Yesterday, Pam and I joined the band at the Charlot restaurant in Benejuzar for lunch and what a lunch it turned out to be. Lunch following the celebrations for Santa Cecilia is a regular event on the band's calendar - one which we are delighted to be invited to each year.
First off a seafood salad along with bread, garlic mayonnaise and tomato - the bread was half of a large bun toasted and drizzled with olive oil much like the bread served at La Herradura in Los Montesinos.
Then came Manchego cheese and Iberican ham followed by croquettes served in a paper cone which was actually from an English newspaper. We remarked that fish and chips used to be served in newspaper when we were young. Many Spaniards think we still eat out of newspaper and wonder if the print taints the food. No, the food was always wrapped in clean paper - the newspaper was just for insulation to keep it all warm on the way home.
I digress - next out came baby squid with a delightful grilled flavour. Pam doesn't like the look of squid, she does not know what she is missing!
The main course was grilled steak served with chunks of fried potato and green peppers. For those who did not want meat, there was swordfish as an alternative. I can't speak for the fish but the steak was tender and very tasty.
For dessert we had a soft sponge cake and a chocolate mousse.
All of this was washed down with whatever drink took your fancy; beer, wine, water, Coke etc etc.
Best of all was the company; we sat with the Mayor of the town, the President of the band, our neighbours, the new priest and other friends associated with the band and the council. Since none of them spoke English we had to practice our Spanish. They are such delightful people though that we never felt put out or excluded.
Our neighbours, Pepe and Eladia took us there and then invited us back for coffee and brandy at their house across the road. We eventually got home in time to watch Countryfile,