ALL around the Guadalhorce Valley you will find vegetable gardens, orchards and fields of crops.
And with such a fabulous range of local produce it is no surprise you can eat well here.
Few places are more authentic than the charming Bohemia restaurant in Coin.
Run by creative owner Pedro Trillo, it is full of antique furniture and a range of Pedro’s amazing knitted tapestries on the wall, worth a visit alone.
But you are here for the food, which is classic soul food with a heavy emphasis on vegetables and, in particular, I loved the aubergines layered with salmon, parmesan, chives, caviar and cherry tomatoes. The courgettes stuffed with goat’s cheese were amazing too and the portions are of an excellent size.
Also in Coin check out Casa Paco which has an amazing range of fresh fish and seafood and has been running since 1985 with current owner Juan starting to work there at the ripe old age of 16.
A livewire, he works extremely hard and this is one of the genuine ‘dining secrets’ of Andalucia.
Also in Coin you might want to check out Mumtaz Mahal, a popular, well established Indian restaurant.
The food is always good and you can sit on the terrace or in the charming interior.
Another great dining spot is Finca La Mota on the outskirts of Alhaurin, which sits in its own secret valley.
A classic rural idyll, the diners are spoilt with a great mix of international dishes, with a slant on the oriental, Moroccan and Thai.
Meanwhile you must try herring on brown bread, the the chicken satay and a splendid ‘zarzuela’, which has a top mix of shellfish, rosada and langoustines.
The Thai prawn and chicken curry came in red, green or yellow depending on your preference for spice and was delicious. The apple strudel was a sure fire winner to end the meal.
Another true star of the valley is Jaap Schaafsma, 31, who I first singled out a decade ago, for my book Dining Secrets of Andalucia, while working at the then-amazing Santa Fe restaurant in Coin.
After it shut in the recession he headed back to his native Holland for a few years, but is now back at the helm at the excellent Castillo de Monda.
It has an inventive menu menu in the valley and is soon to head south to Marbella, where he opens a new restaurant.
You will be spoilt by the cooking from Xavier Sierra, who after working in his parents’ restaurant in France and studying at the best cooking school in Bordeaux, Ecole Hoteliere de Talence, packed up his kitchen utensils and headed to Spain 20 years ago.
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