WHEN my boyfriend booked his flights to come see me in Spain, he had big plans to catch some much-needed rays on the beach.
Turns out his views weren’t shared by the weather gods, who had plans to fill his Costa del Sol weekend mini-break with drizzle instead.
But as it turned out, the dull weather brought with it the perfect opportunity to do some exploring together in my nearest city, the wonderful Málaga.
It’s overlooked by a surprising amount of Brits whose one mission is to turn themselves slowly like hot dogs on the sand in the resorts further east or west.
Brimming with museums and art galleries, Malaga is the the place to go for those rainy days, as well as the sunny ones, thanks to its own beach and glut of outside access bars.
And for vegans, well, a trip to Andalucia’s second city is a perfect excuse to stock up on calories after salad eating in the smaller, not so vegan-friendly towns elsewhere.
I won’t lie, Madrid and Barcelona are more on the pulse when it comes to the amount of dedicated vegan fare.
But smaller Malaga can be a little oasis for vegan travellers in Andalucia, especially for those who are prepared to dig around.
I’d found vegetarian restaurant Cañadú on a previous solo trip, but being skint, felt that a Mercadona hummus and baguette lunch was the only way to go.
But being back there on a date meant that I didn’t need much convincing to this time splash out.
Nabbing the last free table, it seemed that many other people had had the same idea as us that lunchtime.
Cañadú normally boasts the classic Espanol menu al dia – a god send for indecisive vegans like me, who become as dumbstruck by too many food choices as a five-year-old in xxx for the first time.
But there was no such luck at the height of the festive season.
Still, I’m not going to complain about having a large menu choice in Spain any time soon…
I was almost drawn in by the spicy tofu and pineapple salad until I looked outside and remembered how cold and damp it was.
It was the Persian rice that arrived at my table- a medley of brown rice, tofu, mushrooms and nuts.
Not so much an attempt at being healthy in winter, it was rather a way to ensure I could squeeze in a dessert and several Malaga Virgen sweet wines later.
I certainly didn’t miss out for being healthy. The taste and texture made it the comfort food I’d being trying (and failing) to find in Spain.
The piece de resistance were the nuts- is this a purely vegan thing or does everyone give a dish a great review based on a few toasted hazelnuts??
Boyfriend Will (no, I’d not quite forgotten about him) was on the accidental cream-filled diet, with 90% of the things that ended up on his plates over the weekend covered in the stuff.
He swears he doesn’t like it but I’m not sure for how much longer even he can keep lying to himself ;).
The ‘well-spiced’ cream extravaganza came with soya meatballs and rice. If you have a cream-loving friend who just won’t give up the udder, this could be just what they’re after.