Permanent fixture on Santa’s naughty list Giles Brown, festoons himself with tinsel to explain how Marbella puts the “mas” into Christmas!
Marbella is magical at Christmas. During December, the town sheds its “party ‘til dawn” image and slows the pace to something more intimate and cosy. It is a time for catching up with friends and enjoying festive lunches in glorious sunshine. Of slipping on warm jackets to explore the Old Town and admire the Christmas lights, with the smell of roasting chestnuts and inviting log fires in the crisp night air. Though Marbella may not have the snow, it can be found just 2 hours drive from the town in the Sierra Nevada mountain range and Ski resort in Granada.
If you want to spot Santa in Marbella, the Alameda Park is a good place to start. The Town Hall has constructed a Father Christmas house, where children can mail their letters to Santa. The Man Himself will be arriving on December 23, but not by sleigh. This year Santa is coming to town on the back of a Harley Davidson, accompanied by the “Los Mentirosos” motorcycle club!
Father Christmas aside, there are several seasonal events in the Old Town this month. The Plaza de Los Naranjos is the setting for a light and sound show that incorporates the two huge trumpet playing angel decorations in the middle of the square. (Every evening at 6.30, 7.30 and 8pm). There are also free concerts, processions and other activities – visit Marbella.es for the full programme.
The Sound of Christmas
Live music lovers can celebrate Christmas when international tenor Massimo Giordano performs “The Sound of Christmas”, a fabulous and festive performance. Featuring some of the best-known Christmas arias, excerpts from operettas and festive duets specially chosen for the holiday season, the concert takes place on Friday, December 15 at the Teatro Auditorio Felipe VI in Estepona.
In August, the charismatic Italian, whose career has included performances at The Paris National Opera, La Scala, the Metropolitan Opera and the Staatsoper Berlin, provided one of the cultural highlights of the year. Nelson Calzi, the leading pianist from La Scala, and a true virtuoso, will once again be joining Massimo, as will the gorgeous soprano Esther Kandinova, whose pitch perfect duets with Massimo were an outstanding highlight of the previous performance.
“The Sound of Christmas” features some of the best known and much loved festive songs including, “White Christmas” and arias from Tosca, Carmen and Evgenii Onegin.
Traditionally a time for giving, this year Sandro Morelli, owner of the Villa Tiberio Restaurant joins forces with the Cudeca Foundation for the 13th Christmas Charity Gala. Taking place on December 17, more than five different live performances, as well as a live auction and charity raffle will take place during dinner. Artists performing include Vicky Jaye, the Elvis tribute “Stelvis”, and the best soul voices on the Costa del Sol – Mr Maph and Mamma Cath. The event will provide funds that the Cudeca Foundation needs to maintain its palliative care in the province of Málaga.
If the thought of cooking this Christmas is too overwhelming, Marbella’s superb restaurants and hotels are on hand to cut out the hassle.
Perennial favourite La Sala, that already has its ‘Ski Lodge’ up and running, has a programme of events that includes exquisite food, live entertainment, and a truly unique atmosphere.
On Christmas Day, the three-course-menu includes all the traditional trimmings, along with exceptional live music featuring talented artists including Jai Northover, Wall Street Band, Tony Capo, and Marlu. Christmas at La Sala Puerto Banús is certain to be lively and the festive celebrations continue on Boxing Day! Visit their website for more information.
Located in the heart of the Old Town, The Farm restaurant will also be open for Christmas Day, serving its Christmas Day Brunch. Available from 1-4pm, this always popular option includes a selection of starters, salads, Christmas dishes and gourmet desserts, plus an open bar of beer, wine and lots of cava!
Effortlessly stylish celebrations are to be expected at Boho Club. Executive chef, Diego del Río, has created appetising dishes and menus that capture the essence of Boho Club Restaurant’s cuisine with a few festive flavours. If you want to try your hand in the kitchen, the Boho Club kitchen team has organised some Christmas workshops. On December 7, there will be a sweet cooking workshop to make coconut, chocolate and pineapple nougat; and on December 14 an hors d’oeuvres workshop for seasonal snacks and starters. Attendees will receive their recipe book, the corresponding apron and will have all the necessary tools to cook.
As you might expect, the coast’s luxury hotels spare no expense when it comes to Christmas.
The Anantara Villa Padierna Palace Benahavís-Marbella Resort has a spectacular nine-metre-high Christmas tree to get guests into the festive spirit. Foodies are spoilt for choice at the hotel’s restaurants that include the traditional cuisine of La Veranda, to the exotic and captivating Japanese cuisine of the 99 Sushi Bar and the Lebanese cuisine of Olà Beirut.
On December 22, the hotel will be hosting a ‘candlelight concert’, featuring film soundtracks that capture the festive spirit of the season.
Christmas Eve sees Santa Claus delivering gifts from 7:30. to 8:00 p.m. After he heads off to continue his night’s work, you can enjoy the special menu of the La Veranda restaurant, which includes dishes such as pistachio white garlic with lobster loin and a sheet of sherry wine or the mature Marela beef sirloin with candied potato mille feuille and mousse foam. Payoyo and truffle; or a selection of exquisite Lebanese dishes at Olà Beirut, such as lamb chops with roast potatoes and vegetables or aromatic rice with seasoned chicken thigh.
Christmas Day starts at La Pérgola with a delicious buffet from 1 p.m. and at Eddy’s, the elegant English bar decorated with a wide collection of works of art around its fireplace, with afternoon tea, from 4 – 6 p.m, available until January 7.
For those who want a more active holiday, on December 14, the pastry chef of the La Loggia restaurant holds a workshop of Christmas desserts, followed by a delicious cocktail.
On Friday, December 22 the Puente Romano Beach Resort will play host to the first edition of the Christmas Global Gift Gala, with the businesswoman and philanthropist, Maria Bravo. The MCs for the event will be British TV presenters Nick Ede and Denise Van Outen. The event will feature two live performances: Hollywood actor and singer Gary Dourdan, and the French sensation Reyes Gipsy. Book your tickets here.
Nothing is more traditional at Christmas than the Marbella Club Hotel. The iconic venue will host three main galas at The Clubhouse across the holidays with a Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas lunch and New Year’s Eve dinner. They feature warming and refined winter dishes, including porcini and truffle cream soup, sole paupiette with lobster and caviar sauce and beef tournedó with fondant potato and Chasseur sauce.
The Beach Club will feature a special version of Marbella Club’s traditional Grand Buffet, accompanied by live music throughout the season. For intimate family celebrations, private spaces such as La Bodega or the Tomato Garden will also be available.
For in-house guests and external visitors alike, a comprehensive series of workshops will run through the season, thoughtfully designed to cater for all age groups. Whilst adults can indulge in Christmas cocktail making or the Champagne Special Club, running alongside it will be a curated series of activities to keep children engaged, such as gingerbread making, treasure hunts and Christmas games. Additionally, families can participate in the making of floral arrangements, table decorations or tapas and canapé making classes. Head to their website for more information.
And if the festivities have left you feeling a little fatigued, Marbella Club’s wellness experiences provide the ultimate wind-down at the end of a long year and a revitalising pick-me-up for the year ahead. Chosen highlights for the winter include both the Hammam ritual for stress relief with the inclusion of cedarwood, sweet orange and geranium essential oils and the Barbara Sturm Signature Facial, to enter the New Year with a glow.
With all the options on offer, celebrate the most wonderful time of the year in the most wonderful place on the planet!
Wishing you a Marbellous Christmas!