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Brunch & Spa

November 20, 2018

We didn’t set our alarms again, and ended up sleeping until 11am (which was actually noon, as the clocks went back an hour).

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We got ready slowly, and took a cab to Travel & Cake, which is a sister restaurant to the place we went the day before.

 

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The wait was around 35 minutes again, but at least it wasn’t really raining!

 

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I ordered brioche french toast with bacon and sweet potato fries, and Cobi got a chicken avocado sandwich.

I’m not sure if mine was amazing or if I was just starving, but I inhaled it. Again, presentation was prioritized over anything else, but it was still good. I liked the salty sweet mixture of my breakfast.

 

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We walked around a little bit after breakfast, slowly making our way back to the hotel.

 

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The sun came out when we got back, so we decided to take advantage of it and hang out on our deck for a bit.

 

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I wish we’d had more of this weather yesterday!

 

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We poured ourselves little rum & cokes from the mini bar, and hopped in the hot tub.

Then we had a siesta before our 6pm massages later. It was the perfect slow, relaxing day.

I went for a relaxation massage, and the bed was like a waterbed! It was really cool. Cobi did a deep tissue massage. He said it was good, but he hurt afterward. We spent some time in the spa afterward, before heading back up to our room to get ready for dinner.

 

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I had been craving pasta, so we found a DYI Italian place called Macchina, where you can build your own pasta dishes.

 

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We shared Burrata to start, which was so, so good. And so cheap! Burrata this good would cost a ton back home.

 

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I got a simple Carbonara, one of my all time favourite pastas.

 

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Cobi had an olive oil and garlic gnocchi with porchetta.

It was so good. Definitely one of the simplest meals we’d had to date, but it hit the spot.

 

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On our way back to the hotel, we passed a crazy candy store and couldn’t help getting more Haribo treats. We snacked on some treats in bed, before going to sleep. We hadn’t explored Barcelona much yet, so we were hoping to get a good sleep tonight to wake up early tomorrow!

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Tickets Restaurant

November 19, 2018

We didn’t set an alarm, and had a luxurious sleep in. When we did finally get up, we saw that it was pouring rain, so we decided to take a cab to breakfast.

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We went to the cutest little place called Brunch & Cake. There was a huge line when we got there – good thing we had our umbrellas!

 

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After about 35 minutes standing in the rain, we were seated at a table in the window.

 

The fresh squeezed OJ was amazing, as was the chocolatey coffee.

I got avocado toast with fruit, and Cobi got fried eggs benedict. Both were good, but it seems like presentation was more important than the food itself. Mine was really hard to eat, but I still enjoyed it!

After breakfast, we went back out in the rain to wander around. I was pretty cold, so I stopped at Zara to pick up a warm hat.

 

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We walked over to the Mercat de la Boqueria, and walked through all the stalls.

 

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Everything looked and smelled amazing.

 

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Especially this pile of candy…

 

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The main reason for our visit to the market was to get an ice cream treat from Puerto Latino. There were fruity popsicles, ice cream sandwiches and tons of flavours of gelato.

 

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We couldn’t decide. The Banana Caramel and Cookie Butter looked particularly tasty.

 

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As did the Snickers.

 

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We decided to get a mixture of all the best flavours. Banana Caramel and Snickers for me, with Salted Caramel and Cookie Butter for Cobi. So delicious.

 

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We kept walking around the Gothic Quarter, doing our best to stay dry. We came across the Basílica Santa Maria del Mar, and decided to check it out. We’d missed the English guided tour, and did a self-guided tour instead.

 

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It was enormous, and very impressive.

 

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Regardless of the size, the staircases are always small and narrow.

 

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They reminded me of the staircase we had to climb to our hotel room in Luxembourg!

 

Enormous church, tiny doorways.

 

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We walked past the Museu Picasso… but the line was insane.

Walking past a museum is the same as going in, right?

 

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We walked to the Arc de Triomf, and were too tired to walk the rest of the way home so we jumped in a cab back to the hotel.

 

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We put on our plush robes and slippers, and went down to the spa.

 

We alternated between the hot tub, pool, sauna and steam room. It was the perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon.

After we had sufficiently relaxed, we went back to our room to get ready for dinner.

 

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Dinner tonight was at Tickets, a one Michelin star restaurant. Again I knew little to nothing about the restaurant prior to arriving, but I did know it was going to be a bit more fun than the other places we’ve gone!

