Yesterday I went to the Christmas Market (Mercado Navideño) in our local village, Valencina de la Concepcion near Seville. You can always pick up some Christmas stocking-filler type presents at these markets – I got a sweet little Fair Trade purse for an in-law's daughter. There was a stall of Portuguese pastries, including these typical custard tarts (pasteis de nata).
We ate at the delicious Sabores de Galicia food stall – the biggest, juiciest mejillones (mussels) you've ever seen, empanada de bacalao y pasas (cod and raisin pie), but the best was the arroz con mariscos (rice with seafood), which was exquisito. The prices were pretty reasonable too - it's not a restaurant, you collect the food yourself.
One of the market stalls had these amazing bone carvings (made from deer antlers) – tiny, with intricate carvings. These arrowhead earrings are based on artefacts found in the Dolmens nearby, which date from the Copper Age (about 4000 BC), as are the little figures. The silver pendant is based on a Tartessian design (the people who lived here in southern Spain from around 1000BC). They are made by a wonderful craftsman called Juan Miguel Cabot; his company is called Hucuma, and he also does wood carvings.
This is hunting country, hence the animals skins the jewellery is sitting on. I'm a veggie, so that bit I didn't like. But the designs are beautiful and made with extraordinary attention to detail. Also, the fact that in these times someone has a successful business dedicated to such an unusual type of jewellery, is pretty remarkable.
The food stall is on till Wednesday.