Take a little time to discover some of Spain’s Michelin starred restaurants, whilst truly absorbing the Spanish culture. Get involved in incredible Michelin starred culinary classes, meet the bulls up close and personal, and enjoy wine tasting rarities. Here are a few different ideas to get you started.
Authentic Michelin star tours in Andalucia
Take a tailor-made Michelin starred trip in Andalucia, which is so meticulously designed that you should feel like you have the most influential friends in all the right places. From spending time on a bull ranch, to tasting possibly the best fish dishes in your life; the itineraries of these Michelin star gastronomic and cultural tours are totally customised for you. Here are a few suggestions to whet your appetite.
In the beautiful old town of Marbella, you can learn to cook Michelin star style under the supervision of Skina‘s head chef. The experience starts off by sourcing delicious fresh ingredients at the local market, then preparing gastronomic delights for lunch and later enjoying the Michelin starred dishes with the best wines. At night time guests are treated to a special tour of the town centre.
On the way to Jerez guests visit a bull ranch, a private bull ring, whilst enjoying the hospitality of the owners and walking in the fields of the ranch. It is a unique opportunity to experience this core aspect of Spanish culture, by learning about the bulls and seeing them in their natural habitat.
In the evening it is time to go to the Michelin starred Aponiente, where the fish dishes are possibly the best you will ever taste during your lifetime! Meet the chef owner, Angel Léon, who expressed what animates him in Time Magazine: “Tell a story about what happens in the sea.”
Before leaving Jerez, the next day, guests visit two unique, yet distinct wineries. Soak up the origns of the Jerez sherry wine, enjoy the smells and flavours, and of course do some tasting!
Dine at Abantal, where the cuisine is highly creative, with specialities which include white prawns from Huelva. The walls of the restaurant have been left bare on purpose so as not to distract diners from the gastronomic experience.
The following day in Seville guests get to know the city, including highlights such as the cathedral, the Alcazaba, and sample the delights of a typical Sevillano tapas route. Take a beautiful boat ride on the Guadalquivir enjoying the vibrant colours and aromas, perhaps with your favourite tipple in one hand.
Tonight’s dinner is at a private residence. Set in arguably one of the most spectacular residences in Seville; this a a wonderful experience, and one of the specialities of this travel company.
Other favourite destinations offered by this company are Ronda and of course Malaga. These tailormade tours can include visits to olive mills, farms, cooking classes and plenty of other places which surprise and delight.
For more information, visit http://www.crisandkim.co.uk
Gastronomic Catalonia including lunch at the best restaurant in the world
This one week tour takes in plenty of wonderful food, wine, architecture and art. It is one of a range of gastronomic tours organised by this provider.
On the first day in Barcelona, guests take in the city’s cosmopolitan market place and visit a chocolate emporium. Dinner in the evening has a 1900s theme, as recipes originate from the gent de bé, which are the legendary good families of Barcelona. The gastronomic experience takes place at Casa Calvet, which was originally built by Gaudi for a textile manufacturer. Today the restaurant which is housed in the building of the same name offers a classy food experience which matches the architecture.
Highlights of the second day include wine tasting with rarities from Penedés and Priorato, time in the Art Nouveau Boquería and a visit to the Palau de la Musica. Dinner is a tapas tour. The next morning is spent at the Nacional d’Art de Catalunya which is home to the largest collection of Romanesque frescoes worldwide, which is topped off by lunch at the Hotel Arts‘ rooftop restaurant. Chef of the Year 2004, Sergi Arola, creates traditional Catalan cuisine dishes with a twist.
On the fourth morning, there is time to walk in Gaudi’s Parc Güell before setting off for Sant Celoni to have lunch in Can Fabes, the restaurant of the late Santa Santamaria, which is situated in the 250 years old farmhouse where he was born. Today it is run by Xavier Pellicer. Look forward to a top-notch Michelin 3 star experience.
From the fourth day guests will stay for 3 nights at the 16th Century manor house of Mas Pau, visiting Girona on the fifth day to have lunch at El Celler de Can Roca. This currently hold the title of best restaurant globally, having displaced Noma. Run by three brothers, the restaurant considers itself to be “a freestyle restaurant committed to the avant garde”.
On day six, there is a drive to the port of Coilliore, which was a retreat favoured by Matisse, where there will be a light anchovy lunch in the pretty harbour. That night dinner is at Mas Pau, where you’ll find Xavier Sagrista, who was one of the co-founding partners of El Bulli.
On the final day there is time to visit the Dalí Museum in Figueres, before heading to Barcelona airport to fly back to Heathrow.
For more information, visit http://www.martinrandall.com
Private culinary San Sebastian tours
Sample and learn Basque cooking during a 3 day tour, which can be customised according to your desires. This is one of a range of culinary tours on offer from this provider. Here is a sample itinerary:
Your own elegant, private driver will pick you up from Bilbao Airport to bring you to your 5 star historic hotel in San Sebastian. A bottle of something lovely awaits you in your riverside hotel, the Belle Époque Maria Cristina, which is located right on the Bay of Biscay and close to lots of chic shops and charming surprises of the old quarter of San Sebastian.
After a relaxing afternoon, the evening’s exceptional treat is dinner at the 3 Michelin starred restaurant – Martin Berasategui. Your driver will pick you up to bring you to this once in a lifetime experience. The Grand Tasting Menu is an incredible, unforgettable gourmet experience, served with paired wines.
The next day you will have a private lesson in Basque cuisine, with a very charming, famous, published chef. Your driver will take you for a pleasant walk through the old town to bring you to the professional culinary academy. Once there it’s time to don your aprons and get chopping with your famous teacher and host. You may create dishes such as Sea Bass with Green Pepper and other typical Basque dishes, which at lunchtime you’ll enjoy with fine Rioja wines, which originate from only an hour and a half away from San Sebastian. In the afternoon you can choose to relax and do your own thing, or your driver is on hand to take you to see local villages or the Chillida sculpture park.
Another unforgettable 3 star Michelin restaurant is on the agenda for the night, at Akelarre with remarkable chef Pedro Subijana. The dishes are bursting with springy freshness, the flavour combinations are supreme as are the views over the Bay of Biscay.
For more information, visit http://www.cellartours.com
Jackie de Burca is Co-owner of Holiday Home Advice.