Spotted in Málaga… the ultimate in hipter BYOC cat cafes. #bringyourowncat
The traditional Málaga Christmas lunch has taken place at many different locations and with different people over the years, but the one constant has always been these two, my lovely friends Arpy & Fred. This year it was just the three of us and we managed to get an early table at the fabulous Mesón Mariano, which was new to A & F. The place has been booked solid for holiday meals for over a month, but we got there right at opening time (expecting to sit at the bar) and were told we could have a table if we left before the booking came in. Which gave us an hour and a half, which was plenty of time to enjoy the following…
Garlicky clams, braised artichokes “montillana”, albondigón in almond sauce, and baby goat chops al ajillo. Because we had started lunch early I realised that I could probably comfortably catch the earlier train home, so I would arrive at 8 pm instead of 11 pm, and so that’s what I ended up doing. But we still had time for a penúlitima outside on the terrace of Mesón Cofradia. It all worked out perfectly and was a great way to finish my short-but-sweet Málaga getaway.
For the past week the forecast for Friday in Málaga was for RAIN. So l dutifully packed my umbrella but then faced a dilemma. Should l pack the book I’m presently reading (in case it rained) or an extra pair of shoes (in case it rained). There was only room in the suitcase for one (don’t ask) and in the end l opted to bring the book.
But then it didn’t rain. In fact it was a gloriously sunny and warm day. At first l was a bit unsure about what to do since l had nobody to go out and play with. All l knew is that l wanted my day to include a quick trip to Atarazanas market and a post-lunch drink on the terrace of the Gibralfaro Parador Hotel. And so first things first. I got to Atarazanas at 12.00, perfect for a quick beer and “brunch” snack (a grilled skewer of prawns and monkfish). Then l headed to the port with the idea of getting in a bit of a beach walk before lunch.
It’s been awhile since l actually walked along the port. Usually l either take the park or the Paseo de las Sorpresas to get to Malagueta beach. But today l also wanted to walk to the lighthouse so that meant venturing further along the quay. My god, what a mess (so no quay pics). I hear they are planning to put in a massive Hard Rock Café next to the Pompidou (guess they’re not expecting that contract to be renewed). What was initially an attempt at offering high end shopping with diverse dining options is now a sad array of cheap sunglasses and casual clothing shops along with the usual fast food suspects: Burger King, Dunkin Donuts, KFC, 100 Montaditos. So Hard Rock will fit in just fine. But really, what a sad mess.
Anyhow, l continued my walk down to the lighthouse and then along the beach until l reached the iconic Malagueta sign. By then it was time for lunch.
Luckily l had a recommendation from my friend Ania, and somewhere l had never been to – La Odisea. Unfortunately the dish l HAD to try (according to both Ania and Joanna) didn’t come as a tapa. So l ordered a media ración of the presa with peanut sauce and mushrooms, and it really was delicious. But after that l couldn’t eat anything else, so l headed out to catch the bus up to the Parador.
I was lucky to find the one table with this lovely view free, so l spent a pleasant hour enjoying a glass of wine in the sun. Then l walked back to the centre. Got there just before sunset and almost went to the Marriott AC rooftop bar to watch the sun go down but was told l had to buy an 8€ ticket to go up, which included a drink. WTF? So l headed home instead and relaxed there for a couple of hours before l took a final evening stroll to enjoy the lights. What a perfect day.
I’m here! And what a great first day it was. After l got to town l met Victor at the apartment (Casa de los Principes) and, after dropping off my bag, we headed out for lunch to somewhere I’d never been before – Los Mellizos. I was surprised to discover that Victor had never been there either! But as it’s one of Thane’s favourite places it was high time we checked it out. And well, it was fabulous. Old school, awful plastic menus with photos, but excellent food. We were having such a great time that l forgot to take a photo of Victor and had to get a screen grab from a short vid I’d made.
After lunch l met up with Ania who was briefly back from Poland to attend a seminar in Sevilla. She had also decided to take a day trip to Málaga while here so she could see the Christmas lights – and also see her friend Joanna. So we met at La Reserva 12 for a couple of penúltimas. By the time we poured Ania into a taxi to catch her train home l was ready to get back to my cosy apartment. But before l did that l went to Victor’s strategic location to try and get THAT shot of the lights from that unique vantage point. Victor was right, you really do have to climb between the clothes racks!
