El Riu (on the road to Guadalest)

This delightful and very popular restaurant is next to the Farmers Cooperative Shop on the road from Callosa d’En Sarrià to Guadalest in Alicante Province, Spain. The location is picturesque and the outdoor barbecue, upon which many of the dishes are cooked, is a delight. The staff are very helpful, their attitude being that you have a problem, not that you are a problem

As with many good restaurants in Spain, a pre-starter is always provided. Here it is aioli and a home-made picante served with bread, but for me they always provide wedges of boiled potato – bless them – so for once I don’t have to sit and watch as other people enjoy food.

Their menus are not cheap but are very good value. Try the Cordonices (Quail) grilled on the barbecue, and the Conejo con Ajo (rabbit with garlic). I am told by my husband that the pork dishes are very good but warned not to have the soup as a starter as one bowl can fill a legion of people for a week!

Their home-made desserts are to die for (if you can find room) and there are good, gluten-free options. The Flan de Café (coffee flavoured caramel cream) was mind-blowingly good.

***** Five stars for this one.