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Travel tips Marbella on Spain's sunny coast. Summer job that became a living! Orange Tree.

Imagine being able to experience that your desire to start a restaurant in Marbella, Spain went from dream to reality in a few months!

Text and photo Ingar Næss

I am sitting writing this blog post in the winter cold here at home and dreaming of returning to Marbella. Thinking about the joy of being able to eat breakfast outside on the terrace almost every day all year round, go to the golf course and pamper myself! In addition, being able to stroll around Marbella with family and friends.

Well here you will get to know a person who does just that, has breakfast on the terrace almost every morning and has his own golf tournament every Monday before work.

It all started on a holiday precisely in Marbella and decided to start his dream right here on the Costa del Sole (Sun Coast).

Welcome to Marbella.

Fall in love with the Old Town of Marbella

Yes, this is a place to fall in love with. In the middle of Marbella lies the Old Town, almost car-free and with lots of varied offers for tourists.

The old town is a small district with labyrinths of narrow cobbled streets, where shops and restaurants can be found on every street corner. The old town consists of two historic quarters and most of it has been preserved as it originally was back to the 16th century, when the city was under Arab rule. Today, the buildings are adorned with small flower-filled balconies, elegant shops and trendy cafes. If you are here to shop, there is actually quite a large selection to choose from.

You will find many small shopping streets in the Old Town

The old town in Marbella also has small cozy squares, but the Plaza de los Naranjos (Orange Square) has something very special about it. Whether it is the beautiful fountain and the beautiful gardens that do it or whether it is the relaxing atmosphere that the many shops stand for is difficult to say.

You can spend several afternoons and evenings here and combine it with good food and good wine. This is a place that the vast majority of people who love Marbella always return to. This is also where the first story begins about someone who found his dream right here on Appelsintorget!

Apelsintorget with all its trees and restaurants

The pleasant restaurant on the orange square in the Old Town of Marbella.

The dream of opening his own restaurant in Marbella came after a four-month holiday and summer job at the restaurant he has now owned since 2003. Everyone calls him Frank, but he is from Tunis and is actually called Faik, but his "nickname" became Frank while he was working in London mage years ago. He is an English married man and has two beautiful children.

Orange Tree seen from the square

Frank loves his job and demands that his customers have a good experience, and I promise you, he does everything for them to experience that. It was probably also what made me become a regular guest here, in addition to the food. He welcomes, serves wine and drinks, presents the food and welcomes back - to everyone!

Already from the time they open at 18:30 there are many guests, but it wasn't like that at the start. As I said, Frank worked in this restaurant for a few months and then he got an offer to buy it. This was something he dreamed of and went for it, but there were many around him, including the other restaurants on the square, who did not have the faith. This was in 2003 and at that time there were only Spanish restaurants on "Appelsin torget"!

Frank had made up his mind and he was going to succeed. After some assessment of the situation, he made a choice and dropped the lunch guests and concentrated only on dinner service. He chose a completely new menu that would best suit his target group, tourists from Ireland and England, and he has thanked himself many times for this. Because as early as 2004, a travel journalist from the in-flight magazine Cara, which was a magazine that was on board all Aer Lingus flights, came from Ireland - and then it was done!

She came and ate the same dish two days in a row and was equally satisfied with both dishes. They tasted the same and they were just as good, absolutely perfect in her opinion. The story of the incredibly nice host Frank, the food and the restaurant won the hearts of many Irish people and it has only continued that way. Today, 15 years later, the same guests who got off the plane in 2004 and called and ordered their first dish at The Orange Tree are still coming.

I understand this and as I said I have been a regular guest, but only from 2005 and have been here almost the only time I have visited Marbella.

The atmosphere is good at The Orange Tree

Today, when I go to talk to Frank, the guests have started pouring into The Orange Tree. The atmosphere is good as always and if you like it here at first, you will come back. This is probably the restaurant on the square with the most regulars. The fact that many come as early as 6.30pm is to take advantage of the good offers that last until eight o'clock. If you have not booked, it may be difficult to get a table. Now it must be said that it is not just for the fun that people come.

The food at Orange Tree is actually very good and here you get all kinds of dishes such as fish, meat, chicken etc. and it always tastes good.

A tip for golfers is that here you will meet a person who has his own tournament at Santa Maria Golf in Elviria every Monday, and he is happy to welcome groups of up to 30 golfers (and others) if they fancy a good deal and all golfers have it! (read more about Santa Maria Golf)

Frank serves food, wine and talks to all guests, out of pure love!

Dishes of all types are brought out from the menu, I myself ate two dishes this day. For starters, a grilled lamb's liver with lentils (cumin scented lentis) with port wine sauce. For the main course, I had lamb ribs (lamme carrè) which was just fantastically good, superbly prepared as usual. Here, as elsewhere, the menu is changed in advance to the availability of the raw materials, so it is not certain that it will be on the menu when you visit. I promise you, or guarantee you good food and a good atmosphere at

Here you have some of the food on the menu - grilled chicken

and grilled mackerel starter.

The Orange Tree.

Have a nice evening and say hello from Ingar in Reis magazine!

Travel and food tips from Marbella Spain

Also read about the couple from Belgium who started two of Marbella's best restaurants and after almost 25 years they are still at the top! La Famieke.



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