The first time I lived abroad was in Spain in 2006. I was chasing my Spanish film fantasy and my first stop was Madrid, where I stayed in the centre of town in a neighbourhood known for it’s gay bars and party atmosphere. I loved it. I walked down streets peering into shop windows where young local designers showed off their goods; among them cute hats and hand-crafted bags. Stray dogs chased each other through the alleyways; a group of uni students gathered in the local square and drank alcohol; a guy played guitar and sang flamenco.

After Madrid, I made my way to Granada where I stayed with a host family and learned Spanish at a wonderful school called Escuela Montalba. I have the best memories from my stay, I met some amazing people, including a few who I still keep in touch with. I arrived in Granada at midnight. The airport was small and there weren’t any taxis available when I walked out of the terminal. What the hell do I do now? I thought.

There was a small group of people who’d just gotten off the same plane and they had headed in all different directions, some being picked up by shuttle buses, others from friends or family. I looked around for a taxi and then started to walk to the main road before a young girl, only 18, saw me and asked if I needed a lift to the centre of town. Sure! I said, relieved. She was in Spain as part of a university exchange program.

After a shuttle into town, and finally finding a taxi, I managed to arrive at my home stay; it was close to two in the morning. I was greeted by a German Sheppard and a sleepy-looking couple who welcomed me warmly despite the late hour.

I lived in Granada for only a few weeks, but one thing I will always remember about that beautiful Spanish city was the food, the tapas, the tortilla, the wine, the drinking and the eating into the wee hours with great people and new friends.

In Granada, the tapas are free with every drink. So with every beer or wine come small dishes to share. First the potatoes, then the olives, then sardines, then some chorizo and calamari if you’re lucky.

So, inspired by my time in Granada I got cooking some delicious Spanish cuisine a couple of weeks back, which I thought I’d share. And if you’re not a cook, don’t worry because this recipe is quick and simple. I promise.

Tortilla recipe

Tortilla recipe

{ Spanish Omelette: Tortilla de Patatas }

Serves 4


  • 230g olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and sliced. Delaware potatoes work well
  • 8 eggs
  • Salt and black pepper


  1. Heat a dash of oil in a large fry pan on a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and stir until the onion has softened. Remove from the pan
  2. Add the rest of the oil to the pan and fry the potatoes until golden. You might have to do this in batches if your pan isn’t quite big enough.
  3. Whisk the eggs in a bowl and add salt to taste.
  4. Add the onions to the potatoes in the pan, then cover with the eggs and add salt.
  5. Cover the pan and cook until the egg has cooked through.
  6. Add pepper to taste.
  7. Flip the tortilla on to a plate then put into the fridge to cool.
  8. Once cooled, slice into pieces and serve with prosciutto or jamon.
  9. Ole!