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“You look so different”, I compliment my friend Klaus back home in Austria, “have you lost weight?! I feel like I’ve just gained at least fifteen kilos, travelling #inCostaBrava for the past two weeks”, I add, laughing. Incredible how my foodie travel writer friends Amber & Eric have been able to literally wine & dine themselves around Costa Brava for an entire month straight !!
As I am here sharing about creative travel options in Costa Brava & the Pyrenees, there is no way we could not be talking about food, too. Creativity, and gastronomy, pair up naturally, and I am happy to share this lovely little foodie post, including lots and lots of gourmet travel tips, for you here.
1. Tapas. Just about right for a little snack during the day, or winding down for dinner at the end of one.
There is, of course, a rather endless list of (good) tapas bars all over Costa Brava, but I will mention the following for you in terms of their excellent location, their good value for money, as well as the quality of the food we’ve enjoyed on our trip. Note that many restaurants will also offer a (separate) tapas menu, so you will find them almost everywhere – the ubiquitous food item to go for in Catalonia, and Spain.
By the way, did you know that “tapar” literally means “to cover”? Typically served as a first course before the main meal, it “covers” (quiets) the stomach – or doubles as the main course if you order, say, a full selection of different tapas to share. Check this out.
2. Three utterly charming (and delicious) countryside restaurants. Make way (and escape) from the cities!
Girona, and Barcelona, are great in terms of city life, but what about having lunch or dinner a little further afield? The pace is much quieter, the food well worth it, and chances are you might hug and become friends with, the chef after you’ve had your meal! 😀
3. On your way to the Pyrenees …
… make sure you stop in a place called Lladó, about half an hour’s drive from Figueres (it’s lost, I know, lost on the countryside .. but that’s exactly why I want you to go there, because I, too, would never have found it if it hadn’t been for sweet local winemaker Adriana taking me right there (gràcies, Adriana!).
Restaurant Carles Antoner is such a revelation : The village is quiet but for this one restaurant, the chef is creative beyond imagination, and even cares to serve us a free sample of a delicious dish he just created! Like that. Yum! Go check it out.
4. … and back down to the sea: Think Blanes, and La Bisbal d’Empordà, for further delightful foodie stops #inCostaBrava.
Casually, the restaurant owner at La Sola Gastronomic Bar & Restaurant in Blanes, throws in that they have just been nominated for best chef, eventually managing a slightly proud grin. “You deserve it”, my group of friends & fellow travellers proclaim in unison, bellies full from the lovely food we’ve just enjoyed. The story is a similar one in La Bisbal d’Empordà, where Restaurant La Cantonada not only serves us gorgeous food, but also uses lots of locally produced ceramics as plates (more about getting creative with local artists in the Empordà region in a separate post!).
5. Last but not least, the foodie feast is on in Girona. Consider doing something different: Cook your own candle light dinner! The girls at “Local Market Girona” offer you the perfect cooking class experience.
That’s if you wish to be active! For the “lazy” ones among you, I can still recommend heading to Le Bistrot, or Llevataps Restaurants in downtown Girona, both excellent choices for either lunch or dinner.
However, let me now introduce you to Irene Bou. Boy, you will want to meet her : She is smart, sweet, and just loves cooking! “Local Market Girona” for the sweetest girls I’ve met hosting me on a cooking class – ever !!
… I love the video Irene recorded from our cooking class: Viewed & commented on more than 1.000 times!
Tip: Some of the restaurants here are also featured in my latest travel video edit about Costa Brava & Pyrenees, explaining more about my creative travel adventures and the wonderful, wonderful people I’ve met:
Enjoy with sound : The song “Camins” I have chosen to go with the video, performed by local band Sopa de Cabra, will make every Catalan cry with emotion, I am told ..! 😀
Disclaimer: I have been supported on this trip by Costa Brava Tourism Board. All opinions are my own.