Arcticterntalk.org

The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Archive for the tag “food”

Thoughts on Benalmadena Costa After Two Years Away


Two years has probably been the longest that I have spent away from the town. Since then Brexit has rumbled on, house prices have risen in UK and the currency exchange rates have become criminal. Anyone foolish enough to exchange at Gatwick would have received the princely sum of 0.97€ for every donated pound. So it was with interest and some trepidation that I came over.

The reality is that things are really good here and the town is thriving substantially more than two years ago. Walking down Avenida Las Palmeras there are few vacant shops and restaurants. Only Crumbles seems a casualty. Maybe also a reflection that there seem far fewer British folks here and the cafes serving British food seem to have got fewer. Whereas the multi item emporiums have not only thrived but have a higher quality of goods . They have moved on from the Poundland approach .

On the downside the beach renovation will entice fewer down to Playa Santa Ana. A huge portion of the town beach is out of action meaning that local alternatives such as Playa Carvajal get visited. Maybe my imagination but the seafront mostly fish restaurants seemed a little quieter too.

Building seems to have recommenced after a hiatus of a few years.

After the crazy years of ten years ago when developers seriously thought they could build almost to the top of the cable car mountain, things seemed to go quiet . A lot more building is going on around the Peublo area.

However The unfinished buildings remain and from a distance the graffiti scrawled on the walls suggests unwanted visitors. Will these ever get completed?

Car parking remains complex. Street parking on the roads leading out of town seem the only realistic option.

New restaurants have emerged. Lemon and Lime next to the taxi rank seems thriving with tables packed all day serving modern tapas. A return maybe to the traditional way of eating and drinking. Maybe there is still room for another bar though. Some of the old venues seem timeless. Harry’s Restro must have been here more than 10 years and serves one of the best curries I have had anywhere in the world. Cherry’s remains untouched. The Meeting Point is a great concept. Coffee and cakes ! Some empanadas too!

Not all bars and restaurants accept credit cards though. Buona Sana Italiana next door to Harry’s Restro is an example . But serving the best pizza and pasta in Benalmadena.

Still a fair few small dogs around and sadly still owners not picking up after them. There is no excuse. The parakeets have multiplied and are increasingly vocal.

So things seem better than two years ago and this great town and community is clearly thriving

York Marriott. Could Their 3-course menu for £21 be the best bargain in UK?


Many hotels hardly seem to bother with their restaurants. They charge inflated prices to guests for often very average breakfasts and evening meals are often lazy affairs. Charging upwards of £20 for an average steak in a soulless environment. York Marriott is bucking the trend . During a recent stay a decision was made to eat and drink in the hotel as the bar and restaurant areas looked welcoming . The bar had a good selection of beers and the restaurant a decent menu. I took a decision to eat off the three course for £21 menu where there were 4-5 choices for each course . The food was delicious and the ambience great .

Bread cost an extra £3.50 but there was plenty for three and came with oils and butters. My starter was an excellent fish salad and not small either

Others chose Leek and Potato soup

Fish pie and Chocolate tart completed my feast .

Lastly the service was good and people serving happy and smiling, not always a given in hotel restaurants. If you happen to stay here it is well worth eating and drinking here too.

Food Photos . Do They Make You Hungry ?


Reethi Beach Resort Maldives


Reethi Beach is one of the newer resorts in Maldives. For those not familiar with Maldives, they are essentially a series of islands, some of which have been transformed into resorts.

Reethi Beach is a good resort although the complexity of travel in the Maldives means that getting there might take a bit longer than some other resorts. Flights arrive in Male and for some resorts a speedboat transfer is relatively quick – for example one could be in Kuda Huraa in less than 30 minutes. Most, however, require either a seaplane or an internal flight. Seaplanes look incredibly cool but do not come cheap and can add almost £1000 onto a holiday cost.

Getting to Reethi Beach requires an internal flight, then a short bus ride and finally a 20 minutes boat transfer each with its obligatory delay. So upfront I will say that the only negative about Reethi Beach is having arrived in Male at 8.30 am it was near enough 13.00 before arriving at the resort. The rest is entirely positive. If your bank account allows it seaplane is recommended but also remember a 20 kg luggage maximum and 5kg for hand luggage.

Reethi Beach is one hour ahead of Male time so it operates +5 compared to UK. The island takes maybe 30 minutes to walk around on the beaches.

