A trip to Spain

31st January 2016

Churros are of course a staple of the diet in Spain, but until last Sunday, we were yet to find a good enough excuse to get over there.

But as we continue to grow in 2016, we decided instead of getting new fryers shipped, we would go and collect them ourselves. We also fancied some brand new cooking equipment, and in the process we’d be able to properly get to know our esteemed suppliers.

Mumbling limited French and some even worse Spanish, the 1000 mile drive from Oxford to north-west Spain went like clockwork, and by Monday evening the local traffic wardens were being kept on their toes by an elusive Mercedes Sprinter.

churros-los-churros-amigos-france

* A beach we stopped at in France. It was nice

We got a good kip before taking part in a churros workshop laid on by our suppliers the next day. We didn’t think we were going to learn much, as we’ve already got our recipe nailed, but it turns out that the expert tutor – Vicente Alvarez de la Cruz – is a churros Hall of Famer. Despite him speaking no English, he taught us a number of new tricks and techniques, making the trip even more worthwhile than anticipated.

churros-los-churros-amigos-spain

* “This is what happens to your hands if they go in the fryer.”

The day after, with our shiny new fryers in the van, we headed for Madrid to meet up with Francisco – who answered a Gumtree advert in 2012, becoming the first guy to work for Los Churros Amigos.

churros-los-churros-amigos-spain-real-madrid-bernabeu

* Real Madrid’s Bernabeu Stadium. A seriously artsy photo

Francisco (who has too many surnames) is now a high-flying lawyer in Madrid. He showed us around the cheapest, and booziest tapas spots in Puerta del Sol, resulting in a late wake up for us on the Thursday. Madrid is too chilled!

churros-los-churros-amigos-spain-tapas-madrid

* Allllll the tapas. Francisco is the Spanish chap in spectacles bottom-right

Thursday: The Return To England

Without stoppages, Madrid to the Eurotunnel terminal in Calais takes over 14 hours. Our check-in closed at 11:20pm and we didn’t leave Francisco’s until 9am. Top Gear eat your heart out.

Thankfully there doesn’t seem to be a roadworks epidemic in mainland Europe, and like a Grand National winning horse, we gave ourselves a fighting chance by travelling smoothly for the first 13 hours. With the end in sight, and the final fuel stop complete, we asked our heroic Sprinter to find all she could.

We arrived in Calais at 11:18pm.

Special thanks go to: Jacobo (our translator), the engineers who worked on our fryers, Talksport, Bob Dylan, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and of course the 80 mile an hour speed limit in France. We couldn’t have done it without any of you.