I had so much fun living like a lady of leisure for a week. I’ve been back one day and I miss it already. Of course who wouldn’t miss sunbathing by the pool or beach with a good book in one hand and a cocktail in the other? Unfortunately, there’s not much to write about that other than sharing a list of my top fave holiday reads (potential future post) and top cocktails (frozen Strawberry daiquiri, cosmopolitans and margaritas (frozen or not)). So I’m going to share with you a list of the next best things to do when holidaying in Marbella….fine dining! Best of all, some of these restaurants require a bit of a jaunt so it’ll mean you get to leave the confines of your hotel and the touristy hotspots to see where the locals go and be a bit different. (Major thank you to my wonderful tour guide/new bud Ludo for revealing these gems to me!)
Top 5 spots to be wined and dined in the Costa del Sol region:
(1) Breakfasting amongst the rich (& famous?) in Puerto Sotogrande with the view of the residents’ yachts at harbour. We even saw the openings of a boat race. Now that’s bang for your buck. Ps. Ludo was totally in love with Jamon (or something like that) the highest quality ham from the black pig. We saw it in the shops for $15 a pack or approx $600 a leg. It’s expensive but worth it, he says. So if you’re in to pork, ask for that and try it on toast with a fresh tomato paste for breakfast! (That’s how they served it above).
(2) Beach-side & on-the-beach dining. This seemed to be a dinner thing any time from 9pm for us, which is the reason for the dark shots. (Sorry!)
Besaya Beach offered a breathtaking view, a calming ambiance and beautiful, well-dressed diners – this is not the Costa del side for Boozy Brits; expect swank and sophistication only. To be fair, that’s to be said for every place I’ve listed in this post. After all, my holiday was about relaxing and clearing my head to figure my life out. (I did it.)
(3) Raj’s Curry House, Gibraltar
First of all, thanks again for this awesome find, Ludo. Did somebody tell him the way to my heart is through my tummy? And even better, one of my fave foods are Indian curries…so visiting this curry house was the perfect way to close out my weekend in the sun. Secondly, thank you restaurant owners for being officially closed but still allowing us to sit, order, be served, and eat. That’s impressive service, it really is! I just love people who go above and beyond. I clearly must’ve looked famished. (And Ludo eats there a lot so the owner loves him). Whatever the reason, hunger is never a good look or mood, so if you want a tried and trusted (TripAdvisor2015 winner) dinning spot, Raj’s Curry House, Gibraltar is a no-brainer!
(4) Paella! Anywhere and everywhere!
When in Rome….ok you’re not in Rome, but the saying still applies. When in Spain, eat as the Spaniards eat. This was THE BEST paella I’ve eaten ever. And OMD I’m so sorry I don’t know the name of the restaurant. And crazily enough they didn’t have paella on their menu, but they were kind enough to make one up anyway! So, Google Google Google, ask a local, do whatever you must to get your fork into this heavenly Spanish nectar. You won’t regret it.
(5) Bahia Limon Chiringochill, Avenue Mar del sur.
This fish was to die for! In fact, I feel it should be a rule to only ever eat sea bass near sea ports because you can practically always guarantee their freshness. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a local fish caught that afternoon. I didn’t have to ask; the freshness was palpable. Di…vine! De!lish!us! Amazing. Can I fly back today for more? *books plane ticket* (Also adored the relish on the potatoes. I wonder if this place offers cooking lessons? Hmmm)
Ps. Ludo told me this beach-shack is only up in the summer holiday season from about May to September, so get booking your holiday asap! You can holiday alone like me too (read here) and make friends along the way!
So that’s my top 5 list. (It was originally going to be 3 but I got carried away!) I don’t know whether you noticed but I also threw in a cheeky Gibraltian (is that how you’d refer to things and people from Gibraltar?) restaurant submission. It’s worth it! Try to visit them and let me know what you think. And here’s a challenge for you: it would be amazing if when you visit Marbella you also share the hidden gems you discover so myself and others can check them out for future visits. Please and thank you in advance!
Happy Travels & Happy Eating!