“Creative, arty and very affordable self-catering rooms in the heart of Vejer's labyrinthine old town centre”
We visited Siete Balcones shortly after it opened, and were given a choice of rooms. We plumped for Room 3, though I'd have been just as happy in the others. Room 1 leads off the ground-floor courtyard while rooms 2 and 3 are up on the next floor. These share a larger kitchenette, next to the sitting-cum-breakfast room.
All-white walls, wrought iron balcony rejas (railings) and geometric tiles are in the best Andaluz tradition, whilst the pick-and-mixing of patchwork kilims, tongue-in-cheek paintings, classic film posters and one-off furnishings from the 50s adds a postmodern note. Expect candles, single stems in glass vases, and fine Portuguese bed linen topped by throws and a double bank of pillows. There's a dock for your iPod, WiFi and an overhead fan to keep things cool during the fierce Spanish summer: no air-con, but the thick outer walls do the job.
Shower bathrooms are just as lovely, with walls of polished tadlakt and surface-top sinks created by Bryony and Wanda in situ. You'll find snowy white towels, a big vanity mirror and chunky bottles of olive oil-based shower gel and shampoo.
Bedrooms vary in configuration, following the dictates of the house's original floor plan. Moroccan-coloured Room 1 is the largest; it faces the street and has a queensize double bed, and a table where you may choose to breakfast. Room 3 (thanks to its shared kitchenette next door) has space for a chaise longue and a beautiful 50s easy chair. Room 2 is the smallest, at 15 sq.m., but its high ceiling and French window brings in the Atlantic light, and its partially open-plan bathroom maximises space.
Each kitchenette - room 1 has its own, rooms 2 and 3 share one - has an extensive range of gleaming breakfast gadgetry: kettle, toaster, juicer, coffee maker and a gizmo to heat then froth the milk for your cappuccino. You can eat in your room, in the breakfast room, or on the roof terrace.
When it comes to lunch and dinner you couldn't be better placed: Vejer punches well above its weight in the food stakes. Bryony and Wanda's top recommendation is Casa Varo, which brings a creative and lighter touch to traditional gaditano cuisine (think carpaccio of tuna, sautéed artichokes, brochette of monkfish). Both the fish and meat are top notch, and for a good part of the year you can dine alfresco on the terrace.
I've long been a fan of Casa Califa, whose Middle Eastern and North African-inspired dishes make a nice change - and its walled garden has a real feel of Arabian Nights. And should you fancy local flavour, wander down to the enchanting Plaza de España to Cervecería Garimba for excellent fish and a big range of mouthwatering tapas.