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Relaxed opening
Food and drink opinion

Relaxed opening

It's never been a secret that one of the things northern Europeans enjoy about visiting Spain is the relaxed approach to the opening times of bars and restaurants

AJ Linn

Malaga

Friday, 22 March 2024, 15:29

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It's never been a secret that one of the things northern Europeans enjoy about visiting Spain is the relaxed approach to the opening times of bars and restaurants. Anyone unfortunate enough to have been brought up in a country where the government decides when they drink alcohol thinks they have died and gone to heaven when they can walk into a bar at ten in the morning or after midnight and order whatever they fancy.

It has been proved, in academic and scientific studies, that young people brought up in this sort of atmosphere actually drink less alcohol than those who live in countries where licensing hours are limited by law. Who has not, on a first visit to Spain, been surprised - even shocked - to see toddlers playing between bar tables at eleven at night? There are no restaurants with age limits.

So it is really surprising to hear a Spanish politician, Minister of Labour Yolanda Díaz, suggesting these liberal laws be more closely aligned with the rest of Europe. As it happens, Spain's restaurant landscape is currently marked by a demand for even more flexibility, and citizens increasingly value establishments that can adapt to their lifestyles and needs.

WINE OF THE WEEK

WINE OF THE WEEK
  • Huerto de la Condesa Blanco 2023

  • Dry white wines from the Ronda area were unknown until recently, but this bodega, one of the most forward-looking of the region, has brought to the market this excellent Viognier, blended with Px and Sauvignon Blanc Well worth trying. About 13 euros.

The minister's criticism of current opening hours sparked debate, and a succession of political and industry voices have defended current practices, emphasising their importance for employment and economic activity. The ongoing dialogue underscores the significance of the hospitality sector in Spain and its cultural importance as a cornerstone of social life.

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