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The "Guiri" Gourmet

The "Guiri" Gourmet likes his food. He eats well at home, as his wife is an outstanding cook, but they also like to dine out or go on a "tapas" tour. This blog is about some of their experiences, both in Spain and elsewhere.

"Maltesers" for Dinner
Tuesday, April 2, 2024



No, not a feast of Mars bars! We invited our friends from Malta round for an evening meal! People from this Mediterranean island that lies between Italy and North Africa are called “Maltesers”, aren’t they?




The “Maltesers”

John and Lorraine are the latest guiris (foreigners) to buy a house in Montejaque. Their house is just 50 metres from Casa Rita, my wife’s place there.

I bumped into them last year when they were house-hunting and several times since, and The Meter Maid has met them a couple of times independently of me. We get on very well. John is an avid reader of my website,, so that makes him OK too!

So, on the evening of April Fools’ Day, we invited them to our home in Fuente de la Higuera for a meal.


Arrival, aperitif and starter

They got to us at 6.00 pm. The weather had fortunately improved; instead of the rain and wind of the last week or so, we had bright sunshine, and plenty of daylight, as we’d move the clocks forward the previous day.

So we sat on the front terrace as the sun went down and had our aperitifs and the first course, spicy Maissuppe, sopa de maiz, sweetcorn soup. That went down a treat.

As we drained the last drops from our bowls, it suddenly went cool as the setting sun disappeared behind a cloud. So, we adjourned to the dining room indoors.


Main course and dessert

Next up it was a speciality of Rita’s: paella de mariscos, seafood paella.

Accompanied by a choice of wines, namely a refreshing bone-dry verdejo from Rueda and a young red from Utiel-Requeña, a tempranillo.

Our preference went along gender lines, oddly. White for the ladies and red for the men. Perfect.

After a short break, it was pudding time. Rita had conjured up a zabaglione, which was amazing!



We chatted non-stop the whole time, except while we were eating our dessert, which took our breath away.

We covered many topics, but mainly we talked about Malta, where I had been three times many years ago, including for my first honeymoon in 1975. We also talked about our guests’ plans for the future. They want to move to Spain, to this area, and upgrade to a larger house with a garden and pool.

Lorraine is really keen and John has had enough of his home country, which he feels has been overrun with refugees and other incomers in recent years.

We also talked about practicalities, such as writing a Spanish Will, and buying a car.

They both like the variety of Spain, the cuisine, the landscapes and the architecture, as well as the friendliness of the local people.


Coffee and farewells

After an espresso and more chat we parted company, with a tentative agreement to do a tapeo in Ronda, when they return to Spain in a couple of months time.


© The “Guiri” Gourmet


Further links:

April Fool! (


N.B. Notary Bene (

Where there’s a WILL … the process in Spain - Secret Serrania de Ronda


Acknowledgements (photos):


Karl Smallman (Secret Serrania)

La Vanguardia

Mars confectionery

Mundo deportivo




Aperitif, April Fools’ Day, arrival, buying a car, Casa Rita, dessert,  Fuente de la Higuera, “Guiri” Gourmet, Karl Smallman, main course, Maissuppe, Malta, maltesers, Mars, Mediterranean island, Montejaque, paella de mariscos, pudding, Ronda, Rueda, seafood paella, sopa de maiz, starter, sweetcorn soup, tapeo, tempranillo, The Meter Maid, Utiel-Requeña, verdejo, writing a Spanish Will, zabaglione

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Spis lige brød til
Sunday, March 31, 2024



Spis lige brød til

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

By The “Guiri” Gourmet

          The “Guiri” Gourmet, Claus, Ellen and Rita in Bar La Caña [Photograph by Ashley Brocklehurst]


‘Spis lige brød til’ is Danish and translates to ‘Have some bread with that’. It is a phrase usually used to say take a breath to someone who has worked hard for something difficult.

For the purpose of this article, I am sticking to the literal meaning:


‘Have some bread with that’.

On the eve of Andalucia Day, my wife Rita and I went de tapeo to Ronda with a Danish couple, Claus and Ellen. This recently retired couple from Copenhagen, are touring Spain and Portugal for two months. They drove from Denmark through Germany and France and entered Spain via Catalonia. They are "great Danes"! Boom! Boom!

I met them at my local, Hotel Ronda Valley (formerly Hotel Don Benito) on the Seville Road out of Ronda. They were staying for two nights before heading south to Tarifa, then Cádiz, before entering Portugal.

