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Brits Abroad



We recently visited Spain's (stunning) Costa Blanca after avoiding the Costas for many years in search of more "exotic" destinations, disillusioned with the "Brits Abroad" tag. But on this latest visit we couldn't help but notice that the Brits we came across were a whole new species.
Yes, you can still get a fry up for a few quid in the sea front bars of Benidorm and yes you can still have a beer with Gary Lineker's brother while watching the latest game on Sky TV. But the Costas and their clientele have transformed into something more sophisticated and British holidaymakers are barely distinguishable from the chic Italians, the sun-lounger loving Germans or the Siesta-ing Spanish who stroll along the promenades or sip espressos in pavement cafes. 
Many Brits Abroad stereotypes have all but died out and have been replaced with the demands of a cultured, well-travelled tourist who has climbed Macchu Picchu but still appreciates the rocky landscape surrounding Calpe's Penon de Ifach and the cobbled streets of Javea and Denia.
No longer can we be defined by the Six Costa Commandments:
1. Brits abroad love bland food. It was once widely believed that the coastline around Alicante specialised in roast dinners, fish and chips and, for real gourmet lovers, beans on toast. Now you're just as likely to see a British tourist dining on risotto in squid ink washed down with a bottle of vintage Rioja.
2. We drink cheap cocktails until we can't remember our own names. Actually, we're more likely to be seen sipping an iced Calimocho in one of Alicante's portside bars than downing a yard of ale in an "Irish" pub. We save that for our stag and hen dos.
3. We eat fry-ups for breakfast every day. There was a time when no day on the Costas could start without a sausage, some mushrooms, two rashers of bacon and a fried egg placed neatly onto a slice of fried bread. For the health conscious, half a tomato was often thrown in, though this had to be fried. However, the breakfast of choice for the discerning Brit Abroad is now a very continental helping of churros con chocolate or for the savoury types some spicy Morcilla.
4. You can identify a Brit by their skin colour: red. Perhaps we have Essex to thank but with the proliferation of fake tanning booths / spray tans / St Tropez self-tan and all manner of other tanning accessories we no longer suffer from the "lobster look" and instead parade the beaches a sophisticated shade of mahogany. We do still go out in the midday sun though. And talk about the weather a lot.
5. Everyone loves football and is a personal friend of David Beckham or Wayne Rooney. Finally, we have something else to boast about - and we can't thank the Olympics enough. We had a fabulous summer of sport and will live off this glory for decades to come, regaling tales of meeting Usian Bolt over a plate of tapas in one of Calpe's exclusive bistros.
6. We're rubbish at foreign languages. In fact, 38% of the British population speak another language and 18% speak a third language. So we'll be ordering our Fideua and Ajoblanco with the confidence of a native.