Going out for breakfast (desayunar is the Spanish word for “to have breakfast”) is still an important tradition in Jumilla.  Local people start the day early with not much more than a cup of coffee, so by the time it is 10 or 11 Spanish workers are ready for their breakfast.  Most of the cafés and bars are full at that time of day, with people enjoying a café or zumo plus a tostada, and inevitably talking to their friends and colleagues loudly and at great speed.  Trying to follow their conversations is a good test of your Spanish comprehension!

Twice a week we meet our friend Juana María for desayuno, and at this time of the year we usually go to Bar Chaparral’s summer terrace just outside the Jardín del Rey Don Pedro.  This is one of the joys of living in Spain: sitting outside with friends, blue skies overhead, birds singing in the garden, and relaxing over a cup of coffee or a fruit juice.  

John’s breakfast of choice is a café solo and he has tostada with butter and jam.  I have now embraced the Spanish way of having tostada and pour extra virgin olive oil on top of it.  Tostada, by the way, is not a slice of supermarket bread, but is a toasted baguette, so we have a media tostada rather than a whole one.  Many people have tomato on their tostada, sometimes crushing a fresh tomato and garlic on top of the olive oil.  One thing that you are unlikely to find once you are away from the Spanish Costas is a full English breakfast – we have certainly not come across it in our local Spanish cafés!

One difference we have noticed between British and Spanish people: whereas the Brits like to sit outside directly in the sun, the Spanish prefer to sit outside in the shade, so Chaparral have an awning over their terrace once the sun is up.

Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it?  Well it is, except for the irritating moscas!  Being inland we don’t get troubled too much by mosquitos, but flies are a different matter.  At home, our dog Lisa spends most of the summer months trying to catch them.

Coffee outside Chaparral

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  1. Cathy Jennings’s avatar


    Love this “slice of life in Spain”! How fun!

    I was a Spanish major in college and have always wanted to travel to Spain — just haven’t made it there yet. I bet after reading your blog for a while, I’ll be well-prepared to go there.


  2. Sue Walker’s avatar

    Thanks for your comment, Cathy. We live inland, so our life here is very different to the lives of expats who live in coastal urbanisations. As you speak Spanish, you will get a lot more out of visiting Spain than the majority of English-speaking visitors. Hope that my blog whets your appetite!

  3. coffeegirl’s avatar

    Sue, enjoyed your blog on breakfast in Spain. We visited early in the year and I did have problems with the late dinner also. Good luck with the blog challenge, Fran

  4. Sue Walker’s avatar

    It is difficult to adapt when you are on holiday – though I am planning a post on that topic – but now that we are living in Spain we are slowly adjusting to a different way of life. Eating at home we have dinner at nine or even later; eating out with Spanish friends it is likely to be ten or later!