Costa de La Luz; Laid-back luxury in Los Caños de Meca
Los Caños de Meca
Picture a Mediterranean pine forest, a clear blue sky and a long, sandy beach. A laid-back type of place where you don’t have to worry much about anything.
Welcome to Los Caños de Meca, one of the hidden gems on the Costa de La Luz.
Called ‘Los Caños’ for short, this small coastal village is a not far from Tarifa. Off the beaten track, it’s a one road hamlet with a wild unspoilt coastline and a chilled out bohemian atmosphere.
Discovering a taste of luxury
As with most coastal villages, where people work practically non-stop throughout the summer, during the quieter months some of the bars and restaurants close down or only open at the weekend. So, on a Monday evening at the beginning of October we were limited for choice. But, like all adventures worth taking part in, this led us to a discovery – Restaurante La Breña.
La Breña restaurant – a food experience
After a relaxing drink at the beach bar, we made our way to La Breña following a conversation with our hotel receptionist.
La Breña turned out to be one of those places that provides a food experience – not just a good meal. We were warmly welcomed and led to a table on the beautiful and stylish terrace.
As an advocate of local products and fresh produce, I was pleased to discover that this restaurant´s food and drink philosophy is all about celebrating local produce whilst cleverly combining it with flavours and techniques from Asia.
Locally fished tuna
The coastal waters here are famous for their traditional tuna fishing methods. So, we were definitely up for sampling the local catch. We started off with a spicy tuna sashami (Japanese style) salad with pesto, guacamole and cherry tomatoes.
Next we went for the Tartar de Atún Majado – tuna marinated in lemon juice – with a basil puree (salmorejo de albahaca) and a creamy version of the local Payoyo cheese (crema de queso de Payoyo).
If you have ever wondered whether to try marinated raw fish, but you’re not sure about it, then do it here. It was amazing. It just melted in my mouth and the combination of flavours was incredible. It’s a great dish for sharing.
We finished off with a Retinta steak (ternera de Retinta a la parilla). Retinto is a breed of indigenous pasture-fed livestock mainly from Andalucia or Extremedura and highly prized for its excellent quality. Served with pimientos de Padrón – small green peppers from the north of Spain – it was delicious.
There was also a great wine list with a wide selection of local wines as well as national ones.
I’ll be back – hasta la vista!
The experience at La Breña was such a great one that I will certainly be going back there. The food was original – a fusion of Spanish and other cuisines – everything was seasonal and, where possible local, and vegetarian options were available. The service was excellent – nothing was too much trouble, the atmosphere was relaxed and the staff were well informed about the dishes and their products.
How to find La Breña Hotel and Restaurant
One of the most distinctive landmarks in Los Caños de Meca is Trafalgar Lighthouse. La Breña Hotel and Restaurant is at the opposite end of the road to the lighthouse on the left hand side. To find it, follow the road called Avenida de Trafalgar towards the the pine forest.
When to visit Los Caños de Meca
The season usually runs from March to mid October. If you are looking for all night parties bursting with people, and an ‘anything goes’ atmosphere, then choose July or August. At this time of year, Los Caños turns into a popular destination for holiday-makers, mainly from Madrid, who love to party all night and sleep it off on the beach during the day.
If you prefer something more peaceful, then the rest of the season (April – June and September to mid-October) will suit you perfectly.
During the quieter months many restaurants and bars are closed from Monday to Friday with some opening only at the weekend. There’s a small shop on Avenida de Trafalgar where you can buy supplies.
If you’re wondering what the connection with the name Trafalgar is, the Battle of Trafalgar was fought here in 1805 around Cape Trafalgar.
What to read
The Wind From the East by Almudena Grandes
Tel: 956 437 368 / 627424343
It’s always a good idea to check opening times before going, especially during low season.
Disclosure: La Breña restaurant was totally unaware that I chose to write this post after dining there. I was not invited in exchange for a review and no money, freebies or discounts were given in exchange for this post. I paid for my meal and wine just like any other customer and my views are my own.