We woke up to sunlight streaming through the windows.

An experience far too rare, I eagerly jumped out of bed and ran outside to feel the warmth of the sun on my skin for the first time in what felt like decades (but really had only been two months, since New York was sweltering hot during the week that I was there…).

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When on a hot holiday, my favourite food to eat is mango. I want to eat mango all day, every day. So it’s not difficult to work out what I had for breakfast most morning’s.

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We spent the late morning and early afternoon sunbathing on the terrace, dipping in & out the pool and snoozing in the sun.

Before scrubbing ourselves clean, dolling ourselves up a little, and heading to Marbella Old Town for a good snoop & seafood dinner.

Marbella Old Town is an absolute must visit if you get the chance.

Despite the heaves of tourists that now flock to the area every summer, the Old Quarter has managed to maintain its historic charm and quaint characteristics.

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There is so much history and reflective ornate art to be seen every which way you look.

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The streets are a narrow maze of colourful bars, restaurants, and inviting shops brimming with goodies for both locals & tourists.

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Michael & I decided to rest our wandering legs and enjoy a drink, lapping up our relaxed surroundings.

We perched outside a lovely cocktail bar people-watching families, friends and couples.

And cheers’ed to our evening and brief getaway.

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Merrily re-energised, we continued exploring, getting lost among residential streets and admiring the small homely alcoves.

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We found the stunning, classic town church and its surrounding area of calm.

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Before turning the corner and finding ourselves in Los Naranjos Plaza (Plaza of the Orange Trees), a lovely square filled with orange trees, and restaurants aiding to the orange theme with matching brightly-coloured shady parasols.

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I even found my favourite flower hiding amongst the bushes, the Bird of Paradise.

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Having well & truly worked up an appetite, we went in search of a restaurant for dinner.

There was only one thing on our mental menu. Paella.

Wishing to find something a little more local & rustic than the Plaza’s offerings, we tried our luck down some back streets.

Imagine my excitement when we found this hidden gem.

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Our waiter spoke not a word of English, but he was a cheery fellow who welcomed all of his customers with a huge smile and fabulously attentive service.

It seemed we’d hit the jackpot!

With a bottle of white on ice and a selection of cured meats to start us off, we were two very happy campers.

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Then arrived the Crown Jewels.

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Our waiter expertly divvied up the huge pan, ensuring that our seafood was arranged attractively (and no one got an extra prawn!)

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Needless to say I could not wait to dig in to such a beaut plate of food.

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Not a grain of rice was left. (Which may or may not have resulted in painful groaning and stomach clutching.)

What a meal.

Once our food had (somewhat) sunk, we asked for the bill, only for our cheeky waiter to present us with two glasses of bubbly to thank us for our custom; something which happened regularly throughout our stay in Spain, and made for such a lovely change to the usual stuffy service in London.

Take me to the Med!

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On our post-dinner stroll, we came across a Gelateria that looked simply too good to miss.

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All scooped up, we meandered back through the Old Town towards our ride home.

A truly epic evening.