We missed seeing A Guarda in Spain on our last trip over the border, so today we set off there for a proper visit. We have been up early and the pool at camp is captivating the children so it’s almost lunchtime when we set out.
We take the bridge to Spain and then it’s simply a short trip along the river to A Guarda.
At the back of the town of A Guarda is a steep hill… it’s called Monte de Santa Trega and it’s special for more reasons than just the stunning views from the top.
We take the road up to the top of the hill, it’s like driving up the road equivalent of a spiral staircase and wow, it’s steep.
We arrive just in time for a Spanish Lunch.
Restaurant Pazo Santa Tecla sits right near the summit of the hill, there is a large dining area with great views over the river looking back at Portugal.
The menu choices are somewhat overwhelming, there are pages and pages and pages of them, without even getting to the drinks selection there were more than 12 pages in total and our Spanish isn’t delicate enough to sort out all the variations of all the dishes on offer so we are back to guessing and asking the waiter for advice.
That’s the point when we discover that the waiter speaks about ten words of English so once again Himself is stretching his Spanish to the limit and we manage to order what we think are menu items we would like.
We start with bread and olives.. the bread is ok, the olives are divine.
My Main course is pork in gravy with some Padron peppers… and with a side salad of asparagus.
Himself goes for the set menu of the day which is a soup that somewhat resembles that Portuguese Turnip leaf potato one that Kiwi Daughter tried back at the water park restaurant. It was then followed by shrimp and fish.
The kids share a dish that’s as close to ” fish and chips” as we could get.
… and we round it off with a simple pot of ice-cream. As with other places we have been to in Spain on previous trips, ice-cream appears to be regularly served simply and plain in the little commercial single-serve plastic pot it comes in… no fancy scoops onto the plate, no side decoration etc.
I have to admit that when it happens in a restaurant I’m surprised every time that they do nothing to ” dress up” the dessert… but it just seems to be the way they do it here.
Our summary of the meal is.. Ok.. could have been better, but we have definitely eaten worse in Spain.
It’s clearly a tourist joint and no-ones local cosy eatery. That usually makes the world of difference and in this case we were underwhelmed. My meat was slightly on the tough side and the asparagus was cooked to within and inch of it’s life.. edible? Yes… Raving? No.
Himself enjoyed his a little more but the kids had troubles too as their fish was brim-full of tiny bones and my meal got cold whilst I spent time picking them all out… probably that was our fault since our menu selection was haphazard at best and probably we missed the most kid friendly meals.
It filled a gap and like most tourists it’s never going to be our “local” so our final grade was 6/10 … it was edible in the end, the waiter was friendly within the language constraints and the view was stunning.
The only problem with being so high up was that wispy clouds kept passing by and made catching a good photo harder than I’d first imagined.
And just to make it clearer where we are.. remember this photo?
We are on top of the hill in the distance .. top right of the photo, the restaurant is on the left hand bump of the two at the top of the hill… and then here is the reverse view looking back towards Portugal…
It’s not many restaurants that can boast such a magnificent view not only of their own country but of a neighbouring one too… and speaking of view.. the best is yet to come.