Ulus_29_-016B Ulus 29  - Istnbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Vegetarian Friendly Turkey Istanbul Food

Ulus 29 – Istnbul, Turkey

Ulus_29_-013b Ulus 29  - Istnbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Vegetarian Friendly Turkey Istanbul Food

Ulus 29 Restaurant

(90)  212 358-2929
Adnan Saygun Caddesi
Ulus Parkı İçi No:71/1
34340, Istnbul, Turkey

www.group-29.com

OPEN HOURS:
12:00pm  3:00 pm – Monday – Friday
6:30 pm – Daily

In 1993, on a hilltop in the center of the Ulus neighborhood, interior designer Zeynep Fadıllıoğlu created this platform for marvelous views of the Bosphorus, the semi-circular enclosed space is a true example of east meets west.  There are magnificent crystal chandeliers hung over the center lounge and a fire place and the adjacent bar.   There is also a grand outdoor terrace, but we visited s during winter, so we did not get to enjoy much of it (although we tried but the chilling breeze sent us back inside).

The menu consist of 29 (a play on the name) traditional Ottoman dishes as well as well as some french and Japanese fusion options.  The eggplant was highly smoked, while being pure and fresh.  A few other standouts were the deep fried goat cheese salad with mizzuna, mint, arugula and strawberry reduction, the rice pilaf with butter and the grilled octopus with white-bean-and-tomato salad.

Reservations, as well as smart dress are highly recommended at this classic restaurant with its impeccable service.  We highly recommend a nice outing at Ulus 29; so enjoy a wonderful lunch or dinner, and then walk down the hill, all the way to the water. It’s not a bad way to enjoy some vacation time!

Ulus_29_-001 Ulus 29  - Istnbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Vegetarian Friendly Turkey Istanbul Food   lavaş bread garlic butter goat cheese rosettes

Ulus_29_-003 Ulus 29  - Istnbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Vegetarian Friendly Turkey Istanbul Food

Ulus_29_-004 Ulus 29  - Istnbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Vegetarian Friendly Turkey Istanbul Food

Ulus_29_-006 Ulus 29  - Istnbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Vegetarian Friendly Turkey Istanbul Food   Mizzuna, poached egg salad with perfect artichoke hearts and asparagus
Ulus_29_-008 Ulus 29  - Istnbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Vegetarian Friendly Turkey Istanbul Food   Dolmas, slightly sweet and very aromatic and lemony, defenetely the best we’ve had so far

Ulus_29_-009 Ulus 29  - Istnbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Vegetarian Friendly Turkey Istanbul Food

Ulus_29_-014 Ulus 29  - Istnbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Vegetarian Friendly Turkey Istanbul Food

Ulus_29_-015 Ulus 29  - Istnbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Vegetarian Friendly Turkey Istanbul Food

Ulus_29_-016B Ulus 29  - Istnbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Vegetarian Friendly Turkey Istanbul Food

Ulus_29_-018 Ulus 29  - Istnbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Vegetarian Friendly Turkey Istanbul Food

Ulus_29_-022 Ulus 29  - Istnbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Vegetarian Friendly Turkey Istanbul Food

 

5856545853_4dd2198c30_b Bota Bota Spa  -  Montreal, Canada Canada Montreal  Spa Montreal Cool Canada

Bota Bota Spa – Montreal, Canada

5856564371_f60134a13d_z Bota Bota Spa  -  Montreal, Canada Canada Montreal  Spa Montreal Cool Canada   above photo © Sid Lee

Bota Bota Spa

(1) 514 284 0333
Old Port of Montreal
358 rue de la Commune Ouest,
Montreal, QC, Canada

www.botabota.ca

OPEN HOURS:
10:00 – 22:00   Daily

A 52-meter long floating ferry, converted into a Scandinavian style spa by Sid Lee Architecture, on the St. Lawrence River provides perfect views of Moshe Safdie’s Habitat 67 and BuckyFuller’s geodesic dome; as well as a lovely place to grab a bit of hot and sun near old Montreal.

Go for a treatment, or simply take the Water Circuit – a three hour package that gives you access to saunas, steam room and the whirlpools, located on the third and fourth decks.  If weather permits, you can also get nice lay-down outside for some sunbathing.

There is no photo taking and severely policed, no talking rules – you are constantly remained to be quiet. This is both nice and annoying depending on your state of mind & company!  The restaurant is good enough with a health oriented menu.  Interestingly enough, and quite intelligently, the price varies depending day and time.

The top floor Sauna is  one of the most beautiful we have been to.  It is spacious, with a panoramic view of old Montreal.   Bota Bota is interesting place to explore and well worth a visit.  You journey from the locker rooms – in the former engine room – up to the the therapy rooms on the next deck – along side some interesting resting areas, with hammocks reclining beds.  Then as you climb you get to the aforementioned hot tubs and hotter saunas; culminating on the lovely roof deck.  Even in winter – a great escape!