We struck up an immediate rapport, as a result of which I offered to give them a tapas experience in Ronda. Rita came too. She found Claus and Ellen enchanting.

When we arrived in Ronda, we parked on the carpark at the old Guardia Civil barracks and walked into town. First stop was Toro Tapas, on Calle La Bola (Espinel) where, despite it being very busy, we got a nice table just inside.

We ordered several tapasrabo de toro, chorizo al tinto, tosta de salmón and patatas bravas. Our Danish guests and Rita chose a nice Ronda wine, Lunares, while I stuck to Estrella Galicia beer.

Our lingua franca was English (theirs was nearly as good as mine!) and the conversation flowed: they were interested in us and we in them.





Photo courtesy of Trip Advisor

Next stop was the newish bar, La Caña. Guess who were there; our good friends Michael (Irish), Malcolm (English) and Elaine (Scottish), all three long-term residents of Ronda. 

Michael is a translator, teacher and poet; Elaine is a successful painter and jewellery maker and Malcolm a retired estate agent.

Our foursome grabbed the last available table and were attended by the lovely Laura. Here I chose a beer from JaénEl Alcázar, while my companions went for another Ronda wine Niño León.






Photo courtesy of Trip Advisor


Foodwise it was albondigas, chorizo al tinto (again!), bollo de filete and bollo de calamar both con mojo picón.

After I had a brief chat with a young couple, María from Cataluña and Ashley from England, who were visiting with work, we decided to head back to the carpark and get one last round at one of our favourite bars, Bodega San Francisco. It was heaving but we found a table.


Bodega San Francisco [photo courtesy of Trip Advisor]


Here, the wine connoisseurs took another Ronda wine, this time from Chinchilla. I had an Alhambra 1925 from Granada.










Photo courtesy of Restaurant Guru                                                                                           Photo courtesy of Facebook


We ordered our favourites: aguacate stuffed with seafood and rollito de salmón. Mmmm!


Then, it was back to the valley in their luxury hybrid BMW 504e, fond farewells and off to bed.


©  The “Guiri” Gourmet


Further reading:

Elaine Moore All about Elaine

LOCAL AUTHORS - Help me, Ronda (

Days of (Ronda) Wine… and Roses - Secret Serrania de Ronda


Acknowledgements (Photos):

Ashley Brocklehurst


Restaurant Guru

Trip Advisor



aguacate, albondigas, Alhambra 1925, Andalucia, BMW 504e, Bodega San Francisco, bollo de calamar, bollo de filete, Chinchilla, chorizo al tinto, Claus, Copenhagen, Denmark, El Alcazar, Ellen, Estrella Galicia, Facebook, Granada, Hotel Ronda Valley, Jaen, La Caña, Lunares, mojo picón, Niño Leon, patatas bravas, rabo de toro, Restaurant Guru, rollito de salmón, tapa, Toro Tapas, tosta de salmón


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History of a Ronda tapa
Sunday, March 31, 2024

History of a Ronda tapa

8 October 2020

By The "Guiri" Gourmet

Photo: Panaderia Polvillo


The exquisite ´serranito´ from Ronda is over thirty years old. Inventor Benito González managed to make this tapa a culinary masterpiece, using pork fillet, peppers, ripe tomatoes fresh from the garden and tasty ham.



In 1974, when Tobalo González opened ´Bar Benito´, in the popular San Francisco neighbourhood of Ronda, it was not very common for customers to ask for a tapa.

“Here the farmworkers and the builders’ labourers came and ordered a coffee, a brandy or a glass of wine, but nobody asked for anything to eat,” he said.

But over the years everything changed. His son Benito took over the bar and prepared a complete tapas menu, including ham, cheese, fried fish, scrambled eggs and other delicious delicacies from the Ronda area.

Things worked out well and the tables were filled daily with people keen to eat the best produce from the gardens and farms in the area. But as with everything, you have to keep looking for new ideas.


                                                                                                                       Plaza Ruedo Alameda, Barrio San Francisco, Ronda



One day in 1990, Benito was eating in a restaurant in Sevilla and they served him a plate of steaks, fried peppers, tomato and several slices of ham. As you would expect, it was very tasty and then the idea occurred to him: “What if I put all this in a bread roll and offer it as a tapa?”


How the serranito took off

No sooner said than done. As soon as Benito trialled the first ones, they were an immediate hit and customers began to order what became known as the ´serranito´, a complete and very reasonably-priced tapa, bearing in mind that they normally cost around 1.50 euros [probably a bit more in 2024].

