Lunch with a View: Benarraba

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I live by a lake, but I still like a wade in a river on a hot sunny day, and one of the best is the Genal. Clear, full of tiny fish, passing river beaches, through open gorges, and under overhanging trees, it has an abundance of natural pools, good for swimming, and good for floating through on a lilo. Best access is off the Guacin-Ronda road, and down the hairpin bend road in the direction of Genalguacil.

What completes the perfect summer day out, is lunch – or dinner – in Benarrabá. That sounds peculiar, as if Benarrabá is like Austin, or St Ives; it’s actually a tiny white village directly below the Gaucin road like a hanging basket, and has a population of around 700. It has a small hotel, Banu Rabbah, super-friendly, with 12 lovely rooms, and extraordinary views over the lush valley and across to distant white villages in distant mountains from the rooms, and the large, flower-filled terrace restaurant. The emphasis is on ecological and vegetarian food, and meals here are a treat. Start with the orange, avocado and mustard seed salad – a perfect example of their original and delicious healthy offering.

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