Tue 27 July 2021
Local News | Weekend treat in Alicante
A treat of a city break in Alicante
Here at Jacaranda Spain, we believe we are promoting a better way of life. We chose the beautiful Marina Alta area to relocate and re-evaluate. A more rural, "back to nature" way of life. However, every now and then, instead of getting away from it all we choose to have a good dose of big city excitement. Retail therapy, hustle and bustle, bars and restaurants and some real Spanish culture. Our city of choice is often Alicante.
On previous visits to this fabulous city, we have enjoyed visiting the museums and monuments. But this trip was all about rest and relaxation. It was the first indulgent trip away for over a year (thanks to a certain Covid 19 world pandemic!!) so we decided to splash out on the beautiful, Hilton, boutique hotel "Casa Alberola". If you are looking for luxury, excellent service, stunning views of the Marina, stylish living with some art deco touches and a very comfortable bed, then this hotel should be at the top of the list. It is expensive but worth every penny! The hotel is right on the Esplanada España, the iconic mosaic tiled promenade that runs next to the Marina.
We arrived late afternoon and spent a few hours chilling out in our sumptuous room, then we went out for the evening. A stroll along the Esplanada España browsing the stalls that sell jewelry, beachware, souvenirs and nick nacks and ended up in a cocktail bar on the Marina with a large and delicious gin and tonic. More strolling and a few more drinks, followed by a pizza and we headed back to the hotel.
The next morning we headed for the Barrio Santa Cruz (Old town Alicante) and we were happy just ambling round the pretty little streets and admiring the architecture. Just as the day really started to heat up we discovered an oasis of shade and cool. The Plaza Gabriel Miró is the place to go when you need respite from the midday sun and a beautiful place to sit. The reason for the best shade in the city?... The mighty Ficus trees that stand at every cornerof the central plaza.
The Ficus trees are at least 130 years old. One is rumoured to be morethan 200 years old, the perimeter of its trunk is 6 metres and its crown is 25 metres! The trees are absolutely fascinating and protected by law. They have aerial roots that form columns to support the heavy branches and these are carefully covered in coconut mesh to preserve them and help them grow. The dense evergreen foliage provides shade all day in the plaza and sitting in front of the Fuente de la Aguadora, under the protective canopy these majestic trees provide, feels like a real priveledge. We fell in love with this stunning plaza and decided to dine there in the evening.
We booked a table at Restaurante Plaza Canalla for later that evening and carried on walking until the mood( and the heat!) took us back to siesta in the luxury of our air conditioned room. The Plaza Gabriel Miró was even more bewitching in the evening and, after more walking, our appetites were well and truly worked up. Octopus al Grill with sweet potato parmentier to start was delicious. A 300g steak and chips, "caught that day" sea bass for mains. All rounded off with brownie topped with pistachios and a dollop of ice cream. A perfectly chilled verdejo to accompany it and coffees and brandeys to finish us off! Our waiter was called Sergio and he was polite, helpful and attentive. In the surroundings of the plaza, the ambience was pretty much perfect, and we waved goodbye to Sergio with a promise to return soon.
Alicante is a unique city with so much to offer. We returned to the quiet tranquility of the Marina Alta feeling rested and recharged with memories of the majestic Ficus trees and some really delicious food.