Taking a Taxi

I thought this information may be useful at this time of year, especially with the influx of ‘Swallows’.

Thousands of taxis travel around Tenerife, you can see them everywhere, on the motorway and on every street corner but it’s ‘Sod’s Law’ you see more when you don’t need one than when you do!

However, you know what’s coming… How much is a taxi to… ?

If you believe the gossip on social media most taxi drivers are crooks. At the end of the ride, they press a button that manipulates a box that causes the price to leap and the passengers feel they are being ripped off. Of course, this is nonsense and circulates because customers don’t know WHAT is included in the price.

In Tenerife, taxis are arranged by municipality and normally several taxi companies operate in each district. There are taxis equipped with ramps to take disabled passengers and wheelchairs. There are taxis that can take 8 passengers but the majority take a maximum of four.

They all though have two things in common: they are white and all have an official meter. This is checked, calibrated and attested so that it automatically calculates the correct price of each journey.

All prices on the meter include 7% tax, called IGIC. But this is where it gets complicated and folks sometimes think they are being diddled. The price depends on a number of factors including distance and duration of the journey. It also depends on whether a trip takes place between two different areas (tarifas inter-urbanas) or within the same area (tarifa urbana). AND on top of that, there are possible surcharges.

One of these is to phone a taxi, called radio taxi. If, however, you walk up to an official taxi rank this surcharge is not applicable. Another surcharge is to or from a place where the taxi company also has to pay to be active, such as the airports. These surcharges are on top of the basic fare and added at the end, that is the button referred to.

Now the prices. There are two different fares, one for weekdays during the day, and one for nights, weekends and holidays. Note: these prices were current as of September 2018. Prices are charged per kilometre and the price when you start your journey (I’ll call this entry price) includes a certain distance – not exactly free because it is already on the meter and I don’t know how far this is. But it is only after this distance that the price on the meter starts to increase.

Daytime Fare on a weekday (including Saturday) between 06:00 and 22:00: entry price is €3.15 then €1.10 per kilometre
Night time Fare – weekdays from 22:00 to 6:00, Sundays and public holidays entry price: €3.45 then per kilometre
Surcharge for transport to ports and airports: €1.70
Surcharge for a call via the radio taxi service: €0.50
Waiting times are charged at €15.05 per hour.

All taxis charge a supplement of €6.45 for journeys taking place on 24th December, 31st December and 5th January from 20.00 until 22.00 the following day.

If you have any doubts about the fare you are being charged, then ask for a receipt. Una factura.

Normally people take a taxi from point A to B but it is also possible to negotiate a price for a day trip or excursion. For this purpose, the taxi meter is switched off and you agree a price with the driver in advance depending on the region you want to visit.

Below are some taxi phone numbers.

  • Adeje: 922 979 293
  • Arona: 922 747 511
  • Puerto de la Cruz: 922 378 999 or 659 515 756
  • Granadilla: 922 397 475
  • Reina Sofía Airport (Tenerife South): 922 392 119
  • Santiago del Teide: 922 86 08 40

Taxi prices can be calculated HERE.

Check Queenie’s Daily Snippets for Tenerife news & for daily weather updates 
Posted in Living on Tenerife | 2 Comments

In Flanders Fields

On this Remembrance Sunday let us take time to remember all our brave troops, both past and present.

In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Posted in Musings ! | Tagged | 1 Comment

Drizzle in Chayofa

Stuck for something sweet to have with a cuppa I thought I would dig through my old recipe files. I had been given some lemons from a friends tree and I still had these in the fridge and one was all I needed for a Lemon Drizzle cake.

Things to do in Tenerife, recipe

As you know, I like to cook but it must be easy.  Ordinarily I wouldn’t be bothered grating a lemon, I would just peel it and drop the peel into the mixer, but this cake is so quick and easy it would have taken more time to get the mixer out of the cupboard.  With that in mind I resorted to the old fashioned method then spent an age picking peel out of the tiny holes in the grater.

