WHEN celebs arrive in the Costa del Sol, they call at La Cala.
While Marbella usually means one thing: a full-on, hardcore, hangover-for-a-week partying where dawn means it is time for bed, and breakfast happens at about four in the afternoon, La Cala offers something a little more refined.
This is where Europe’s hip and moneyed rent villas and waft around in their yachts, calling in at the secret the culinary capital of the Costa del Sol.
Take Olivia’s for example, where the atmosphere is always luxurious, relaxed and grown-up.
The sprawling dining area is fresh, clean and very sparkling — not dissimilar to its new wine menu which has been spruced up recently by new recruit and head sommelier Rafael Cebrian.
After coming third in a search for Andalusia’s best sommeliers in 2017, Rafael has arrived at Olivia’s to revitalise the wine list, with a focus on the best local and regional wine from Spain.
“I want to shine a light on what is made right here,” said Rafael who is a qualified winemaker himself. “There is something for everyone. We have all the old favourites that you would expect to see but we are also exploring vegan wine and biodynamic wine too. It is all about keeping up with the times and what the customer wants.”
Indeed, not even a pandemic will stop the good times. This summer? It’s all about the wine pairings. And foodies have plenty to choose from thanks to Rafael, who is leading our tastebuds along with the new Director of Operations and ex-Nobu manager Stephan Guicheteau.
“I love a challenge,” said Stephan. “It is all about the element of surprise. That’s what makes a truly special meal.”
Guests are spoilt for choice here, with so many fantastic foods in season this month that it is difficult to know where to start with wine pairings. Thankfully Stephan and Rafael are here to help. They recommend the tempura king prawns, salt and chilli calamari and kimchi mussels for those looking for something fresh from the coast , that would be a delicious pairing with white wine such as Albarino or Verdejo. Goats cheese salad is the top pick from the garden and, for meat-eaters, there are the temptations of steak and duck. Both would be delicious with a heavy red from Ribera del Duero, Rafael’s favourite. Those with a sweet tooth should try out the specifically selected dessert wines to pair with the new desserts.
And for those looking for something even more unique, Rafael has a VIP wine selection, with drinks you won’t find anywhere else.
“Here we do things a little bit more exclusive,” he said.
13 Calle Torreón,
La Cala de Mijas, Mijas Costa, Spain
+34 952 494 935
+34 952 494 935
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 12:00 p.m.
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