San Miguel de Salinas – Comaskey Properties

I woke up the other morning with nothing to do so I decided that since I am now living in Spain in the Orihuela Costa, let’s do something Spanish. I spent most of the morning trying to decide what we had in the area that was truly Spanish, but to no avail. I live in Villamartin which is the largest ”Little England” in Spain, you don’t even have to speak Spanish to live here and the grocery stores sell mostly English products. Even the local English newspapers are on offer although at an exorbitant price and we pay it! But then all in this area of La Zenia and Cabo Roig things are dearer s it is a tourist haunt.

Back to something Spanish and the only thing I could come up with that is not to far away is the village of San Miguel de Salinas. I have ventured here on numerous occasions and to date have never been disappointed in anything that I chose to do. Today I thought that a visit to one of my old haunts was in order so off I went to the Nut House, not that anybody is crazy there or do you have to be to go there. It’s because they give you peanuts and crisp with your drinks, that’s right it’s a bar or more to the point a Spanish Bar and not far from home in La Zenia.

To reach your destination is a drive through the countryside on a little windy road surrounded by citrus groves and some vegetable plots, there is even some almond trees along the way to enjoy. This is way out of the normal scenery in my area of Cabo Roig and La Zenia. Once you reach the village you will find the Nut House down a little back street off of the village square. You are best to find a place to park your car as parking at the Nut House is at best non-existence. When you walk along the narrow streets you begin to get into that Spanish mood as you watch the little old ladies setting on the stoop preparing vegetables for the evening meal while the men do their job of smoking and talking about the day and anything else that comes to mind. As you walk along, in your own little world, the aromas coming from the kitchens sets your taste buds alight and the snatches of conversations you hear lets you know exactly where you are, in Spain and not some imitation of it.

Upon reaching the bar you are greeted by the owner, Antonio, who has never met a stranger in his life. From the first time you visit the place to the last time he will always remember you. It’s not the tidiest of places and Antonio could use some sprucing up on occasion but you have got to look beyond all of that and you will soon fall in love with the place as I have. Now I have a hard time walking and need a sturdy chair to sit in so when Antonio Jr. sees me approach he rushes inside and brings out a metal chair with a cushion to replace one of the red plastic ones to make it more comfortable for me. Where else could you expect or receive this kind of service. This place reminds me of the ”Cheers Bar” where everybody knows your name, at least the people who work here remember your face. This is a place where you can set for hours outside, slowly sipping your drink while taking in the mountain views or just soak up the atmosphere for this is an example of what you expect to find in Spain, its heritage and its culture. Now that you have found your seat try to speak a little Spanish when you order your drinks as it will be greatly appreciated. Antonio Jr. speaks a little English so with that in mind you can get what you need. The drinks are served, which are of generous portions and inexpensive compared to the area where I live. You also get a plate of crisp and peanuts to wash down with your drinks. Now if you stay a while, let’s say three rounds of drinks, from no where there appears plates of melon, tomatoes, ham or cheese all for free just to show Antonio’s appreciation for your patronage. It’s these little things that makes the Nut House a place to remember. It’s the people that own or work in this place that make it what it is and they are trying to hold onto this uniquely Spanish tradition that makes this bar stand out. I know that there are other places around that practice this culture and tradition as this is Spain but I have yet to find one around here.

As Antonio is getting older he talks about selling up and retiring, which I can’t blame him for, but not before my time is up. If he does sell the place it will probably be to some English type person who will put in loud music and TV screens showing all the football games that will destroy this lovely place. Now we only have the odd musician playing his guitar and singing Spanish songs for a short time and then they move on. When you get ready to leave you won’t go unnoticed they really want you to come back and not just for the business. This is the people, the culture and heritage we came in search of when we moved to Spain and what do we do, we create our own little England so we don’t have to associate with the locals!

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