The weather finally brightened a little and we raced out to the neighbouring city of Murcia to admire its historic sights and gothic architecture.
Apologies for the photo quality of that one ^, again was busy taking photos on my iPhone before realising this place really deserved some proper beauty snaps.
Again the wind was not playing ball with my hair. It took so many shots to get a photo of me looking semi-decent and these were the best ones we could get, sigh!
Best stick to the never-changing local eye candy then…
We found ourselves serenaded by the sweet melody of a local musician:
Not a bad backdrop to film a music video really…
If I were a better blogger I’d tell you what and where all these places are. I’d tell you that the first (iPhone) photo was the Town Hall, moving on to the famous Cathedral of Murcia, follow that around to wander through the Old Town and you’ll find an abundance of historical gems ranging from the casino (which is no longer free to snoop inside) to the Bell Tower (last pic above) and really you’ll need more than a day to properly explore it all.
But I’m a bad blogger so I don’t really have any further info on all of the above ;)
Also I want to get on to the most exciting part of our day: lunch.
I did a bit of research into what to eat (thank you TripAdvisor) that was relatively inexpensive, very local and highly rated. Oh, and spoke English.
I directed us to El Jumillano, a hole-in-the-wall tapas joint that had the most friendly staff and delicious food.
We were greeted with full smiles and thankfully someone who could offer us good recommendations and explanations to what each dish was. Encouraged by this and being generally famished from a full morning-and-a-half of exploring, we ordered everything.
A small spread and some drinks to begin with, which quickly became a game of find a space on the barside table as our orders began materialising at breakneck speed.
“Tortilla” (that’s Spanish Omelette to you and me) – a fluffy egg and potato cake that literally had me obsessed from the first bite. I more or less polished this one off myself whilst my family watched on.
…It was so egg-cellent I would only allow them to be spec-taters!
Sorry, couldn’t resist.
“Marinera” – a local favourite of looped breadstick topped with Ensaladilla Rusa (a creamy potato and tuna salad with pickled cucumbers, carrots & olives. ‘Russian?’ – Go figure) and an anchovy. This got messy as soon as I bit the breadstick. Nooot a fan of their breadsticks as I found them to be quite hard where I like my breadsticks delicately crisp but the Russian salad & anchovy worked a treat.
Again this was all mine. I am not a pig, I swear…
“Calamares” – tender octopus/squid chunks in a rich tomatoey sauce, which went so perfectly with the tortilla I once again pretty much claimed it for myself. Okay this is the last one I didn’t share. Promise.
“Berenjena” – Fried Aubergine.
Okay I lied, this one was mine too. But mum took a bite and liked it so much we ordered more.
“Tigres” – deep fried, creamy, stuffed mussels. I thought there was cheese in it so I sat this one out. My sister liked it so much she took mine as well.
“Berenjena a la”… something. A cheesy, meaty aubergine bake. Again I’m cheese-adverse but my family enjoyed it.
“Obama” – no idea why it’s named after the US President but it’s king prawn wrapped in thin strips of cheese, bacon and courgette. Then deep-fried I presume. For the parents.
“Bacalao” – deep fried breaded cod. A bit heavy.
“Caballito” – deep fried breaded shrimp. Also a bit heavy, but very tasty.
Stuffed to the brim, I began drifting into a food coma whilst mum began eyeing all the small coffee shots everyone around us seemed to be getting. So, without knowing what it was, I ordered one to try.
Our charming waiter advised that it’s called a “Belmonte”: a shot of espresso with condensed milk and alcohol.
Me: What type of alcohol?
Him: Anything you want.
Me: I have no idea what I want… what do people usually get? And how much do you put in?
Him: *laughs and shrugs*
Me: Ok surprise me.
Him: *whacks down full bottle of brandy on the counter* take as much as you want.
Pour in a lid-ful:
And whatever you do, don’t add sugar. The condensed milk is sweet enough.
Both my parents took a sip and loved it. We wouldn’t drink anything else for the rest of our trip and Mum loved it so much she recently bought a bottle of brandy to recreate it at home.
Now that the meal’s over, I know, you must be dying to find out… how much did it cost?!
All that delicious food, fantastic service, drinks and entertainment (the staff are hilarious) came to a whopping grand total of… 36.00€. Yes, I kid you not: thirty-six Euros. In total. Including 3 beers, a glass of wine and alcoholic coffee (which may be one of the greatest inventions known to man).
I cannot recommend this place enough. If you’re ever in Murcia I fully encourage you to go. Order the Spanish omelette and the octopus/squid. And another portion for whoever you’re there with ;)