Forget the beat butter and sugar, then add a little flour and beat again method of cooking, for me it all goes in together and then gets a really good beating, not conventional I know but it seems to work.  So if you are still with me and want to give it a try :-

In a bowl, place 4oz soft margarine and 4oz caster sugar with the grated lemon peel.  Then add 1 egg, 6oz self-raising flour, a pinch of baking powder.  Mix it all together with enough milk to make a fairly soft consistency.

Put into a 2lb cake tin and bake for about an hour until well risen and springy to touch. Because we can be greedy and will continue to eat cake until it is all finished I split the above into two 1lb cake tins and cook for around 30-40 minutes.

While the cake is cooking, mix together 4 tablespoons sugar and 3 tablespoons lemon juice.

As soon as cake comes out of oven, prick the top with a fine skewer and pour the syrup over it. The juice will sink into the cake and the sugar will form a crisp topping. Leave to cool in tin for 10 minutes then transfer to rack to finish cooling

This cake is deliciously moist with a lovely sweet/tart lemon flavour, it will keep well for 3 or 4 days if it lasts that long, but put in the freezer it will keep for a month.  If you do freeze don’t add the sugary topping until it has defrosted.

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Excalibur – Buzanada

In rural Tenerife in the village of Buzanada is Excalibur. It is well known to locals because it has been in business for 25 years but few tourists are aware of it, as can be seen from TripAdvisor, where only 18 people have reviewed it over the past 4 years.

The village is a little off the beaten track for holidaymakers but that’s what makes this place such a find. If, anyone should want to go it is easy,  take the TF28 from the southern resorts passing Chayofa, Cabo Blanco and on to Buzanada. Alternatively you can hop on the TF1 then exit at Guaza again following the signs for Buzanada and the journey will only take about 10 minutes by car.

Excalibur is the ideal place to visit for those looking for an informal but traditional Canarian experience. It was on our list of restaurants to visit but with Thursday being a Bank Holiday and the restaurant being típico Canario, we decided to wait until Saturday, just in case they were closed.

We arrived at 8.00pm and pulled into the small car park, which had a couple of cars in it, there were also half a dozen cars parked out front. From the outside the restaurant doesn’t look much, in fact if you were not looking for it you could easily pass it by. We entered through a small bar into quite a large restaurant whose overall style is traditional. Even the ladies and gents although modern were in the warm traditional colours.

A dozen or so people were already eating. I’m guessing they were residents or maybe ‘swallows’, the larger group were Brits, the couple sitting at the back were German and there were 4 people who sounded Canarian. Although we hadn’t reserved, we were warmly welcomed and shown to a table. The waitress who we later learnt was called Maria was extremely friendly but also very professional, as was Frank the waiter.

The menu has a great selection and offers something for everyone, from hearty soups to appetizing meat and fish.

Frank spoke some English and as well as the extensive menu he explained the ‘daily specials’ that were available. They all sounded delicious and we immediately put aside the menu and went for the recommendations.

The men started with Onion soup, with lots of Gruyère on top. While they ate Christine and I went outside while she had a cigarette (there is a little terrace which would be lovely on a warm evening – although the view wasn’t great [someone’s allotment and cannabis plants] it looked pretty with the lights shining).

We went back inside and both tried what was left of the soup, it was still very hot, not too many onions, unless they had already been eaten, but the stock was really rich and flavoursome, and going by Jim’s comments and the message I received the next morning from Andrew saying “still full – I ate too much! Lol”, very filling.

We moved on to mains, again the men had the same: duck with orange sauce, but when it arrived it was not that horrible sugary, gloopy and generally unpleasant stuff made from orange juice and cornflour that often accompanies duck but a mildly sweet, slightly tart complex flavoured rich sauce that was a helluva lot more interesting. Their meals were served with mash or fried potatoes and red cabbage.

