Category Archives: Eating & Drinking

The “Roscón de Reyes” – a Traditional Cake for the 3 Kings Festivities

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Roscon de Reyes

A traditional Roscón de Reyes, cream and all!!!

You’ve probably seen them in supermarkets or in patisserie windows but have never actually wondered what they were?  The “Roscón de Reyes” (Kings Cake) is a traditional cake which is consumed by the Spanish on – and around – 3 Kings day (6th January).

Shaped like a large crown (or doughnut, it depends on how you look at it!) this tasty cake is covered with crystallized fruit and sugar. You can eat it plain (with coffee or hot chocolate) or – my preferred option – have it filled with cream! You can usually choose between plain cream, chocolate flavoured cream or both!!!

By now you’re probably dying to rush out and buy one; am I right? You can find them in all bakeries and patisseries and they are even available in supermarkets – I personally recommend the cream and chocolate “Roscón” from Mercadona; tastes great and very reasonably priced!

Why is it a tradition?

There’s a few theories out there; however, none of them have anything to do with the 3 kings! Some say the cake dates from as far back as Roman times and others argue that we have our French neighbours to thank for this sweet treat. I don’t think it really matters; the important thing is that it is a tradition throughout Spain, a tasty one at that!

The “Roscón de Reyes” is also well known for the small trinket which is hidden inside. Many years ago, bakers would hide a small dried kidney bean inside; the lucky person who found the bean would have the honour of paying for the whole cake!

Nowadays, its rare to find Roscones with beans inside. Times are-a-changing and the bean has been replaced by ceramic or plastic figures and even the significance has changed…..now, if you find the prize, you no longer have to pay for the whole cake (great relief!), instead, you are blessed with good luck for the whole year (start buying those lottery tickets!).

If you are in one of the bigger cities like Madrid or Barcelona, you might want to look out for bakers who are using creative marketing techniques to sell more Roscones: Many have started advertising the fact that one of their “Roscones de Navidad” doesn’t contain a plastic figure…..it contains a 500 Euro bill!!! Now there’s a nice gift for 3 kings :-)

Photos from the New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner

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The New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner which was held in the Oasis Restaurant was a great success! Over 150 guests enjoyed an evening of great food, live music and dancing to welcome the new year.

Our undercover reporter managed to take a few pictures of the evening which we have included in the gallery below. See for yourselves what was on the menu (the dessert looked particularly amazing!), photos from behind the scenes in the kitchen, and guests having a a great time!!!

Have you Tried the “Spicy” Tapas at This Years Erotic Tapas Route in Fuengirola?

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Ruta de la Tapa Erotica Fuengirola

"Passport" for the event

For the 2nd Year running, the Town of Fuengirola has organised a slightly different and, should we say, risqué event: An Erotic Tapas Route! It was a great success last year so they decided to repeat and so far feedback has been great.

So what’s it all about? Well, the idea is to promote bars and restaurants in Fuengirola by adding a little fun to the traditional tapas experience. All participating establishments prepare an “erotic” tapa of their choice which customers can order as they make their way around Fuengirola on the tapas route. It’s incredible to see the imagination that goes in to some of these creations! The video below, although in Spanish, will give you an idea of what to expect as you visit the bars and restaurants taking place in the event.

If you are interested in participating, all you have to do is collect a “Passport” (see photo) which includes a map and all participating establishments. The aim is to get the passport stamped in at least 10 different establishments; once completed, you can write down your favourite tapa and then hand in the passport at the Fuengirola Tourist Office. Make sure you do this because everyone who hands in their passport gets a surprise gift (while stocks last) and also gets to enter into a fantastic prize draw. Prizes include the following: Cruises, LCD TV’s, Cameras, Hotel Stays, Lunch & Dinner vouchers and lots more!

Make sure you take a drive down to Fuengirola and take part in this fun event; you’ve got until Sunday the 21st November! Oh, I almost forgot, it’s only €1.50 for a tapa and a drink!

Sunset Beach Club Takes Part in Benalmadena Solidaria’s 1st Gastronomic Event

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new dessert menu

Apple Cannelloni on a Mint Jelly....

Next Sunday the 14th November, Benalmadena Solidaria will hold its 1st Gastronomic Event at the Finca de Los Caballeros (The old “Club Hípico”). This charity lunch includes tasting of a selection of “pinchos & tapas” (these dishes enter a competition), a traditional cabbage dish will all the “trimmings”, and a dessert (you can see a photo of Sunset’s dish in the photo).

