Tag Archives: Spain

Miramar – Girona, Spain

Miramar_Girona_011Anchovies Nardin with tomatoes, piparras (traditional long green pepper from the Basque Country ) and onion petals

Miramar

(34) 97 – 238 0132
Passeig Marítim 7
17490 Llançà, Girona, Spain

www.restaurantmiramar.com

Open Hours:
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!)

 

Miramar_Girona_006amuse bouche
Miramar_Girona_008amuse bouche
Miramar_Girona_010anchovies Nardin with tomatoes, piparras (traditional long green pepper from the Basque Country ) and onion petals
Miramar_Girona_021  tuna carpaccio with sea urchin, quail egg yolk and citrus
Miramar_Girona_013oyster tartar with caviar and apple foam
Miramar_Girona_022Pulpitos (baby octopus) a la Gallega with Calçots and tender fava beans
Miramar_Girona_028 Crème Brûlée with spherificated fruits and flowers
Miramar_Girona_031sugar covered ice creams
Miramar_Girona_029a deconstructed version of apple “tarte Tatin” with ice cream

La Garroxta – Girona, Spain

La-Garrotxa_004

La Garroxta

Girona, Spain

www.ca.turismegarrotxa.com

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.

gabriel-monsaabove photo Castellfollit de la Roca © Gabriel Monsa
RichardAlonsoabove photo Castellfollit de la Roca © Richard Alonso

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.

Laureaabove photo Volcà de Santa Margarida © Laureà

AlainMullerabove photo Besalú © Alain Muller

Besalú:  another lovely town with a 12th-century Romanesque bridge that goes over the Fluvià river. The town is also famous for the restored “Miqvé” Jewish Purification Baths.

fageda-den-Jorda_003Fageda d’en Jordà

Fageda d’en Jordà, a cute birch forrest

51ecb531e8e44e67170000b5_parque-de-piedra-tosca-rcr-arquitectes_i18-986-02-1000x792above photo Parc de Pedra Tosca © Hisao Suzuki –  RCR Architects
Portadaabove photo Parc de Pedra Tosca  © Hisao Suzuki –  RCR Architects

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.

Sant-Pau__008Nucli 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

Sant-Pau__002view from Nucli antic de Santa Pau

Barceló Raval Hotel – Barcelona, Spain

lobby-hotel-barcelo-raval-6-121-50288above photo © Barceló Raval

Barceló Raval Hotel

(34) 93 – 320 1490
Rambla del Raval, 17-21
Raval   District
08001 Barcelona, Spain

www.barcelo.com

 

CmvArchitectsabove photo ©  CMV Architects

 

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!

room-deluxe-97-hotel-barcelo-raval21-50293above photo © Barceló Raval
room-superior-hotel-barcelo-raval-521-29965above photo © Barceló Raval
junior-suite-9-bathroom-hotel-barcelo-raval21-65793above photo © Barceló Raval
room-barcelo-9-hotel-raval21-82169above photo © Barceló Raval
junior-suite-room-9-hotel-barcelo-raval21-50281above photo © Barceló Raval
lobby-5-hotel-barcelo-raval21-67504 above photo © Barceló Raval
   restaurant-3-hotel-barcelo-raval21-67374above photo © Barceló Raval
bar-hotel-barcelo-raval21-1827above photo © Barceló Raval

lobby-2-hotel-barcelo-raval21-50284above photo © Barceló Raval