Alicante, or Alacant, both official names (sometimes confusing), is a port city in Spain on the Costa Blanca. I used to live close to Alicante for almost three years and popped by quite often to enjoy some of the foodie scene.
When I mention Alicante to some of my English friends they get a bit suspicious because the airport to use, when you are going to Benidorm (Horror-Terror-Error), is in Alicante.
I promise you - Alicante has nothing to do with Benidorm (if you haven't heard of it, check out the British TV Show, not very pleasant). Benidorm is more for the teenage 'end of school' year drinking parties and Alicante has a lot more to offer.
El Portal Taberna & Wines
El Portal is a modern Spanish tapas restaurant and cocktail bar. I've been to many different tapas restaurants all over Spain and this has been my favorite so far - I would describe it as a tapas museum. Some places that call themselves a tapas restaurant should actually be called "A Random Tiny Fried Thing" - this is not the case here, in El Portal the food is fresh and oh how tasty, they have awesome cocktails, an extensive wine list and very helpful staff. I do recommend making a booking, though.
Monastrell is located in the city centre of Alicante, in a five star hotel, Hotel Hospes Amrigo, and it also bears a Michelin star. Monastrell is owned by one of the best female chefs out there - Maria Jose San Roman, with whom I had the honour of meeting and finding out more about her other interesting project called 'OliveToLive'.
What did I eat & recommend ?
Pumpkin lasagne with smoked cheese and sage air.
Alaska souffle with saffron and orange marmalade ice cream. YUM.
If you are already there you shouldn't leave without doing the EVOOs tasting from their oleoteca “OliveToLive”
Monastrell's Olive Oil Story
Maria Jose San Roman is the international ambassador of the qualities of Extra Virgin Olive Oils. The project "OliveToLive" promotes a dispenser that conserves the qualities of the oil in premium condition.
I enjoyed the extra virgin olive oil tasting much more than I have enjoyed most of the wine tastings (that should say a lot about it, because everyone loves a good wine tasting).
Last but definitely not least...the Isla Marina Sunset parties (on Sundays) - one of the many "Islas" (Isla inBeach, Isla inCity etc).
I first discovered Isla Marina in 2008 after my 18th birthday, when I was just visiting, but later on, when I moved to Spain it got the status of my favorite place to be on Sunday afternoons.
Everyone who knows me, knows that I pretty much H-A-T-E nightclubs and clubbing in general, so I'm always trying to find other types of places with nice music (not too loud), awesome DJs (not too rave-like) and a better crowd (you know, without the insanely drunk people, who are only there for dodgy reasons). Isla Marina definitely is the place for me.
With the amazing location just next to the sea, tasty food and awesome drinks, Isla Marina is also proud to have the coolest resident DJs Anthony Cepeda | Álex Gombao | Gabriele Simonetti| Álvaro Villa and a vocalist Soulfeenix - all introduced in the beginning of this video.
While sitting in London, rain pouring down, writing this and watching these videos...I must admit...it makes me quite grumpy not to be there instead, but hey... I do try to visit every other year!