Travels with a Gourmet

a food lover's travels, memorable meals, culinary trials and gastronomic experiences

After our dinner in Montana, we checked in at the Hotel Larios which is on Malaga’s main pedestrian street, Calle Marques de Larios. The classical facade has been retained while the interiors are art deco. Our corner room overlooked the plaza de la constitucion and had a perfect view of the square and the young people enjoying the warm spring weather on a Friday evening.

Early the next morning, we had breakfast at the Cafe Central . One of the oldest cafes in Malaga, the Central is famous for the unique way one can order coffee from a solo (espresso) to a nube (cloud) and the amount of milk added to it giving all clients a chance to adapt their coffee to their own taste. This historical institution dates back to the beginnings of the 20th century and was actually the site of three different establishments – the Cafe Suizo, the Cafe Munich and the original Cafe Central – which were then combined into one. The walls are decorated with historical photos of the Plaza de la Constitucion. There is also a delicatessen with regional food products from wines and jamon to cheeses and olive oil.

We explored many of the side streets afterwards and noticed that many of the facades were being renovated. There’s a lot to see in Malaga – from 3rd century Roman remains to the impressive 8th century Alcazaba fortress built by the Moors as well as cathedrals and churches from when the Catholics took over the city in 1489. Most of these are within walking distance of the plaza.

We didn’t have time to do all the sights in one day so we chose to just walk around the city center towards the cathedral and then make our way to the museum of Malaga’s most famous son, Pablo Picasso. Opened in 2003, the Picasso museum is in the beautifully restored Buenavista palace, a national monument and an example of 16th century renaissance architecture. The permanent collection of 155 of the artist’s works were donated by Picasso’s grandson and his wife and is composed of oils, sketches, sculptures, ceramics and graphic works which shows the extraordinary and prolific career of the artist. In the museum’s basement there is also an archeological site wherein Phoenician, Roman and Arab remains and ruins were unearthed. There is also a small bookstore and a modern cafe with wonderful outdoor seating in the museum’s garden.

After our visit, we walked slowly back to the hotel, checked out and drove home to spend the rest of Saturday and Sunday with our son along with an armful of the weekend newspapers.

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