 

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The vibe was old-school Circus. I loved it.

 

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Definitely the most fun and playful place we’ve been yet.

There were two options for the dinner – either choose dishes a la carte, or have the restaurant choose for you. We decided to go with the latter, and see what they presented us with!

 

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First up was one of their specialties – Spherified Liquid Olives. If you’ve watched Albert Adrià’s episode of Chef’s Table, you’ll have seen this dish. It was served alongside mackerel with prosciutto, and a delicious tomato-y bread.

 

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We also ordered some cocktails. I can’t for the life of me remember what they were, but they were both sweet and very delicious.

 

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This was one of my favourites – Squid Sashimi. I’m usually not a big squid person, but the texture and flavour of raw squid is unbelievable. We had it again later in the trip, definitely a new favourite.

 

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This was a wafer with very thinly sliced porcini mushrooms. I’m also not usually a mushroom person (again because of the texture), but this was amazing.

 

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Sea Urchin on crispy potatoes. This was not my favourite. Too mineral-y, tasted like an aquarium.

 

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Next up was Tuna Two Ways. The first was tuna tartare with nori crackers, and the second was tuna belly on an air puff cracker. Both so good.

 

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This next dish was another first for me. Razor Clams and Barnacles, with some sort of jelly for dipping. I had no idea how to eat them, but luckily we were given instructions.

 

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The lighter bits were the razor clams, and the darker bits on the ends were barnacles. Both were incredible, it was such an interesting dish.

 

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These were “prosciutto” crackers with cured beef. Simple and delicious.

 

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Next was tomato and burrata. Again, very simple but really good.

 

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These were oysters with some sort of sauce – can’t quite remember what the sauce was, but it was lovely and fresh! Poor Cobi had a cold and had lost a majority of his sense of taste, so he also has no idea what this was.

 

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This dish was another of my favourites – Mussels in a green curry sauce. Loved them so much, I could have eaten a ton more!

 

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This one looked like Christmas. Beef with pickled onions and cheese on top of crackers, dusted with powdered vinegar, We were asked to try the powder and guess what it was. We couldn’t put our finger on it, but once we were told it made total sense!

 

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This was a very cool dish, called Squid Risotto in two parts. First we were instructed to eat the squid, without drinking the liquid.

 

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Then, they spooned Zucchini Seeds (the ‘risotto’), into the broth. The Zucchini seeds had such an interesting texture, but I’m sure harvesting them would be a nightmare. I’m thinking we’ll try it once, just to see…

 

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Next up was Marrow Bone in two parts. The first part was potato stuffed with beef marrow.

 

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The second was bone filled with eggplant “marrow”. This one was really good. I don’t usually like marrow, but I definitely like Eggplant “Marrow”!

 

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The penultimate dinner dish was a little ham & cheese sandwich. Ham, cheese and mustard baked into a bun, served with mole dipping sauce. Cobi absolutely loved this one, but I was starting to get really full and didn’t finish mine.

 

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Last was king crab leg with pickled lettuce, potato puffs and butter foam. It was so sweet, it was unbelievable. Great end to the meal!

After we finished the crab, we were presented with a a box that held tickets for dessert. We were then taken into another room that looked like a scene from Willy Wonka.

 

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The ceiling was covered in hanging raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and candy canes.

 

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As well as flowers, greenery and strawberries!

 

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We were seated at the bar, and I couldn’t wait to see what dessert was going to be like.

 

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First we were presented with Spherified Lychee on the top of a rose.

 

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We were instructed to ‘kiss the rose’ to enjoy the lychee.

 

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Next was a Blueberry Pie. The little spheres were freeze dried and the crust was made of ice cream, and the whole thing was filled with cream. It was so good.

 

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This was so not my thing, but Cobi absolutely loved it. It was a wheel of cheese served with little cookies. The rind of the cheese was made of chocolate and hazelnut, and the inside was a brie cream. Too savoury for me, but it was still very cool.

 

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This one was my favourite. Stroopwafel ice cream sandwich filled with a thick caramel sauce. It was unbelievable, I wanted another.

 

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Next was a flower made of chocolate, coconut milk, with a hint of passionfruit and mint. So delicate, really lovely.

 

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Last was a chocolate, ice cream and passionfruit cake. So good.

 

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We watched the bartender make a crazy cocktail in a bag on a swing, and we needed to try it for ourselves. It was an interesting take on a Pina Colada, not dissimilar to the cocktail we had at StreetXO.