Apparently all 300 tickets that were made available for the event have been sold already! The proceeds will be used to feed families in need in the Benalmádena municipality.

Our team of chefs has prepared an interesting pincho for the event…….

“Boquerones filled with traditional porra (traditional dish made with red peppers, garlic, bread, tomato, olive oil, vinegar and anchovies) and served with a shot of ajo blanco (Cold soup made with almonds, garlic)”

Next week I’ll post photos of all the dishes; lets hope that they will be photos of the winning dishes!

The prizes for the establishments that prepare the best tapas are the following: 1st prize of €1000; 2nd prize of €500 and 3rd prize of €300. All entries will be judged on presentation, taste, creativity, quantity, value for money and the recipe description.

New Head Chef for Sunset Beach Club

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Head Chef at Sunset Beach Club

Our New Head Chef - Paul Tugwell

We’re excited to announce the appointment of a New Head Chef at Sunset Beach Club, Paul Tugwell. Originally from Cardiff, Paul has been involved in the hotel and catering business for many years and will undoubtedly bring a wealth of experience to the team here at Sunset.

I had a chance to catch up with Paul earlier on in the week to find out a little bit more about him and what his plans are for Sunset’s kitchens; here’s a summary of what I found out:

Paul started his career by studying at the Barry Island Hotel School. After two years of intense training he headed off to London where he began work as a Commis Chef at the famous Savoy Hotel; it didn’t take long for Paul to establish himself as an integral part of the team, allowing him to work his way up to the position of Sous Chef in the 5 years he spent at the Savoy.

After an intense 5 years in London, it was time to move on and Paul spent the next 9 years in Bath; first at the Royal Crescent hotel and later at Combe Grove Manor. His time in Bath allowed Paul to learn, explore and apply new cooking techniques (this was at a time when Nouvelle Cuisine was revolutionising the industry).

In the mid 1980’s, family commitments – Paul’s wife is Spanish – meant it was time to move to Spain. The Costa del Sol was his chosen destination and has been his home ever since.

Since arriving on the Coast Paul has worked as Head Chef in several well known restaurants; however, one of his most challenging positions was when he was asked to become Head Chef and Lecturer at the Les Roches Hotel School in Marbella. For over 5 years he was responsible for training future hotel managers and chefs at this highly respected hotel school (I’ll tell you a secret……. he even trained our Operations Director, Miguel Marcos!).

For the past 5 years, Paul has been Head Chef at the boutique hotel, La Posada del Torcal, located in the mountains behind Málaga.

Now it’s time for a new challenge here at Sunset Beach Club! Wasting no time at all, Paul is already busy with several projects: The daily menus for half board guests are just about ready (I’ll be sure to post about them as soon as they are!) and the team are busy preparing two special dishes for a charity event and cooking contest next weekend; I’ve seen the dessert they have prepared at it looks fantastic!

The next objective is a completely new dessert menu…..ñuuuummm! I’ll definitely have to report back to you about those,; pictures and all!

Something to look forward to next summer is the plan to include a BBQ buffet in the evenings by the main pools. This will be a welcomed addition to the hotels dining facilities and will no doubt prove to be a hit.

Welcome to the team Paul! I look forward to tasting some one of those new desserts!

Torremolinos Hosts 11th Annual Wine Fair

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Feria del Vino en TorremolinosWine lovers on the Costa del Sol are in for a treat this weekend as Torremolinos hosts the 11th Annual Wine Fair (from the 6th to the 8th November).

This event is the ideal platform for professionals and wine lovers to meet and talk about their passion. Visitors to the fair will also be able to enjoy an educational day out with the fair offering various learning spaces with presentations and wine tasting sessions conducted by well known professionals from the wine industry.

I’d like to highlight the following activities:

1)      Various conferences covering the subject of Mediterranean Food

2)      Wine Tasting Sessions; aimed at visitors who are keen to learn about the “ins and outs” of the wine industry, so important to Spanish and Mediterranean Culture.

3)      Cocktail exhibition and tasting session with Andalucian wines. The Association of Spanish Barmen (ABE) will be preparing 5 different cocktails created with 5 different wines; visitors will have the chance to taste their wonderful creations!

4)      Various competitions, including, the prize to the Best Young Sommelier of Andalucia

During the fair, there will be a daily prize draw for a weekend break for 2 people in a traditional Andalucian holiday destination. This fantastic prize includes 2 nights of accommodation including breakfast and an activity related to wine tourism in the area.

