Verdi Vent – Top of My List of Unique Costa Blanca Restaurants

If you are Iooking for a special but typically unique «olde worlde» Spanish restaurant in a fantastic location read on. So many Spanish restaurants have now lost what everyone expects of a typical Spanish country restaurant – but not Verdi Vent.

It took the husband and wife team of Loretta and Stephane (who are German and Belgique respectively) to recognise this some 11 years ago and who turned a 300 year old semi derelict Spanish farmhouse into probably the most successful and memorable dining experience to be found anywhere on the Costa Blanca – and it doesn’t cost a fortune!

So come with me on one of the prettiest journeys of the Valencian Region to the Jalon Valley and the small typically Spanish town of Jalon/Xalo (yes like many towns in the Valencia area the town has 2 names – normal Spanish and the other Valenciano). From here take the scenically stunning twisty road in the direction of the Bernia and its mountain range. The scenery is quite breathtaking and the drop to one side a little scary (if you choose to look over the edge!). After about 7 kilometers we arrive at the small hamlet of Maserof with just a few very old properties – the first of which is now a country museum (whose history is a fascinating story in its own right – perhaps I will tell you about it another day). This area is rural with a capital R. No mains water or electricity. But don’t be put off!

Almost next door you might pass this building by without a second look as apart from a small insignificant sign saying «Verd i Vent» it looks a bit like a very old not very inviting farmhouse. Park in front of the building avoiding the rocks and climb the steep steps with a chain hand rail and enter through a rather flimsy doorway. You are immediately transported back in time. This converted goat farmhouse retains many of its original features. Once your eyes become accustomed to the gloom there are barrels of wine; exposed stone walls; barrels supported on beams sticking out of the wall presumably in time gone by for storing wine and olive oil; hooks in the old walls for tethering animals; an open log fire in the cooler months with a small cauldron of warm potato and herb salad; original hand made terracotta stone floors; a minstrel’s gallery where the farmer and his family slept. It takes you back decades and you wonder how life was then…

Having been warmly welcomed by Loretta and shown to your table in one of the several distinctly individual dining rooms you will find there is no menu as such – just an interesting 5 course meal which follows much the same format every day with slight variations. The only choice is with the main course where you can have local shoulder or leg of lamb usually with herbs and honey from the surrounding mountains cooked in the oven or the choice of one other excellent main course dish which changes regularly. On your table will be a bowel of peanuts in their shell plus large carafe/s of local Jalon red wine which get automatically filled up by the attentive staff as they empties – all included in the set price.

Without wishing to spoil the enjoyment of experiencing this great value meal a typical meal would be warm potato and herb salad with local rustic bread; a large terrine of superb home made vegetable soup for you to serve yourself as many times as you wish; an interesting mixed salad and dressing which changes regularly; roast shoulder of lamb in herbs with vegetables; crepe with a marmalade sauce and of course as much red wine as you want. To finish off there is a complimentary glass of sweet Muscatel dessert wine also local. Coffee and mineral water extra. This excellent meal will cost you just about 17€ a head – really good value by anyone’s standards.

But before we leave another lovely touch that adds to the atmosphere – an excellent Spanish singing guitar duo originating from Colombia who wander the restaurant playing and singing a wide range of Spanish music (and taking requests).

If you are looking for a plush, swish, modern restaurant, then this is not for you. However if what you what is excellent, quality rustic food and wine in surroundings that will take you back a century or two then this is the place of you.

Home made produce is for sale and local artists display their works of art for sale.

Open all year just for lunch times. Closed Tuesdays. This year they are also for the first time opening some evenings in July and August.

Verdi Vent is just inland of Javea, Moraira, Calpe and Denia. The area is excellent for walking or just taking in the views; an interesting donkey sanctuary is nearby with many rare donkey breeds; the Country Museum is almost next door; on Saturdays the famous rastro market is spread along the river bank at nearby Jalon down below.

This restaurant is a must for anyone visiting this part.

Costs for the all inclusive meal around €17. Book early to reserve a table (and only have a small breakfast before going!).

Telephone number (+34) 96 597 3413.

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Top Tips for Buying a Place in Javea

Long gone are the days when owning a place in the sun is only a possibility for multimillionaires and Eastenders TV stars; nowadays it’s a much easier and a lot cheaper to buy yourself a pad in the sun that would make Mick Jagger feel at home.

It is true that to a limited extent this sort of home remains something of a luxury, and really it always will remain so, but these days having a home in a sunny location is no longer something that only the very affluent can afford. With the opening up of the European Community, the comparative high worth of the domestic home market even in today’s days of austerity, and the birth of the internet to make it all much easier, finding yourself a property in the sun has never been easier.

The opening up of the international house market has made pockets for property development all over Europe, turning isolated, rural and out of the way little villages into areas of expansive property development. A prime example of this is Javea. Also known as Xabia, Javea is a lovely little place on the coast of the Costa Blanca, not far from the famous city of Valencia on Spain’s Eastern coast. Valencia has long been hugely attractive to tourists in addition to people looking for a place to live abroad, and this paradise offers all of the things that make Valencia so appealing to incomers. If you’re keen on accommodation in Javea, you are going to love its closeness to the Mediterranean as well as its location in-between two rocky outcroppings on the coast line and the beautiful climate for which the area is notorious.

