Sunday, 2 March 2008

Bookshops in Javea

It's so often the way - you've look forward to your holiday for ages, made a mental list of the books you'd like to catch up on, but you haven't had time to buy them, the airport was a frantic nightmare and the kids wanted to look at PS3s and not books, so you end up with the book you had by your bedside and a magazine. All is not lost!

There are two main sources for English books in Javea, Polly's and Bookworld.

Polly's is right at the heart of the Port and sells a fantastic range of second-hand English books. It is run by Shelagh and Richard Alan, a charming Scottish couple who are happy to advise. Just tell them the last few books you read and they will recommend something new for you that you are bound to like. What's more, once you have finished it, you can return it and get half the cost back as a credit on more books.

After you have chosen your book, head across to the Promenade and have a cool beer at Posito (chilled glasses), or beer and tapas at the bar on the corner, next to the Estanco.
The other option, if you are looking for new books, is Bookworld. This is on the road from the Port to the old town (Avenida Amanecer) in Javea. Bookworld sells books in Spanish, English, French and German. It has much more of a modern feel but for my money, nothing beats Polly's. Tel: 966 462 253 Mon-Fri 10-2, 4-8, Sat 10-2

For more info on Polly's go to

For Javea villa rental go to

Saturday, 2 February 2008

An evening at the Javea Parador and Amarre 152

I started the evening by heading down to the Parador on the Arenal. It’s a great place to have an aperitif and watch the sun go down. Some people are put off going to the Parador thinking that it is for residents only, but that’s not the case. Although it wouldn’t win any architectural design awards (it looks like a 70’s concrete block from the outside), inside it is quite different.

The main lounge in the hotel is enormous and has a traditional style parquet floor about the size of a football pitch. The bar is smallish but looks onto the terraza which overlooks the gardens and views of the Arenal beach. By the side of the garden is the little inlet from the sea which leads to tonight’s restaurant, Amarre 152.

At the bottom of the garden there are some Roman remains from when the Roman commander of the region had a villa right on this point of Javea’s beach. Slightly hidden from view at the bottom, behind the tall palm trees is the mystery villa (more about that later), built for Franco’s Minister for Tourism.

Anyway, one gin and tonic later and we head out of the front door, cross the road and take the 2 minute stroll to the restaurant.

Amarre 152 looks onto the inlet from the sea where people dock their boats. It has apartment buildings above and around it but once you get to its terrace you feel like you are in a very quiet and sedate place. A gentle breeze comes off the river.

The linen is crisp, the cutlery heavy and the glassware very nice too. This sets the tone for the restaurant which offers very good service and perhaps the best food I have eaten in Javea.I would recommend going for the Menu Amarre (minimum 2 people) which involves you being served a succession of three starters which just get better and better. You then choose a main course from the menu. The meal ends with dessert, coffee and a cava sorbet. I’ve emailed the restaurant to ask for a menu to put up here.

In all, I guess you are looking at about £30 a head but it really is exceptional food. Good wine list, great service and unusual location – thoroughly recommended.

Contact Details: Restaurant Amarre 152, Puerto de la Fontana, 03730 Javea.
Tel: 96 5790629

You can see more Javea restaurant reviews at