Girls trip. In Alicante. Need I say more? There is really honestly truthfully I-swear-on-my-mother’s-grave (oh, hi mum!) nothing more invigorating, more empowering, more fun and infinitely more daggy than a girls trip to anywhere. And anywhere with blue skies and endless velvet beaches is a definite bonus.
I mean, girl-bonding is really nothing like boy-bonding. Boy bonding involves… drinking. That’s it, it’s pretty simple the boy thing because well, they are simple. Us on the other hand, we’re multi-faceted, complex creatures. We need depth, conversation, laughter, tears (of laughter), gossip, analyses, bikinis, sunshine, ice cream, bubbly and most of all, we need good food.
The boys, I don’t think they ate at all.
The girls trip was the brainchild of my lovely friend Helen, who’s leaving to head home to Australia next weekend. Having already submitted her resignation, Helen was free to spend copious amounts of hours researching what to do in Alicante (and she came up with 1. sunbake 2. <blank stare>) and what to eat in Alicante.
We shortlisted three venues and before I go on spewing much unlove across the interwebs, I have to say, Alicante’ans love their food salty. Me, not so much. So while I may seem a little meh about two out of the three restaurants we visited, they probably are very good places and well, they had queues. So they really ain’t half bad.
Between lazing by the hotel pool and relocating to the beach, we dropped by Darsena Restaurante for a light lunch (can’t be bloated in bikinis now, can we?). Still fresh from Alicante-excitement, we ordered two signature dishes ~ meatballs Alicante style with red wine sauce and paella Alicante style with chicken & seafood ~ and a standard paella with fish.
Though this place came highly recommended (and the queues were long), the dishes were all so salty that we cleaned up I think 3 x 2L bottles of water (wow, thats a litre each, which is more water than I normally drink in a week! And yes I know, I’m going to be an unhealthy shrivelled up old woman). The highlight of the meal was probably the amuse bouche – a lovely concoction of bacon, tomato, onion and olives.
The afternoon hours were spent lazing on the beach, which was quite literally at the doorstep of our hotel… and after some hours of sunshine…
… we were ready to play again! (Yes! Me! Excited with the champagne!)
Still guzzling water from our lifetime intake of salt (or maybe from the sunbaking, who knows, it’s all a little grey), we really hoped Nou Manolin was all it was supposed to be.
It started well with an amazingly light amuse bouche, something I’m going to call pea mousse because well, it tasted like pea and felt like mousse. Our starters were fantastic ~ artichoke salad with the freshest artichoke and rocket we’d ever tasted, two serves of Bilbao style clams cooked in a broth so delicious we drank it from the bowl (oh yes, my friends and I, we’re classy) and sweetbreads sauteed in tender garlic, which was so very tasty and please don’t think I’m stupid but I thought we’d ordered bread, not offal. But I *heart* offal so it was all good.
The mains were completely forgettable but for the suckling pig (more like leg-of-a-piglet) which had Oh God the most amazing crackling. Every other main ~ goat cutlets, cod, tuna, lobster salad ~ were all too salty, too fishy, too… forgettable.
Now the desserts were the complete opposite of forgettable. Well, lemon sorbet with melon balls and Catalan creme brulee.. been there, done that, right? Right. But here’s something new: Fresh cheese ice cream with raspberry sauce. Sounds like cheesecake? Hah, that’s what we expected but it’s like digging into a spoonful of wasabi thinking it was guacamole. Looks like vanilla ice cream? Stings like a fucking punch in the face.
Blue. Cheese. In. An. Ice. Cream. Ball. YUCK.
I don’t like blue cheese. Can you tell?
I almost gagged. I definitely died for a moment.
But everyone else, everyone who likes cheese, omg, they loooooved it. Unique, ridiculous and amazing, all in one. If you’re a cheese fan, you have got to try it, even if it means you have to travel all the way to Alicante and lie on the beach for a few days. Life’s sometimes hard like that.
Saturday night was spent in a fit of champagne and girlie giggles and um… there are no share-able photos, so moving right along!
Senzone Tapas Bar
Lunch at Senzone Tapas Bar was my favourite meal of the trip, not because it was the only time we actually had tapas, but because it actually tasted good! We ordered a variety of yummies, including gazpacho in a cocktail glass; grilled vegetables; honey chorizo; meatballs with handcut chips; aubergine with brie and crispy bacon; potato omelette; tomato salad; and cojonudo (quail eggs with sausage and peppers).
All of the food at Senzone was divine, except that they forgot our grilled octopus but everything else, including the service and lovely courtyard more than made up for it.
We left Alicante a little rounder in the tummy, a little more tanned and missing a small piece of our hearts (we really don’t want Helen to leave). But life goes on and Helen, she’s going home to make babies, lots of them, so when we come back, we’ll have a whole clan to play with!
Oh hi Helen! Didn’t know you read this blog 😉