Accommodation is chalets. A few water bungalows. Chalets are comfortable and clean but this is the Maldives so the occasional insect and cockroach cannot be discounted nor frankly prevented. Meals are buffet style for those on all inclusive. The food is superb beyond belief. Plenty of vegetarian options. The weather depends partially on the seasons, but you can reasonably expect 28-30 C sunshine most days, the occasional full cloudy day but rain showers also most days. These usually come and go in an hour. Beaches are idyllic. You can pay for a whole variety more of course including various dining options and range of water-sports. Snorkelling is not so good as some of the other islands but not too bad. Stingrays come right to the sea edge to get fed at 18.00 but also some with either bigger stomachs or cheaper watches come any time to say hi. Three herons patrol their beach territory and allow you within about 5 metres. Maybe less.

Prices in other locations vary enormously but essentially paying more gets you relatively less. I would personally recommend Reethi Beach for most people unless you expect the luxury that you get from other resorts paying perhaps 3-4 times more.

Things to recommend though. Pay for coffee in the Moodhu bar that sits on stilts over the sea. Views are great and the coffee is sublime . Expect to pay maybe 5$ for a superb hazelnut latte .Around the edges of the island you will find huge man-made sandbags that probably contain more rock than sand, to prevent erosion of the beaches and create some quiet little inlets. As with all Maldivian islands probably a week is enough or ten days maximum. After that maybe most have had enough sun, food and relaxing. I would personally recommend Reethi Beach. All the photos you see here were taken by myself in October 2018. Lastly there is free WiFi in public areas and also if you position yourself on the beaches near the bars and restaurants you can access it there too.

The resort also make more effort with night entertainment than many others. Live music, DJs and Quiz evenings are actually not a bad effort considering the geography.

Salted Caramel Profiteroles


There are various kinds of Salted Caramel Profiteroles. A quick google search will tell you that many of the major supermarkets sell them. Mostly they are small and essentially typical profiteroles but with salted caramel added. And surprisingly cheap . At the end of the post you can see some examples.

Staying at The Curtain Hotel in Shoreditch in the buffet lunch was a rather different version. The outside is crusted and a little crunchy with the base being typical choux pastry . They tasted delicious and for the bakers out there maybe worth making . Size wise they were like small doughnut size and one was plenty! Cannot be certain but suspect they are homemade .

Supermarket Version

Dragonfruit Yoghurt. But How Many Know What Dragonfruit Looks Like?


Muller light yoghurts are fantastic and they keep on experimenting with new and different fruit flavours and combinations.

But the cover of the yogurt pot gives little clue really as to what dragonfruit fruit looks like.

In reality until I saw Dragonfruit on a Maldives breakfast buffet I neither could have guessed what they look like. Taste wise they are quite mellow and separating the dragonfruit from the pineapple might be a little tricky, or interpret that as impossible.

Looking at them unpeeled and ready to eat, but prepared by an excellent chef, they look not unlike dominos.  So a few photos to show maybe more what they look like in the Maldives with an excellent chef, than in reality how they might look if I prepared them .

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What Is This Starter? Can Anyone Guess?


This was a starter on a menu in Glasgow Marriott. An unusual option. I chose it and ate it. Delicious . But can anyone work out what it is?

Waffle Jacks American Diner Wimbledon


This is a great place to have a breakfast or lunch. American style food at fair prices. Nice atmosphere .

Sausage bagel can be recommended especially in a jalopeno and cheese bagel . Waffle with ice cream and golden syrup was also far from shabby !

Very Interesting Room Service at Radisson Blu Belfast


While travelling one sees curious things, people and foods. To find this version of room service this morning is up there with the most curious.

My guess is a kind friend left breakfast for someone. Or is it the cheapest breakfast ?

A Restaurant Called Alice. Alice Ristorante Milan. Simply Beyond Brilliant


I am as far from being a restaurant critic as it is possible to be. Having been summoned to a Milan restaurant as part of a group of people one has little idea of what the food will be like and often the style of the food.

Alice Ristorante is situated in a complex with the cute sounding Eataly Milano Smeraldo name. Arriving at the door it seems one has arrived at the Milan equivalent of Waitrose. A large food store selling on three levels various Italian foods. Tucked away on the top floor was Alice Ristorante. A medium size restaurant overlooking the main street where the only obvious landmark was the taxi rank.

The food and the service was beyond brilliant. The group had been pre ordered a menu with accompanying wines.

Depending upon how one counts courses we seemed to have seven. Some of the dishes are best described by looking at the menu here. The only obvious dishes were the excellent sea bass and the risotto.

I cannot recall a better meal. The service was attentive without being overpowering. The white wines were perfectly chilled. The food looked and tasted superb. Cost? I have no idea.

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