When I told my octogenarian neighbour that 32 ladies went to Spain to play golf, his first comment was ” what a nightmare” and the second was the old cliché ” that isn’t a lady, it is my wife!
But yes 32 ( ranging in age 40 to 87 years) of us headed off to La Cala resort, which is halfway between Malaga and Marbella, set in the hillside. How they created a golf course in what appears to be inhospitable countryside, beats me, but they did it three times, as there are three 18 hole courses there along with a rustic looking but very comfortable hotel, who know who their guests are – golfers! The rooms were spacious and generally came with a small kitchen, perfect for that morning cup of tea!
We ate well in Spain, firstly at the hotel, on our first night. We had Tapas galore followed by dinner, all very good, but most of us had eaten far too many Tapas, to really appreciate our dinner, but both the food and the service were excellent.
The next night, after a day of golf,me de-camped to Mijas Peublo, a really pretty mountainside town, complete with its still functioning Bull Ring and magnificent mountain to sea views. Here we ate at a small restaurant, taking over the complete terrace, I pitied anyone living near by! Our dinner consisted of, cheese croquettes, chorizo sausages, Andalucian Gazpacho, and either fish or roast baby lamb, followed by a soufflé of Grand Marnier. This was very proudly presented by the head chef. It was a family run business , and good honest food, all of which was very good, but for me the soufflé was perhaps a bit ambitious for such a large group, some of it was not really cooked and for my taste way too sweet.
So onto our third night. We went to Da Bruno, which I have mentioned before and really liked, and again the service and the food were really good, the only down side was fresh mint tea at the end of dinner, a language problem maybe,but we ended up with a table full of little teapots, and not enough cups!
We were served an assortment of Tapas to start with which included Pizza, Vitello Tonnato, Iberian ham with manchego cheese and Prawns Pil-Pil, main courses were a choice of Rigatone, Sea Bass or Escalope in Lemon Sauce and for dessert, either Tiramisu or Fruit salad. General consensus was all was good, I did not see many empty plates!
Day four, saw us visiting La Jinete, this is a restaurant not far from the resort of La Cala, but appears to be in the middle of nowhere, but do not be fooled, it was packed!
Partly due to the fact that Wednesday night is music night and partly due to the fact that it is extremely good value. On Music nights the three course menu costs €22 ! One had a choice of 7 different starters ranging from soup of the day to an Argentinian Empanada with grilled chorizo and black pudding. And for the Main courses, there were an impressive 9 to choose from , with Steak, Lamb, Pork and Pasta all on the menu. For dessert there were 6 to choose from, and weirdly amongst them was Mississippi Mud Pie and Banoffee cheesecake.All the tables were full and despite the guitarist not being the most enthusiastic in his playing, the atmosphere was one of everyone having fun.The food was, considering the sheer number of diners was very good and the service likewise.
Our final night was spent in much more sophisticated surroundings at a restaurant called Avanto, in Mijas Playa. Overlooking the sea with clean crisp table cloths and napkins, it has all the makings of a good restaurant. However I am afraid it did not live up to expectations, it ha recently changed its name, maybe the chef/owner has changed as well. Looking on Trip Advisor , has confirmed my opinion, as the majority of reviews are not very positive. We had a set menu, understandably given our number, with a choice of two on each one. I chose the Beetroot carpaccio with roasted scallops, but flavoursome it was not, the Sea Bream with Wok vegetables was fine, just not very exciting, and the desserts were a real disappointment.
The mousse was not a mousse at all but more likely melted Ice Cream and for those who chose the Banoffee pie ( weirdly again) said it too did not live up to their expectations. Service was fine but zero for atmosphere, ( we were the only ones there, did we scare everyone else away?) However, a huge thank you goes to our Lady Captain who took on the task of organising this trip, which I have to say went really well, I wish the same to next years captain. Where are we going??? watch this space.