Christine went for the sea bream with fresh mixed vegetables and tartar sauce and unlike me when eating out I chose the salmon which was cooked to perfection. It was topped with mussels and onions and peppers and I swapped the mash for Canarian potatoes, the plate had a decent but not overwhelming portion of lemon sauce. Delicious.

Puddings were home-made, chocolate fondant, Catalan cream but Jim and I chose the hot cherries with ice-cream while Andrew went for the coffee and chocolate cake. Everything was delicious and the presentation is very good.

We ended the meal with coffees.

On our way home we agreed that the choice was quite different to the majority of restaurants which made the evening special. The food, thanks to the chef Seve, is excellent and the service from Maria and Frank is very relaxed and extremely friendly.

Seve the talented chef

This is now another place added to our top list and we are looking forward to making more visits in the future, which makes me wonder why if it has been open 25 years our recent visit is the first time we’ve ventured in. Nevertheless, it won’t be the last.

Check Queenie’s Daily Snippets for Tenerife news & for daily weather updates 
Posted in Restaurant Reviews | 2 Comments

Bowled over by soup

Home-made soup is such a wonderful comforting winter treat. It is quick and easy to prepare yet feels as though you are spoiling the family.  The following recipes are more than enough for two people so just double, or triple the quantities for more servings.

I like this one because it is full of flavour yet only takes 20 minutes from chopping the veg to serving up.

Lightly spiced carrot soup

1 scant tbsp vegetable oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove chopped
knob of fresh root ginger grated or ‘lazy ginger’ to taste
1 tsp mild curry powder
225 gm carrots trimmed and sliced
1 strip orange zest
8 fl oz Stock (made from cube is fine)
4 fl oz single cream

Heat the oil in a large pan with a lid. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and cook for 3-5 mins until soft. Stir in the curry powder, followed by the carrots and zest, then cover and cook over a low heat for 10 mins.

Add the vegetable stock. Bring to the boil, then turn down and simmer for 15 mins until the carrots are soft. Remove the orange zest, then blender until smooth, add the cream and reheat but do not boil. Ladle into bowls and top with a swirl of cream if you like.

Everyone has a bag of frozen peas in the freezer so if you don’t have a meal planned then this super quick recipe is for you.

Pea Soup (From A Bag of Frozen Peas)

1 tablespoon oil
1 onion, chopped
2 sticks of celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
1lb of frozen peas
1 pint of chicken stock made with a cube
pinch thyme
pinch chilli powder
½ teaspoons salt, more or less to taste
sour cream or plain Greek yogurt to taste

In a saucepan, heat the oil then add the onion and celery. Fry until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and stir for 1-2 minutes, then the peas which are still frozen.

Immediately add ¾ pint chicken stock, thyme, salt and pepper and chilli powder if using and bring to a boil. Now lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the onions and celery are completely soft.

Use your blender to puree the soup. If it look too thick, add the remaining chicken stock. Now add the cream to the soup and heat again until warm. Serve with crunchy French bread!

When I was a kid my mum used to make Scotch Broth in the winter.  I rarely do because it does take a little while to prepare, however if we are having roast lamb on a Sunday, then I will sometimes save the leftover lamb and make this variation of an old favourite.

Scotch Broth

2 tbsp oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
2 carrots chopped
2 medium potatoes chopped
75g pearl barley
As much cooked lamb as happens to be left over (generally not enough!!)
1 – 2 pints stock.

In large pan heat the oil and add the celery, onion and garlic and fry until soft. Add potatoes, carrots, barley and half the stock. Cover and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes. Add leftover lamb with the rest of the stock. Cover and simmer on low heat for about 45 minutes adding salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Check if barley is cooked (this takes the longest) if not continue simmering until barley is soft.

This makes a huge pot that will feed a whole family or if like us there are just two of you, freeze and use when needed.

The last images is taken from the internet
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