Birthdays, warmer weather & friends decide to open a restaurant

Birthdays, Birthdays, Birthdays

This April was the month that John turned 70, whether he likes it or not. We had a great day with our friends at our place. I cooked a posh lasagne where you roast the minced meat until dark but not burnt before you make the ragù and used fresh tomatoes, again roasted before being put into the ragù. I also made a very boozy limoncello laced trifle. Angela and Denisa made a lovely cake. It all went down well.

John received lovely presents too, booze mainly -they obviously know him well. He also received a frame that contains a lot of photos with all of us together in various places eating and drinking during our relatively short time together. It was a lovely thing to do and is currently on our wall behind the bar. He also received a car vac which now means we can have a clean car.

Also John decided to put up our dartboard, which we had in the UK. It is now on the wall of the downstairs terrace. I think everyone had a go at a throw on John’s birthday or was it a random Friday night, not completely sure – haha

Our dartboard finally up

A couple of weeks later it was also Miro and Angela’s birthday a day after each other. This time we went to Tony and Angela’s and celebrated both birthdays there with great food and a bit to drink. This is when the weather was getting better so we could eat outside. We bought Miro a chef’s hat (well 2) but more on that later.

Ooh I nearly forgot, it was Miro and Denisa’s daughter, Laura’s 4th birthday too at the beginning of the month. So we had another great meal at theirs and of course she had lots of presents.

An Actual Visitor from Overseas

Tony E’s daughter Helen came to visit her dad from South Africa. She had to go through quite a bit before she travelled here and returned. She had to have all paperwork required and a Covid-19 test before she boarded the plane in South Africa. She then had to have a molecular test when she left nearly three weeks later before she got on the plane to return. The return test what a bit more difficult as she had to have the test at most 72 hours before the flight and had to have a certificate stating she was negative. This was not possible in Scalea, the results take too long to come through for this type of test. So, two days before she was due to leave, she was told to go to a clinic in a town called Sapri in the province of Salerno in Campania to have the test. [FUN FACT: Sapri train station is actually a location that the latest James Bond movie was filmed.] Then they would send her the result via WhatsApp and email. It was a bit of a tense time waiting for the result. But the next morning, it came through negative and I printed each certificate for her, as one was in Italian and the other in English, which I thought was good. Now we know that if anyone needs a molecular test quickly, they need to go all the way to Sapri which is about an hour away from Scalea on the train.

Helen stayed with us for one night and we walked around the old town, Baia del Carpino and San Nicola Arcella and watched the sun set.

Now Some Exciting News

Our friends Tony, Angela, Miro and Denisa have decided to run a restaurant together. Miro has been dreaming of a restaurant in Italy since we have known him (September 2019) and even before that by all accounts. Either early last year or late the previous year, John and I did see a restaurant called Pizzeria Cimalonga for rent. It is named after Torre Cimalonga in Centro Storico which is on the opposite side of the road. So, we told him about it. But by the time we showed him the following day, people were walking in and had already taken it over. He was pretty gutted about it as it fitted what he imagined he would be in. It is quite a small place and in theory easily manageable. Then lockdown happened. After lockdown our small Scalea network of friends got ever closer. Miro and Tony N obviously talked about this idea and Tony said it was his dream too. To be honest, they both cook very tasty food (hence the chef’s hats). Anyway, they were looking at other options but it didn’t happen.

Then on the day John and I were walking around the old town with Helen, we saw that the signs and everything were gone from the new Cimalonga restaurant. It did have a different, name but I can’t remember. It looks like it didn’t survive during the lockdowns etc, which is incredibly sad for the previous tenants. But…

We immediately told Miro that nobody was there anymore. They pretty much went straight there as Miro and Denisa didn’t want to lose it again and had to show Tony and Angela and also, he wanted to see it properly for himself. They managed to get the contact details of the owner, who apparently lives in Rome, from the neighbours upstairs and in a few days they became proud new tenants of the restaurant.
The last day in April, John and I went over to the restaurant to give them a hand with anything. I ended up help cleaning a lot of chairs and other things, John helped with other technical stuff.

It is a lovely place but it does need a little work and new equipment and lighting. Most of the dining is outside on wooden benches which is great for nowadays. Inside it has a pizza oven, a big fridge, a big dough mixer and serving bar and can hold a couple of tables with chairs inside.

At lunch time that day, Tony and Angela brought a homemade Swedish Sandwich Cake (Smörgåstårta – hope I got that correct) filled with salmon, prawns, cream, dill, egg and fruit among others which is very flavoursome, so if that is on the menu, I am sure it will go down well.

So, watch this space. We wish them all the good luck in the world. Oh, they decided to go back to using the Cimalonga name. So it is called Cimalonga Ristorante and they are on Facebook now to show their journey.

So that is pretty much it for April, sorry it is a bit late, but we have been pretty busy helping out. So, until the next time.


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