This latest addition to Marbella Club is in my mind, its most magical, thanks to its dreamy garden setting, creative décor, and a menu that invites you to allow lunch to leisurely continue right through to dinner! It’s one of those special places that you just don’t want to leave, writes Andrew Forbes (The Luxury Editor).
Calabrian-born Head Chef Armando Codispoti, together with Turkish Chef Esra Muslu of Ottolenghi and Soho House Istanbul, create meals layered with Mediterranean flavours, including eastern spices, aromatic herbs, and fresh citrus notes.
El Patio is a captivating garden terrace restaurant, including a beautifully designed interior dining room, with adjacent, impressive circular indoor bar, is open from morning coffee to late night, with an evolving menu and ambiance that suits the different moments throughout the day.
Start the day with a coffee on the terrace, or order breakfast from toasted granola with poached peaches, or maybe the smashed avocado with organic poached eggs and Aleppo chilli.
All Day Dining
Available from a little after noon, the lunch menu brings refreshing dishes full of summer flavours, like watermelon with lime and chilli jam, and tasty seasonal salads. El Patio’s signature, lion-shaped oven is fired up for preparing perfect hand-tossed pizzas with plenty of Mediterranean attitude, with names like ‘El Boss’ or ‘La Simo’.
Tardeo is the moment for snacks and light bites, and Mediterranean cocktails – stretching out the day and setting the scene for a long summer night.
Dinner at El Patio
My recent visit to El Patio was for dinner. What a glorious time to enjoy this iconic courtyard! As the sun begins to cast long shadows across the gardens of Marbella Club, El Patio becomes fragrant with jasmine. Tables set around the fountain, and on the terraces are illuminated with small lamps, whilst overhead abundant twinkling lights fill the vines.
Inside, the dining room has a welcoming glow, the walls adorned with vintage photography from the Marbella Club archives and features include hand crafted ceramics and a stunning fireplace.
The relaxed evening menu has doesn’t follow a formal order of first or second plates, but instead groups dishes together, like Salads; Raw, Charcuterie & Cheese; Vegetables; From The Fire; and signature Plates. Just order and share.
I tried the wild sea bass carpaccio, as well as the burrata with charred peaches – two plates to share made a wonderful way to start the evening, accompanied by a glass of aromatic Spanish Sauvignon Blanc by Finca La Colina, from the drinks menu curated by Marc Álvarez (from Adrià brothers and the El Barri restaurant group).
The open grill is a feature of the outside restaurant, surrounded with vintage copper pots and Iberian ceramic bowls. The chefs prepared us a delicious Oyster blade Wagyu steak, and also the Octopus with chilli, pickled shallots, and a tempting chorizo aioli.
If you and your guests have a real appetite, try the wood roasted whole organic chicken with hay-flamed caramelised onions.
Puddings can also be accompanied by beautifully prepared cocktails, designed by Marbella Club’s mixologist, Nelson Gallo.
The atmosphere evolves as the night goes on. The mellow soundtrack gets dialled up as the sun sets and the air is filled with a sophisticated mix of Mediterranean funk, boogie, and soul.
El Patio is the latest, and final addition to the hotel’s Clubhouse – a sophisticated, vibrant social hub that is richly evocation of the resort’s evolution from private hideaway to exclusive hotel in the 1950s.
The Clubhouse epitomises the best things in life – food, drink, fun, friendship, and family – and is a fitting tribute to the hotel’s original Clubhouse that acted as a purposefully low-key hangout for Prince Alfonso and his illustrious friends over 65 years ago. The Clubhouse is a series of convivial, free-flowing indoor and outdoor spaces, all flanked around a lush central patio, where guests will also discover The Grill, where ‘Gaucho’ Roque Juarez Junior brings to life time-tested recipes; Rudi’s, a decadent winter den for champagne toasts, tapas and rounds of backgammon; Summer Bar for al fresco cocktails; La Bodega, an expansive wine cellar and scene of wine tastings; and an exquisitely designed private dining space.