One more sleep until the annual Christmas Málaga Getaway. As always, looking forward to seeing the fabulous lights again. This incredible photo was taken by my friend Victor @welovemalaga last week, from a very strategic location.
This will actually be a mini-getaway, just two nights instead of the usual week away, but I plan on making the most of it, with a couple of Christmas lunches planned, visiting friends, etc. Yay!
I had planned to do sea walks every morning while I was here… ha. Finally ended up doing ONE yesterday, out to Pedregalejo to have lunch at Andrés Maricuchi. It was like going home. As soon as Andrés saw me he came rushing out to give me a big kiss and Julián set up a nice table for us that caught a refreshing sea breeze. As the afternoon began to cloud over we walked back to the centre of Málaga for rooftop cocktails. An excellent final full day in Málaga.
Today is rainy – actually the forecast is for thunderstorms all day – so it will be a morning of museums before a final lunch and then HOME to the gatitos. I can’t wait to see them again.
beach boat barbecue
sardines, breaded rosada, tomato salad, boquerones al limón
sundowners at the rooftop bar of Roommate Valeria
I always love taking day trips with Victor @welovemalaga when I am visiting Málaga, and this time we chose to go to Archidona after I discovered that Victor had never been there. A rare treat for me to show him something new! As Peter @svqconcierge would be arriving in town Saturday morning we decided that would be a good day for all three of us to go, though I should have done my homework better as we missed the opening time for the Virgen de Gracia convent and castle. But we went up the mountain anyhow and were treated to some spectacular views.
We also had lunch at Arxiduna Restaurant, uniquely located inside caves in the main square (also unique for being the only octagonal square in Spain). I’ll be updating their page soon. I’d let them know that I was coming back and booked a table and, well, we were treated like royalty and given a special tasting menu. But more on that later.
On the way home Victor took a detour through the beautiful Montes de Málaga, a magnificent natural park and, as always, I learned so much more about this region and its history. Victor is not only a fount of knowledge but a gifted story teller. By the time we got back to Málaga we were zonked, so Peter went to crash at his hotel and I came “home” to shower and spent a lovely evening in Netflixing. The only thing missing was Morcilla…
Peter & Victor in Plaza de la Victoria, ArchidonaRestaurante Arxiduna
So I was in the Atarazanas Market yesterday and saw a couple of tourists looking over the display of various meats in manteca, which for those of you who don’t know are meats preserved in pork lard, often (but not always) coloured and flavoured with paprika. The man even leaned over to smell one of them at which point the vendor came over and said in his best English, “That is pork meat in butter!”.
Trying to be helpful I said to the couple that it was actually lard, not butter. Then I explained to the vendor that he was telling them it was pork in mantequilla (butter), not manteca (lard), and we all helped him with pronouncing this new word. The couple went away happy and the vendor said to me, “So what are you, a teacher?” And then he said, “I always say butter to them and they always understand me perfectly.” Well, I tried…
On my last full day in Málaga Peter came down on an early train to spend my final 24 hours in town with me. After checking in at his comfy hostel just around the corner from my place, which was very convenient, we met Victor at the Atarazanas market for a quick beer and a snack before heading out for lunch.
The Hostel Vidamia even came with a resident cat, though Peter told me later that she didn’t sleep with the guests. We had a couple of very nice meals over the weekend (and one decidedly NOT nice one, which also came with a side of chef diva drama) but I’ll talk more about those over on Azahar Tapas.
I had been looking forward all week to visiting the newly opened Museo de Málaga and we finally went after lunch on Saturday… but after a couple of hours visiting just the archaeological exhibit on the second floor my brain was full and my feet were tired. There was no way we would have enjoyed or appreciated the art exhibit after that. Recommend doing this visit in two parts if you can.
The weather wasn’t being very cooperative over the weekend, so we didn’t get around as much as we would have liked. I was already gearing down and ready to go home by this point, so I didn’t mind so much, but I did feel badly for Peter that he didn’t get to go up on the big wheel. Next time.