Unexpected Treats in Puerto de la Cruz

The sun’s velvet touch caresses my face; I’m vaguely aware I might be dribbling, I’m certainly snoring… gently. It’s bliss. Plans of getting in a couple of hours of work after the Liverpool V Man Utd game and a couple of Doradas have gone west; Andy and I having opted for dumping ideas of work along with our clothes to lie in the late afternoon sun on the back terrace.

BUZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. An irritatingly shrill noise breaks the spell; the intercom, our link to the outside world.

“Ignore it,” Andy mumbles sleepily. “It’ll only be some daft golfer or somebody with a cat.”

Despite the sign beside the button proclaiming ‘Casa Privada”, golfers and cat sanctuary seekers regularly press it when the golf course or cat sanctuary near us is closed to ask annoyingly obvious questions about things that have nothing to do with us. I close my eyes.

BUZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Somebody is being persistent… I ignore it again. Thirty seconds pass.

BUZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. This time they keep their finger on the button and in a second I’m at the phone ready to let fly.

“Hola,” a couple of disconcertingly familiar voices shout in unison. “Surprise… it’s us, the Largies.”

A few minutes later, and wondering whether I’m still actually asleep, we’re sitting around the table on the terrace with a beer listening to how Anne and ‘Uno Mas’ Martin, two of our oldest and best friends, decided to jump on a plane to Tenerife and Puerto de la Cruz to escape the dire British weather.

What do you do when friends turn up unexpectedly on a Saturday? You party.

Two hours later and we’ve got a Harry Potter thing going on as Andy and I am completely bemused regarding the location of their room at the Hotel Monopol in the centre of Puerto. They’re in room 218, yet the numbers on the doors only go up to 217. It’s a total mystery and we spend five minutes wandering around trying to solve it. A glass door beside room 217 leads to a sun terrace at the end of which is a small square building standing on it’s own. This is room 218 and 219. It’s quite bizarre; the Largies love it, they’ve got their own private sun terrace on the roof.

Eating out in Puerto de la Cruz
The Largies are huge fans of Mil Sabores, and so are we but we’d only recently eaten there. There are some sophisticated restaurants near Plaza Charco that we’ve not eaten at yet but in the end we decide to check out Casa Pache. We’ve tried to eat at this restaurant ‘hidden’ in the centre of Puerto on numerous occasions but its opening hours are a mystery. This time we strike gold.

Casa Pache is an eclectically furnished little house/restaurant that serves traditional food which although good (a full review will be posted soon) doesn’t match the imagination of the tapas we’d eaten there during one of Puerto’s tapas routes. But it’s friendly with a great atmosphere. A meal of two starters, four main courses, a litre of red wine, a litre of white wine, two Doradas, a large bottle of water and a free flaming chorizo appetizer plus four peach schnapps chopitos comes to €54.

Nightlife in Puerto
Dinner takes around two and a half hours which means by the time we down the last of the wine at 11.30pm it’s a perfect time to hit our favourite bars. First port of call is Limbo which has been given a sexy makeover since our last visit. The bar at the large outside terrace is now spacesuit silver and a chic match for the female clientèle in their sleek finery and skyscraper high heels, many of whom look as though they could have teetered straight off the catwalk.

The clientèle are mainly in their twenties and we’re probably too old. But in Puerto we’re the only ones who care about this and it is a top bar. After an hour lounging in Limbo we change venues and head to Blanco Bar.

Blanco Bar would have been our first stop, but we didn’t fancy the band that were due to be playing. However, the bluesy music that greets us isn’t the Spanish rock advertised and the guy in the flat cap whose face speaks the emotion of every note lovingly teased from his guitar is the immensely talented Israel Garcia; an unexpected bonus.

Sitting amongst the audience is another immensely talented and flat cap-wearing musician, Simon Korsak. I normally associate flat caps with pigeon fanciers and men who drive their cars too slowly but Israel and Simon make them look cool to the extent that Martin suggests we should invest in a couple of flat caps. Suspecting we’d look more like middle-aged pigeon fanciers than too cool for school musicians I veto the idea.

Israel puts in a customary electric performance for the mainly thirty-something crowd (a bit closer to our range than Limbo) and Simon Korsak joins in for a couple of numbers as an extra treat.

Hair-raising renditions of Sweet Child O’ Mine, Don’t Look Back in Anger, Johnny B. Goode, Dock of the Bay and Stuck in the Middle With You has all four of us, and most other people, singing and jigging with big beaming smiles on our faces.

Despite Anne announcing somewhere around midnight that she wouldn’t be having a late night, the hours slip seamlessly by as they so often do on a night out in Puerto de la Cruz. As the band wraps up their encore to rapturous applause and the music changes gear to dance n’ trance, it’s time for us to call it a night. But Martin holds up an empty bottle of Dorada, raises a quizzical eyebrow and utters the words that have become a regular catchphrase during visits to Puerto.

“¿Uno mas?”

It would be rude to reply with anything other than – “Si, claro…”

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