On a weekend when the UK is shivering under the onslaught of Arctic temperatures, I’ve escaped to Southern Spain … which is shivering under the onslaught of Arctic temperatures! It was 6° C overnight. The sun retains the warmth of the Southern sun but there is a strong, icy wind off the sierras so that, even in the day, it is very cold unless you are tucked up well away from it.
Today we went for an outing that was appropriate to the weather. We walked down to the front and then we went to a new, 5-star hotel where the dining room has picture windows looking out over the sea. To give it its full name, it is the Vincci Seleccíon Aleysa Boutique & Spa hotel.
The dining room is elegant with white walls and ceiling, stripped wooden floors, white leather chairs, white linen and dark wood side boards and screens. It has floor to ceiling windows looking over the beach, which was practically deserted today. The service was impeccable; waiters humoured my attempts at Spanish and spoke perfect English too.
We had a fino, dry sherry, to start and were offered an appetiser of marinaded tuna before our starters came. Mummy had a foie gras paté with accompaniments of pear and crumbs of ginger bread; while I had a selection of roasted vegetables served with three large prawns – and some of the foie gras! My vegetables included aubergine, cucumber, green chillies, peppers, cherry tomatoes, carrot and onions. They were all delicious.
We ordered a glass of wine: Mummy white and me red. They were poured into the glasses at the table, mine from a magnum of red wine, which was impressive. To go with this, Mummy had a thick fillet of hake on a bed of julienned vegetables. I had a lump of roasted Iberian pork, beautifully cooked with a rich sauce of mustard and beer.
It was wonderful. The chocolate cake looked wonderful too but we could manage only a café solo each. Even that was special, being beautiful coffee, served in fine white cups. All in all, we thought we’d earned a taxi home after all that! J