My 'reasons to be cheerful' include lying by a pool in the Tenerife sun and sipping sangria and tucking into Chateau Briand less than half the price it costs in the UK / Dave Thomas column

I’ve just had a few days in Tenerife. Lucky me indeed, just having the paperwork and the nightmare of the passenger locator form to fill in.

By Dave Thomas
Tuesday, 15th February 2022, 11:11 am
Bistro 27, the restaurant that for Dave Thomas is a little piece of heaven in Tenerife
Bistro 27, the restaurant that for Dave Thomas is a little piece of heaven in Tenerife

But once there and lying by the pool in warm sun it was a chance to cogitate on reasons to be cheerful whilst downing a jug of Sangria.

So much to be cheerful about, a full English, a car that starts first time, good old-fashioned comedy like Rising Damp, Fawlty Towers, Hancock’s Half Hour and Dad’s Army. Netflix, umbrellas, when your football team wins (er not too often as it happens), pie and mash with gravy, a week in the Dales and Jet2.

And then there’s getting out of the bath without help; at 77 that is a real bonus. The days of a hoist or a Stannah lift up the stairs are not yet here.

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In Golf del Sur, which is where we go, it’s only a 15-minute drive by taxi which is a bonus; that is to say if the taxi driver is not the madman that we had this time. What is it about some blokes in a big Merc? Do they undergo some sort of personality change?

Reasons to be cheerful: The fact that we got there in one piece.

Reasons to be cheerful: There’s this little bistro just down the road, Bistro 27. It’s small, from the outside nothing to write home about, in fact you’d walk by and think it might be just a shabby snack bar. But, oh boy the food.

Reasons to be cheerful: We had Chateau Briand one night. Here they call it Chateau Brian. But the price just 30 euros, that’s less than 30 quid. And it is exceptional. The fillet steak is also exceptional, the giant prawns are exceptional. Anyway, the Chateau Brian; there is a posh place in Burnley that charges 68 quid. I won’t name it.

That was down the road, but up the road is O’Driscoll’s the Irish bar. Now, if that makes the place sound a bit like Benidorm then I assure you Benidorm this is not. We went in on the night that Celtic were at home to Rangers.

The place was packed. Green hooped shirts filled the place. Every TV screen in the place showed the game and, reasons to be cheerful, Celtic won 3-0. It was bedlam in there. I had pie and mash, with lashings of gravy and mushy peas. The pie was one of the best ever and made on the premises. It made filling in the locator form all worthwhile.

Reasons to be cheerful: a 6,000-step walk away is Los Abrigos with its little harbour but on the way is EL Nautico a large hotel that has a small restaurant overlooking the sea wherein the full English breakfast is perfection. It calls you in, the pull is magnetic and cooked beautifully. At the next table was a lady with her dog in a pram. You meet all kinds of people.

The last time we were here I had a shirt with the Burnley badge on and someone called out: “You’re

Dave Thomas, aren’t you? I’ve got all your books.”

Here we were thousands of miles from home by the seaside in a little café. It’s always nice to meet a customer; reasons to be cheerful of course.

Looking round the pool it struck me that at 77 I am still devilishly handsome, bit of a tummy I have to admit, but still sprightly and still about 12 years old in my head. At this time of year, the average age of Brits out there must be at least 80 so, reasons to be cheerful, I’m one of the young 'uns.

Around the pool the most popular must-have fashion accessory is a Zimmer frame.

Reasons to be cheerful: We watched Burnley 0 Arsenal 0 in the bar, heroic defending, backs to the wall stuff and in the last minutes might even have stolen a win when McNeil burst clear and smote a mighty shot. A few seconds later he repeated the burst, but this time, the shot nearly hit the corner flag.

Anyway, Tenerife, we’re going again at Easter. Another reason to be cheerful.