Ideally for plenty of would-be expatriates, particularly older couples with teenaged and twenty something family members, Javea is also a relatively little distance away from Ibiza. This world-famous party town is only 90 kilometers away, can be traveled to by boat, and you can even see it on a cloudless day from the beaches of Valencia. This nearness to Ibiza shows that this place can truly offer something for a huge range of prospective purchasers- the calm market charm of Javea, the silent beauty of the «older» half of Ibiza, and the notorious parties of Ibiza’s fabled club scene. Villas for sale in Javea themselves are able to offer all things to all purchasers- there are homes of a scale and of a level of luxury that will suit all sizes of family, tastes and bankbooks.

So if you are looking for a holiday home in the sun; somewhere to retire to overseas, or even a total change of life for you and your brood, then Javea really should be near the top of your list of desired locations. The little town itself is especially well placed for a laid back type of lifestyle, and this terrific location has ensured the area is also a target for people who wish to relocate but are still not of retirement age – there are good work possibilities for all ages and nationalities due to the large number of expats in the area.

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HIGHLIGHTS | Norwich City 2-2 Arsenal | Premier League | Dec 01, 2019



We had to settle for a point from an entertaining clash at Norwich in Freddie Ljungberg’s first match as our interim head coach on Sunday.

After a particularly trying period, the Swede’s ascension to become our interim head coach had created a real sense of positivity – and the way we opened this match reflected that.

We were playing with more freedom than had been previously evident, and imposing ourselves on the hosts and pinning them back for extended periods.

But for all the neat interplay and one-touch passing, we were unable to find a way through – although both Joe Willock and Shkodran Mustafi came close – and the hosts eventually punished us.

Teemu Pukki’s opening goal had more than a touch of fortune about it, hitting the unfortunate Mustafi and spinning beyond Bernd Leno, but we responded well and were awarded a penalty for a handball three minutes later.

The decision was checked on VAR but eventually confirmed – and while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang saw his initial spot kick saved by Tim Krul, the video referee ordered it to be retaken for encroachment. This time Auba made no mistake.

But were fell behind once again right on the stroke of half time when Norwich broke again through the dangerous Onel Hernandez, who found Todd Cantwell in space and the midfielder slotted it into the far corner.

Here was the first test of Ljungberg’s reign as he sought to lift his team at the interval, and they were soon back on the front foot at the start of the second half – only to have a penalty shout waved away for what looked like another handball.

But we got our equaliser in the 56th minute when Aubameyang struck his 10th Premier League goal of the season, curling in from close range after meeting a loose ball in the box. Game on.

Almost instantly, Bernd Leno was called into action to make a superb reaction save to deny Kenny McLean, before Cantwell fired wide moments later and then Leno was called into action to keep out Pukki’s effort.

As we entered the closing stages, there was a half chance for Mesut Ozil but the hosts were really piling on the pressure and Leno had to make a fine save to deny Max Aarons.

Torreira had a goalbound shot blocked deep into injury time, but there was to be no late twist, and we had to settle for a point.

#arsenal #premierleague #aubameyang

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ABOUT ARSENAL FC

Arsenal Football Club were formed in 1886. They have amassed 13 League titles, 13 FA Cups and many other major trophies since then. Their greatest players include: Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Tony Adams, Ian Wright, Robert Pires, Liam Brady, Patrick Vieira, Cliff Bastin and Charlie George.

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Manchester City v. Wolves | PREMIER LEAGUE HIGHLIGHTS | 10/6/19 | NBC Sports



Wolves stunned the defending champions in a potentially pivotal result in the title race, riding Adama Traore’s brace to a 2-0 victory in Manchester. #NBCSports #PremierLeague #ManCity #Wolves #AdamaTraore
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Manchester City v. Wolves | PREMIER LEAGUE HIGHLIGHTS | 10/6/19 | NBC Sports

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PES 2013 – The Only Video Game For Footy Fans

PES 2013 by Konami launches on PS3, XBOX 360, Wii and PC this autumn and will give FIFA 12 a run for its money this year if the online rumblings are to be believed. The PES franchise has been around for 16 years and progressed through many iterations both in title and game play style, so what makes Pro Evolution Soccer so popular?

If you live in North America, the chances are that unless you are a die-hard ‘soccer’ fan, this event will simply pass you by, but if you live in the rest of the world, most specifically in Europe, then as every PES fan knows, the football season starts in August, but you only get to play out your own footy fantasies come October, when the latest and greatest version of PES hits the video game shop shelves.

It all started way back in video game time, actually 1996, when Goal Storm was released on the PlayStation. Since then, PES has moved through several naming conventions and the latest update will be called PES 2013. It will go head to head like it has for the past 16 years with Electronic Arts (EA) and their masterpiece – FIFA (12). There are really only these two games vying for gamers’ hard cash every year and if anything that makes the competition even more fierce.

