The brilliance of Spain’s Costa de la Luz is captivating, deservedly earning its moniker as Andalucía’s Coast of Light. A favourite with water sport enthusiasts and lovers of a more authentic Spanish beach experience, this stretch of unspoilt beaches is a magical destination that is less than 90 minutes from Marbella, writes Andrew Forbes (The Luxury Editor).
Found west of Tarifa town, past the iconic Punta Paloma dunes one finds this special place. The new-look El Mirlo looks a delight in the bright sunlight. Its freshly painted white terraces, decorated with warm Mediterranean blues. The place remains recognisable with the original layout unchanged, and even the barrel tables remaining
Here one feels the freedom of the wildly beautiful Costa de La Luz, close to the emblematic dunes of Punta Paloma.
The shaded terraces of El Miro shelter you from the breezes of the Strait and offer cinematic views as far as the mountains of Morocco.
The tempting new menu has been created by Santiago Guerrero, Executive Chef of the Marbella Club. Classic dishes such as ‘borriquete’ (rockfish from Cadiz bay) have been revived, and there are delicious additions like the local red tuna tartare. Starters continue with tasty grilled sardines pil-pil shrimp, classic tomato salad with onion and sherry vinaigrette, and also grilled octopus. Main dishes include paella and indulgent rice dishes like the rich carabinero scarlet prawn rice (freshly caught from the adjacent Atlantic). There’s of course a wealth of seafood, fish and almadraba tuna dishes and meat dishes from the grill including local retinta beef tenderloin.
Puddings are a delight including local sheep yoghurt from Bolonia with wildflower honey, homemade rice pudding with a caramelised sugar topping with citrus shavings, and a superb flan made with local Payoyo cheese.
Nelson Gallo, Head of Bars at Marbella Club, crafts the cocktail menu, drawing inspiration from the rich natural history of the region and the founding family, with concoctions like ‘El Chico’ a tribute to Rafael Chico, patriarch of the family and native of El Mirlo.
The laid-back, barefoot luxury look is by designer Paola Galiardi.
El Mirlo is open for lunch.
Bar: 11 am – 8 pm
Restaurant: 1 pm – 7 pm
Address: El Mirlo, Punta Paloma S/N, 11380, TARIFA, Cadiz, Spain