Dining at Arzak in San Sebastian

Dining at Arzak in San Sebastian

Being surrounded in Spain by so much great gastronomy, we’ve made the decision to start exploring more of the country. And, we started with the “other” culinary capital of Spain, and that meant a trip to San Sebastian, in the Basque Country. And, on the top of our list was a stop of the 3 Michelin Star Arzak in San Sebastian. We drove about 10 minutes out from the center of San Sebastian, into a residential neighborhood. We actually managed to find Arzak, and park, without getting lost, so we were a little early. We walked into the entrance, which was part bar, part lobby, and as we would find out, part contemporary family living room. Everything at Arzak was family-like. And, that is the reason why I enjoyed it so much. We are not strangers to Michelin Star dining, having previously dined at the number 3 restaurant in the world, El Celler de Can Roca. And, we’ve dined at a few other 3 Michelin Star restaurants, but this experience was, well, unique. When I made the reservation, I asked for a table with good lighting, or near a window, so that I could take photos for my travel blog. That was my only request. I didn’t even really introduce myself at all. Certainly not a reservation laced with special requests.  And, maybe I am fancier that I think I am, particularly with my burgeoning reputation within Spain, but we were treated quite well, solely based on this request. Going Behind the Scenes at Arzak in San Sebastian First, we received a detailed tour of the Arzak operation, where...
A Week In a Luxury Mauritius Resort

A Week In a Luxury Mauritius Resort

I realize I say this a lot about trips that we take, or meals that we eat, but in the case of Mauritius, I really had no idea what to expect. Having taking our first trip to the Maldives last year, Mauritius was really just another island on my Indian Ocean bucket list. But, what I found out was that we were headed for a luxury Mauritius resort, with way more to do than I anticipated, and with character entirely different from the Maldives. Planning For Our Week in Mauritius I let Eric plan this trip. I was busy working on launching our online social media training school right up until the very end. In this case, a PR company asked if we wanted to promote a trip to Mauritius just after our business launch. We jumped on the opportunity for a well needed holiday at a Mauritius resort. And, because Eric did all the planning, choosing the flights, and everything else. I knew nothing about Mauritius before we arrived, other than a quick WikiTravel search. And, I kind of liked it that way. I was so unknowledgeable that a few days before we left, I had to do a Google Maps search to see exactly where the island was. I knew “off the coast of Africa” but that was about it. In my mind, I expected an island similar to the Maldives. But, I could not be further from the truth. Mauritius is a predominantly Hindu island, and a religious and cultural melting pot. It’s colonial history includes influences from the Dutch, the French, and the British. The...
El Celler de Can Roca Menu

El Celler de Can Roca Menu

The meal that requires more than one blog post. I wrote about our surreal dining experience at El Celler De Can Roca. But, I wanted to dive more into the menu items, for the true food lovers out there. Here is a recap of the over 30 different courses and bites we had during our 4 hour Can Roca menu. We chose the Feast Menu, with about 15 named courses. The other alternative is a tasting of their classic menu. The tasting menu is about 7 courses, where you have a choice for two of the courses. Of course, we went all in. And, I did the best I could with photos considering the lighting, and I did not want to disturb diners nearby. Bear with me.   The Can Roca Menu: Snacks We started with The World, a paper lantern, ceremoniously untied at the table, and opened to reveal 5 bites reminiscent of flavors from all over the globe. In this case, our world included: From Thailand, Thai chicken, with coriander, coconut, curry, and lime From Japan, miso cream with nyinyonyaki, the Can Roca version of a fried, breaded snack From Turkey, focaccia with lamb, yogurt, cucumber, onions, and mint From Peru, a Causa limeña, or a potato based bite with avocado From Korea, a panko fried bread, with bacon, soy sauce, kimchi, and sesame oil The next snack was a Can Roca-themed diorama, with black of white photos of each Roca brother when they were young. This presentation is called “Memories of a bar in the suburbs of Girona, a reference perhaps to the family’s traditional restaurant,...
Surreal Dining at Can Roca in Girona

