Tapas - A real Spanish fare

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One of the exciting things about going abroad is sampling the local cuisine and the two things that most people associate with Spain is Tapas and Paella. The Spanish never ever eat paella in the evening – only at lunchtime as they say it will sit on your stomach. Here in Benidorm, the best place to sample Tapas is in the Old Town on Calle Santo Domingo, better known to most as Tapas Alley. Located just off the walking street, the entire road is lined with tapas bars and here you will be able to sample some exceptional top-quality Spanish gastronomy. The Brits normally associate the word tapas with all the little snacks on offer, but officially they are categorised as either tapas or pinchos. Traditionally pinchos are slices of bread with things on top whereas tapas come in little terracotta dishes, which can either be served hot or cold, but need to be eaten with a folk

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Behind the scenes of 'AQUA'

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The iconic Benidorm Palace is usually on most visitors ‘To Do’ list and even the locals go on a regular basis, especially when they have visitors. It’s a magnificent show incorporating a troupe of dancers of many nationalities with the most amazing costumes you are ever likely to see. There are also additional acts on in between the numbers and the show changes every year. The new one is called ‘AQUA” which premiered this week after weeks of rehearsals and once again steering at the helm is David Moore, Director and creator of this extravaganza. It is the first of a four-part cycle to cover the elements, so to follow over the next three years will be Fire, Earth and Air!

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Cocktail sellers still rife in Benidorm

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The sun is shining and the popular Levante beach is bustling with British holidaymakers over the extended UK May bank holiday weekend. Sadly this means that the ‘mojiteros’ – or illegal cocktail sellers are also out in force and doing an exceptionally brisk trade today. Over a one-hour period this afternoon I managed to spot numerous men touting their toxic wares up and down the beach, with unfortunately many takers! One young lady, laying on her sunbed with luggage nearby was obviously enjoying her last few hours, clutching a plastic tumbler - half empty.

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Benidorm or Bust 2019 Car Rally

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The spectacular Benidorm or Bust 'The Great Escape' car rally arrived in Benidorm yesterday (Saturday) afternoon for the ninth successive year, with 138 customised vehicles leaving various parts of the UK last week for the epic journey. Tuesday night was spent in Dover, Wednesday night in Orléans, Thursday in Toulouse and Friday in Salou. Unfortunately, five had to bow out on the way but the remainder made a noisy entrance into Benidorm to the delight of onlookers, eagerly awaiting their arrival. Many were themed and easily recognisable, with the teams also dressing up.

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Free parking on Benidorm beachfront

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In a surprise move, Benidorm will be offering free parking directly on the Levante beach front on the site of the old Las Terrazas building at the junction of Avenida Mediterraneo and Avenida Europa, opposite the Hotel Cimbel. The mayor signed an agreement with the owner of the site on Monday, giving the council temporary use of the plot to offer free parking to residents and more importantly, visitors. The 3,700 square metre site is meant to be operational by the end of the week and today diggers and plenty of workmen were already on site, clearing and levelling. Old asphalt from ongoing roadworks on the Avenida Europa opposite will be reused in the new parking area and mounds were already waiting to be spread out.

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The Medieval Market is on

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Step back in time and visit the Medieval Market in Benidorm this weekend – located in Dove Park at the beginning of the Poniente beach in the old town. On until tomorrow evening (Sunday May 12) there are plenty of stalls, processions and demonstrations of bygone crafts plus to add to the authenticity and atmosphere, many of the stallholders are dressed in period costume.

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Stag & Hen season has arrived

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Yes it’s that time of the year, when Benidorm is inundated with Stag & Hen groups, which are often easily identified from the array of outfits on display around the resort! With flights from the UK plentiful and generally inexpensive, coupled with the cost of alcohol a fraction of that in the UK, it’s hardly surprising that they arrive en masse on a Thursday or Friday for their pre-wedding celebrations. They are undoubtedly an important and crucial contributor to the economy here and the vast majority are well behaved – there will always be the few that spoil it but that can be said of all walks of life.

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UK to Benidorm Charity Car Rally

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Another year but the traditional UK to Benidorm charity car rally 'Benidorm Bangers' – now in its ninth year pulled into Benidorm this afternoon, having set off from various parts of the UK on Monday for the 1,500km drive. This year 38 vehicles started… with only 2 failing along the way. Unfortunately, the traditional drive along the Avd Mediterraneo and onto the Levante beachfront couldn’t take place because of the roadworks, meaning many missed out on the opportunity of seeing them.

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St George's Day celebrations

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British expats certainly showed how to celebrate St George’s Day in style today, with around 800 turning out at Camping Almafra on the Alfaz/Benidorm border to party as only the British know how. The majority turned out in red and white and there were many English flags proudly being waved throughout the afternoon…. a sight sadly not seen very often back home. Some even came in fancy dress or had their faces painted to add to the carnival like atmosphere - but thing was for certain, everyone had a ball!

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Benidorm's Easter washout

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For once the tables are turned. Whilst the UK bathes in glorious sunshine over the Easter weekend, here in Spain we have experienced the worse winds and rainfall for many many years. Torrents of rainwater have cascaded down streets, sweeping everything in its path. Holidaymakers hoping for a sunshine break have been left understandably disappointed and most of the Easter parades last week were cancelled.

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Elvis is in Benidorm!

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For the ninth successive year, the 3 Day Elvis Fest has descended upon Benidorm attracting hundreds of fans to the resort, many who have taken great effort to dress up for the occasion. The Melia Hotel is the epicentre, where a great poolside show featuring many of the Elvis Tribute Artistes (ETA’s) took place this afternoon. Hotel guests had a fantastic afternoon, listening to some incredible live entertainment – a real bonus for them. The weather has been a little bit of a mixed bag, with a breeze mixed together with outbreaks of sun but thankfully the rain kept away. There are also shows featuring world class ETA’s taking place at two other venues - The Rock & Roll House and Showboat however, these are for ticket holders only.

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The exchange Rip-Off

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The uncertainty of Brexit has created confusion and fear, with some even putting off booking their holidays. However, despite this the resort still appears pretty busy, especially at the weekends, with the Stag & Hen season now upon us… and where would many of the bars be without their business – probably closed! But the age old question of where to change your pounds to euros remains – before you leave or in the resort. A big no-no is to never change it at the airport, whether in the UK or especially here at Alicante. What many do is go to one of the many exchange bureaus’ here in the resort – but a warning, there are unscrupulous ones here too.

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St Patrick celebrations in Benidorm

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With clear blue skies and temperatures in the mid 20’s here in Benidorm today there was no stopping many taking to the streets, especially in the Rincon this afternoon to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. Many of the bars embraced the occasion, with bunting, balloons , shamrocks and flags decorating their terraces. Most people also enthusiastically embraced the theme, at the least wearing something green or a garland around their necks whilst others went for full-on fancy-dress, with an interesting selection.

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Benidorm Beach Bar re-opens

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The controversial ‘Tiki Beach’ on the Levante promenade in Benidorm has re-opened – thankfully just in time for the St Patrick’s day celebrations. Re-branded as ‘Cocktail Beach’ and under new management, a few cosmetic changes have been made, including the removal of the terrace bar but the atmosphere loved by so many visiting British holidaymakers remains.

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