##Located in the famous Cabanyal district and just a 10 minute walk from the beach, you will find Mar d’Amura, a quaint Mediterranean and Spanish tapas restaurant which has weekly live music and local art exhibitions too. Run by local Maria de Miguel, Mar d’Amura boasts personality and character. I was invited to enjoy the live music and try their delightful food.
When we arrived every table was filled (limited due to COVID), all eager for the show to start. The entertainment was two Mediterranean guitarists, a cello player and a percussionist. The instruments complemented each other beautifully and it was a pleasure to experience, you felt like you were part of the group! The Mediterranean style of music started to build up our appetites, and after an hour of joyous music, we were well and truly ready for food!
We moved outside where it was still fairly warm, into their garden which was lit up by glimmering fairy lights wrapped around lemon trees. They had plenty of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. We were recommended the salami with eggs, hummus and patatas bravas which certainly didn’t disappoint. The ambience was perfect, with the twinkling lights and light chatter from the other guests.
With a very full stomach, I sat down with Alex, a member of their staff from Italy to talk more about Mar d’Amura…
Can you tell me about the history of Mar d’Amura?
This used to be a school for children and then the restaurant opened. Outside there is more space, so there were chairs and small tables for the children. The children used to play here in their free time and now we make traditional cuisine, with fresh products from Valencia and Spain. We buy a lot of food from the market here so it’s all fresh. We tried to mix food, music and art because as you can see we have a lot of paintings. Every two months we change the painters so you can you can come here and drink some beer or eat some tapas and you can take a look at the art and then listen to the music. We are trying to create a place where the people can come and it feels like home.
Can you tell me a bit more about the entertainment?
The problem is that now with the virus we have just one show every week. Before that there was three every week, now we have just one. We give the space for free to the musicians and they take the money from the people who come. We sell the drinks and they play the music!
How has COVID affected the business or the customers?
There are less people because now people don’t have much money to spend so even though people come, they don’t spend as much. It’s hard because we have to follow all the hygienic rules and we spend a lot of time disinfecting everything and we are very careful to keep spaces between the tables. The other thing is to be sure that everyone has their mask on when they aren’t eating or drinking because sometimes people forget. Before COVID we had more tables and they were closer together. If a table comes around 9 and leaves about half past 10, we would have been able to put another table but now we can’t.
Do you have any special memories?
Yes, I have a lot of memories because I’m from Italy so this was the first work here for me in Valencia and when I came here from Italy I didn’t know any Spanish. So this place gave me the opportunity to learn Spanish and a new job because this job is very different from the one that I had in Italy. I have a lot of work friends and everyone was very good, they helped me. So yes, I have a lot of good memories it’s like my home here in Spain and it’s like my family.
What’s your favourite dish on the menu?
It’s a very hard question. I think the best one is the octopus with potatoes. I love it. This one is something special for me…
If you’re looking for a traditional Spanish feel with excellent entertainment and even better food, Mar d’Amura is the perfect place. For those who enjoy art this is also a must visit as they frequently change the art work on the walls, showcasing all types of artists. I felt very welcomed at Mar d’Amura, and despite less people and fewer tables due to COVID, the atmosphere is unmatched.
By Priyanka Nagpal
Article copyright 24/7 Valencia
‘Mar D’Amura’ photo copyright Priyanka Nagpal / 24/7 Valencia