Friday, September 26, 2008

Twelve hours in Tenerife

Twelve Things in Tenerife

Running with this idea (via), "If you had only twelve hours left to spend in ... (in this case, Tenerife), what would you do with them?" Goodness, 12 hours can go so fast, but the island isn't that big, so I think we can do this - that is, eat well (probably too much), as well as take in some sights. For the purposes of this exercise, I'm taking a 12 hour day to include desayuno (breakfast), almuerzo (lunch), merienda (tea) and cena (dinner).

Actually, this would be do-able. Although, all times are Canarian time anyway, by which I mean, leisurely. Don't have breakfast too early, because lunch is generally served around 2 p.m. and dinner is eaten late too. Or set your own schedule.

Breakfast: Any good cafe (show me a bad one) is capable of serving you an excellent, filling and tasty tortilla de papas (potato omelette), which is, more often than not, the breakfast of choice in Tenerife. A healthy and authentic Canary Island breakfast - as well as locally grown fruit - would be the Stone Age "Ready Brek" known as gofio.

Lunch: Truly, one is spoilt for choice, but it's worth noting that much of the best food is in smaller village restaurants and, many of those only open for lunch and close in the evenings, so make the most of them while you have the opportunity. Any coastal village in Tenerife will provide stunningly simple, but superbly fresh and succulent fish dishes, like this cherne at La Cabaña restaurant, Calle del Puerto, Buenavista del Norte. There's the backyard-raised chicken or huge ribs at the Bodegón Patamero in Las Lagunetas.

Afternoon tea: You'll find a plethora of wonderful pasteleria (cake shops) in every town and village all around the island, but my favourite, acknowledged to be the best, and that draws customers from all over the island world, is the pasteleria El Aderno. The original shop is on the Calle La Alhóndiga in Buenavista del Norte, but they now have branches in Playa de Las Américas, Puerto de la Cruz, La Laguna and Santa Cruz.

Dinner: After a sizeable lunch & tea, tapas would probably suffice, but, as we are talking about a last 12 hours: a last meal, well, you may as well go out in style. Head into the capital, Santa Cruz where, no matter the time, you'll find pavement cafes, gastro bars, fine dining, theatre, opera, bars & clubs, or I could just take a stroll through city streets and plazas. If you're really lucky and there's any sort of fiesta or carnival going on, there'll be street food, otherwise if you should happen to get peckish, or for a late supper, I'd recommend finding an arepera - bar selling the Venezuelan fast food, Arepas.