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In common with other lively, outgoing cultures, the Spanish love to socialise and above all they do it around the table. In the old days, families would count on their mums to bear the brunt of the cooking, organising and serving, followed by the task of engaging stacked up towers of washing up, but in modern times it is more convenient to dine out and socialise.

The Spanish concept of tapas bars is perfect for this, offering as it does a happy medium between catching up for a drink and meeting for dinner, and so it is ingrained in the local culture and lovingly taken up by tourists and foreign residents alike. The variety of small-sized tapas dishes is ideal for sharing and forms an easy light meal to accompany drinks with, but in addition, the Marbella area also offers a wide choice of Spanish, regional and international cuisine to enjoy.

Socialising at the table
One of the advantages of socialising around the table is that it is ideally suited to families – including those made up of different generations – as well as to groups of friends. The lively atmosphere enjoyed in this part of the world is further enhanced by a great choice of venues, be it beachside fish and seafood restaurants, hearty country eateries in rustic abodes, lively holiday restaurants or indeed gourmet experiences in elegant environments.

This region has it all to offer, including food from most of the world’s popular cuisines. This means you can choose from Spanish and Andalusian as well as Italian, Greek, Georgian, Russian/Ukrainian, British, French, German, Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Thai, Indian, American, Argentinian, Mexican, Peruvian, Brazilian, Portuguese, Moroccan and Lebanese delicacies. Dining is an important part of life on the Costa del Sol, and one that is integral with a very sociable way of life that follows the seasons, ranging from cosy indoor venues to al fresco lunches and dinners by the sea.

On the New Golden Mile alone – between San Pedro Alcántara and Estepona – there is a growing assortment of dining options to make life even sweeter, and explain why gradually Marbella has become a gastronomic destination in its own right.