Claro! Restaurant & Beach Club is the ideal mix of a beach club and seaside restaurant, blending stylish décor and great food with a laid-back atmosphere that makes you want to linger.

Laguna Village has long since established itself as one of the prime dining and boutique shopping locations on the New Golden Mile. With its elegant Polynesian inspired architecture and fantastic beachfront location with great views along the Mediterranean shoreline to Gibraltar and North Africa, the restaurants and beach clubs of Laguna Village are a signature reference in an increasingly up and coming area.

It offers a variety of cuisines, settings and ambiences, but one to look for is Claro! Beach, a stylishly trendy beachside venue that offers the best blend of restaurant and beach club. What’s more, Claro! Beach has distinct areas to choose from, making it a perfect location whether you want to enjoy the trendy indoor décor, the breezy outdoor deck surrounded by cooling water features or the smaller terrace overlooking the sandy beach and Mediterranean Sea.

All enjoy full restaurant and waiter service, but the beachside section also has its own little cabana bar, which specialises in delicious cocktails. We tried three on a crisp sunny day: a fresh pink Cosmopolitan, a tasty and beautifully gentle Long Island Iced Tea and a refreshing Pisco Sour. They’re super flavoured and light enough to enjoy on a hot day, as is the new summer menu in which fish and seafood feature prominently.

Light and refreshing

Claro! Beach proves that delicious, well-made and beautifully presented food can be light and refreshing, and therefore perfect for this time of year. Our exploration started with a fine example: an offering of perfectly prepared sushi consisting of classic salmon and also tuna, apple and avocado maki, with gorgeous fillets of butterfish on a seaweed bed. The smoked Russian Salad, Claro!’s own take on a popular classic, lifts the original to new heights with its delicately soft texture and beautiful flavour topped with smoky sardine fillets.

The atmosphere indoors is contemporary and trendy, the beach bar terrace has a laid-back, beach-chic feel about it, and the main outdoor deck we chose is pleasantly cool and refreshing thanks to soft breezes and the presence of water features, whose delicate murmur forms a nice undertone for the chilled tunes playing in the background. From here you look out over part of Laguna Village, and while it feels connected this is also a private, intimate spot with a great atmosphere.

The vibe is serene and relaxed by day, while at night Claro! Beach becomes a popular venue for outdoor dining in a very atmospheric setting, regularly accompanied by live music and DJs.

The next dish we sampled was scallops in a spicy Mexican aqua-chilli pepper seasoning that foodies will love. The same is true of the Chinese nahms in coriander and mint that come with a sweet chilli dipping sauce. It’s a great summer mix that is fresh and savoury at the same time!

The best was saved for last, and came in the form of fish soup with prawns, sea bass and clams, served with crisp toast and rich in the flavours of the sea yet never ‘fishy’. The latter requires skill, and it was also evident in the desserts, which featured a selection of chocolates in different textures, a special deconstructed cheesecake and a semi-frozen Yuzu and Pica cream – the last two being Japanese citrus fruits that help you end the meal on a suitably fresh and tasty note.

Claro! Beach is in many ways an ideal beachside restaurant-cum-beach club that scores top points on location, light summer cuisine, attentive service, choice cocktails and also the variety it offers. A definite highlight in this part of the Costa del Sol.

Words Michel Cruz / Photography Kevin Horn

Laguna village, Estepona. Tel: 952 800 873.