
FIRST family run agency in the area.
FIRST local real estate to be nominated and voted the Business of the Year for Costa Blanca South.
FIRST local real estate to employ a certified aerial photographer and videographer.
FIRST local agent to have an office in the Frailes village plaza.
FIRST local agent to be a legal SL company.
FIRST local agent to welcome local people to a very successful family business, all with local knowledge and giving them employment contracts.
FIRST local agent to year-on-year support local charities.
FIRST local agency to help “A Place in the Sun” property buyers.
FIRST local foreign run agency with 15 years in business in Spain .
First and ONLY local business to come from the U.K. after working in real estate business there since 1983 … and so much more.

It’s worth remembering that Hondon Villas are the first LOCAL agent to register with the AIPP and so we are the FIRST LOCAL Registered & verified AIPP MEMBER for celebrating 5 YEARS! The industry body. The industry voice. The industry standard.
Other agents originally dismissed it but they are catching up thankfully.

CONTACT US FOR EXPERT HELP, EXPERIENCE AND PRO SERVICE.