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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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Filming continues in Benidorm

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Following fantastic feedback after series 1, Blakeway North are coming back to film another series of ‘Bargain Loving Brits in the Sun’. Last year many popular Benidorm regulars were featured, including Wayne aka Miss Levi and husband Des, singer Jill Ryan, salon owner Vikki Caton and who can forget Graham “Happy Days” Boland!

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Ongoing Tiki Beach fiasco

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Like a game of ping ping, the on-going Tiki Beach saga continues! Residents of the Santa Margarita building, directly above the bar have been trying to have the bar closed down for what seems like years. Last June they won the case, on grounds of excessive noise at the Benidorm court but an appeal was quickly submitted to the Provincial Court in Alicante against that ruling. The verdict is back – Alicante have upheld the verdict.

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Mobility scooter ban at Servigroup

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The contentious issue of mobility scooters has once again been raised after one of the resorts biggest hotel groups here in Benidorm issued a statement “that as of May 1 Servigroup will no longer allow mobility scooters on hotel premises”. Social media and travel forums have been going into overdrive, with holidaymakers that had bookings at one of the nine hotels here unsure what to do – and questioning if they can even do it. Well the answer is yes they can and they have.

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"I-CONS" feature at Benidorm Palace

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It’s approaching that time of the year when the resorts premier entertainment venue, Benidorm Palace, changes its show. The launch date is fast approaching - April 27 and the new show for 2016/17 is called “I-CONS”. I met with Artistic Director David Moore to see what is in store for us this time and managed to watch the dancers rehearsing some of the new routines.

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The Benidorm Elvis fiesta 2016

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The three Day Elvis Fest kicked off in Benidorm today and hundreds of fans have flocked from across the globe to enjoy the extravaganza, dedicated to their idol. This is the sixth successive year that the event has taken place, growing bigger and better with each year. For the first time local artist Tachi left the crowds speechless with a live demonstration, painting a 2 metre tall face of The King of Rock & Roll to tremendous applause.

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News Snippets

  • Sad loss +

    British actress Alice Chambers, who played dippy Alice Tinker in BBC's The Vicar of Dibley has died at the age of 53. She also played Honey in the Film Notting Hill with Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts.
  • All Girls +

    Britain's first women-only members club is set to open on March 8, to coincide with International Woem's Day. The club, in Bloomsbury., London will offer a library, exhibition space, meeting rooms, wellness and a beauty area. The bar will stock wines from all-female vineyards and cocktails will be named after famous women. Restricted to over 21's, it will incur an annual membership fee of £750... and already attracted thousands of applicants.
  • £50K cocktail +

    What is probably the worlds most expensive Margarita has gone on sale in Covent Garden, London. For pre-order only it blends two exclusive tequilas, one a £2,000 a bottle 1800 Colección, the juice of white pineapples and limequats and finished with lime caviar. It is served with two security guards on hand, as floating on a pineapple flower is a 4.1 carat diamond from Bond Street jewelers Beards.
  • Tequila shortage +

    The price of your Margarita or Tequila slammer is likely to rise following a shortage of agave, the plant used to make tequila... and it's unlikely to get any better until at least 2021. The plant takes aprox 8 years to mature and harvesting them too early produces a poor quality spirit.
  • Recycling +

    44 per cent of all the plastic bottles used are NOT recycled and 400,000 tons of card is thrown out. But do you know what can and cannot be recycled? The plastic pump dispenser on liquid soap bottles can't yet trigger sprays on cleaning sprays can. Laminated foil pouches can't either - used for crisps and sweet wrappers neither can multi-pack yoghurt pots. Although almost all glass can, cookware cannot as it melts at a different temperature to bottles and jars.
  • Foodies -NOT! +

    Britain tops the list for purchasing ultra processed foods, full of additives, salt and sugar. The most popular brands going into shoppers trolleys include Mr Kipling, Batchelors and McVities. Ultra processed products account for 50.7% of a typical Britons shop whereas in Portugal it is only 10.2%
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Upcoming Events

Sat Mar 03 @09:00 -
Benidorm Half Marathon
Sun Mar 04 @13:00 - 17:00
Doggie Fundraiser at Benidorm Palace
Sun Mar 11 @11:00 - 17:00
International Day in La Nucia
Sat Mar 17 @10:00 -
Mundomar re-opens
Fri Apr 20 @12:00 - 23:00
Elvis Festival - 3 day event
Sat Apr 21 @12:00 - 23:00
Elvis Festival - 3 day event
Sun Apr 22 @12:00 - 23:00
Elvis Festival - 3 day event
Fri Apr 27 @11:00 - 21:00
Benidorm Tattoo Convention

Cigarette Prices

  (per carton)

B&H 49.50€
Berkeley 48.50€
Camel 46.50€
Embassy 51.50€
JPS 44€
L&B 47.50€
Marlboro 51.50€
Mayfair 44€
Silk Cut 49.50€

Tobacco 50gm x10

Golden Virginia 89.50€
Old Holborn 90€

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