 

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We paid our bill and were served with fruit-filled After Eights.

What an incredible meal! Such a fun experience, and the Squid Sashimi, Razor Clam & Barnacles, Green Curry Mussels and Ice Cream Stroopwafel were over the top delicious. Definitely a highlight of the trip.

It was still raining when we left, so we cabbed back to the hotel and went right to sleep. Not a bad day!!

 

San Sebastián -> Barcelona

November 16, 2018

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We set our alarms for 9am, finished packing our bags, and stopped at Old Town one final time. Cobi branched out and went for a ham & cheese croissant, while I had a Nutella croissant. Both were so delicious, I was sad to be leaving our new favourite place.

We brought our bags to the car, and hit the road. Goodbye San Sebastián, you were delicious!

 

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A few hours into the drive we pulled in to a rest stop for water, a ham & camembert baguette, and some snacks for the rest of the drive.

 

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I’m loving the Haribo selection here!!

 

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Ooh is this where they grow the pens??

 

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We arrived at the hotel just before 5pm, and while the staff put our bags in the room, we had a glass of Cava on the beautiful patio. It was the nicest weather we were going to have while in Barcelona, so we had to enjoy it!

 

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We got up to our room and it was incredible! Those chaises were going to perfect for watching Netflix…

We were staying at the ABaC hotel, which had 3 Michelin Star restaurant attached. We had a reservation there in on our last night in Barcelona and I was really excited!

 

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We had the penthouse suite, with an absolutely beautiful rooftop patio.

 

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There was a lovely seating area under an umbrella (which we didn’t expect to use, with all the rain in the forecast…).

 

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And two chaises for lounging.

 

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The best part? Our own private rooftop hot tub!!

 

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The view from the hot tub was amazing – I couldn’t wait to enjoy a drink in the tub later.

After we settled in and unpacked a little, we headed out to wander the city.

 

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We made our way to the Plaça de la Sagrada Familia, but it was pretty dark by the time we got there so it was hard to really see the scale of it!

I had been craving sushi, so we found a well rated place on our walk and stopped for dinner. It was hard to read a Japanese menu in Spanish, but after googling the words for ‘avocado’, ‘prawn’, and ‘tempura’, we figured it out. And it was delicious!

 

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As we walked back to the hotel, we stopped for churros. We got one filled with Dulce de Leche, and one with Chocolate. Both were delicious, but the chocolate was my favourite!

We got back to the hotel and passed out in the huge, luxurious bed. I was excited for our first full day in Barcelona!

Pintxos Tour

November 15, 2018

After all the walking and eating yesterday, we were dead tired.

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We slept in, and eventually made our way to Old Town Coffee (of course) for some freshly squeezed OJ and coffee.

 

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Cobi got his avocado toast with tomato and ham, and I got my PB, banana, honey and coconut toast.

 

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After breakfast, we made our way back to the beach. It was grey and a little cold, but it was still nice weather for a walk.

 

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We decided to walk to the other end of the beach, and see where it took us.

 

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We were both pretty tired, so we slowly walked along the beach enjoying the view. Once we reached the end of the path, we turned around and made our way back to the apartment for a relaxed afternoon of naps and Netflix. We had a walking food tour in the evening, and we wanted more energy!

 

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After a rejuvenating nap, we head to the Mimo San Sebastián Cooking School for 6:30pm. We met up with the guide there, along with our new friends from Dallas that we met at dinner the night before, and a woman visiting from Tokyo.

Our tour guide, Verónica, was a local who has lived in San Sebastián her whole life. She was very knowledgable about the history of the town, and the history of Pintxos! She explained to us that Tapas came first, meaning ‘lid’ or ‘cover’. The origin is thought to be from requiring food to be served with alcohol to limit drunkenness, and customers would ‘cover’ their drink with the small plate of food.

 

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Pintxo, meaning ‘spike’, refers to the toothpick. We didn’t realize that you don’t always need to eat the bread, but typically it’s used to make it easier to grab.

 

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Verónica took us to all the best places for her favourite Pintxos, which were paired with incredible local wines. She told us that a common saying was “just a little, many times”. I love that.

 

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The original Pintxos is the Gilda, made of olives, peppers and anchovies.

 

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We also learned that the best Pintxos were not the ones out on the counter, but the ones you have to order from the menu. I wish we had known that a few days ago!

