Learn Spanish in Spain 2020 – How do I say it in Spanish?
Learning a new language is always much more than cramming vocabulary and applying grammatical rules. Rather, it means immersing yourself in the world of thoughts and feelings of another people, getting to know their culture and traditions. It is therefore a great advantage when you learn Spanish in Spain that you have direct contact with the Spanish way of life and can therefore put your newly acquired knowledge into practice straight away. And what better way to do this than by tasting a tinto de verano or a mojito, getting to know typical tapas, or spending a stimulating hour in a characteristic Andalusian bar. So why not go on a language study trip to Spain before the end of 2021?
Conil: 300 bars and restaurants to choose from –
But where to go?
There are over 300 bars and restaurants in Conil de la Frontera. So there’s no shortage of alternatives! But how can you decide? No problem: just try some out! Or use the following tips as a guide. It is clear that each selection is purely subjective and reflects the preferences of the respective author. In this case, a clear preference for authenticity.
How do I order my food?
But before we set off on our exploratory tour, a very short Spanish lesson.
In informal situations (e.g. in a bar), using first names is no longer customary in Spain.
So: “ponme” or “dame” (“give me”) are the usual forms.
Cumbersome polite phrases (“Could you please…”) are not used much. So it is quite OK to order “dos cervezas” (“two beers”) directly and without further ado. However, the diminutive, “dos cervecitas”, is often used (sounds more confidential!). Another option is “dos cañas” (referring to the small, straight glasses in which beer is usually served). If you want a larger glass – more like the English pint – you can order “una jarra”. Disadvantage: In Spanish temperatures, the beer gets warm quickly!
And of course there is the alternative “un vino tinto”(“one red wine”), “dos vinos blancos” (“two white wines”) or also “un agua mineral con gas” (“one sparkling mineral water”).
Although there are restaurants in Conil and all of Andalusia where you can get an excellent three-course dinner with, for example, fish or meat dishes plus appetisers and desserts, Spaniards tend to eat in small portions in everyday life and therefore order “una tapa” (more like a taster), “una media ración” – often shortened to “media” (medium portion), or “una ración” (large portion, then for several people). For example, you can say “media de atún” (medium portion of tuna).
And when it comes to paying, you may ask for the bill “la cuenta” or, more informally, simply use the verb “cobrar” (to settle accounts). For example: “Cobrame dos vinos y la tapa de carne” (“I would like to pay for two glasses of wine and the small portion of meat”).
And now off to practice!
Go on a language study trip to Andalusia and practise the language in a typical bar after class?
It makes sense to start a tour of Conil at the Arco de la Villa, the archway that marks the entrance to the historic town centre. And where better to have a first tapa than directly opposite, on the corner of Calle Virgen, in the bar Los Hermanos? It’s often crowded and noisy here – either you like it or you don’t!
Bar El Camelo
Spending the whole evening in a pub is not the Spanish way. So we move around the corner into the Calle Prieta to a completely different, much smaller bar. When ten people take a seat here, El Camelo is full. The atmosphere and the service are correspondingly personal. The host comes from the Basque country and has brought a local speciality “bacalao” (cod, mashed with potatoes and in a slightly creamy sauce). Highly recommended as a tapa or ración.
Also very tasty are the “datiles con bacon” (dates wrapped in bacon) or “pimientos rellenos” (stuffed peppers). But what also distinguishes this little place is the choice of CDs that the host plays: If you like blues and rock from the 60s/70s, you’ll feel right at home here and recognise many a song you thought you’d forgotten.
Bar El Capricho
Conil has lived on tuna for probably two millennia, caught here using the traditional method of the almadraba (a complicated system of fixed nets stretched out to sea from the beach just outside the town during the months of May-June). The season of the almadraba is also the best time to try various tuna specialities in many bars and restaurants.
However, some people still like the very simple version best: “atún a la plancha” (a slice grilled like a steak, served with chips). The Bar Capricho in the Calle Jose Valverde is as simple as the dish. The landlord, Antonio, is still an active fisherman himself, which guarantees the freshness of his produce. And the location in the pedestrian zone is unsurpassed if you want to see and be seen: sooner or later everyone passes by here.
La Cervecería Esparte
Most bars in Conil serve Cruzcampo – the beer from the large brewery in Seville – ice cold and refreshing. But if you are more interested in craft beer – beer specialities created by the master brewer with his own signature – you should go to Calle Canarias and try the four beers produced there on the spot. Whether IPA (Indian Pale Ale), APA (American Pale Ale), Amber Ale or Porter. simply delicious! But beware: also with a high alcohol content!
La Ola/El Curro
For many people who learn Spanish in Andalusia and therefore regularly return to Conil, the “La Ola Bar” has established itself as an afternoon meeting place. This is actually two beach bars next to each other. “La Ola” has the cooler music, “El Curro” the more authentic atmosphere.
But you just sit down where there is a free table with a direct view of the sea, and later of the sunset, enjoy a “tinto de verano” (a mixture of red wine and lemonade) or even the first mojito (Hemingway’s favourite drink made of rum, lime juice and sugar), and watch the sun move further and further west until it finally sinks into the Atlantic. By now at the latest, mobile phones are being pulled out to capture these magical moments in a photo.
Another absolute insider tip is this very simple restaurant a little further away from the most popular streets in the Calle Arenal. It is rarely visited by tourists. Rather, regulars – mainly men – from the neighbourhood meet here. It is a bit noisy – you have to speak louder to drown out the TV that is always on. But what sets this bar apart are the excellent tortillas. Whether in the classical form with potatoes, eggs and onions, or with herbs or other ingredients – simply rico!
Tucked away in the Calle San José is a restaurant that not even the biggest fan would call beautiful! The neon lights on the ceiling alone put most tourists off. Yet the host (despite the name of the restaurant, his name is Juan) serves very tasty “gambas con ajillo”. And for those who prefer a meat dish, the “entrecot en salsa de pimiento” is warmly recommended. The welcome and the service are also warm, and at the latest, when the bottle with the bright yellow herbal schnapps comes to the table, you will have thrown your initial aesthetic reservations overboard.
Francisco de la Fontanilla
But if you really want to eat in style, and are prepared to spend a little more, you should eat at Francisco’s – right on the beach La Fontanilla – at least once. Fish and all kinds of seafood are served here. fresh from the Atlantic and to be viewed at the counter before making your choice. A cool albariño (white wine from Galicia) is recommended. But you should definitely reserve a table. It’s full almost every evening in the season.
Late – to very late – in the evening, La Tertulia (Calle Gral), an open-air bar in an inner courtyard, slowly fills up. After midnight it often gets very crowded and you may not find a seat. Never mind – people prefer to stand anyway! But in the early evening you can have a couple of copas here in peace and quiet and chat with friends.
There is a whole range of other very typical bars and restaurants where the language student will have many opportunities to hear and speak Spanish! If you are interested, we will be happy to send you more tips.