13:30 – 15:30 Lunch – Tuesday to Sunday
20:30 – 22:30 Diner – Tuesday to Saturday
In the Costa Brava municipality of Llançà, a about an hour away from Barcelona and very close to the french frontier, on the promenade across from the marina, is Paco Perez’s two Michelin star restaurant -Miramar.
Instant happiness, when the brought out the amuse bouche: A collection of fragile, crunchy delights. Followed by breads so flaky and decadent, it was difficult not to over indulge.
Elegance emanates from the dining room overlooking the sea. In contrast to the stark whites and the long ocean; the plating is strongly influenced by the Catalan surrealistic artist artists from Joan Miró to Luis Buñuel and the poetry of Federico Garcia Lorca.
At the time of out visit, the restaurant was celebrating its 75th anniversary with an extension to the menu. The were bringing back a selection of old favorites like the Millenial egg, black trumpet parmentier (mashed baked potatoe) angulas (glass eels). Our favorite was from rebirth from the turn of the millennium, the oyster tartar with caviar and apple foam. The other stand out was tuna carpaccio with sea urchin, quail egg yolk and citrus. One must note to stand out at Miramar, is quite an achievement!
The dining experience is everything one would expect from a 2 star seaside institution; the service was kind, attentive and patient – the only thing we would have asked was for a bag of bread to go (it was sooooo good!)
anchovies Nardin with tomatoes, piparras (traditional long green pepper from the Basque Country ) and onion petals
tuna carpaccio with sea urchin, quail egg yolk and citrus
oyster tartar with caviar and apple foam
Pulpitos (baby octopus) a la Gallega with Calçots and tender fava beans
Crème Brûlée with spherificated fruits and flowers
sugar covered ice creams
a deconstructed version of apple “tarte Tatin” with ice cream
La Garroxta is an absurdly lush and lovley county in the province of Girona – just north of Barcelona- by northern Cataluña. While it is very small, there are many places to explore and all within close distance to each other!
We explored some of the volcanic region around the town of Olot, where we stayed at “Les Cols Pavilions”
There are about 40 volcanoes in the region, with Croscat and Santa Magarida being the more impressive ones.
Castellfollit de la Roca: This beautiful thin town, dating from the 13th century, is situated on the edge of a fifty meter basalt cliff, almost a kilometer long. The cliff is the result of the erosive action of the rivers Fluvià and Toronell.
Parc de Pedra Tosca: This rough rock park was a monumental project. Constructed by RCR Architects, it involves volcanic rock mounts constrained by rusted steel plates creating a pathway to Les Preses Volcano Park.
Nucli antic de Santa Pau
Nucli antic de Santa Pau: yet another tiny Jewish settlement built between 13th and 14th centuries, with an abandoned castle in the middle
When we first booked our hotels for our Barcelona trip, we decided to stay in a different area of town due to the proximity of the tourist circus , a previous bad experience at a Barcelo hotel in Turkey and the bad reputation of the Raval district. However, we decided to stay there for a couple of nights after our Garrotxa excursion (lovely!).
To our surprise Raval was the most enjoyable and energetic area for us in Barcelona, it felt more happening, and having libraries, schools and the CCCB (Barcelona Center for Contemporary Culture) a couple of blocks from the hotel certainly helped. Located about three blocks away from the main Ramblas ultra touristic area, the Hotel itself is comfortable and the rooms compact and practical. While the service was average, the overall package proved a good value in terms of location, design and ease.
A friend looking for a nice, yet not over the top expensive hotel, stayed for a week in April 2015 and found it about the same as we did. A ‘Blog-Worthy’ home base in a wonderful part of the world!