5857106358_0809d0df55_z Bota Bota Spa  -  Montreal, Canada Canada Montreal  Spa Montreal Cool Canada   above photo © Sid Lee
5857159116_bf8995aba0_z Bota Bota Spa  -  Montreal, Canada Canada Montreal  Spa Montreal Cool Canada   above photo © Sid Lee
5857167116_932f2f9943_z Bota Bota Spa  -  Montreal, Canada Canada Montreal  Spa Montreal Cool Canada   As you journey towards the river – above photo © Sid Lee
5857115278_b0d262afe5_z Bota Bota Spa  -  Montreal, Canada Canada Montreal  Spa Montreal Cool Canada   above photo © Sid Lee
5856639869_9798c8eaf8_z Bota Bota Spa  -  Montreal, Canada Canada Montreal  Spa Montreal Cool Canada   above photo © Sid Lee
5856662713_e87fc7075a_z Bota Bota Spa  -  Montreal, Canada Canada Montreal  Spa Montreal Cool Canada   above photo © Sid Lee
5856560653_faf7af6e3b_z Bota Bota Spa  -  Montreal, Canada Canada Montreal  Spa Montreal Cool Canada   above photo © Sid Lee
5856615497_6a62cc1304_z Bota Bota Spa  -  Montreal, Canada Canada Montreal  Spa Montreal Cool Canada   above photo © Sid Lee
5856545853_4dd2198c30_b Bota Bota Spa  -  Montreal, Canada Canada Montreal  Spa Montreal Cool Canada   above photo © Sid Lee
5856547269_5292d1b1c2_z Bota Bota Spa  -  Montreal, Canada Canada Montreal  Spa Montreal Cool Canada   above photo © Sid Lee
5856612047_345d858d7a_b Bota Bota Spa  -  Montreal, Canada Canada Montreal  Spa Montreal Cool Canada   above photo © Sid Lee
5856609447_eb65ced150_z Bota Bota Spa  -  Montreal, Canada Canada Montreal  Spa Montreal Cool Canada   above photo © Sid Lee
Les-Cols-Pavi_013 Les Cols Pavellons  -  Olot, Spain Barcelona Spain  Spain Olot Hotel Girona Garrotxa Cool

Les Cols Pavellons – Olot, Spain

Les-Cols-Pavi_013 Les Cols Pavellons  -  Olot, Spain Barcelona Spain  Spain Olot Hotel Girona Garrotxa Cool

Les Cols Pavellons

(34) 69 – 981 3817
Avinguda de les Cols, 2
17800 Olot, Girona, Spain

www.lescolspavellons.com

About an hour and a half north of Barcelona is the Garrotxa, an area full of small volcanoes, nature reserves, and picturesque little towns.  One of these is Olot, and nestled towards the back of a 13th century farm house is the anachronistic Le Cols Pavellons hotel.

This science-fiction like hotel was designed by RCR Architects;  Who are also responsible for the superb restaurant next door, the two Michelin star “Les Cols

In the Pavellons, all rooms are built out of glass; floating over petrified lava.  The ceiling is metal and glass, and the rooms are separated from each other by front and back zen gardens.  Each is isolated in vision and sound – and it is hard  imagine where you are in the world whilst inside your private world.

Miquel-Guifre Les Cols Pavellons  -  Olot, Spain Barcelona Spain  Spain Olot Hotel Girona Garrotxa Cool   above photo ©  Miquel Guifré

As noted, the rooms, or pavellons, are very private being made out of several layers of opaque / translucent green glasses. Blackout shades, the same color tone as the glass, are remote-controlled via a minimalist panel that also controls ambient lighting.

The bathroom has a a floor level plunge tub that fills with soothing volcanic thermal spring water.  The amenities are likewise enjoyable – including the lovely, and very warm, slippers.

Breakfast is planed a day ahead and is left outside your door.  A tray of bread, orange juice,  yogurt, fruits, hard boiled eggs, honey and preserves, butter and tomatoes along with thermoses filled with hot coffee and cold milk.  This is such a lovely way to start the day; my words are just failing to describe the happiness this breakfast brings.

At checkout time, we were given a picnic bag with bread, olive oil, sausage, a round of cheese, salad, mineral water and a lovely bottle of wine.  A loving touch was a collection of postcards depicting watercolors of local attractions – and on the backs were hand drawn road maps of how to get to each one.  We took up the conceit and enjoyed a lovely day of site seeing and picnics!

The Pavellons at Les Cols is not the hotel for everyone;  we recommend reading other reviews before booking.   For us it was a dream location, painful to leave and first in our hearts to return!

