Seven years ago, when I was living alone in Garrucha I used to meet up with a group of friends in a bar on a Friday. We were a mixed bunch, a Spaniard, two French people, a British couple and myself. Most of us would have copas y tapas, which in those days meant a glass of wine or a small beer, and a free tapa. However, the British couple did not drink alcohol and, although often a can of coke would cost more than a glass of wine, you did not get a free tapa with a soft drink in many places! So, we would have two drinks and two tapas each, costing us €4 each, but they would order about 5 or six tapas, ending up paying so much more than each of us.
Well, our Spanish friend, Jose Antonio needed to improve his English, so that he could become a teacher in Spain. He therefore planned to go to England for a few years and work and thus become fluent.
I suggested that we go for a menu del día on the last Friday of his time in Spain, the rest of us paying for his meal, as a send-off present. Everyone agreed it was a fantastic idea, and so I arranged it. On the day we went to a restaurant that had only recently opened, but which already had good reviews. For €10 we got a 3-course meal, with wine and coffee, not bad at all. There was a large choice for all three courses as well, and all of us thoroughly enjoyed our meal, and the time with our dear friend who was soon to leave us.
The man who drank no alcohol commented that the menu del día was a much better option, both financially and for the amount you ate. I therefore suggested that why didn’t I organise a lunch club, once a month on the last Friday, going to different restaurants in Garrucha. This worked well, and then other friends I had who lived in neighbouring Mojácar joined, and mentioned restaurants there we could visit.
Suddenly we were running out of months to visit all the restaurants! The mid-month club was born, meeting on a Wednesday and going anywhere but Garrucha. Then I met John and everything changed, as suddenly I had someone to drive me plus inland, we found even more restaurants to visit.
Then came COVID, and the end of lunch club for a while. It was a wonderful day when 15 of us met again in a very good restaurant near to where we live. However, I was due to have a knee operation, and passed over the reins to someone else while I went into hospital and afterwards recovered.
Now, we have a broad range of places we visit, some of them on the coast, some of them inland. Sadly, we don’t go to Garrucha anymore as, since COVID their prices aren’t as good, and you get better value inland.
There are a few very good places we go on the coast, in Mojácar and in the other direction in Palomares, but we tend to go inland for the majority of our ten lunches, missing out July and August, when some of our members go back to the UK, well it can get a bit warm!
So, there is the history of the lunch club, and when we went recently there were fourteen of us, and a thoroughly enjoyable occasion it was.