Surreal Dining at Can Roca in Girona

In part, this dining experience was not about the food. I mean, of course it was. But, having eaten in Costa Brava, and having learned about the history of gastronomy in the region, this was a pilgrimage. And, a surreal one at that. This was our experience dining at Can Roca in Girona. El Celler de Can Roca I’ve written about El Celler de Can Roca before. We were fortunate enough to have a little taste from the menu, after meeting all three Roca brothers, back in 2015. That visit occurred just after Can Roca won the number one restaurant in the world, and the whole world was a buzz about Girona. El Celler de Can Roca is set in a residential neighborhood, just outside the center of Girona. The 3 Michelin Star restaurant is around the corner from the family restaurant and bar, Can Roca. But, the two restaurants could not be more different. Can Roca is traditional Catalan. A family run establishment, for everyday dining. El Celler de Can Roca is not for everyday dining. It is, indeed, a surreal experience. We’ve dined at Michelin Star restaurants before, and even 3 star Michelin Restaurants. But, somehow this was different, and I am not sure why. Perhaps it was due to the influence of Ferran Adria and elBulli in the region. Perhaps it was because we were dining at the number 3 restaurant in the world. Perhaps it was because we scored a last minute reservation, and only had less than 10 hours to let it sink in that we were dining at Can Roca in the first...
8 Unforgettable Luxury Experiences in Costa Brava

8 Unforgettable Luxury Experiences in Costa Brava

Two years ago we happened upon Costa Brava, what we then termed the unknown culinary tourism corner of Europe. To be completely honest, we knew nothing about Costa Brava at the time. The only thing we knew was that the tourism board worked with bloggers, and for us, at that time, it was enough. Since then, we’ve spent enough time in Costa Brava that we decided to move to Girona! A lot of our decision was based on the food and wine, and some of the most unforgettable experiences in Costa Brava! What surprised me during this most recent visit was how many luxury experiences in Costa Brava there really are. I knew about the incredible gastronomy offerings, but we found so much more to experience during this last visit. Following the Michelin Star Trail One of the main reasons why we keep returning to Costa Brava is because of its food! Costa Brava is home to 14 Michelin Star restaurants. Now, this might not seem like a lot in comparison to Paris, New York, or Tokyo. But, when you consider the size of Costa Brava, and that it’s largest city is home to only about 100,000 people, it’s incredible. If you love food, and high gastronomy, then one of the most unforgettable experiences in Costa Brava is to follow the Michelin Star trail of restaurants that are sprinkled through the region. The Girona Teritori d’Estrelles, or Girona Land of Stars, is the perfect way to spend a holiday in Costa Brava. Eating. Is there any other way? Dining at El Celler Can Roca At least one of the...
Where to Stay in the Maldives

Where to Stay in the Maldives

Traveling to the Maldives is a dream come true for many travelers. But, when trying to decide where to stay in the Maldives, the options can be daunting. They all seem so amazing, with overwater bungalows, beach front villas, and private islands. So, how can you choose the best ones? I asked some of our favorite travel bloggers about where they stayed in the Maldives. Here are their recommendations, as well as ours, on where to stay in the Maldives! Where To Stay In The Maldives Centara Grand Maldives – Amanda From Maroc Mamma Our favorite place to stay in the Maldives is Centara Grand Island Resort and Spa. This is a family friendly resort and is great for vacationers of all ages. We loved the remoteness of the island, where we truly felt like it was just this resort in the middle of the ocean. The multiple meal options were great and the all-inclusive package really let us enjoy our time without stressing about costs – it was all covered. One really nice feature are the activity credits including in the package like a $100 daily spa credit (for each guest!), as well as an excursion of your choice during the stay. Equipment rentals, snorkeling gear, and more are also included. Plus with several different room options there is lots of room for adjustment based on budget. Rooms start around $600 a night. Check out Maroc Mama on Instagram! Find the best deal and read what other travelers have to say about the Centara Grand in the Maldives at TripAdvisor Summer Island Maldives – Hannah From Getting Stamped...
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