There is a long tradition around food and cooking in Spain. Anyone who knows me, knows I love to eat. And I found a lot to love in Spain. My favorite dish was the seafood paella. I also ate a lot of gazpacho. We had some great meals in Spain and I’ll mention just a few places we visited.
In Madrid, we went to El Rincón de Esteban, at Santa Catalina, 3, in Madrid www.elrincondeesteban.com, and it was delicious. The proprietor met us outside the door and constantly came to our table to make sure everything was okay. His wife supervised in the kitchen and kept a watchful eye on the diners and the wait staff. We sampled cava (Spanish sparkling wine) and were plied with appetizers. We were with a group of people, all of whom enjoyed their meals — primarily seafood. The owner walked us out and presented us each with a flower.
We also had two wonderful meals in Seville. After a tour of the cathedral, we had a great lunch at Robles, www.roblesrestaurantes.com. The bread was good, and so was the selection of Spanish cheeses, the gazpacho and the friedlangostinos. And for dinner in Seville, at Restaurante La Isla, we ordered the paella and it was easily the most wonderful thing I’ve ever tasted. It was paella for two and my sister and I couldn’t finish it. I tried the paella in Barcelona, but didn’t like it because it was dark (squid ink was involved) not yellow (with saffron). Maybe it’s a regional thing.
The hotels on the tour were luxurious and centrally located: Le Meridien Barcelona; Alhambra Palace Hotel in Granada; the Hotel Alfonso XIII in Seville; and The Westin Palace in Madrid. The meals, views from the room and the rooms themselves were unbelievable. One of the hotels even had a gold bathroom.
Then we walked along Las Ramblas to Barcelona’s largest open market, the Boqueria, where you could choose from candy, fresh seafood, everything under the sun. It was like a farmer’s market on steroids. Oh, and the gelato at Amorino on Las Ramblas was not to be missed. You get three flavors in a cone, all shaped into the form of rose petals. One thing to keep in mind. When we walked into the shop, nobody waited on us. We finally figured out that you have to pay for the gelato first,then go to the counter, hand them the receipt and tell them which flavors you want. Apparently, that’s the way it’s done in Europe. Stracciatella (chocolate chip) is my favorite flavor.
Lots to shop for in Spain: from shawls and castanets to jewelry and ceramics.
Museums: In Madrid alone, we visited three: The Prado, which featured Spanish, Italian, French, German and Flemish painting, sculptures, drawings and prints and decorative arts. Then there was the Reina Sofía, which housed Picasso’s Guernica. Finally, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, which had a very impressive collection.
The landscapes of Spain were breathtaking, each place was better than thenext. We took buses, the high-speed AVE train and a plane to complete our trip. The impact of Moorish, Jewish and Christian influences was evident. All in all, I guess I would have to say that Seville and Madrid were my favorite cities. I hope you all get an opportunity to visit Spain. There are so many more places in that country we didn’t go so I hope I can go back one day to see what I missed.
Georgia Author Marilyn Baron writes humorous women’s fiction, humorous paranormal short stories and romantic suspense. Her latest release, Dead Mix was released in July by TWB Press at http://www.twbpress.com/deadmix.html. To read more about “The Edger,” visit her blog at Petit Fours and Hot Tamales at http://www.petitfoursandhottamales.com/marilyn-baron/; for her angel stories visit TWB Press at: http://www.twbpress.com/achoirofangels.html. Find her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Marilyn-Baron/286807714666748. Her next book, “Under the Moon Gate,” a romantic thriller set in contemporary and WW II Bermuda, will be released from The Wild Rose Press in spring 2013.