Ping! An email arrived from Carol suggesting that as our friend Linda was spending several weeks in the UK we should continue to do a ‘ladies wot lunch’. As it happened she had only arrived on the island on Monday so it was nice that on Wednesday her OH Ben also came along as did Jim so we could all have a catch up. The next thing was where to go?
When we first moved to Chayofa almost 9 years ago, we had a couple of restaurants the Finca del Arte (part restaurant part art gallery) was one of these. In my opinion the food was never great, opening hours always seemed a bit hit and miss but I loved to rummage around the gallery. They always had an excellent selection of paintings, jewellery, sculptures even if they were priced beyond my pocket. Sadly it couldn’t survive with such haphazard arrangements and menu and eventually it closed. Looking through a few old pictures this is how the Finca del Arte used to look. A bit run down, but I liked the bright blue sculptures amongst the trees; it was a landmark and point of interest in our tiny village.
Over the past year or so I have watched a transformation as a new restaurant has slowly awoken from the remains of the old.
A large car park has been added. Whilst locals could always walk, if any ‘outsider’ wished to visit it was difficult parking in the narrow one way system. Then the rough ground opposite the restaurant that occasionally had a few straggly tomatoes, onions and banana trees growing was turned into what looked like well attended allotments. It turns out that this land belongs to the restaurant and it is the source of all the fruit and vegetables served with meals.
Respect has got to go to any restaurant which offers fresh vegetables let alone one where you can actually see them being planted and growing. But La Finca doesn’t only offer fresh vegetables the meat and fish are also top quality.
So four of us met and found a spot in the sun. We were offered menus in Spanish and Spanglish but we managed fine, the menu is familiar enough not to be scary, but still very Canarian. We order the salad as we wanted to see just how fresh the vegetables were and they were very good. The men went for meat and also helped themselves to our baby octopus, Pimiento de Padrón and picked at our Manchego while we did the same with the crusty bread, and papas arrugadas. We didn´t order but there was also a bowl of homemade chips if we should still need more food. To say the table was groaning under the weight of all the food is an understatement but every morsel was delicious.
We had wine and soft drinks and followed with coffee and finally after several hours in a lovely relaxed setting we asked for the bill. It’s important to bear in mind that the pricing here is slightly more than some village restaurants, probably more in line with eateries in the nearby resorts, however we were very pleased that including the tip it was €15 per person. Can´t be robbed for that. Because it is very Canarian the service like the location is relaxed in a good way and there’s nothing sloppy, despite the comings and goings of several groups of diners on this weekday afternoon.
Despite it being tucked-away it never ceases to amaze that whenever I pass there is always someone enjoying a meal and now I know why. It is a credit to the owners what they have done and the village should be proud to have such a lovely place in its midst.