In the hot summer months, Benito would shift up to 400 serranitos a week and there were even foreign tourists who had heard about them and came to ​​try one.

In addition, the tapa spread to most of the bars in Ronda and to many bars and restaurants throughout Andalucía.





Photo: Trip Advisor


To prepare a good serranito you need to bear in mind several important things. First, that the fillet must be from the pork loin; then, that the oil must be virgin olive oil; and the tomatoes must be just ripe. Finally, if the pepper comes from the fields at the bottom of the Tajo, so much the better.

Another thing to bear in mind when preparing an authentic serranito is to use a good quality bread roll baked in Ronda.





Photo: Wikipedia


Author’s note: When I first came to Ronda in 2001, having bought a little flat in the Barrio San Francisco, I introduced myself as a new vecino in the Bar Benito. I was given such a warm welcome by Benito and his regular customers that it became my local whenever I was in town. Sadly, Bar Benito is now closed. Benito retired.


© The “Guiri” Gourmet


Note: An early version of this article first appeared in 2020 here: History of a Ronda tapa - Secret Serrania de Ronda



Karl Smallman

Panaderia Polvillo

Paul Whitelock

Secret Serrania

Trip Advisor




Andalucía, Bar Benito, Barrio San Francisco, Benito, Benito Gonzalez,, fillet, “Guiri” Gourmet, History of a Ronda tapa, Karl Smallman, Panaderia Polvillo, Paul Whitelock, pepper, pork loin, Ronda, Secret Serrania, serranito, Sevilla, Tobalo Gonzalez, tomatoes, Trip Advisor, virgin olive oil, Wikipedia


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Sunday, March 31, 2024

4 March 2023

By The "Guiri" Gourmet


Tapear is all about the tapas, whereas an English pub crawl is all about the beer. For older English folk it’s about sampling a range of cask ales, easy to do in the northwest of England where I used to live. For younger people it’s about guzzling as much disgusting lager or IPA as possible to get as p****d as possible.



Whilst I have to confess that I’ve participated in both English versions in my time, I much prefer the Spanish option. Much more civilised and more enjoyable. 


New places to try

So, off we went to Ronda. Rather than go to the tried and tested bars we know from over a decade and a half of living here, we decided to try out new places.

We started at Bar Mimanuela in Plaza Carmen Abela. It used to be a jeweller’s but since the pandemic it has opened as a rather stylish but unpretentious café bar with a lovely terrace outside the Caja Rural.

A beer and two tapas each for 13 euros was perfectly acceptable. Rita chose snails (caracoles) and mejillones. I had alcachofas con jamón and anchoa cantábrica.


                                                                                                                                                                           Photo: The Olive Press

Well-presented and delicious. The owners are delightful.                                             

Inside they have a permanent exhibition of paintings by Elaine Moore, a Scottish artist long resident in Ronda and a good friend of ours.




                                                                                                                                        Photo: Elaine Moore

Serendipity - bumping into people

We then shuffled up Calle Tiendas to Bar Bodeguita, also unknown to us. And guess who was sitting outside talking on his mobile? None other than Michael Coy, who was "to blame" for me meeting the Meter Maid (yes, you guessed it, the afore-mentioned Rita!) at the Feria de Pedro Romero in September 2008.                                

We hadn’t seen Michael for a while so after warm hugs (Rita, not me!) we joined him at his table. Serendipitously he had been on the phone to Malcolm, who is the husband of the artist Elaine Moore. They were on their way to join us! ¡Qué coincidencia!

Another friend, Hilde from Belgium, was also on her way.

At the table next to us I recognised María, a customer of one of my locals, Venta El Puente in La Indiana.

After a beer and a tapa and some catching up, Rita and I moved on to Tapería La Flamenka, which in a previous incarnation had been my internet café of choice back in the day before smartphones and WiFi at home.

The terrace was full, so we sat at a table for two just inside the door. I kept noticing this fat, long-haired, old guy sitting opposite a beautiful, elegantly dressed septuagenarian lady!

Oh! Blimey! They were us reflected in a mirror!

Also in that bar was Eduardo, another customer from Venta El Puente. Guess who he was with -  Nerea, a waitress from said bar. It was the bar’s dia de descanso. I later established that Nerea and Eduardo are an item. 

