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my torrevieja diary

One year living in Torrevieja. What to do, where to go, what to see, the good and the not so good, a personal Torrevieja guide.

The Casino, a spot of glamour in Torrevieja
12 January 2015 @ 16:23

I haven´t said this before, but my travel blog is called The name, I think, says it all. When I first came to Torrevieja, I noticed very quickly that you can call the place a lot of things, but glamorous is not one of them. No Chanel boutique, no Dior, no Versace, no Spanish fashion designers either and definitely no `Manolos`. The fashion shops I found do carry some pretty things and the chain Rivera has all the best perfumes and cosmetics. So, all is not lost.

Finding my way around and walking along the promenade, I happened upon the Casino and, lo and behold, glamour looked back at me.

For those who kindly read this post but don´t live in Spain, I have to explain that these casinos which you find in many places, have nothing to do with gambling. They are cultural and social clubs in beautiful buildings where members meet to socialize, eat, drink and attend the various cultural functions organised by the society. The casinos are open to everybody, but only members are allowed to sit at the window tables and use a private loo.

Torrevieja´s Casino is a fine example of a splendid mixture of Art Deco, Classical and Andalucian style with some Arabic elements thrown in. It opened in 1867 and got its present shape in 1905. As a little anecdote: only since 1997 is membership open to women.

The wrought iron facade and columns give shade to the tables forming the terrace with nice views of the sea, the marina and the nearby Real Club Nautico. The main room which is also the venue for concerts, recitals and conferences is decorated with mirrors, paintings and chandeliers with the famous window seats and tables and comfortable chairs for everybody else. It´s an ideal meeting place because it´s easy to find and the tables are spaced apart so you can have a conversation without everybody listening in.

Next comes a dining room in the Arabic style and a bar which serves excellent  hot and cold tapas. A carved wooden staircase with more paintings leads up to private rooms where members can sit and a balcony which is open to the public in summer.

The Casino offers a full menu and is one of the few places where you can have four different kinds of paella for one person. Normally the minimum is two which often leaves a solo diner without his or her coveted paella.

I have been on the look out for other casinos during my trips from Torrevieja and the most Impressive I found so far is in Murcia. However, the one in Torrevieja isn´t far behind, just a bit smaller and certainly a place which evokes the glamour of times gone by.

The casino in Murcia

I have since then become a member as foreigners are admitted too as long as they are residents. All you have to do is ask a member of stuff for an application form and have another member vouch for you. The monthly contribution is €18. I personally couldn´t have asked for a better ´local´ and I´m very much looking forward to attending one of the functions.

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RiojaRosie said:
12 January 2015 @ 23:22

I cannot wait to visit the casino Inka. Hopefully it won't be too long before I can see it for myself. Rx

Hilda Black said:
13 January 2015 @ 17:31

I agree these buildings are absolutely beautiful (although only visited one so far). We had walked passed the Casino in Murcia several times, before reading on the internet that entry was free. The next time we went there, my husband and I visited, and were pleasantly surprised at the beauty of this place - worth a visit.

olivia farrelly1061 said:
17 January 2015 @ 15:54

Have been there several times for a coffee but never went inside.Didnt realise its significance. Next time Im there will definitely go inside for a looksy.

lilypond said:
24 January 2015 @ 16:42

By all means, go. It´s just so beautiful and, surprisingly, not at all expensive.

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