This restaurant was recommended by a Valencian friend and it is a great place to go for traditional Spanish home cooking and great value.
Inside it's decorated with painted Spanish tiles and you can see the food being prepared in the open kitchen. There's a range of typical tapas, seafood and meat dishes - it was good for children as they had some plain dishes like steak, grilled chicken or fish and also some more adventurous things including Paella.
It's tucked down a small street behind the ceramics museum in the Palacio Marques de Dos Aguas but is worth hunting out.
You can see my review and photos on my blog; heatheronhertravels.blogspot.com/2008/04/evening-out-with-angel-in-valencia.html
Restaurante La Utielana, Plaza Picadero de Dos Aguas, San Andres 4, Valencia, Tel 963529414 (The road is just behind Palacio Marques de Dos Aguas)
La Beneficencia is a free museum, and if you walk through the shady inner courtyard, you'll find the restaurant for a great value set lunch at €9.
Service starts at 2pm although I'd arrive a little earlier and have a drink as it is very popular with the locals.
For €9 you get three courses of excellent modern cooking and there are three choices per course. To give you an example of what we ate: salad of salt cod, chicken in a curried sauce with wild rice (or Valencian paella), coconut cream with pineapple and lemon sorbet. It was all delicious.
Museo de Prehistoria y de la Culturas de Valencia (La Beneficencia)
Calle Corona 36. You'll find it in all the guidebooks - it's next to the Institito Valenciano de Arte Moderno (IVAM).
This is a bar that I would dearly love to have just down the road at home!
Small, cosy and intimate, playing great music from Joy Division, The Smiths, Bowie, The Sex Pistols, etc.. An indie mecca for music.
Friendly bar staff, cheap prices and never that concerned about closing! I left there at gone 2am and there was no sign of people leaving, in fact others were still coming in!
Do yourself a favour and discover this little gem!
This is a lovely, clean, airy apartment around 5-10 minutes from Las Ramblas.
It sleeps 2-4 people comfortably and has very good facilities and is also very secure.
The nearest Metro station is Liceu.
There are numerous places to eat in close proximity to the apartment, all of which are excellent and outstanding value.
Ramon, the owner of the property, was a lovely guy and a real pleasure to do business with.
I fully intend on staying at this apartment again when I next visit Barcelona and cannot think of a reason why I would want to stay anywhere else!
Having read a bit about a restaurant called Aranda Asador in Barcelona, which serves lamb, I felt I had to add this restaurant. This is where the real lamb is, and it truly is the best in Spain here in Aranda, not in Barcelona!
The local speciality is lechazo, roughly translated as suckling lamb. I have been living in Aranda for around seven months now, and this is the place to eat the best lamb by far. It also serves wonderful morcilla arandina, like a black pudding but with rice. This is better than any other morcilla I've tried, and El Lagar is the best restaurant in town.
Calle Isilla, 18
09400 Aranda de Duero
The north coast of Spain is much neglected but if you happen to like, say, the Yorkshire Dales (on a much bigger scale) then it's the place for you. In addition to fine mountains we also have caves with prehistoric paintings, the village where Spanish Modernism began (Comillas) and fine food.
We have lived here for ten years and would never live anywhere else. Try El Nuevo Molino in Puente Arce for excellent food and wines. Also, almost any bar will offer a Menú del Día for around €10 which includes three courses, bread and wine. Don't miss Cocido Montanés, a luscious bean stew, and very good cheeses.
We stayed over at La Casa Azul which is right in front of the central market and we found this lovely new Gastronomik tapas bar/restaurant called Tapa2.
We were amazed at what we got - five courses of pure delight, all served with different drinks to wet the palette.
The owner Eduardo Phillips Blanco (you would be surprised to find out he is English, with that name) and head chef Michael Baering not only provided and served some of the best food we have ever eaten but also entertained us.
Our meal cost us 35 euros each and that was with all drink included, they do a deal with three tapas dishes and a bottle of vino for 15 euros most nights though.
Find them off the beaten track, near La Lonja, not the best setting but the restaurant is cool and funky and it hasn't copped on with the Spanish yet.
Carda6, Barrio del Carmen, Valencia
+34 663 875 903
www.tapa2gastronomik.es (not up and running yet)
Great environment. Excellent cava selection. Even though there might be a queue the line moves quickly - we were out the door and it took us less than 20 minutes to sit down (can't book). I preferred it to the sister restaurant - the flagship Commerce 24 (too sterile for me).
