“What do you think of this generation?” Jesús asked Andy.
“I don’t know what you mean.” Andy replied, looking perplexed.
“All this smoking pot, drinking…partying.”
I could see from Andy’s expression that she was contemplating giving Jesús a clip around the ear.
“Don’t talk to me as though I’m your grandmother,” Andy snapped and turned away mumbling something about ‘every generation thinking they invented the wheel.’
Ritmos del Mundo
I meanwhile was trying to focus my camera on the DJ and the bikini and swimwear clad dancers in Lago Martiánez who were gyrating to Michael Jackson and REM remixes. I say trying…a cloud from the spliff the guy next to me was smoking was adding unwanted affects to the scene and probably adding mellow effects to the atmosphere…on the other side a couple of diminutive elderly Canarians definitely had a stoned look.
There’s a rather disturbing trend going around the young lads of Puerto de la Cruz. Their hair is quaffed up a bit like a duck’s arse on the top of their head. It’s not exactly a gay look, more camp model…think Derek Zoolander. Add tight Speedos to the equation and it’s almost laugh out loud funny.
“Haven’t they seen the movie Zoolander?” I commented. Maybe they didn’t realise it was a comedy.
We were listening to the Ritmos del Mundo, a 13 hour DJ fest. Ritmos del Mundo means ‘rhythms of the World. Any other place and you might think that you were in for a WOMAD type event. In Tenerife world music usually means that it’s simply not traditional Canarian. And so it proved to be the case. The music was good and certainly added a thumping buzz to Puerto’s Saturday night scene, but the main age range in the Lago looked to be around 15/16 so we decided to stick to the fringe before heading along the promenade past living statues, the hair braiders, caricature artists and a hilarious life sized Canarian version of a Punch and Judy show to one of the coolest bars in town, Soho, owned by a friend of Jesús.
Lago Martiánez, Ritmos del Mundo
It was quiet in the bar, at 11.00pm it was still too early for the local populace, so we sat at the bar with a Peroni whilst Jesús borrowed ‘Bobbybob’s” iphone to show us some photos of him swinging an imaginary golf club at the Abama Golf Course. It was the first time we’d seen an iphone in action. MY GOD when did the future arrive? We realised that our humble little mobile was not even an abacus in relation to that sexy piece of technology.
We’d only really popped into town to have a look at the ‘Ritmos’ fest, so headed back for home at a relatively early hour. Passing the top of our road we noticed that the restaurant which had formerly been The Swiss House, and La Chaveta before that, had re-opened. It’s a fantastic little traditional house with the most picturesque courtyard; the perfect setting for a restaurant.
This time it’s called Tres Casitas – ‘three little houses’ which is pretty much an accurate description. Personally I reckon the change of name from La Chaveta to the Swiss House had much to do with its previous decline, so Tres Casitas is definitely an improvement.
“Let’s pop in for a drink,” suggested Jesús. “After all, we’re almost neighbours.”
Jesús’ attitude typifies the difference between Spanish openness and British reserve.
“But it’s a restaurant not a bar and it’s late…and I’ve passed it anyway.”
I’d driven about 20 feet past the courtyard’s entrance. The road is single track and my reversing-along-narrow-lanes skills are woeful.
“Aww come on, man. It’s neighbourly.” Jesús insisted.
“Yeah, Jesús is right, let’s have a look,” Andy ganged up.
I reversed the 20 feet, a painful process to watch, and parked outside the bougainvillea covered entrance. There were only a couple of diners left and they were just about to leave. Jesús asked if the bar was open; an academic question as Canarian bars are open as long as there’s someone in the place.
The bar is in one of the casitas; sloping beamed roof, rough cerise walls, a huge black and white print of Ray Charles on the wall and music to match. The bar itself is gleaming polished wood which runs the length of the room. It was the sort of bar you could spend a lot of time in. We introduced ourselves and Andy and I listened as Jesús and the owner chatted about the menu and cooking, catching only about 70% of what was being said.
It’s quite a small menu, but it’s clearly quality and dishes like swordfish carpaccio; smoked cheese, jamon Serrano and strawberry salad and the house speciality – cochino asado (barbecued pig) suggest traditional Canarian cuisine updated for the modern palate. Some ingredients are grown in the casita’s ‘huerta’ (vegetable garden), whilst others are specially selected from elsewhere, like the pimientos brought in from La Palma because of their unique flavour.
We’ll definitely be going back at an hour which is more suitable for dining to try it out, but I’m willing to bet that it’s damned good which is great as it’s only a few minutes stroll away.