Every year we ask our guests to tell us about places they have visited where the service or value for money has been outstanding. For 2020 we have called our award ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ because that perfectly describes all this year’s recipients. However this year one of the new award holders has set the bar at a stratospheric new level, and we wanted to tell you all about them.
Café Bar La Gamba entered our hallowed hall of fame as an award winner following the 2019 season. A welcome addition to the informal dining scene in the Calahonda/Riviera area La Gamba has quickly found a loyal following amongst the ever discerning local residents and, this season, our very welcome visitors. La Gamba achieved our award status primarily due to the many comments we received about the service being friendly and personal. The food was highly rated too, but people made a point of commenting on the service.
Despite the idyllic setting, the Costa del Sol is an extremely challenging environment to launch and sustain any new business. The bureaucracy and red tape are infamous, as is the accepted state of confusion when it comes to interpreting regulations. Expat-run businesses also face the additional hurdle of not being indigenous and when local informal networks seem to be the way businesses succeed here and so to make a headline or stand out is very hard indeed.
We think that La Gamba really deserves a big ‘front page headline’ for what they have very quietly decided to do with the business on Christmas day. There is no accepted usual practice in the restaurant trade when it comes to opening on Christmas day, some do and charge you a hefty premium, mostly venues close. La Gamba have decided to open all guns blazing – but with a twist! For Christmas 2019 they have extended an open invitation to all those people who might face spending the day alone. But it doesn’t stop there because Christmas dinner is on the house.
We think this very generous, and thoughtful decision by owners Darrell and Phyl deserves recognition, and is an example of the very best that businesses based here deliver.