Could there possibly be any better way to start off the New Year than seeing striking scenery, in gorgeous company and finding fresh, delicious food served with a smile?
Hispannic Goats And Stunning Views
On New Year’s Day 2014 we went to the Pantà d’Ulldecona or Embassament d’Ulldecona (Ulldecona Dam) and further on to the beginning of the Parc Natural de Tinença Benifassa (Natural Park of Tinença Benifassa).
On the way we saw a few Ibex, which are the Hispannic goats that are native to this area (see photo above, wondering are they also religious??), as well as the Ulldecona Dam as planned, and generally soaked up the stunning scenery.
Looking For A Snack In Very Casual Clothes
We weren’t starving so we decided to find a place where we could either have sandwiches or tapas. Having stopped off to take a few photos of the surrounding scenery, we decided to check out the Méson Moli l’Abad, which is part of the Moli l’Abad complex. I really don’t like to call it a complex, only because this conjures up pictures of something that isn’t as in tune with its surroundings, as the Moli l’Abad is, but there is a camping, a rural hotel and restaurant.
We had been on our land before going out, so we were both “very casually dressed”, well basically looking like dirty farmers. So we walked into the restaurant to take a look and it was filled with elegantly dressed guests, celebrating New Year’s Day.
Of course it shouldn’t matter how you look when you go out to eat, but I did feel a bit out of place. What was nice though was that the staff didn’t seem to notice, in fact we had a nice incident with the owner at the end – I’ll tell you about that a bit later.
Simple Delicious Tapas By The River Senia
We chose a few tapas to share, and were served by what we assumed was the grandson of the owner. A chirpy, confident 11 or 12 year old, who you could see was well used to working with customers.
Our choices were pan con tomate (bread with olive oil and fresh tomato paste), fritaduras de cordero (little pieces of fried lamb), ensalada de champinones (mushroom salad) and a queso de cabra con romero (goat’s cheese with rosemary). The pan con tomate was moist, fresh and tasty and the goats cheese was superb – most likely made with the co-operation of some of the local mountain goats. My other half is not a big fan of lamb, but he loved the fritaduras de cordero, and so did I. If I had to choose a star of these tapas, it would be the mushroom salad, although it’s a difficult choice. Using fresh local mushrooms, that are a speciality of the area, it was so delicious and more-ish, with an imaginative dressing.
Our table was outside, where the sound of the River Senia touches your soul. Listening to it making its way over rocks, transports you into a place of romantic serenity, as it joyfully does exactly what Mother Nature intended. This is a spot that makes you feel privileged to be there, and so happy to be alive and able to enjoy it.
Time To Pay The Bill
Why is it that they say that all good things must come to an end? Isn’t life cyclical after all? But I guess when it comes to paying a bill, it does seem like it’s the end of that particular meal or so you’d think? However when we went inside to reception to pay the bill, we met Liberto, the owner. Now don’t forget how we were dressed, and he had no idea that I would be writing about his place. He’s just a natural host. My partner asked about something that was being made behind the bar, and he told us what it was. It was their own after dinner drink, that is some kind of liqueur coffee. Even though we had already paid our bill, and it was a small bill that didn’t deserve after-dinner drinks, he offered us a coffee each.
What a nice surprise! But then because we showed interest in his lovely place, he offered to take us to the downstairs restaurant, which we hadn’t seen and then outside to explore some parts of his land. What a lovely man, a truly idyllic spot with delicious food and a wonderful start to the New Year!
Carretera La Sénia a Pobla de Benifassa Km, 5
La Pobla de Benifassa
Phone: 977 713 418