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Security - now 'on the agenda'

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Reports of violence in and around the square have been increasing, with almost weekly reports of heavy-handed doormen literally setting upon unsuspecting holidaymakers in unprovoked attacks. There has been much criticism of the police and lack of control around the club areas frequented by the Brits – and last month they employed a private security firm from Valencia to patrol the square – almost an admission that things are out of hand.

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Full steam ahead at Showboat

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The Showboat has new owners – Diane Riley and soon to be husband Gary. The premises which was to become Showboat was originally bought by one of Benidorm’s favourite entertainers – Wayne aka Miss Levi and opened in March 2012, quickly establishing itself as an entertainment hotspot. Together with husband Des the couple built up a thriving restaurant and cabaret entertainment venue, but after 3 years of very hard graft decided it was time to sell up and wind down. The subsequent sale and handover to Karen and Mick Coburn was well documented on Channel 5’s “Bargain Loving Brits in the Sun”, which was broadcast at the beginning of this year. Now the filmcrew are back to record a second series – and yes, they have been following Diane and Gary on their new venture.

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Tapas & Pinchos competition week in Benidorm

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Benidorm is hosting the sixth annual "Tapas and Pinchos" competition – which starts on Saturday June 4 and lasts until Sunday June 12. It is part of the hugely successful Gastronomy Calendar, which aims to highlight and promote the standard and quality of cuisine on offer here in Benidorm.
In total 28 establishments are taking part, many of which are located down Calle Santo Domingo – better known as Tapas Alley, in the Old Town.

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The Algar waterfalls - a must when in Benidorm

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Now that the sun has arrived a must place to visit are the Fonts Algar waterfalls. A fantastic day trip if you are staying in Benidorm, they can be found on the outskirts of the village of Callosa d'En Sarria, aprox 15km outside of the resort. It is a real natural beautyspot and attracts thousands of visitors over the Summer months - both holiday makers and residents. Throughout June the opening times are 9:30am until 5:30pm then in July and August from 8:30am until 8:00pm.

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Trouble at t'mill?

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As the issue of security and what are deemed ‘safe resorts’ come to the forefront ahead of the busy holiday season, tour operators are warning that there will be a shortage of sunshine hotspots to places such as Spain, Portugal and Italy in response to terror attacks. Holiday companies have already seen bookings to Spain up by nearly 40% against last year’s figures and as demand rises for limited places, so inevitably will prices. Security here in the resort has been a contentious issue, thankfully not terrorism related, but lack of policing in general around known ‘crime’ hotspots and boisterous party areas.

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Cocktails on Levante beach? Think again...

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With the sun out, the beaches bustling and lack of beach police – who are not due to start until June, it is heaven for the illegal sellers, particularly on the busy Levante stretch. I spent a couple of hours on the promenade today, observing the comings and goings of these pedlars with sadly not much police presence. Up until 1pm there were at least a dozen but then there must be a shift change – which is probably known to these vendors as they suddenly all appeared. Some walk up and down between the sunbeds with coolbags, shouting Coca Cola, Fanta Limon, Cerveza. Aqua – but the ones that really concern me are those selling ‘cocktails’.

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New Police station and SATE office delayed

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Have you been a victim of crime while here in Benidorm? More importantly, did you report it? Despite promises it is both disappointing and probably expected that the new SATE office and police station in the Rincon de Loix will NOT be ready this year. The SATE office is a special centre where you report crime and manned by the National Police but currently located in the Old Town. Initially Easter was the target for the new one, then moved on to Summer – now construction will not even begin until after the end of the busy holiday season, with a ‘planned’ opening in early 2017. A budget has been allocated but the estimate has not yet been approved, which is what is delaying the start of the building works.

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Ongoing mobility scooter saga

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Servigroup’s outright ban on mobility scooters in all nine of their Benidorm hotels appears to have spurred the police into action. It remains to be seen whether this is just a short-term knee jerk reaction or whether at long last a proper clampdown on misuse is being instigated.