 

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This was my favourite dish by far. It was scallops in an almond milk broth, with crunchy slivered almonds and kale. So, so good.

 

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This was Cobi’s favourite dish – tuna belly topped with foie gras!

 

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He also loved all the delicious wine pairings.

 

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We also learned that good fried fish should never need lemon. You squeeze lemon on friend fish that has no flavour.

 

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The most interesting dish was this pile of mayo, peas, corn, eggs and prawns. We didn’t have any, but it sure looked intriguing.

 

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The weather was perfect. Clear skies and very mild, we hardly needed our coats!

 

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These little sausages were as delicious as they were adorable.

 

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“You can’t please everyone – you’re not a croquette!”

Truer words have never been spoken.

 

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Last stop was for dessert. I was so full, but this Brûlée French Toast was unbelievable.

 

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After the tour ended, Cobi and I went for another round of drinks with our new Dallas friends Emily & Devon.

 

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The cocktails were so delicious. And very pretty!

 

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The tour was amazing. If you ever find yourself in San Sebastian, we highly recommend the Mimo Pintxos Tour! After another round of cocktails, we walked our separate ways home. We packed our bags and went to bed early, as we had a 5.5 hour drive to Barcelona the next day.

Arzak

November 13, 2018

We were dead tired after dinner the previous night, so we slept late and had a slow morning.

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We’re creatures of habit I guess, so we went back to Old Town Coffee. It’s just so good.

 

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Cobi got his avo toast again, and I went with yogurt with fruit and granola.

 

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We had another 3 star dinner later that evening, so we wanted to work up an appetite. We walked across the river and through the town. It was a beautiful day, and we enjoyed our time in the sun!

 

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We found another old staircase leading to a mysterious location, so we of course made our way up.

 

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We weren’t positive where we were headed, but the view sure was nice.

 

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Eventually the path lead to a road, and we decided to look at a map to see if we were actually headed somewhere real. Apparently there were ruins a bit further along, so we decided to keep walking.

 

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We came across these stairs… and decided not to venture down them. Too creepy.

 

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These ones seemed more my speed.

 

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And they led to the ruins! We toured the ruins for a bit, which were old whale fishing watch tower.

 

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The views were pretty spectacular.

 

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We decided to head back down a different way than we came up. Cobi said it was a path, I wasn’t sure he was right…

 

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Sorry – where is this so-called path?

 

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Eventually the route cleared up and we actually made our way back into town.

 

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At this point we were exhausted and starved, so we stopped for pintxos and rum & cokes at Baztan. We snacked on blood pudding, sausage & egg, prawn, and a Gilda, the original Pintxos of pepper, olive & anchovy.

It was so beautiful out, we decided to find a patio to grab another drink in the sun.

 

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We stopped at Pub Terraza Txurrut, and Cobi got a G&T while I had a Radler. We sat, drank, and relaxed for awhile. It was still a few hours until dinner, so we decided to go back to the apartment and nap before our 9pm reservation.

 

 

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We walked the 40 minutes to Arzak, and I was really excited. Mostly because I was actually pretty hungry!

Arzak had a set menu, but you could choose between a few of the larger courses. Cobi and I went with different dishes so we could try more things.

 

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Our first appetizer was a citrus and mussel croquette. Great start to the meal.

 

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Not 100% sure what this one was, but there was a foie cylinder under the crispy cracker.

 

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Next was “Fortunate Fish & Cured Yolk”. Not sure how the fish was fortunate, as he ended up as my dinner…

 

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Another mystery appetizer. Our server unfortunately had a very strong accent and we missed a few key details. All I know is it was crispy and delicious!

 

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The final appetizer was called “Gilda”, after the original pintxos. It was a red pepper cracker with tuna and a strawberry jam. Super weird combo, but it worked.

 

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This dish was another of my all time favourites from the entire trip. It was horse mackerel marinated in local wine, and it was outstanding.

 

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Cobi wasn’t feeling too hot so we didn’t indulge in the wine pairings. Instead, I went with their house cocktail. It was white wine with amaretto, mint and orange. So good, I could have drank it all night.

 

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The lighting for the remainder of the photos is pretty terrible, and I apologize in advance. It’s hard to see, but there were delicious marinated prawns under a crispy krill cracker.

 

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This one was insane. Not only was the plating beautiful, but the perfectly cooked egg with crunchy corn, ‘tomato candy’, mushrooms and truffle crispy bits were to die for.