Anyone interested in attending can do so for just 3 Euros, payable at the entrance of the event at the Palacio de Congresos y Exhibiciones of the Costa del Sol.

Photo Credit: thebusybrain

Enjoy Great Tapas at this Year’s “Ruta de la Tapa” in Benalmádena Pueblo

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ruta de la tapa de benalmadena

A Selection of Tapas

The town of Benalmádena celebrates its third “Ruta de la Tapa”. This unique event starts on Friday the 15th October end continues until the 24th October and the town hall hope that it will help to vitalize restaurant activity and attract clients at a time when tourist activity is lower.

So what exactly is a “Ruta de la Tapa”? Well, basically, its an event where various establishments – in this case there are thirty – agree to form part of a gastronomic route that allows participants to sample a wide variety of traditional tapas for a set price which includes a drink – prices at this event are a very reasonable, 1.50 per tapa and drink! – Visitors are given a “passport” which they have to hand in at each establishment they visit so that it can be stamped. At the end of the route, visitors hand in the passports and are then entered into a prize draw where they can win various prizes. All visitors who participate in this year’s event will also be given special handkerchiefs which they will have to wear around their necks; this allows the establishments to identify anyone taking part.

The prizes for this year’s raffle include the following: free breakfast, lunch or dinners at the various restaurants and bars taking part; entrances to some of Benalmadena’s amusement parks and the star price this year: two cruises around the Mediterranean for 4 people!

Definitely a different experience for you to enjoy on your holidays; a great variety of tapas and wines all at very reasonable prices (1.50 Euro for a tapa and drink) and, of course, the chance to win a fantastic cruise!

The “Fiesta del Pescaito” in Benalmádena: Fresh Fish at Fantastic Prices!

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fiesta del pescaito 2010 en benalmadena

Sardines Anyone?

The Costa del Sol is famous for its “Pescaito” (Fish Dishes) with many restaurants and beach bars (chiringuitos) offering a wide selection of fresh fish dishes – boquerones, calamares, Sardines…… –

For many, sitting at a nice little “chiringuito” enjoying some fish and a cool beer or “tinto de verano” is the highlight of their holiday! In that case, you won’t want to miss the Fiesta del Pescaito in Benalmadena this weekend!

From the 8th to the 12th October, all the beach bars and restaurants on the Santa Ana Beach (next to the windmill statue) will be serving all sorts of fish dishes at discounted prices. For example, all plates of fried fish (calamares, boquerones, etc) will cost just €4.50 and all plates of shell fish (prawns, lobster, clams, etc) can be purchased for €7; drinks such as beer and wine will be available at €1.50 per glass.

The reason for these discounts is that the local Business Association of Santa Ana decided to organise this “Fiesta” as a way to mark the end of the summer season. They held a similar event in June and it was a great success with many locals and holiday makers making the most of the great prices to enjoy some traditional “Pescaito”.

Learn How to Make a Paella – Sunset Style!

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Every week, our Entertainment Team carry out cooking lessons for guests who are interested in learning how to make traditional spanish dishes like paella or tortilla. This week I decided to film their cooking skills; it was time to make a Paella!

The actual lessons take place in a make shift kitchen set up by the pool area and as you can see in the video, many of the guests stop by and watch; we are not sure whether the free glasses of wine and chance to taste the finished product have anything to do with this!

I noticed no-one took notes(understandable seeing as they are only in swimwear ;-)) so I decided to make the video into a step by step guide of how to make the paella. If you decide to give it a try and make your own, let us know how you get on! Even better, post a photo of your paella on our Facebook page!

Fancy a Night In? Why Not Take a Peek at our New Take Away Menus

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pizza take takeway at oasis restaurant

Pizza- Choose your Favourite

Our new “Take Away” menus have been printed and are now available in all rooms of the hotel. If you would like to spend an evening in the hotel but can’t be bothered with cooking or eating in one of our restaurants, try ordering something from our new takeaway menu.

You have a great selection to choose from; traditional favourites such as burgers, pizzas and club sandwiches as well as some fantastic Indian and Italian dishes.

It’s really easy, all you have to do is dial the number for the Oasis Restaurant, make your order and then collect your meal at the restaurant on the 1st floor.

You can see the “Take away” menu here. Please let us know what you think.

paella take away

Paella for Two?

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