If you’re stuck for ideas for a gift to take back from Marbella that couldn’t be more authentically Spanish – I suggest that you drop into La Chinata – a specialist gourmet olive oil shop in Avenida Miguel Cano.
Although the La Chinata branded olive oils are produced in the mountain range of Sierra de Gata in Extremadura, the variety of olives from this region of Spain tend to be much smoother on the palate than some of the Andalusian varieties which can have quite a sharp and bitter kick.
If you’re worried about bottles breaking in your suitcase, their Classic range comes in different sized tins. I particularly like their flavoured olive oils such as Garlic & Chilli and Rosemary & Pepper which are great to perk up a salad.
They also have a gourmet produce section which includes not only products marinated in their olive oil but a range of delicious patés, special sea salts, vinegars and even honey and jams. The emphasis here is on the natural and the delicious.
Their Natural Edition beauty product ranges for women, men and babies are another fabulous gift idea option. A friend of mine swears by the shampoo and conditioner and I must say that her hair has an incredible sheen since she started using it. I have indulged myself with their pampering face masks, given their mini travel gift packs as stocking fillers to my male and female friends and am a complete convert to their roll-on deodorant made with olive leaves and white tea! And yes, not only does it work – but there’s no overbearing perfumed smell and more importantly, no chemicals going straight into your lymph nodes.
Everything at La Chinata is beautifully packaged and gift wrapped – you can make up your own basket of different foodie goodies or one filled with beauty pamper treats. The best thing though, is the very reasonable price of all the products when compared to similar boutique olive oil shops.
Claudia, the owner of La Chinata in Marbella, is incredibly passionate and knowledgeable about the products she sells and her enthusiasm is contagious. She speaks fluent English (and German) and is always delighted to advise you when it comes to putting a gift together, whatever your budget.
(Text: Liz Glazer. Photos: Alexandra Carrizosa)