 

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For the larger plates, Cobi got the “Pretty Sea Bass” which was confit sea bass with crispy nori and sweet potato.

 

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I got the roasted Monkfish with pistachio shavings and soufflé skin. Both were incredible, but I think I preferred Cobi’s.

 

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For the next choice, I went with the “Symbolic Pigeon” which was roasted pigeon with blue potato and parsnips over oranges, vanilla and kimchi. It was so, SO good. I love pigeon, it turns out.

 

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Cobi’s was beautifully plated. He went with the “Clockwork Lamb”, which was roasted lamb with an acorn flour trellis, pepper ‘gears’ and black lemon pulp. It was also so good, but I was getting very full at this point and couldn’t have more than a small bite!

 

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Thank goodness we were moving into the dessert courses! First up was “Summer Frost” – Guava granitas with lemon ice cream and açaí. So light and refreshing.

 

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Next was hibiscus ice cream over beetroot crumble, with melon juice, dried bergamot and sumac meringue. This one was also very light and refreshing! They were a good ease into the dessert courses.

 

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This was a dessert I could get on board with – “Cacao Debris”. Literally a pile of shaved chocolate. Fantastic.

 

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Last was the “Square Moon”, which was a chocolate cube with a mint, neroli and kiwi liquid centre.

 

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Just when I thought it was over, they brought out a plate of petit fours! The yellow frogs were Turmeric, the chocolate frogs were Toffee, and the multi coloured frogs were Avocado. Then there was a passionfruit chocolate, and cinnamon sticks. We were fighters and finished them all!

 

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By the end, we were so stuffed. It was an incredible meal, I absolutely loved it! The experience wasn’t as over the top as Azurmendi, but I preferred the food at Arzak. The head Chef came out to each table after dessert, and she was lovely. She had recently been to Toronto, and complimented us Canadians on our top notch maple syrup.

We also met a lovely couple from Dallas who were seated at the table next to us and were also on their honeymoon. Turns out, we were doing the same walking food tour the following night! Cobi and I walked back to the apartment, and watched some Netflix before falling into a deep sleep. All the walking and food had really taken it out of us. Luckily I had two nights until my next Michelin meal to build my hunger back up.

Azurmendi

November 12, 2018

We set our alarm for 9am, as we had a late lunch reservation in Bilbao (about an hour outside of San Sebastián), and we wanted to spend some time exploring the town.

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We went back to Old Town Coffee, because the coffee was fantastic and the breakfast menu looked really good.

 

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Cobi got an Avocado Toast with tomato and ham, and I had toast with peanut butter and banana, topped with honey and coconut flakes.

 

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After we finished eating, we picked up the car from the parking garage, and drove to Bilbao. We parked near the Guggenheim, and started to walk around. We didn’t have quite enough time to tour the museum, but the building itself was beautiful! We walked along the water, around the museum, and through the town for a few hours, stopping once to grab a coffee before continuing on.

 

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There was a horrifying spider sculpture that I didn’t love, but I guess it was cool…

 

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We walked back to the car and drove to Azurmendi for our 3pm lunch reservation.

 

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The building was so cool. All glass windows, with a greenhouse on the top floor and the restaurant on the main floor.

 

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It was my first 3 star experience, and I couldn’t wait. Cobi had done all the research and made the reservations for all our Michelin meals, so I was a little in the dark on what they were all going to be like.

 

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When you arrive, you hang out in the waiting area where they serve you a glass of white wine that is grown on property. It was delicious, and the room was so cool.

 

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Still in the same room, they presented us with a little picnic! Clockwise from top left was Tartar of Iberico, Smoked Fish Brioche, Dry Asparagus (like an asparagus flavoured meringue!), and Hibiscus juice. Everything was incredible, it was good omen for the rest of the meal.

Next they brought us into the kitchen, and showed us what each station was for. In the kitchen, they served us a Truffled Egg and their own Vermouth. For the egg, part of the yolk was removed using a needle and a truffle consommé was injected back in, cooking the egg from the inside out. We didn’t take photos of this, as it was a somewhat immersive experience and we didn’t want to take our phones out!

 

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Next they brought us into the greenhouse on the main level, which was so beautiful. It was a smaller example of what they grew on the upper level, and they served us more appetizers.

 

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First was a delicious Fermented Apple Cider.

