Saturday, 19 September 2015

From the Basque country with love.


In July 2013, my husband and I decided to travel to the Basque country ,to explore the fusion of ingredients on the borders of both Spain and France. The idea of fusion cooking, with the best of ingredients ,  great wine and off course  great company , had me giddy with excitement. 
We arrived in Bilbao and stayed at the 'Hotel Míro' for a couple of days. Bilbao is known for it's Guggenheim Museum and it's a charming place. 

In exploring Bilbao, we came across a specialist grocery shop (more like a boutique for fruits) and purchased some plums and peaches. They were the best plums and peaches I had ever tasted.  I reserved some of the plums and peaches for our trip to Biarritz .

  

The next day, we hired a vehicle and drove to Guethary in Biarritz, the best decision we ever made. We picked some fresh salads from a deli next to the Hotel Míro  for our trip, drove through picturesque towns, finding odd buildings in the middle of the motorway and stopping to have a picnic by a beach in Bidart.


We finally arrived in Guerthary and checked into the most amazing boutique hotel http://www.arguibel.fr 
The exterior of the building was understated but boasted of a homily feel. The vintage rusty Fiat Panda parked on the drive way with loads of cigarette butts in the tray and the boho look of our host, who happened to be the owner gave me a sense of excitement and freedom for our stay.

                                 


The reception was breathtaking, the interior was designed with clashing colours, furniture and flooring which added to it's unique retro feel. I was in love and couldn't wait to see our room. 




The host offered us a glass of his finest vintage Champagne, checked us in and did a grand tour of our new home for the next 2 nights before we continue to San Sebastian. 
The host then advised the bar was run based on 'honesty', which meant he relied on his honest guest to serve their own drinks and pay accordingly. 


Our room was painted in a bright Lemon green colour with hints of purple,red, a huge bath tub, doors that opened to our patio with a view of endless fields and animals.
We quickly unpacked to enjoy our new surroundings. I decided to have a bath (after seeing the wild lavender bath gel) with a glass of Champagne and enjoy every aspect of our new surroundings.


                             Fruit bowl                                          Fresh fruit bowl
 Continental breakfast at Arguibel was amazing, the nutty brown baguette (my favourite), freshly squeezed orange juice, natural yoghurt, fruit bowl, assortment of cheeses and cured meat served at the patio overlooking fields with the sun kissing your skin fills you with a sense of content.


                  



Dinner was booked at http://www.ostalamer.com with a sea view. Our experience in this restaurant was and still is a memorable one. We had Mussels, grilled langoustines, Charcoal grilled Sole, fresh seaweed to mention but a few.

 The dishes were fresh, of great quality, cooked perfectly by enhancing their their natural flavours and coupled with the romantic setting, made it a memorable experience. Whenever you visit Biarritz please make a reservation and enjoy their amazing dishes and bilingual waiters.
                                    
                                        

After 2 nights in Guerthary we then drove to San Sebastian in Spain ( a fusion of French and Spanish cuisine). 

I'm off again to San Sebastian for inspiration for an African 'Pinxtos' ( a small snack eaten in bars in Northern Spain, The Basque country) dinner.