I spent the end of April grazing across one of my favourite foodie regions of Europe – Galicia – helping an amigo get a little closer to making his dreams a reality and discovering why this picturesque and verdant corner of northwestern Spain is an ideal setting for what he’s cooking up.
The visit was my third to Galicia. To my knowledge, it’s one of the best places in the world for fresh seafood and downhome cooking and is increasing becoming a smart choice for upscale and fine dining. So yeah, I love it there.
With this Graze Across Galicia miniseries, I’m going share some of the more delectable moments from my time there and attempt to further clue you in on my friend’s vision to highlight the best of rural Galician culture and culinary tradition.
Vaca y Marela
I was in Galicia working with my good friend, Clifford Jones, on his new venture: Vaca y Marela. Still in concept stage, Vaca y Marela is to be a holistic agricultural project set in rural Galicia. Its components will include a farm, boutique hotel, restaurant and delicatessen, butcher shop, and food truck. Think something along the lines of The Pig or River Cottage in England or even Antica Corte Pallavician near Parma, Italy and you’ll begin to get a taste of Clifford’s ideas for Vaca y Marela. And what deliciously tasty ideas they are!
Much of our trip was spent scoping out the area for eats with Clifford filling me in on his plans for Vaca y Marela. My job was to write up a company profile for the project and give Clifford some tips on how best to spread the Vaca y Marela gospel.
The launch date for Vaca y Marela is some ways down the road. Watch this space for more details. I think Clifford is onto something brilliant, and I’ll be most keen to share the news when Vaca y Marela opens to the public.
While in Galicia I stayed at the Altaïr Hotel in Santiago de Compostela. The small boutique hotel is situated within a short walking distance of the Cathedral and most of the major sights in town and many of its best bars. My room was exceptionally quiet. My bed and pillows were the right level of firm/soft. Shower had proper water pressure. And breakfast was a treat worth waking up for. I loved the super-sized rustic toast! The hotel was impeccably clean and run efficiently. Every member of staff had a warm smile and a demeanor that left me feeling welcome and appreciated. I’d be pleased to stay there again and am glad to recommend it to anyone planning to visit Santiago.
Altaïr Hotel is located at Rua dos Loureiros 12, 15704 Santiago de Compostela. Find out more at altairhotel.net.
Stay tuned for more posts about my Graze Across Galicia.