 

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Next was a “Spices Cornetto”, which was a hot pepper cone with some sort of cream and spices. Hard to explain, but so good. And smelling all the bagged spices was very interesting.

*A common theme for these tasting menus will be “hard to explain but so good”… apologies in advance.*

Next we were given what they called an “Herb Quark”, which was milk that curdled in a way where it turned into a kind of pudding. It sounds super gross, but it was really good. I took a photo of it, but suffice it to say it did not look appealing so I decided to leave it out.

 

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Finally, was the “Kaipirtxa”. This was an orb that burst with fruity flavour. It was like the appetizer dessert.

 

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After the Greenhouse, we were brought into the main room and seated. We had a fantastic table right by the window.

 

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The restaurant overlooks their vineyard, which was surprisingly tiny.

There were two tasting menus to choose from, one was Erroak (The Roots) and the other was Adarrak (The Branches). Our server said she preferred the Adarrak menu, so that’s what we went for. They were somewhat similar, but the Adarrak had Red Mullet and Iberian Pork where the Erroak had Monkfish and Pigeon. In retrospect, I somewhat wish we had gone with Adarrak because I had a lot of Pigeon on this trip (posts to come) and I absolutely loved it. I would have liked to try what Azurmendi offered!

 

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Already on the table when we were seated was a wood centrepiece with greenery. Turns out, the brown leaves on either end were part of the meal! It was an “Autumn Leaf” that was actually dried apple.

 

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First dish was Mushrooms Praliné, which was roasted mushrooms served atop mushroom powder, with dark chocolate twigs. The mushrooms were really good, but I had a hard time eating all the mushroom powder. Needed more chocolate twigs…

 

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Next was bean paste (the brown stuff) with jellied pumpkin and squash (the orange and yellow jellies), with a ‘citrus refresher’ to drink. It was really good.

 

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This one was beautiful as well as delicious! Inside the hollowed limes was a Foie Gras mousse topped with caramel sauce. They called it “Limón Grass”, I called it genius. I could get used to fine dining…

 

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The next dish was definitely one of my favourites. It was called “Sea Txakoli”, and was a fried oyster. One of my favourite dishes of all the restaurants we went to, for sure. We were told to eat the leaf separately. Not 100% sure why, but it was a delicious leaf.

 

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This was an oyster with an “essence of herbs”, whatever that means. Very delicious, medium confusing.

 

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Next in the small-portion-big-plates category was marinated shrimp on a layer of jelly, with a tomato sorbet. A very interesting mixture of flavours and textures, I enjoyed this one.

 

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Next I had “Cauliflower Textures”, another dish that is really difficult to describe. It was topped with shaved truffle, and was really tasty. This was actually a dish from the Erroak menu – I was intrigued by it, so they suggested I swap out one of the Adarrak dishes for it!

 

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The dish they swapped it for was “Sea Urchin 3 Ways” – a fritter, an urchin served with foam, and a sea urchin Bloody Mary. Cobi let me try the sea urchin with foam, but it wasn’t for me. I find it too mineral-y, I don’t like the ocean taste very much. But I loved the presentation!

 

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Next up – roasted and peeled lobster topped with a coffee butter foam. This one was very, very rich. Cobi loved it, but it was a little too much for me. Still very good, and I really liked the onions it was served with.

 

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Okay this one was so good. Anyone who knows me knows I looooove garlic. This was a garlic soup with garlic confit, garlic crisps, garlic crumbs and roasted garlic. Y-U-M!!! Garlic heaven.

 

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Next up was Red Mullet served two ways. The first way was smoked Sashimi, which was delicious.

 

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The second was roasted with pickled grapes. Pickled grapes, it turns out, are incredible.

 

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Can’t forget the milk bread. This was the best bread I have ever had in my entire life. I only ate one of the two because I needed to save space for the rest of the meal, and I regret not eating both.

 

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The next course was Pork two ways. The first way was crispy Iberian Pork meatballs with truffle and mushroom broth.

 

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The second way was a salty combination of piglet tail and anchovies. This was not my favourite, but Cobi enjoyed it.

This was the final savoury dish – I was ready for dessert!

 

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First up was an avocado paste with mango crisps, mint foam and lime ice. It was really, really good. Definitely my favourite dessert of them all!

 

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Next was yogurt ice cream with honey and five spice ice cream. So light and refreshing, it was delicious.

