Opened in 2002, the Almàssera Vella was designed as a home and as a centre for retreats and courses in Creative Writing, Art, Photography and Walking.
The Almàssera Vella
The Old Olive Press, is located on the lip of a ravine on the edge of an ancient village in the Marina Baja mountains north of Alicante. The main house was for a hundred years or so an olive press serving three villages but it’s now converted into a large village house with copious space – designed to accommodate residential creative courses in creative writing, painting, cookery, yoga and mountain walking. Additional accommodation is provided by an annexe divided into a three room flat and a five roomed cottage all converted from a traditional village house.
All in all there are ten bedrooms, eight bath or shower rooms, and copious living space with snug, dining room, country kitchen, library, living room plus study and two cloakrooms to the main house and five bedrooms, four shower rooms, two kitchens , two living-rooms and a study to the annexe.
The grounds include a sweeping terrace with palms, pepper and citrus trees , a swimming-pool, a terraced garden with steps winding down to an almond grove. On the other side of the ravine there is a small ‘Cottage Ornée’ ripe for conversion and the ruins of a Moorish farmhouse ready for redevelopment. There is a grove of 80 or so olive trees, and a lemon and an orange grove. Last year’s harvest produced 200 litres of Extra Virgin Olive oil, most of the crop sold to a local restaurant. We had daily fresh orange juice all Spring and lemons all year.
Ann Sansom of the Poetry Business ran a residential Poetry week at the Almassera Vella in June and it resulted in a happy coda as she invited me to read at the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere and join a workshop there. Ann’s courses at the Almassera…
This summer we’ve switched the pool system to salt water and as a result have beautifully clean and clear water seemingly permanently. As the water has a tenth the salt of the sea it isn’t discernible as a taste and we no longer have that…
Last year’s haul of 226 litres of extra virgin oil from our Valero trees, probably won’t be matched this year as the chilly Spring has reduced the harvest. The Blanqueta trees however are laden. We have a party coming on November 2nd to…
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