Sunday, August 2, 2009

Marbella 2009

My head seems thick from jet lag. Soon, I'll be doing the laundry and scheduling clients. But a few minutes to relive some of the highlights of our trip in Spain...

The Townhouse
We had one of the most pleasant stays ever at the Townhouse. It's located in Old Town (Casco Antiguo) and a short walk to the beach. We stayed in Room 9, which was spacious and had a private terrace. Room 4 is also a favorite. The staff was impeccable.

Easy Dishes
Our one and only "activity" was with Rashida Reidel. We began at the Old Town Mercado with a lesson about buying the freshest fish. We would later make a seafood paella, Huelva green gazpacho and a peach tortilla at her beachside home. Rashida was so wonderful to cook with. Even Doug had a great time!

La Taberna Del Pintxo
We had tapas several times at this tavern a block up from the beach. Hot tapas are presented to you as you dine. At the end of your meal, they tally up your toothpicks. The scrambled eggs with shrimp were terrific.

Restaurant Barca
Along the boardwalk at Playa Del Faro, we had mutiple lunches overlooking the sea. They had a super cold gazpacho.

Playa Del Faro
We walked down almost every day to the beach. For 10 euro, you can rent 2 chairs with an umbrella for the day. There is a cord and nails provided to hang your bags, towels and clothes. I must say, this is most civilized and I wish American beaches had the same service. I was also delighted to find the public restrooms to be quite clean. Behind you are condos much like you find in Miami.

Hacienda Patagonica
We both agree that this was our favorite meal in Marbella. The dishes were fabulous and the prices were reasonable.

Flamenco Ana Maria
Located on the Plaza de Santo Cristo, the show consists of costumed dancers, vocalists and guitarists. Seating is intimate. You pay $25 for your first drink, which includes entry. It's lively and a not-to-miss. Make reservations in high season.


Our driver from Malaga was Mexican and recommended this restaurant. It was up a couple of blocks from the beach we like to hang out at. We had both lunch and dinner there. We were treated to an authentic Mariachi band one evening. They had the best salad we ate while in Spain and we can attest to the fajitas being traditional.

Bistrot Casanis
On our way to the Plaza de Santo Cristo, we stumbled upon this french bistro. We had the leg of lamb the first visit and suckling pig the second. Both were superb. It was the most beautiful place we dined.

Heladeria La Valenciana
We frequented this ice cream shop daily. There is one on the board walk and on the east side of old town.

Plaza de los Naranjos
The fragrance of the orange trees in the pretty plaza in the middle of Old Town is memorable. There doesn't seem to be a spectacular restaurant on the plaza but the Restaurant Gran Plaza was our pick for late night snacks and drinks as well as a simple lunch. The tourist office is located on the plaza. We found live belly dance and flamenco exhibitions posted there. Celebrity sighting: Minnie Driver.

Puetro Banus
Playground of the rich and famous. Splendid harbour. The yachts featured here were mostly those owned by those from the Middle East - at least that is what we were told. Something to see.

At the corner bar, I had a Sangria Con Cava while we people watched. Can't wait to make this at home.

Bar Altamirano
Touted as one of the best fish restaurants in Marbella, it is located onthe Plaza Altamirano. We had a jumbo calamari that was delicious...the price was steep (28 E) however and not what we expected.

El Corte Ingles
Located in Puerto Banus, this is the go to place for gourmet foods and department store goods. I loaded up on sherry vinegar, Jean Leon cabernet, brown paella rice and Valour chocolate.

Cines Gran Marbella
In the heart of Puerto Banus we found a theater that plays movies in their original language. So, we got to see Harry Potter without dubbing or subtitles.

With no Starbucks to go for a cafe latte, I pretty much stuck to coffee at the hotel. They had a strong brewed coffee and they would steam a pitcher of milk for me. Past half way of our trip, we found ourselves out and about early in the am. Ordering the cafe con leche, I found I had to brace myself to get it down. Almost the end of our trip, a kind waitress explained I should order "cafe nube". Loved it so much, I had three that day!

Cafe manchado = spotted with milk
Cafe nube = clouded with milk
Cafe sombre = with a shadow of milk
Cafe corto = short in milk
Cafe mitad = half milk
Cafe largo = large with milk
Cafe cortado = cut with milk
... and last but not least ...
Cafe solo = black coffee

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