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second glance
bad weather
table and chairs
peak times
Theeta Eme An Amazing Bar, Restaurant In Mar Menor, La Manga
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Theeta Eme An Amazing Bar, Restaurant In Mar Menor, La Manga

This Bar, Cafe and Restaurant is more of a cafe than a restaurant. It sits on the edge of the Mar Menor lagoon in a small village “Las Salinas”. Its nearest neighbour Cabo de Palos is easier to find and much better known. La Manga is a strip of land running up the eastern shore of the Mar Menor lagoon and “Las Salinas” is located at its base to the left of the point where La Manga becomes Cabo de Palos.

Spain is full of bars, cafes, restaurants and combinations thereof. Sadly many of these are not worth a second glance especially in tourist resorts. Few have any imagination or style and most tend to rely on the principle that a few basic table and chairs combined with sunshine is all that is needed.

“Zeta M” is different and completely unexpected. Imagination is everywhere. Style is evident, metalwork sculptures and interesting use of furniture is everywhere. I would have assumed that it would be better located in Marbella or Puerto Banus. Not that I am complaining, this is heaven for someone used to boring normality.

It takes a lot of effort to get this place ready every day and then closed again at night. During peak times I am not sure if it ever closes. The beach front has four poster beds on it with white linen canopies, rattan seats, chairs and sunbeds. The almost fully enclosed rattan seats give you privacy and a place to hide from the sun. Great for those looking for privacy whilst they kiss. Beware, some of the furniture is more style than practicality. I suggest you walk around it first, study how it “works” before getting on it or in it. If you are not careful you can end up looking very silly as you and it falls over. But when everything is setup it looks great, I just feel sorry for the staff that have to put everything away after a weekend or if bad weather threatens.

Lets’ sort out its name. Practise saying it as I have written it “Theeta Emay”. Its actual name is Zeta M and also El Zeta. This venue is in Spain and M’s are pronounced “eme”. If you want to go to this place you may need to practise how to say it. Taxi drivers will understand eventually but will look blank if you try Zeta M (English alphabet) which was my first attempt.

This is a place where you will want to stay for a few hours or all day. If you want to drink driving is not such a good idea, although you could one way. A taxi is better, but easier to get to than leave. Someone will need to call for a taxi and it will take a while to arrive. Cycling and walking are good options too. Locals and some of the Spanish that holiday here arrive by boat or jet-ski. They drop anchor and wade in. The beach shelves very gently so boats can be nudged into only a few feet of water safely and then returned to later. Boats vary from cheap and cheerful to “loads of money”.

They make drinks properly here. Mojitos are as they should be and fantastic. You may be served on the beach depending on how busy they are and how crowded the beach is. Common sense will tell you what the “rules” are when you visit. It is mainly a Spanish destination mixed with a mix of international residents that are a bit more discerning. Don’t worry about knowing the language or dress code, you can get by. This place is unpretentious and welcomes everyone.

During the summer months and weekends DJ’s will setup on the beach playing cool sounds more at home in Ibiza, and the beach area will be full of teenagers and twenty somethings. Those older need not worry as everyone is ok here. It is one of the great things about this place. There are a couple of bars and a large area which becomes a dance club in the evenings especially on the weekend. Clubbers should not arrive before midnight, little happens before then.

During the day the club/bar area is used for food and somewhere to meet or hang out, The menu is a mix of typical beach and sea food. It is all good though. The only thing to watch out for is if you have young children and there is a party taking place indoors then it is “kids outside”. That is fine provided you have high sun factor cream for the children as there is no other cover unless you bring it with you. This part of Spain has over 300 days of sun a year and the temperature often exceeds 30 degrees in summer so care with children is essential and yourself for that matter.

The Mar Menor and La Manga region has many accommodation providers and the best way to get around is usually in a rented car. Fortunately both are easy to find but book early at peak times of the year for the best deals. Mar Menor is served by two airports, Alicante (ALC) and San Javier (MJV) and is connected to Spain’s major motorway arteries.

I am just delighted that when I lived near it I could “pop in” for a drink on the beach when I needed to escape from my office for 15 minutes. Go on try it out you will not regret it.


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