The tapas here were arguably the best so far. Again, we had two each plus a drink. 12 euros.                                                                                                                                

Photo: Trip Advisor


Next up was El Almacén. The last time I’d been there was that fateful night with Michael in 2008 when I later met Rita. It was under different management back then. I gather it’s now the hottest place in town.

We had a beer and a tapa each – 7 euros.

It was now quite late, so we decided to head for home. On our way back to the car we passed Pizzería Michelangelo. Sitting outside were Manolo (El Corcho) and his wife Carmen, the owners of Venta el Puente, the local I mentioned earlier. 

What a great night we had spent de tapeo por Ronda.

I must add that Rita’s beers were cervezas sin, as she was driving. 


© The "Guiri" Gourmet



This is an improved version of an article that was originally posted, without photos, at De tapeo en Ronda (



Days of (Ronda) Wine… and Roses - Secret Serrania de Ronda

Early morning coffee in Spain - Secret Serrania de Ronda

Eat out to help out in Spain! - Secret Serrania de Ronda

History of a Ronda tapa - Secret Serrania de Ronda

LOCAL AUTHORS - Help me, Ronda (

MEET THE 'LOCALS' - Help me, Ronda (

RONDA PEOPLE - Help me, Ronda (


Elaine Moore

Eye on Spain

Paul Whitelock

The Olive Press

Trip Advisor




alcachofas con jamón, anchoa cantábrica, Bar Bodeguita, Bar La Flamenka, Bar Mimanuela, beer, Caja Rural, Calle Tiendas,  caracoles, cask ales, cervezas sin, de tapeo por Ronda, Elaine Moore, El Almacén, Eye on Spain, Feria de Pedro Romero, "Guiri" Gourmet, internet café, La Indiana, mejillones, Meter Maid, Michael Coy, Olive Press, Paul Whitelock, Pizzería Michelangelo, Plaza Carmen Abela, pub crawl, snails, tapas, tapear, Trip Advisor, Venta El Puente, Wikipedia

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Eating well in Spain - at home or out and about
Friday, March 29, 2024

Tuesday, March 26, 2024 

By The "Guiri" Gourmet


I like my food. And, although my wife is a fantastic cook (ask anyone who has ever been to our house for dinner; ask also members of the Costa Car Club, for whom she cooked on two occasions when they came to Montejaque (Malaga) some years ago and the hotel had no chef, I do like to go out for a meal or tapas when we can afford it, or even when we can’t, and there is something to celebrate!


New Blog

This new blog will be about our dining experiences, both chez nous and out and about in Spain, Germany, the UK, wherever we happen to be. I hope you find our experiences helpful, interesting and thought-provoking.

To start with I am going to unashamedly regurgitate articles I have posted elsewhere. “Regurgitate” maybe creates the wrong impression, but, hey!



When I met my wifeRita is her name, she was a German living in Montejaque (Malaga). She’s still a German, but although she still owns the Montejaque house, Casa Rita, we don’t live there any longer.

When we started “courting” I invited her to visit me in England where I was living at the time (2008), even though I owned two properties in Ronda (Malaga).

The first time she came to visit me in England, I offered to prepare my “signature dish” in my recently purchased Victorian house (Tunstall Villa), which was a bit down on its luck, by the way, she was thrilled. Although she had been married twice, neither former husband had ever cooked for her.

Pressure or what?

My “tour de force” is grilled asparagus with anchovies as a starter, followed by steak au poivre with a mushroom sauce, sautéed potatoes and broccoli. I don’t do puddings/desserts.

She was not impressed, I have to say. “I would have done it like this”, she quipped. I still think that was unfair, but hey!

We have now been together 16 years (13 married) and I can count on two fingers the number of times she has allowed me to cook a meal.

The last time was Christmas dinner a la inglesa with all the trimmings one Christmas Day before Covid. I thought it was amazing! She was not impressed. Oh well!



So, back to this blog. I will be posting about dining experiences we have had in several countries, predominantly Spain, where we live, but also in France, Germany, the UK and anywhere else we may fetch up in the future.


© The "Guiri" Gourmet



A Menu for You

Paul Whitelock

Rita Whitelock

Serrania Kitchen



A Menu for You, anchovies, asparagus, broccoli, Casa Rita, Christmas dinner a la inglesa, Costa Car Club, "Guiri" Gourmet, Malaga, Montejaque, mushroom sauce, Paul Whitelock, Rita, Rita Whitelock, Ronda, sautéed potatoes, Serrania Kitchen, steak au poivre, tour de force


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