Fiesta fun during San Fermín

Hopefully I whetted your appetites in my previous post, so I thought I would do a quick update today on yesterday’s fiesta fun.

Our friend Jaqui invited a few of us to join her and her daughter Melissa for menú del día in Restaurante Monasterio. For those of you not in the know, the Spanish fixed price menú del día  is a wonderful invention, started in 1965 under the Franco régime to guarantee workers a good cheap meal at lunchtime.   The cost of our lunch was 9€ per head, with so many starters, mains and desserts to choose from that we had to ask our patient waiter to repeat the choices a couple of times.

Waiting for our main courses to arrive

We shared a generous salad to begin with, and then the waiter kindly brought fussy old me a tapa of ensalada marisco as I didn’t like any of the starters.  In my defence, my choice was slightly limited by the fact that I don’t eat any meat! The starters included salmorejo (similar to gazpacho), consomé with pelotas (meatballs) and arroz tres delicias, which looked like vegetable rice however, as I suspected, some ham had been added.  Main courses included sardines, boquerones, chicken, meat kebabs and escalopes – I can’t remember all the choices, just the dishes our group selected.  We begged for a break before we ordered desserts, as by this stage we were all feeling pretty full!  I had a yummy tiramisu (I received some envious looks from my fellow diners) and other homemade desserts included tarta de queso, flan and natillas.  We had a couple of bottles of good Jumilla wine to accompany our meal, and coffee to finish.

John and I were offered a lift home but declined, as we needed to walk off some of our huge lunch. Just to remind you, the menu was 9€ each: amazing value! 

We also walked into town that evening, to meet up with Jaqui and Melissa again, plus other friends.  The meeting point was Bar La Casa, because we knew that Cristina was due to play a starring role in the evening’s events, as she is one of the Reinas for 2011.  When we arrived Cristina was working hard serving us and other customers, dressed in her everyday clothes, but she assured us that she would be changing later on.

Cristina wearing her sash

After some tapas and red wine, and once a totally transformed Cristina had emerged, we all wandered across the road to join in the festivities.  The plaza was already crowded and the atmosphere was buzzing, as families watched their children dancing on the large stage.  In between the dance performances, the Fiesta Reinas were being crowned and presented with bouquets.  We all cheered loudly when Cristina received her award, calling out “Guapa!”  There were also bursts of fireworks in between performances,  as I predicted.  When we left just after midnight it was obvious that many of the revellers would be partying for a long time, however we had two more late nights ahead of us, so decided it would be wise to pace ourselves.

Fireworks for San Fermín

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