 

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Now, this one… definitely not for me. Sheep’s milk ice cream, dark chocolate truffles and cream on top of black olive powder. I love olives, don’t get me wrong. But not in dessert. NEVER in dessert. The truffles were nice, but that’s all I can say about it. Cobi absolutely loved it. I considered an annulment. But we got through it. Bleh.

 

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Thank goodness there was a final dessert course to redeem the meal! All the petits fours looked incredible, so we got one of each.

 

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Macarons, fruit jellies, truffles, chocolates, and a white chocolate lollipop. Served with a cappuccino to keep me out of a food coma at least until we made it back to our apartment in San Sebastián!

 

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Because all that wasn’t enough, the restaurant was kind enough to present us with a special celebratory dessert because they knew we were on our honeymoon. It was the most incredible chocolate cake, but I could hardly eat more than a bite, I was so full.

 

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After the meal, I needed to digest before getting back in the car so we decided to tour the grounds a bit. We started in the greenhouse upstairs, looking at all the herbs and spices.

 

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It was very beautiful, and fun to look at the flowers they grow to garnish the dishes!

 

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The balcony on the rooftop of the restaurant was stunning.

 

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We stood on the balcony for awhile, looking at the vineyard. It was pretty, but also I was just too full to move…

It was such an incredible meal. Perfect start to our time in San Sebastián! We drove back to our apartment, and were both too tired to go back out exploring, and we ended up calling it an early night.

Madrid -> San Sebastián

November 9, 2018

Travel day today! We set out alarm for 9am, packed our bags, picked up the rental car and set off for San Sebastián.

We didn’t have breakfast before we left, and about an hour in I started to get pretty hangry. Cobi knew I needed to eat soon or it wasn’t going to end well, so he took the next exit and we stopped at a random hotel.

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There ended up being a 5 star restaurant attached to the hotel, called Hotel Restaurante Las Casitas. I ordered an egg, potato & hash dish, and Cobi ordered something similar but with blood sausage. Both were so good, the perfect roadside stop!

 

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After we’d finished our meal, we got back on the road.

 

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It was a 4 hour drive – not too long, but we certainly required sustenance. Luckily we had picked up some perfect road trip snacks in Madrid! The selection of Haribo and Milka is what dreams are made of.

 

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The drive was so cool. It went from flat dessert-like terrain to big rocky hills.

 

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Made it!!

 

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We found our AirBnB, dropped off our luggage, then parked our car in the nearby garage. All the one-way roads were so narrow and complicated, it took us longer to get to the garage than we’d care to admit…

 

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The AirBnB was incredible. Big, clean, modern, with a lovely little patio. We were excited for our stay.

 

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After getting settled in the apartment, we went out exploring.

 

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We were feeling a little sluggish after sitting for 4 hours, so we stopped by Old Town Coffee for cortados and a chocolate chip cookie bar. The coffee was fantastic and the treat was delicious! The breakfast menu looked really good, so we planned on coming back the next day.

 

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We walked around aimlessly for awhile, admiring the beautiful churches and buildings. I love all the pedestrian-only streets in Spain, it makes walking around so much nicer.

 

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We made our way to the beach, where there was a surprising number of people swimming. It was way too cold for that!

We saw a statue at the top of the hill, and wondered what it was. Instead of looking it up, we decided to just walk to it and figure it out.

 

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The view from the other side of the beach was pretty spectacular.

 

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We found a path and made our way up the hill.

 

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I spy a statue!

 

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The statue was on top of Monte Urgull, a military fortress. The views were incredible, and you could walk all through the fortress.

 

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We decided to walk down a different way than we came up, and stumbled upon a bar on the side of the hill. We stopped for a beer while taking in the views.

I had become enamoured with San Sebastián very quickly.

 

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When we got back into town, we were both ready for some food and stopped at Gandarias for pintxos! We weren’t really sure what to get, so we got one of everything. The first plate had a ham thing, a crab thing, something with cheese and prawn. I had a glass of wine, and Cobi got a glass of Lustau Vermouth.

 

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The second plate had a selection of blood sausage, sea urchin, and prawn. Maybe something else, we couldn’t be sure.

 

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Last, something deep fried and sardines! Pintxos are supposed to be small bites, eating one or two before moving along. But they all looked so good, we tried nearly all of them.

We were exhausted from the drive and the exploring, so we made our way home after dinner, set our alarms for the next morning, and passed out.

I couldn’t wait to keep exploring San Sebastián!