You see the two games have battled it out year on year and this year PES stands a chance of getting back to the top of the pile. It has been languishing behind for the past 5 or 6 years, due in part to complacency, but also the resurgence and downright brilliance of FIFA.

The facts of the case are this your honour;

FIFA (which stands for Federation Internationale de Football Association) as the name might suggest, is an officially endorsed football game, this means that the game comes replete with all the real player names, team names, football kits, competition names and stadia. PES has never had these rights and has had to rely on an editing mode and the ingenuity of the gamers who buy the game to recreate all of the aforementioned details, liveries and stadia. This has fostered a powerful online community purely along editing interests, but when coupled with the obvious game play advantages of PES you begin to see why the popularity of the game is still so high.

So what are these game play advantages?

Well, the trade off in the licensing situation has always been overcome by the sheer beauty of playing PES – it is a game for footy fans. The actual game play has always more closely mirrored the real game, whereas FIFA has traditionally suffered in this area. Playing PES in the first few years was always pure fun, games were high scoring, but varied, FIFA always felt staged and the ball never seemed to behave like a real football, feeling much too floaty. By comparison, PES footballs have always had a weight to them and challenges between players have felt meaty.

An analogy between the two games is to think of FIFA as being a Premier League or Champions League setup, it looks polished and has endorsements coming out of its ears, but it isn’t really true football, it’s a pre-packaged version of the game designed to ensnare glory hunting footy fans, the ones who shout about how great their team is despite knowing nothing about their own teams history.

Pro Evo on the other hand is jumpers for goalposts, dirty knees and eating soggy cornish pasties on a cold, wet Tuesday night away to Barnsley! The analogy might be lost on many and that to some degree proves a point, football isn’t always shiny, multiple step-overs and pink Nike boots, it’s about the teams outside the Premier League who still have fans that turn up for every home and away game, despite not having seen their side win anything for years. That is real football and that is what Konami have tried to encapsulate, despite being based in Japan.

To a large degree they have succeeded, but the line has been blurred between the two games in recent years. FIFA has now moved very close to matching the whole ethos of PES, some say their game play is actually better, I still disagree with that statement, but certainly with the online patches available now to PES gamers, they can sidestep the licensing issue and create photo-realistic players, teams and kits – which means the two games are very much on a collision course to meet in the middle.

Konami have cheered up their fans in previous years by securing licence rights to the England National team, two Premier League teams and various other leagues and players around Europe and the world. This has undoubtedly helped, but give me a fake named Man Red (Manchester united) and quality game play any day over the FIFA version of football. At the end of the day I buy football computer games because I like to play games that recreate the beautiful game, FIFA now does it well, but PES does it better and I’m just hoping that the next instalment of PES 2013 will again give me that option to take the mighty Derby County to European Glory!

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Stuck With Smelly Soccer Cleats? What You Can Do To Resolve The Issue

Running under heat can lead to sweating of the feet leaving behind moisture and odors in your soccer cleats. The fact that you need to be in soccer socks for comfort increases the chances of being stuck with smelly soccer cleats. It gets even worse when you leave them in your bag instead of airing them. The odors can be quite strong and unbearable, but fortunately it is not impossible to get rid of them.

Just like anything else, it is best to start by taking prevention measures to keep the odors at bay. If you want to eliminate the chances of this smelly problem, you should:

· Clean them after every practice or game and allowing them to air dry; the cleaning should be consistent

· Choose K-leather over synthetic materials because leather is breathable and does not therefore keep the odors trapped in.

· Immediately remove them after the game and place fabric softener sheet in them before placing them in the bag; you can then stuff them with dry newspaper upon reaching home to absorb any moisture and liquid present.

· Air dry them in a shaded dry area outdoors instead of in direct sunlight that can be damaging.

· Ensure the soccer cleats are completely dry after washing or cleaning before wearing them again to your game

· Find appropriate soccer socks; absorbent socks are better and they should be of the right thickness to avoid excessive sweating during play

· Consider getting more than one pair; alternating between games gives the soccer cleats time to air, hence fighting bacteria and keeping odors on the bay

· Ensure your feet are clean and dry every time you wear your soccer cleats and socks; it is also of importance not to reuse socks before washing

If it is too late to prevent the odors and you already have smelly soccer cleats to deal with, you can use the following tips to get rid of the smell.

· Use manufacturer recommendations to wash your soccer cleats; most only need liquid dish soap, water and soft cloth to wash thoroughly

· After washing, rinse properly to get rid of all soap residue and wipe if necessary before then allowing them to completely air-dry

· After drying them, sprinkle baking soda into each of them so it can absorb the odor. The soda should be left for 24 hours or even 72 hours for best results. You can also consider using foot odor removing powder of your choice and then use a hand held vacuum to remove the powder

· Use good quality fabric mist to neutralize odor by killing all bacteria; there are odor products that can absorb moisture, eliminate odors and prevent bacteria so find a good one for your soccer cleats

There are is no reason as to why you should be stuck with smelly soccer cleats. Simple preventative measures can keep the issue out of the way and you can use simple removal measures too when the issue is already existing.

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