Beach bars and beers - eating and drinking in Spain


We spent pretty much every other day in Spain doing the same thing - in the best possible way.

After waking up at around 8:30 (which is a sleep in for us), we would get ready, walk down the huge hill towards the beach and along the front to a café where we could get granola and Greek yoghurt, freshly squeezed orange juice - and, most importantly, a decent coffee.

Then we'd go and sit near the beach while we put on our sun cream and spend the rest of the morning walking.

Stopping off every now and again for a drink at one of the many beach bars - most of them serve free tapas with every drink and I can honestly say that some of it I'd have paid much more for at home.

The clams at Maui Beach Club were a particular favourite.

And you can rent out beach beds or sun loungers there if you're that way inclined, and stay all day.

We'd grab an ice cream or frozen yoghurt on the way back and spend the rest of the afternoon around the pool, reading, playing cards, taking a dip every now and again or trying to cool off by sitting in front of the air conditioning in the apartment!

We quickly fitted into Spanish time, eating much later in the evening, heading out at around 8:30pm to eat and either drinking cava for 1.5 euro per glass ( I know, right?) or sipping cocktails while the waves lapped gently on the beach in front of us.

We could have explored more while we were there - the buses are super cheap - and there are a few nearby towns which I've passed through before, but we actually enjoyed the lazy week, even though our legs hurt from all the walking we did.

And although we had some great tapas we struggled to find a decent meal in Mojacar Playa which is the beach resort, like they were OK but nothing to write home about.

We had high hopes for paella from El Patio along the beach - a rustic, beach front bar next to Maui Beach - but it wasn't great, which was disappointing as it was the only paella we'd had on the whole trip, although I loved the whole beach shack, laid back vibe - it is maybe a for drinks only kind of place.

For lunch time I really recommend the club sandwich from Dolce Vita which is up near the beach bars. Big enough to share for a 'light' lunch  - particularly if you order the chips too, as the portion was huge - although we did get one each. It's a little more expensive (for a sandwich), and not very Spanish, but oh, that view. And the servers really look after you.

And in the evening, the best meal we had by far was at Shea's restaurant up in the hills. A bit of a hairy drive up steep hills around winding corners led to a rustic style restaurant owned by the cheeriest Irishman - who is just the loveliest host and obviously loves what he does, and it has gorgeous views (although Mr H was sitting in the way a bit ;) ).

The menu was a mix of Spanish, French and English/Irish influences.

Starting with sangria while we perused the menu.

We ordered 2 starters to share - the local black pudding with apple sauce, which was deliciously rich, and these glorious clams and prawns pil pil - absolutely tons of garlic and the freshest, plumpest clams and prawns.

We both ordered the duck a l'orange which was beautiful - served with mashed potatoes and fresh vegetables.

And although we were full we just had to have dessert. Shea recommended we have the mint chocolate cheesecake, but we'd had our eye on the chocolate orange mousse all night so we did what any self respecting holiday maker would do and ordered both, as well as coffees on the side. Both were glorious, rich but not too rich and the chocolate orange mousse was doused in Bailey's for good measure.

We finished off the meal under moonlight.


Afterwards we drove back down to Mojacar Playa for drinks at Bar Luz including the rather fabulous espresso martini and some more of that super value cava.

Next time we go (and there will be a next time) I'd like to do a little more exploring, and I would definitely consider going around September time when it's still hot but not quite scorching.

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