La Reserva Club is famous for its beautiful fairways and natural vistas, but thanks to the stylishly refurbished L’Olive restaurant, it is also becoming known for its dining experience.

It wasn’t that long ago that Sotogrande had a good but limited culinary offer but, like nearby Marbella, the stylish resort is fast becoming a dining destination in its own right, thanks to refined eateries such as the recently refurbished L’Olive at the La Reserva Club.

At L’Olive, golf and dining are intricately connected and, indeed, the setting enjoyed by this restaurant is nothing short of spectacular, set as it is amid a manicured course ringed by natural scenery.

The interior, which has been tastefully redesigned, offers a stylish country club ambiance complete with high ceilings and leather fauteuils that is, however, also relaxed and inviting. Combined with attractive contemporary eclectic chic décor, a prominent service bar and very pleasant waiters, it sets down a marker as a quality establishment.

Though it is simpler in style, the terrace remains the jewel in the crown of L’Olive, for here the stunning backdrop provides a natural décor that enthrals the eye and creates a sense of privilege and wellbeing. In its calm, classy yet unassuming way, La Reserva Club retains the timeless air of a classic country club.

A Step Above
Though many clubhouses offer excellent food in pleasant surroundings, and have indeed built up a loyal following, L’Olive stands on its own feet as a restaurant – the kind of place you want to meet for a business lunch or, preferably, a relaxed and sociable one. In this sense, it is a step above the majority of clubhouse restaurants and contends among the finest restaurants in the area.

The menu allows itself to be led by fresh produce, so it follows the flow of the seasons to provide an offering that creatively evolves with the ingredients at hand. As a result, you’ll find constant classics but also a sense of variety that matches the temperature, light and mood of the moment.

Though it caters to private and corporate functions, the restaurant specialises in breakfast and lunch, offering late afternoon snacks and opening on Friday and Saturday nights as well as for evening events during the high season. The different dishes are therefore characteristically light and refreshing, yet not without daring, ambition and expert composition.

By the latter I mean above all the presentation, which is worthy of note. We chose from both the standard menu and the Menu of the Week, dedicated in this case to one of the most luxurious of culinary building blocks, the lobster. Every day during the special menu week entails something new and fresh, so it’s worth looking up the menu online and picking your favourite dish/day.

Fresh Favourites
It was very much a working day, so we didn’t indulge in wine, though the wine card at L’Olive is certainly extensive enough to make this a very pleasant option, as it stocks a fine selection of both Spanish and international wines and spirits of every variety.

We chose a beautifully prepared lobster carpaccio, a refreshing, traditional Andalusian Salmorejo presented in a very modern way, and couldn’t resist the authentic fish ‘n chips – just as stylishly presented but authentically delicious.

In true style, dishes such as fish ‘n chips and burgers are a delight at L’Olive thanks to the quality of the ingredients and the skill of the chef. The main courses we selected were an impressive braised leg of lamb, a vegetarian risotto and a Josper grilled squid described by my companion as a memorable experience.

In addition to delicious meat and fish dishes, L’Olive also prides itself on offering a good range of skilfully prepared vegetarian options. The Yuca chips served with hummus and a delightful Jamón y Queso Tapenade served at the beginning of the meal are an indication of the kitchen’s abilities, and it was confirmed again with the Crème Brûlée, whose brittle caramel layer gives way to creamy soft custard pudding.

A suitably stylish venue for a business meeting or a function, L’Olive at the elegant La Reserva Club is also a wonderful spot to relax, socialise and enjoy a great meal – be it in the tasteful interior dining room or on the panoramic terrace.

Words Michel Cruz / Photography Kevin Horn

La Reserva Club, Avenida La Reserva, Sotogrande. Tel: (+34) 956 785 252.