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Benidorm's Medieval Market

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The annual Medieval Market is up and running in Benidorm, located at the Parc d´Elx – or Dove Park, in the Old Town. It is a lot bigger this year and the road that runs parallel with the promenade has been closed to traffic to accommodate stalls. There are random processions, demonstrations and entertainment going on throughout the day and most of the stall holders are dressed in period costume to add to the authenticity.

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Driving in Benidorm

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Driving is a necessity for many, whether to get to work, take children to school or carry out daily chores. When coming on holiday many like the flexibility of a rental car, enabling them to get themselves back and forth to the airport without waiting around for shuttle buses, then using it to explore the surrounding area at leisure - Guadalest, Algar Waterfalls and Calpe all prime examples. Although all are accessible by publice transport you are more flexible with a car.

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Catching up with Johnny Vegas

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Have you ever wondered where the name Johnny Vegas came from – it’s not the one he was born with, that’s Michael Pennington,incase you never knew - but his stage name. Well, one of his favourite films growing up was 'Grease’ – starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton John. The two John’s in those names isn’t the answer but Johnny Casino & The Gamblers – the musical group performing at Rydell’s National Dance-Off was his favourite character. It nearly did remain Casino until a night out with mates, when they decided upon Vegas and so JV was born.

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Benidorm under fire

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It seems as if someone is really determined to destroy Benidorm. Firstly there is the ongoing saga at Tiki Beach – which could set a precedent for many other bars and clubs, especially along the Levante front. Now Calle Santo Domingo and San Miguel in the heart of the Old Town – better known as Tapas Alley are being targeted.

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The boys that make up ShoeWaddyWaddy

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One of Benidorm’s most colourful groups on the entertainment circuit – ShoeWaddyWaddy have re-grouped following Geoff’s departure and are now made up of Paul, aka ‘Chunkz’, Roy and Peter (Peter was always a stand in). They sing together 6 nights a week and manage to pack out any venue in which they perform, with everyone clapping and swaying along in time to the hits of the 70’s pop group Showaddywaddy.

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More big store names coming

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It has been announced that El Corte Ingles – the Spanish equivalent of John Lewis is to open a local branch of the department store close to the Centro Commercial La Marina– but not actually inside the shopping centre . Although many deem it as Benidorm, it technically comes under the town of Finestrat, which runs from the mountain all the way down to the beach at La Cala – geographically it is very long.

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Located in the Old Town

Grupo Aurrera is Tapas Alley

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News Snippets

  • Festive Pizza +

    From December 7, select Asda stores will be selling a Christmas dinner pizza! The toppings will include Brussel sprouts, roast potatoes and strips of roast chicken drizzled with cranberry sauce. They will be available in two sizes - 10 inch at £2.60 and 14 inch at £4... Ho Ho Ho.
  • You are what you eat! +

    The ingredients have to by law be listed on the labels, but do you really know the breakdown of what goes in your mouth? A 400gm jar of Nutella chocolate spread is 55% sugar and only 7% cocoa, meaning that a 20gm serving contains 3 teaspoons of sugar and only 2 hazelnuts. There is NO chicken in a chicken & mushroom pot noodle and 65% of Flora Light is water. But did you know that 99.8% of diet coke is water, with the remaining 0.2% colour, sweetner and flavouring.
  • Monarch goes bust +

    Monarch airlines have gone out of business after nearly 50 years of trading - very sad news. 2,750 staff are now without a job and 110,000 Monarch customers are abroad at the moment - but ALL will be flown back to the UK more or less at the same time of their original planned return.
  • Driving ban lifted +

    After a 60 year long ban, women will be allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia. A royal decree issued by King Salman should be in place by June 2018. The country was mocked after a picture appeared with an all female aircrew landing a jet - even though none would be allowed to drive a car!
  • All about the shoes +

    Jimmy Choo - the luxury British shoe company has been sold to American rival Michael Korrs, for nearly £900 million. Jimmy Choo was founded be a Malaysian designer in the 1990's and shot to prominence after being featured in the hot TV show Sex and the City
  • British passports +

    The UK voted Brexit yet it seems ludicrous that a French or German company may win the contract to produce British passports after 2019! One Tory MP is outraged stating that British passports should be manufactured in Britain, in a British factory employing British people - and not many would disagree with that.
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