Leisurely Lunch by the Beach

DonQui had one of the best of his Spanish long lunches a short stroll up from the beach at La Azohia.

antipodas

He found himself on a large terrace overlooking a classically curved Mediterranean bay. The restaurant — Antipodas — was at the end of the road, literally where the road ran out and the mountains began. This gave the place an exclusive and quietly secluded feel.

Antipodas view

DonQui looked out over the harbour and contemplated the wine list. There was a good Rioja on offer which after tasting it he deemed far better than average. The service was friendly and the place had relaxing a vibe that DonQui thoroughly enjoyed as he settled in for a couple of hours out of the sun.

The four course set menu of the day seemed interesting and at €12 it was great value. It was duly ordered and DonQui was delighted. Starting with a crisp fresh salad, the next course was a choice of chickpeas or vegetable soup. Both were very good.

Beef Stew

Then came a lovely beef stew which was aromatic and tender, with small pieces of meat and potatoes that stirred his senses. Now DonQui is not much of a potato lover but all the potatoes he ate in Spain were so much better than what he was used to. Instead of being floury and mushy they were firm and full of flavour.

anit6

Duchess had a wonderful local fish — Melva, or frigate mackerel, which is a sort of cross between mackerel and tuna and an Andalusian speciality. It had been marinated in lemon and Duchess declared it was one of the best fish dishes she had ever tasted.

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The light crepe with soft dark chocolate was a melt in the mouth experience that perfectly rounded off the meal. So intent he was in finishing it off that DonQui forgot to take a photo until it was almost too late. Readers will have to forgive him for a moment of chocolate gluttony.

Sipping a café solo and contemplating a stroll back to the beach, DonQui began to think he might just dine at here again.

And indeed he did. In fact DonQui visited three times and each day tried the daily menu with varying success. Most courses were truly yummy but there were one or two not quite to his taste. On one visit Duchess went à la carte and decided to try the goat’s cheese salad which she reported to be ‘perfect’.

Rosé

The house wine by the glass was indifferent but there were some very good reds and rosés by the bottle at exceptionally reasonable prices. DonQui did not try any of the whites so cannot venture an opinion on them.

DonQui felt that luncheon at Antipodas made La Azohia a really great place to visit.

A Nice Quiet Beach

Feeling in need of a little R&R by the sea, DonQui makes his way to La Azohía, not too far from Cartagena on what is called the Costa Cálida or ‘Warm Coast’. By now it is late September and the air temperature is still hitting the high 20s – low 30s although the water seems a bit colder than it was in Tarragona a week or so earlier.

Azohia beach

DonQui was hoping for a quiet place to relax without horrid high-rises, garish attractions or too many humans.

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He had found it. La Azohía is about as laid back as even a sleepy donkey could hope for. There is only one tiny shop, a few restaurants and a couple of beach bars.

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With the season coming to an end, the coast is pretty free of humans and many of the restaurants and bars are closed. The best, however, are still open.

Azohia sunset

Although it is on the east coast, the south-west facing curve of the beach means that there are some fabulous sunsets to watch while sipping a drink and having a meal at the Restaurante Bodega Molina.

Azohia fish

Here DonQui enjoys some very nice freshly caught fish grilled with garlic, olive oil and chillies.

Azohia sunset

An even better sundowner is to be had at the Rockola Summer Club – a tiny beach bar.

Azohia bar

Here all drinks are €1.50 and they have a great play list of rock, blues and jazz.

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All in all DonQui thinks La Azohía is a pretty good place to stay for a few days of blissful peace and quiet. There are no hotels here but if you fancy a stay there are plenty of holiday apartments to rent. DonQui found a very nice one right on the beach through Airbnb.