A traditional bar that is still going strong and has resisted being turned into one of the omnipresent kebab joints or pseudo-chic spots that have become so popular in recent years. Probably the only place in Granada where you pay extra for the tapas, but well worth it: pickled aubergines, potato omelette or small rolls with an infinite variety of fillings, washed down with a glass of Jumilla wine from their vats.
It's in Joaquin Costa St., just off Plaza Nueva. Take your phrase book.
Casa Tío Juan is a self-catering rental house that sleeps up to 12. It's a traditional village house in the centre of Hoyos del Espino in the heart of the Sierra de Gredos. We had a great time there and will definitely be returning! Great mountains, stunning scenery and so much to do. The village has bars and restaurants, shops, a bank - everything that you could want within a few minutes walk. By car you can vistit Ávila, Toledo, Salamanca. The Sierra de Gredos is an undiscovered gem. Go before everyone else does!
The Born area is a lovely area of Barcelona, with loads to do, great boutique shops, cafes and general vibe that is hard to beat. Ate lunch in a small restaurant close to Santa Maria del Mar called La Luna which had a €12 menu which was a treat and great food. That night we wandered the Born again to bump into a lively joint called La Fianna, full with a great atmosphere and the best cocktails in the world! Oh I love Barcelona what about you!
The Sierra de Gredos, which forms part of Spain's Sistema Central, is approximately 140 kms in length running from Cerro de Guisando in the east to the Sierra de Bejar in the west, and boasts glacial cirques, mountain rivers and falls, and peaks reaching nearly 2600m.
Every season has something to offer in Gredos – from winter snow and ice, through the verdant and flower-rich spring to the pleasant temperatures of summer and the beautiful colours of autumn.
For those who like to be active, the Sierra offers walking for all abilities, climbing and scrambling on both rock and ice, cycling, mountain biking, paragliding, horse riding and both cross country and extreme skiing.
For others, there are rivers to swim in, historical sites and cities to visit and many beautiful natural spaces rich with an abundance of wildlife and nature to discover and explore.
Plaza del Triunfo is a great square sandwiched between the Giralda and Alcazar Gardens to sit on a warm sunny day with a good book watching the world go by. If you follow the Cathedral wall you come to Plaza Nueva where Seville's elite gather in the evening. The square is surrounded by boutiques and nice eateries and bars and is a good place to get a taxi.
Beware of the restaurants surrounding the Cathederal and Giralda as they are over-priced and will produce a different menu for the tourists!
Try and visit the cobbled winding streets of the Santa Cruz quarter where you will find traditional tapas bars, senors playing the guitar and flamenco dancing.
Seville is all in all a beautiful place to visit.
If you are visiting Seville I would strongly recommend the Murillo Hotel situated in the winding back streets of the Santa Cruz quarter. This hotel is a two-star that deserves to be upgraded, has friendly helpful staff, is clean and is five minutes away from Seville's main attractions. To top it off it has an amazing roof terrace with stunning views of the Cathedral and beyond. Opposite there is a traditional friendly tapas bar that serves reasonably priced food.
Es Petit Hotel in Valldemossa is a wonderful family-run hotel in the Tramuntana. With only eight rooms, each one of them different, it provides the best choice for a relaxing break.
Excellent personal treatment, plus amazing home-made Mallorcan food, and breathtaking views.
Newly opened zoo which tries hard to present itself as ecologically sound and involved in saving species. It's a taxi ride away in the west of Valencia. Children will love being really close to the animals - and it will be even better once the monkeys are there. Rather pricey at € 20/adult.
Take a taxi which will cost under €10.
Close to Plaza de la Virgen down a very quiet alley is this unassuming rather dark restaurant. Excellent food, with a choice of either the €12 lunch of the day or a special Dégustacion menu (which everyone has to choose) for €18. Very good quality modern Valencian cooking.
C / Conquista 3
Tel: 963 910 364
Many people know Spain as a tourist destination.
Many people know Spanish wines. But nearly nobody enjoys wine tourism in Spain.
There are lots of wine regions and marvellous wineries to visit. The areas where wineries are located usually offer excellent food and at budget prices. The offer is enormous.
A sky resort mainly, but there are some mountains you can climb and other trails you can follow.
A local told us you can follow a trail from Puerto de Navacerrada back down to the town of Cercedilla which takes about three hours.
Absoutely amazing views on top of the mountains of Madrid and Castilla y Leon. Makes for an amazing day out.
Take the train from Nuevos Ministerios, Atocha or Charmartin to Cercedilla where you change to take the train up the hill to Puerto de Navacerrada. Takes about two hours in total from Charmartin.
From there, follow other hikers up the hill and the various trail signs.
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