Updated: Mar 22, 2019

This is the beginning of a wonderful tale of a little girl who grew up in the tiny village of Alberique, Valencia and found herself, years later, running a restaurant in a Pembrokeshire castle.

Chickpea stew
Espinacas con Garbamzos a La Sevillana (Chickpea stew) (utterly delicious)
“You’ll stay for lunch, yes?” Maria says, and I want to ask if I can stay for supper and breakfast as well.


“Welcome to our blog.

Here, I would like to share some of my stories and recipes with you."

I left school in Spain when I was eleven-years-old, with only a basic education. To me, Valencia was the whole of Spain, maybe even, the whole of the world! I did not know Britain existed! How, I ask you, did that girl from Valencia, with no English cook for the Queen! (Maria)


Hello! I'm Helen, author, designer and now, writer of this, our blog, At Maria's, which we are developing into a fabulous recipe/memoir/travel book later this year. I left my school, in the New Forest, a fair time ago and moved to Pembrokeshire in 2006, which is when I first met Maria.

We will be posting regular updates of what is happening in Maria's kitchen, the beautiful gardens here at Picton and delicious recipes all the way from Valencia cooked up for you in this magical corner of Wales.

Keep in touch, speak soon, Maria and Helen


Today's special...

Chickpea stew
Espinacas con Garbanzos a La Sevillana (Chickpea Stew)

Espinacas con Garbanzos a La Sevillana


2 medium onions peeled,

3 cloves of garlic diced

2 jars of chickpeas

2 tins chopped tomatos

3/4 bag of fresh spinach

Ground almonds

Pinch of salt and pepper

Pinch of sugar

2 Bay leafs

Dice the onions and fry in oil until the onion is soft. Add the pinch of salt and pepper.

Add garlic and bays leaves.

Add tin tomato and simmer for 10 mins.

Add pinch of sugar.

Add chickpeas and spinach and simmer for 5mins.

Add ground almonds.

Serve with a fresh salad and crusty bread and tuck in!


Words/photographs/illustrations© 2019 Helen  Lewis

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