Out of focus: Tinto & Tapas

Tinto & Tapas; a few days with the Jam family.
Last week the Jam leadership team set off from our various abodes for the annual team trip. We met with the usual buzz and excitement that we emintate whenever we are together. Hugs are swapped, catch ups exchanged, and the family unites. Now to see who can sneak the biggest bag onto our Ryanair flight without getting stung….

We are a team that communicates on a daily basis via the internet and phones, however we all relish the opportunity to be with our colleagues - turned friends and family behind our screens. 

After last years Barcelona trip was snowed off we were in need of a bit of travel luck, and that’s exactly what we got when we were conveniently allocated the extra leg room seats that airlines charge such a premium for. Fast forward to touch down in the Spanish sunshine city of Malaga. Balmy air and a towering row of palms aligned our brand new hotel. After a quick turnaround we headed to check out a microbrewery in the trendy soho area of the city, before seating ourselves at a traditional Spanish tapas restaurant, (El Tapeo de Cervantes). Plate after plate was served and after many failed attempts to obtain a menu, we were reassured by the waiters that we should just sit back and let them feed us. None of us really knew what was going on, even our token Spanish speaker Andrew, but as every plate seemed to get more delicious and indulgent, we decided to go with the flow. A firm group favourite was the raw tuna and the sweetest Jamon Iberico any of us had ever experienced. Thanks to Mark’s new hobby of wine tasting, every plate was accompanied by a cold gin and tonic or a heart warming glass of red (the only thing we were able to choose!). Our first dinner certainly kickstarted a trip that was to become an epic culinary journey for all of us over the next 24 hours.

It was a pleasure to wake up on Thursday to coffee in bed and the first signs of warm sunlight most of us had seen since our month off in January. The lie in was short lived as the team was eager to get out and explore Pablo Picasso's home city. We decided to indulge in the authentic breakfast of cafe con leches, Malagan churros and ham baguettes as we sat amongst a vibrant local community in the city centre.

The entire team was enamoured by the elegant Main Street, Calle Larios and everyone was mentally clocking which of the local boutiques they might hit up later that day. We enjoyed a gentle hike through the calming interiors of Alcazaba, before climbing the hill to the Castillo De Gibralfaro. It's always a good idea to get to the highest vantage point of the city that you are exploring, so we made the most of the sunny walk and views before heading down to the beach for sardines and ocean dips.
The trip was largely oriented around food, so a visit to the famous city centre market to try out some fresh delicacies felt a necessity, and we highly recommend giving it a go if you are ever in the city. A resounding favourite was the medjool dates and finding a spot in the square to enjoy some of the local sparkling wines. It wouldn't be a JAM trip without some retail therapy.. so with or without the luggage space a few of us slipped away for a pre dinner shop!
The day's end brought with it the calima, (Saharan sands clouding over the sky) creating a romantically hazed sunset as we enjoyed a final rooftop cocktail at the Terrazza de Valeria (highly recommend the drinks and views), before slipping into another Spanish experience of being wined and dined. Dinner at Los Patios de Beatas is a must for wine lovers, and the food finese was borderline Michelin starred. All manners went out the window in the quest for the final bites of steak or ceviche! Another meal that we all literally did write home about, and another we won’t be forgetting anytime soon.
It’s always a sad feeling at the end of the trip as the team darts off to different corners of the southwest and London, but boy did we make every minute of the quick hop over to Malaga count. As with every get together, more lasting memories were made, friendships deepened and work strategies enhanced!
These mini breaks are infinitely inspiring to us creatives in the team and it's a pleasure to see everyone light up as they absorb the culture, fashion and architecture of a new city. Keep your eyes peeled for these influences appearing in our future garments! If this wasn’t a detailed enough guide to Malaga (which we now believe to be Spain’s most underrated tourist spot) then please feel free to visit us in stores over the Easter break…