Adventures in Andalucía
“They say you can’t buy happiness, but you can go to Spain – and that’s pretty much the same thing.”
Based in Jerez de la Frontera, Andalucía, Maitland & Poate is a family-run business, grown from a love of old and original Spanish encaustic tiles.
The Sunshine Life
Only mad dogs and Englishmen venture out into the mid-day sun! – or so they say. But when you decide to up stake your family and business to be immersed in a new life in the sunshine day in and out then it’s all year-round madness!
For many years our hearts have felt an infinity with the beauty, the people, the culture and the vibrancy of sun-baked Andalucia. Its where our passion for rescuing artisan antique tiles came from and our business grew out of, and its where we have felt most alive and happiest both as a couple and now as a family. Two years have flown past since we made the life-changing decision to permanently move to rural Spain and nothing could have prepared us for the adventures we have faced. It’s a country full of daily challenges and daily rewards; from making new friends to learning a new school system and establishing our place in a new community. No day is alike and Spain continues to frustrate, test us to the limit, delight and constantly endear us to our wonderful new home. Join us here by following our mishaps, mistakes, successes and sunshine stories.
Traditional Artisan Skills
One of the many things we fell in love with about Spain was it’s an amazingly rich heritage of talented craftspeople and the wealth of artisan skills passed down from generation to generation.
Since the times when the Moors ruled Southern Spain and cultures lived side-by-side, it has continued to be a country full of wonderful surprises. You think you may know it, but it’s not until you really live here that its well-guarded secrets and endless layers are slowly revealed to you.
Simply take a drive around the little Pueblos Blanco’s and you will find a fabulous variety of architectural styles, endless delicious family recipes and stumble across tiny hidden workshops tucked down labyrinths of vine-covered alleyways. It’s in these workshops that you will find some of the most talented and colourful characters dedicated to sharing their passion and skills in making anything from exquisite doors and inlaid cabinetry, though to intricate traditional lace fans, hand-tooled leather goods, pottery and amazing guitars.
Focus on Conservation
When you have small children your focus changes and the world around appear full of potential as well as fears for their future.
Conservation and sustainability have always been really important issues to us and it’s an ethos we are teaching our children to be aware of, as well as striving for a conservation conscience in our business ethics. The words are often easy to say and practices harder to keep of course, but the appreciation of what we have around us is so easy to forget.
Having recycled, upcycled and rescued the majority of our furnishings during the complete renovation of our Victorian home in London it was twice as much fun than just buying everything new with little effort or reward. Unearthing, searching out andrestoring is an endlessly satisfying step towards conservation everyone can take.