If Malaga is beautiful by day then it’s no less so at night when it seems to come to life. The morning is quiet and calm with few people around, but through the day life unfolds and by night, there is even dancing on the streets – literally!
It was my last evening. I always like to eat at my favourite restaurant of the trip and end the holiday on a foodie high. So I decided to go back to Vineria Cervantes, where I ate on Friday. It’s closed at lunchtime so I turned up at 5pm when they open to book a table for about 7-8. ‘We’re full,’ the waiter told me. But he seemed to recognise me from two nights before and went to consult his booking list. After some consideration he said he could fit me in at 8.30 and so I thankfully said, yes please. Although I prefer to eat earlier, 8.30 isn’t late by Spain’s standards as they tend to eat very late, maybe 10.30, and I’ve even seen families with young children arrive at restaurants at that late time. However, tapas are eaten earlier for they are really more of a snack to go with an early evening drink, like cichetti in Venice, to keep you going until supper time. But I’m living on tapas here, preferring to eat informally in buzzing tapas bars, and because such a choice of great little tapas is a real treat. I guess that’s pretty touristy of me but in fact there’s always a choice of sizes so it’s possible to eat a ‘starter’ and ‘main’ if you like. And, because some bars, like Vineria Cervantes, don’t serve tapas size late evening, then that’s in effect what I did.
It gets dark here around 8pm at the moment. I left the hotel in plenty of time to wander and enjoy Malaga’s evening sights before eating. I walked to Plaza de la Constitucion – 5 minutes away – and down Calle de Marques de Larios to the port.
As the sun set, the sky was brushed with a wash of pink. Then I walked back up Larios to the square again.
I love the square; it’s so beautiful. I still had plenty of time before eating and sat on a bench for a while to enjoy the view.
The vineria is at the top of Calle de Cárcer and the Teatro Cervantes is easily visibly in front of you as you walk up. The 16th century writer Cervantes, author of Don Quixote, is widely regarded as Spain’s greatest writer.
What a welcoming sight the vineria was. It was busy; a queue was forming. The waiter I’d seen earlier saw me, ‘Hola, Una!’ he called – una being the female word for ‘one’ – and ushered me past the queue and inside.
There’s such a great atmosphere as well as good food. As before I ordered a ‘starter’ and ‘main’ – both raciones, half portions. I also had a glass of white wine followed by a glass of red with my ‘main’.
Marinated anchovies with guacamole and mango purée to begin.
Venison fillet with wild mushrooms and tomato chutney next.
And a dessert of apple pie with vanilla ice cream.
It was all excellent again. When I came out I was in no hurry to go back to the hotel and wanted to wander and make the most of my last evening.
I soon came across a couple dancing and playing flamenco – an older couple and he obviously disabled in a motorised scooter. It was wonderful and the woman had such energy dancing flamenco.
Then, a bit further on by the cathedral, a younger couple were dancing Argentine tango.
The cathedral is stunning by day but perhaps even more so by night. As one often finds in Spain, it was built on the former site of a mosque due to the Moors long reign. The cathedral took two and a half centuries to build, from 1528-1782.
From the front of the cathedral in Plaza Obispo I cut back through almost deserted alleyways to the busy centre.
Then back through Plaza de la Constitucion and into Calle Puerta Nueva.
It’s just a walk from there across a bridge from the historic centre to my hotel. It was a lovely last night.