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Costa Brava terraces that are perfect for winter sun

Inviting, with spectacular views and sheltered from the cold. If you're a fan of al fresco eating and drinking, even in the winter, you've come to the right place

© Joan Pujades
L'Horta de Can Patxei

Hotel Llafranc

Right on the seafront and with a long history behind it, there's really nowhere in town that can rival the terrace of the Hotel Llafranc. Converted into a cult spot in the 1950s, this establishment has welcomed glamorous international stars like Elizabeth Taylor, Kirk Douglas, Sophia Loren and Salvador Dalí. Indeed the walls of the entrance to the hotel are a homage to all those celebs who have helped build its reputation down the years. If you want to be part of that epic story, sit on the covered terrace of the restaurant for a coffee or head to one of the tables for a seafood meal. Go in the winter and let yourself fall in love with the singular view of the empty beach of Llafranc, an image that you'll rarely see the rest of the year and will make you feel truly privileged.  

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Café of the Museu d’Història de la Joguina

Toy Museum by day, bar by night. If you want to enjoy the unique experience of having a drink surrounded by old-fashioned dolls (and let's be honest, we all want to try that), and feel as though you're in the middle of a film, the Café of the Toy History Museum in Sant Feliu de Guíxols is the place for you. When the museum space closes its doors, the back entrance opens up and the place is transformed into a charming nighttime bar. Just as you would expect from a museum worth its salt, there are various rooms where you can sit down as well as a magnificent interior terrace that's an ideal spot for trying the extensive cocktail menu on offer (they have both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions). We suggest trying 'El Museu', of course! Not many out-of-towners even know about this after-dark version of the Toy Museum, but once you've given it a whirl, you're bound to want to go back.

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El Petit Bar

El Petit Bar in Palamós is a classic place. With a design based on a fisherman's shack, a relatively small size and a location partly hidden by a pine tree, it's easy to miss. But if you make it inside, you'll realise that the bar overlooks the sea and actually has one of the best-located terraces in Palamós, from where you can see the whole beach, the marina, the fishermen weaving their nets, the Fishing Museum and the fish market. It's a modest venue, ideal for a beer, a few pre-prandial fish tapas or even a more substantial dish for lunch. It's all fresh and the prices are reasonable. Want our recommendation? Sit out on the terrace in the afternoon or evening (depending on the time of year) and enjoy the spectacular sunset.

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Restaurant M&B

When winter comes, and the seafront of Platja d'Aro quietens right down, Restaurant M&B is the best option for anyone looking for an out-of-season Mediterranean experience. Decorated in marine colours and with an amazing terrace right by the beach, M&B is a fantastic place for treating yourself to a seafood platter - especially as theirs won't cost the earth. We also recommend the appetisers, grilled meats and seafood stews. And we have to give a special shout-out to the excellent and fun waiting staff. To round off your evening, they've got a special place on the terrace where they serve all the cocktails you could possibly imagine.

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Locanda di Nonna Flo

The best pizza on the Costa Brava and memorable views of the bay in Sant Feliu de Guíxols; with this winning combination, La Locanda di Nonna Flo has no rivals. Whether you go for lunch or dinner, whether it's the summer or the winter, you either need to get there really early or book a table in advance because its interior terrace, where most of the tables are, is always popular. The dishes they serve are 100-percent Italian, and both the pizzas and the pasta are sinfully good. And don't even think about leaving the restaurant without eating a Sicilian cannoli for dessert and tasting the limoncello (if you're lucky, they might even give you a shot on the house). The man in charge of the 'show' is the charismatic Francesco. Let him advise you and you'll enjoy an intimate dinner along with an almost oil painting–like image of the beach and port of Sant Feliu.

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L’Horta de Can Patxei

L’Horta de Can Patxei de Gualta is a refuge for anyone looking for a break from everyday life and for nature lovers who need a fix. Located in the heart of the Plana del Baix Ter (Lower Ter Plain) and just 15 minutes from the sea, the owners of this renovated 'masia' (country house) have made the concept of local produce the basis of their philosophy; the dishes served in the restaurant use products grown in its own allotment. The vegetables, grilled meats and seasonal dishes are all a sure thing. There is also a daily set menu for a reasonable price, and special offers for groups. From the glass-enclosed terrace, you can see a full landscape of green that includes fields belonging to local family-run farms topped with the impressive sight of Montgrì and its castle.

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Restaurant Club Nàutic L'Estartit

'On board' the restaurant of the Club Nàutic in L’Estartit, you can have breakfast, lunch or dinner surrounded by all kinds of boats. Shake off any worries about going there without being a member, because the restaurant is open to everybody and everyone is given a warm welcome. Whether you sit inside or on the terrace, the glass walls let you enjoy spectacular views of the moorings with the Illes Medes in the background, giving the landscape the image of a postcard. With such a marine setting, the best thing to eat there is a good rice dish or any of the fish plates on offer (everything is really fresh). And once you're done, why not take a stroll around the marina and imagine a seaborne life?

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