San Pedro’s evolving commercial centre La Colonia was built by an expat

With a fantastic range of shops, services and restaurants, all in one easy location with ample free parking La Colonia is a hub of activity writes Laurence Dollimore

LAST UPDATED: 18 Oct, 2017 @ 13:32
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IT is probably best known as the home of McDonald’s and Dia, squatting beside the A7 on the outskirts of San Pedro.

But La Colonia shopping centre has so much more to offer, with a fantastic range of shops, services and restaurants, all in one easy location with ample free parking. One of the true nerve centres of San Pedro, anybody who has lived on the coast for a while will have used Passion Cafe or Cafe Verona for social and business meetings … perhaps before popping into the Twist boutique next door, or the interior shops La Casa Bonita and King of Cotton.

Cafe Verona

With a golf shop, an opticians, a butcher, a card shop, florist and even a pet emporium all sitting cheek by jowl it’s a great one-stop shop for most things you need. It is even the home of radio station Talk Radio Europe. And now there is an even better reason to visit the centre, with a fabulous new boutique wine shop opened here.

Called Terroirs, this is the brainchild of Juan Carlos Mackintosh, a long time wine lover, who has worked in the business for over a decade. A wonderful selection of bottles from around Spain, as well as from around the world, this is one of the coast’s most exciting places to stock up. In particular look out for his interesting local wines from the Axarquia, Jerez and Ronda, as well as his picks from the north of Spain.

While at La Colonia, make sure to pop upstairs and say hello to Liana Varini, who is fast becoming one of the coast’s top interior designers. She and her reliable sidekick Cesar, from San Sebastian, are extremely knowledgeable on everything from wallpaper to materials and both have an exquisite eye.

Liana, a former Emirates air hostess, acquired her qualifications in her home country of Italy – all while serving high-flying travellers. She has opened her shop to capitalise on the international set that frequents the centre. “I want to tap more into the European and Russian markets as well as hold on to my Middle Eastern ones and this spot is great for that,” she says. “It’s very central on the costa, right next to Marbella and Estepona, and the roads make it very accessible so I can travel back and forth very easily.”

La Colonia’s clientele has expanded a lot over recent years with the key changes in San Pedro. “There is a lot more footfall now,” explains Jane Clark, who has been running the Twist Boutique for a de-cade. “The shops bring a wide group of people which means more business… you can literally get everything you need from one centre.”

Passion Cafe

In terms of the mix of clientele, Irishman Malcolm Spendlove, who owns Passion Cafe, explains: “We see all types of eaters from businessmen having meetings, families grabbing lunch as well as loads of the locals.”

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