On Sunday 17 March, another gloriously sunny and warm day, we decided to revisit one of our favourite haunts for lunch – Venta las Delicias in Villanueva del Rosario, in the foothills of the Sierra del Jobo mountain range just off the Malaga-Granada road. We arrived there in time to occupy a table in the garden and watched the many local people arrive for drinks and Sunday lunch – it is a highly popular venue among the local farming and hunting fraternity. Our lunches were stews, one of wild boar, the other venison, each being a plate well-covered with tender meat and sauce garnished with local herbs, along with chips, pickled green peppers and “seta” mushrooms. Each dish cost €8! The Rural Hotel and its restaurant are remarkable in being able to produce such delicious food at such a reasonable price. The full car park, full restaurant and lively chatter showed that we are not alone in appreciating good quality and good value.
The tall roadside trees by the entrance to the car park provided more entertainment as we ate. A Mistle Thrush was in full song in the top of one of the trees, but nearby a Spotless Starling had also decided that this sunny Sunday was appropriate for singing. But the Spotless Starling’s song contained good mimicry of parts of the Mistle Thrush’s song phrases. It was hardly a duet but fun to hear and wonder if the vocalisations led to any confusion in the birds!
We returned the following Sunday, a colder cloudy day with a few spots of rain, and joined the noisy throng of people in the restaurant. The food was again delicious and the atmosphere in the dining area, with a large log fire burning in a corner, induced a homely feeling of welcome – a rare treat in days of mass-produced food. On paying another incredibly reasonable bill, we were packed off to face the nearby mountain scenery, albeit on a dull grey day, clutching a loaf of freshly baked local bread kindly given to us by the restaurant manager!
We shall be back!