July 1st is the opening night of the Roman Oasis for the 32nd amazing year and closes on August 31st.
So why only 2 months a year open???
Because the restaurant has run me for almost a third of a Century and practically half my life so now I think I’ve earned the right to smell the flowers. So you’d better be quick or you’ll miss a great night out!
Plus I’ve needed the time to write a book which will be published soon, I’ll let you know when! Here’s the introduction as a taster.
Surely nobody on earth would be stupid enough to buy a mountain tract of arid land that had no electricity or water on the Costa del Sol in the south of Spain and think they could build a successful restaurant there. Nobody except for Paul Hickling that is.
The year was 1981 and the Costa del Sol was awash with celebrities, glamour and gangsters. David Niven, Sophia Loren, Sean Connery, Rod Stewart, Freddie Foreman and, erm, Wham! They were all drawn by the allure and fun of this Mediterranean coastline. Hickling’s dream was to feed them and millions of tourists. This is the story of one man’s success in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. And yet, after over 30 years of toil, trouble, heartache and the cost of two failed marriages the restaurant has become an unbridled success on the coast of broken dreams. This is a rapidly-paced account of sheer madness on the Costa, with tales of disaster and despair amidst cocktail-sipping celebrities, matched bravely against Hickling’s undying will to raise the Phoenix from the ashes that were The Roman Oasis Restaurant. Over the decades it flew high above the dark clouds of Spain’s bureaucracy and pre-European Union laws that tried to rain down upon it. This is a book for anyone who loves Spain; for anyone who knew it in the wild, sangria-fuelled, good old days of the peseta to the Euro of today. It is for anyone who sat upon the warm sands and thought, I wonder what it would be like to open a place here...
A NOTE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
It seems most authors live in the Cotswolds, are happily married and have children that are doctors or lawyers, own a couple of Labradors, enjoy gardening and bracing walks.
This author, Paul Hickling, however, is also happily married to his third wife and that’s about where the similarity ends. He lives in the house (called by some ‘The Playboy Mansion’) behind his restaurant near Sabinillas on the Costa del Sol, is the father of three adult children yet to be qualified, owns three badly behaved parrots that swear and a fat b****** cat that attacks him at every opportunity. Trapped in his aging body is an 18-year-old trying to get out, who detests gardening and who spends his leisure time driving his Aston Martin, falling off one of his motorbikes and enjoying the odd drink. However, when placed in a vertical and upright position he travels the world with his long suffering wife, seeking new ideas for the restaurant whilst still being able to admire other 18-year-olds of the opposite sex when she’s not looking.