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Paella and other savoury rice dishes are perhaps Spain’s greatest gastronomic contribution to international dining. Today from Madrid to Melbourne or Barcelona to Boston you can enjoy these tasty dishes which come packed with seafood, chicken or vegetables. Visitors to Spain’s seaside town of Salou on the Mediterranean coast. can savour some of the best at the restaurant Arena (www.arenarestaurant.com)

Perched right next to the boardwalk, with spectacular views of the swaying palms and the blue Mediterranean, guests can choose to dine in the glassed-in dining room or the al fresco summer terrace. Open for both lunch and dinner Arena’s relaxed but stylish atmosphere is perfect to linger on over post prandial coffee or, in the evenings, when the tables are set with flickering candles, to sit back and enjoy the gentle breezes and an icy gin and tonic.

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Arena fully embraces the regional cuisine of the Tarragona province and the menu provides ample opportunities to make some interesting gastronomic discoveries. With the restaurant’s close proximity to the sea it’s natural that there are plenty of seafood options.

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Start the meal with juicy clams drizzled with tomato and just a hint of chilli, or mouth-watering carabineros prawns prepared on the griddle. Follow on with char-grilled octopus, or baked, line-caught fish-of-the-day. Summer and salads go hand in hand, and the perfect way to cool down is with a bowl of salmorejo soup – a typical Spanish liquid salad prepared with ripe tomatoes, cucumber, garlic and red peppers all topped with slivers of prime Iberian ham.

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While there are many culinary gems to be enjoyed no one should miss the excellent paellas and other rice dishes which come flavoured with cuttlefish, clams, prawns, lobster or octopus all simmered in a rich seafood broth.