The Return & Cafe Bib Rambla

A couple of years ago, I read ‘The Return’ by Victoria Hislop. Although the first few pages made me think it would be just another ‘romance abroad’ book, it soon became clear that it was far more than that, encompassing the Spanish Civil War and the consequences on real families in Spain. And a story based in Granada where the Ramirez family run a bar. What’s not to like?

'The Return' by Victoria Hislop

Now, as is the case with books you love, you create this image of the people and places from the story and this one was very clear for me. I have no idea which particular bar Victoria Hislop had in mind when writing the book, if any, but in my mind, the place was absolutely Plaza Bib-Rambla and the bar was Cafe Bib Rambla. I have no idea if a family runs the bar – anybody else know? – but they are running the bar today in my mind.

Cafe Bib Rambla

At this very moment, I’m sitting in that very bar. The sun is shining and as has happened from time to time since I came to Granada 3 months ago, it has struck me that I am actually living here now. In Spain. In Granada.

Maybe it’s the sunshine or too many cortados already – are you allowed 3 before 11am? – but it’s suddenly strangely overwhelming. But also rather lovely…


  1. I have read the Return too. A great read for anyone visiting Granada.
    The Café Bib Rambla has been in the same family since 1927. The Navarro Family. José Navarro bought this bar then and it´s continued in the same family right up to today.
    From 1907 when this was opened it was run by another owner.
    The full history of the Café is here:
    I imagined the Return being set in another Granada square myself. Maybe I´ll re read to try to work it out properly…


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