La Farola & Miramar

La Farola restaurant opened its doors yesterday after a week or more of activity.  Chairs and tables have been stacked in the square in the open.  Workmen have arrived each morning and have sat outside smoking and chatting until someone arrived with a key.  It has not been a frenzy of activity at least for observers but with the numbers through the doors there has been a great deal achieved.

It’s been a mixed up week weatherwise.  We haven’t had snow or ice but just about everything else that you can imagine.   It keeps you alert, I remember being told, the erratic weather.

Wednesday was a beautiful day, perfect for the Malaga open topped tour bus.  But we had a night of thunder and lightning and heavy showers.  Yesterday’s rain sent us and half the tourist population to the huge Miramar shopping centre.  Thankfully we declined the offer to be directed to Miramar along the beach as if I had been fit enough for the walk we would have been drenched half way there as huge dollops of rain arrived out of nowhere.

The bus took us to the centre and we huddled with half the other passengers under the bus stop canopies whilst the brave and foolhardy raced for the entrance.    Those who entered through the car park had to wade through the gathering water at the entrance as drains failed.

Whilst we waited in shelter, we spoke to a couple from Toronto, Canada, who were from Glasgow originally and had gone for two years to Toronto 53 years ago and only returned to Scotland to visit.

Eventually the rain abated sufficiently for us to cross over the road, ignoring the designated crossing areas and choosing the quickest path we could.

Miramar is huge, reminds me of Dubai airport with its spacious halls, gleaming floors and light fittings and hordes of people.  It is mostly upmarket designer stores although there is a Penneys and there is a discount supermarket.

Buses were equally packed on the return journey home and our bus was filled to standing capacity before we left the first stop.

We had watched the activity all week in front of us and realise now that La Farola own the whole ground floor of the square opposite.  We were told it was to open for the first time last night and we were not sure if they were actually open for business.  The stacked tables outside were as they had been all week.  We called over to discover behind the bougainvillea covered arches there is an inside restaurant with seating for sixty or more.  We were asked if we had booked and the waiter looked disappointed when we replied in the negative but he did find us a table.

What a treat was in store.  The food was simply excellent.  I had home made chicken liver pate, smooth and rich, with melba toast and cumberland sauce.  There were another three side dishes, capers, sweetcorn mixture and onion.  Margaret’s prawn cocktail was a very generous portion and both dishes were beautifully presented.

My grilled sole with plain boiled potatoes and vegetables was cooked to perfection but Margaret faced an upward climb with the huge size of her grilled sea bass which was again accompanied by potatoes and vegetables.  Steadily we ploughed through the food, too delicious to leave more than the skeletal remains.

I chose the creme caramel for dessert ducking out on the blueberry cheesecake as I had by then eaten more at one sitting than I have for a long time. Margaret had the tiramisu.   Half a bottle of wine was included with each set menu.  Margaret had the red and I opted for sangria believing I would be charged for it and for the bottle of water I also ordered.  The bill was €18.95 each, just the charge for a meal from the set menu with no extras charged.    I should add the set menu has more choices on it than I have ever seen on a set menu.

The setting in the restaurant is what I would imagine is traditional Spanish decorated in deep colours.  The seating is very comfortable and at no time did we feel we were being hurried.   The musicians who played were traditionally dressed, in superb quality local costumes and livened up the atmosphere in the restaurant although it was never dull or quiet as there were around 50 diners inside and some of the tables were re-set to accommodate later arrivals.

La Farola is open as I write at almost 3 pm our time and there are groups of people at the outside tables enjoying lunch in the open air and in the sunshine.  Some have huge linen sun parasols giving them shade from the sun which has come out into its own beating down from a clear blue sky.

Happy days and how lucky am I.

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