Spain is no place for a vegetarian.
Or a teetotaller.
The day starts agreeably late, with chocolate con churros: freshly made, lightly fried doughnutty strips, to be dunked in dense, dark drinking chocolate the consistency of swamp mud - the latter in espresso-sized coffee cups, presumably to reduce the chances of keeling over and dying of a combined caffeine, sugar and fat overdose ... the perfect breakfast. (Note: un hombre churro = a hottie!)
Summer lunches are leisurely, at outdoor cafes under the shade of umbrellas
or under trees in a leafy square with a fountain.
Shall we go sophisticated ...
or simple and rustic?
Solo is fine ...
or even while reading books companionably.
Sometimes we stayed home where Nich worked on perfecting the ultimate gazpacho (recipe to follow), in the shaded inner courtyard (absolutely my top favourite design feature of the Spanish house), with chilled sangria and white wine.
Siesta time is a serious business. Shops close from 2.00 to 6 or 7.00 pm; the streets empty. By 8.00pm-ish, with the edge off the heat, the bars and restaurants are just starting to prepare for dinner...
... crisp white cloths and menus ready...
... maybe a spectacular view thrown in for free ...
What's on the menu?
We could tapear (yes, that is an actual verb, to eat tapas) with garlic and tomato soup
gambas a la plancha ( grilled prawns)
crisp-fried aubergines in sweet balsamic glaze
pimientos asados (roasted sweet peppers).
Specialities of the region in Andalucia would be: rabo de toro (ox-tail)
or a hearty seafood paella.
And walking home around 11 or 12.00 pm on any night of the week, the restaurants and bars are crowded still with families and their small children - drinking, eating, talking or doing the paseo, the evening stroll.
At Restaurante Pedro Romero in Ronda, Plaza de Toros, with our friend Amanda from London.