Les-Cols-Pavi_029 Les Cols Pavellons  -  Olot, Spain Barcelona Spain  Spain Olot Hotel Girona Garrotxa Cool
Les-Cols-Pavi_010 Les Cols Pavellons  -  Olot, Spain Barcelona Spain  Spain Olot Hotel Girona Garrotxa Cool
Les-Cols-Pavi_006 Les Cols Pavellons  -  Olot, Spain Barcelona Spain  Spain Olot Hotel Girona Garrotxa Cool
Les-Cols-Pavi_003 Les Cols Pavellons  -  Olot, Spain Barcelona Spain  Spain Olot Hotel Girona Garrotxa Cool
Les-Cols-Pavi_017 Les Cols Pavellons  -  Olot, Spain Barcelona Spain  Spain Olot Hotel Girona Garrotxa Cool

 

Les-Cols-Pavi_015 Les Cols Pavellons  -  Olot, Spain Barcelona Spain  Spain Olot Hotel Girona Garrotxa Cool
Les-Cols-Pavi_021 Les Cols Pavellons  -  Olot, Spain Barcelona Spain  Spain Olot Hotel Girona Garrotxa Cool
Les_cols Les Cols Pavellons  -  Olot, Spain Barcelona Spain  Spain Olot Hotel Girona Garrotxa Cool   above photo © Les Cols Pavellons

Miramar – Girona, Spain

Miramar_Girona_011 Miramar  -  Girona, Spain Barcelona Spain  Spain Michelin Llançà Girona Food   Anchovies 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_006 Miramar  -  Girona, Spain Barcelona Spain  Spain Michelin Llançà Girona Food   amuse bouche
Miramar_Girona_008 Miramar  -  Girona, Spain Barcelona Spain  Spain Michelin Llançà Girona Food   amuse bouche
Miramar_Girona_010 Miramar  -  Girona, Spain Barcelona Spain  Spain Michelin Llançà Girona Food   anchovies Nardin with tomatoes, piparras (traditional long green pepper from the Basque Country ) and onion petals
Miramar_Girona_021 Miramar  -  Girona, Spain Barcelona Spain  Spain Michelin Llançà Girona Food     tuna carpaccio with sea urchin, quail egg yolk and citrus
Miramar_Girona_013 Miramar  -  Girona, Spain Barcelona Spain  Spain Michelin Llançà Girona Food   oyster tartar with caviar and apple foam
Miramar_Girona_022 Miramar  -  Girona, Spain Barcelona Spain  Spain Michelin Llançà Girona Food   Pulpitos (baby octopus) a la Gallega with Calçots and tender fava beans
Miramar_Girona_028 Miramar  -  Girona, Spain Barcelona Spain  Spain Michelin Llançà Girona Food   Crème Brûlée with spherificated fruits and flowers
Miramar_Girona_031 Miramar  -  Girona, Spain Barcelona Spain  Spain Michelin Llançà Girona Food   sugar covered ice creams
Miramar_Girona_029 Miramar  -  Girona, Spain Barcelona Spain  Spain Michelin Llançà Girona Food   a deconstructed version of apple “tarte Tatin” with ice cream
Laurea La Garroxta  -  Girona, Spain Barcelona Spain  Spain Olot Garrotxa Barcelona

La Garroxta – Girona, Spain

La-Garrotxa_004 La Garroxta  -  Girona, Spain Barcelona Spain  Spain Olot Garrotxa Barcelona

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-monsa-1024x351 La Garroxta  -  Girona, Spain Barcelona Spain  Spain Olot Garrotxa Barcelona   above photo Castellfollit de la Roca © Gabriel Monsa
RichardAlonso La Garroxta  -  Girona, Spain Barcelona Spain  Spain Olot Garrotxa Barcelona   above 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.

Laurea La Garroxta  -  Girona, Spain Barcelona Spain  Spain Olot Garrotxa Barcelona   above photo Volcà de Santa Margarida © Laureà

AlainMuller La Garroxta  -  Girona, Spain Barcelona Spain  Spain Olot Garrotxa Barcelona   above 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_003 La Garroxta  -  Girona, Spain Barcelona Spain  Spain Olot Garrotxa Barcelona   Fageda d’en Jordà

Fageda d’en Jordà, a cute birch forrest

51ecb531e8e44e67170000b5_parque-de-piedra-tosca-rcr-arquitectes_i18-986-02-1000x792 La Garroxta  -  Girona, Spain Barcelona Spain  Spain Olot Garrotxa Barcelona   above photo Parc de Pedra Tosca © Hisao Suzuki –  RCR Architects
Portada-809x1024 La Garroxta  -  Girona, Spain Barcelona Spain  Spain Olot Garrotxa Barcelona   above 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__008 La Garroxta  -  Girona, Spain Barcelona Spain  Spain Olot Garrotxa Barcelona   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

Sant-Pau__002 La Garroxta  -  Girona, Spain Barcelona Spain  Spain Olot Garrotxa Barcelona   view from Nucli antic de Santa Pau