SPRING is finally here and dining tables are emigrating outdoors to take advantage of the balmy early April weather.
Restaurateurs who have battled their way through the winter – or closed up – are finally back with smiles on their faces.
Easter marks the start of the tourist season officially. It is when tens of thousands of tourists swap rainy northern Europe for balmy Andalucia, T-shirt and shorts at the ready.
Be it the British, the Germans, or the Scandinavians, they are all yearning for some springtime sun, reminiscent of August back home… and, above all, the perfect outdoor table.
As tables in town squares get harder to come by and the beach chiringuitos finally start to open again, it is clear that the al fresco dining season is underway.
With a tapa in one hand and a chilled drink in the other, you may well ask yourself if there is any place in the world you’d rather be than Andalucia right now.
“Lets face it where else in Europe can you be sitting outdoors in glorious sunshine at this time of year?” asks restaurateur Mona Crites, of charming outdoor dining spot Al Lago, in Zahara de la Sierra, near Ronda.
“The spring flowers and blossom is out, the views, the colours, it feels like you are alive again after a long, hard winter.”
Dining outside is certainly one of life’s simple pleasures in this part of the world.
It helps to titillate the taste buds and helps to loosen the tongue.
And in Spain, eating in the aire libre promises some of the best people-watching in all of Europe.
With extended Spanish families all gathered around the communal table – grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and their immaculately turned-out little ones – you really do see life on a plate!
Whether you head inland to the Guadalhorce Valley or the Serrania de Ronda’s numerous rural restaurants – including Molino del Santo or el Muelle de Arriate – there are so many fabulous dining terrace options.
In the Axarquia look no further than Frigiliana’s amazing El Jardin restaurant, or Las Orquideas, near Lake Vinuela.
Then you might prefer to wriggle your toes in the sand at a relaxed beach café on the Costa de la Luz, or on the Costa del Sol, where stand out spots include The Beach House in Elviria.
And don’t forget the cities such as Sevilla and Cordoba, or Malaga, which has been dubbed ‘the new Barcelona’ (you read it first in the Olive Press).
Even if you’re dining ‘in’ (meaning at home), shift the dining table onto your patio or balcony and light those candles in celebration of the new season.
Just don’t blame us when your green-with-envy Instagram friends decide to book a table chez vous and descend for the whole of the summer!
Here Dining Secrets of Andalucia, the region’s top website for restaurants, picks out a favourite place to visit for outdoor dining Vejer and a top pick for an outdoor table, near Ronda.
Through the month of April we will be doing a special focus on outdoor dining each issue, picking out its highlights and some top tips.
Visit www.diningsecretsofandalucia.com for more information of the best places to eat in Andalucia.
If you would like to advertise your fantastic outdoor spot, contact [email protected] or call 691831399.