Plate With A View: El Diablo, Lanzarote
Saturday 03 July 2004
If your idea of eating in Lanzarote involves a plate of beef olives from a hotel buffet and "Guantanamera" on repeat play on the stereo, it's time to throw out the stereotypes.
If your idea of eating in Lanzarote involves a plate of beef olives from a hotel buffet and "Guantanamera" on repeat play on the stereo, it's time to throw out the stereotypes. There's a lot more to this diminutive Canary island than package-holiday hell. In 1970, four years before the volcanic landscape around Timanfaya became a National Park, local artist-turned-architect Cesar Manrique built a stone and glass-walled restaurant on a ledge overlooking black lava plains on the island's western edge. Today you can have a drink in its retro-cool bar before sitting down at one of its simple gingham-clothed tables to order Canarian specialities such as marinated pork, salty potatoes arrugadas, grilled calamari and honeyed oranges.
Wash it all down with a bottle from the lengthy, and exclusively local, wine list.
Funky though it is, with a twisted old tree growing up through the centre of the circular dining-room, the decor definitely takes second place to the view.
As you tuck into chicken that's been flamboyantly barbecued on a grill that uses the natural 400C heat six metres below the ground's surface to do the searing, you can feast your eyes on the rusty mountains, huge sunken craters and weird lichen-covered valleys on the horizon.
Beside the restaurant is the Islote de Hilario, the site where the park's below-ground temperature is hottest. Here, a small hole in the ground spits out steam and flames when provoked by the park attendants.
Around £40 for a boozy lunch for two.
El Diablo, Montañas del Fuego, Lanzarote (00 34 928 840 057). Open 12-3pm and on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday for pre-arranged groups via the island's hotels
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