In the two Spanish wine regions par excellence, Ribera del Duero and La Rioja, separated by barely a half-day’s journey by car, we find many of the best examples that pair wine culture with contemporary architecture.
Safe, well-equipped, close to charming villages, hidden among the pine forests, in the center of all the action or quiet enough to provide the tranquility that we all need. And in all of those places, sunshine is guaranteed. Year after year, our beach cities have received the Blue Flag label from the European Foundation for Environmental Education. This year, 648 received this distinction, far outstripping Greece, France and Italy.
But if it’s more your style to dive right in, to discover hidden coves, swim in serene solitary waters, and feel the waves rock from on deck, you will surely become enamored of the possibilities on Spain’s coast. A small boat along the Mediterranean seaboard, in an old schooner…. salt and sun in Spain.
But we want to show you where it all began, the heart of Basque gastronomy, where one of the greatest culinary traditions took shape—and continues to develop. At THE REAL THING, we will reveal to you one of the Basque people’s best-kept secrets: Gastronomic Societies. Places where women were once prohibited and where men met to talk amongst themselves, and in particular to cook with friends and try one another’s meticulously prepared dishes.
We will meet in our chef’s kitchen and, attentively following his instructions, will prepare a meal using the ingredients we buy together on our morning visit to the market.
But if you’re looking for creativity, innovation, skill and sophistication in Catalan haute cuisine, you can’t leave Barcelona without eating at the best restaurants in the world. A city where Michelin stars abound.
La Perla has an ancient and fascinating tradition, in addition to being located on La Concha, one of the world’s most beautiful beaches. The current building where La Perla del Océano (its official name) is located—El Perlón, as the people of San Sebastián call it—opened in 1912, is one of the authentic heirs of the Belle Époque and was one of the preferred retreats of Queen Maria Christina, who sought out the baths that were so highly recommended by the Royal Family’s doctors.
It was refurbished in the 1990s, and today La Perla Spa and Sports Center is one of the most modern in all of Europe.
That’s how Stein described Majorca to Sir Robert Graves, who lived out his final days there.
There’s no better way to get to know an island than by sea. THE REAL THING proposes that you let the waves rock you in a hidden cove and wake up to the virgin pine forests and impossibly turquoise waters; sail to Palma and discover its cathedral, which sits like an enormous stranded boat; walk from the port of Valldemossa up to the Carthusian Monastery, and from there to Deià to see the places described by the two renowned authors.
Authentic products and new chefs have reinvented Spanish gastronomy. Since 2000, names like David Muñoz, Ferran Adrià, the Roca brothers, Dani García, Carme Ruscalleda and Elena Arzak have become synonymous with superlative cuisine which is exported all over the world.
From bar to bar, our outing will bring you to new heights of pleasure that will be difficult to surpass. Together we will discover the secrets of Basque gastronomy, learn more about the culture behind such a special city, and participate in an important part of its lifestyle.
In addition to making reservations for you at the best restaurants and recommending lesser-known locales, we’ll accompany you to the market, cook with you and take you for tapas.
Perhaps the best way to discover Spanish cuisine from the bottom up is with one of our chefs. We’ll head to the market to seek out the best seasonal products and produce, then learn some tricks in the kitchen and savor our creation.
And if wine is your passion, you’ve come to the right place. Because wine has been a part of our history (Spain has more than 60 Designations of Origin); because it’s pleasure, both aesthetic and sensorial; because there’s always a cause for celebration… for these reasons—and many more—we invite you to exclusive guided tastings led by our sommeliers, and to pairings, a surprising labyrinth of flavors, colors and aromas.
You won’t want to miss our post-market plan either: a cooking workshop led by one of our chefs with whom we will cook—and eat—the delicious food we buy in the market.
And if you’re not in the mood for cooking, an alternative for after the market is to have a vermouth in one of the traditional bodegas which still maintains every bit of its authenticity: the soul of Barcelona.
Welcome on board!
Different olive varieties yield different types of oils with very specific qualities and truly particular attributes. Learn about them, taste them, and follow our map in search of the finest oils in what is truly one of the best ways to get to know Spain.
At a terrace in summer or in a series of bars, each of which generally has its own specialty. The only choice you have to make is go from one to another, in search of the most mouth-watering morsel, morning or night.
The tapas experience is great in many ways, but in one way in particular: there are no rules; what’s most important is to enjoy eating in a way that is truly original and profoundly Spanish.
This tradition has been further modernized. New, fashionable spas have been built, offering the latest global trends in relaxation, with avant-garde Spanish restaurants, outdoor activities, and popular physiotherapy and beauty treatments.
Spa-hotels are the ideal place to rest, charge your batteries, and continue on your way.