Continuing my feature on travel trends for the year ahead. Today: SPAIN
Culinary tourism was the buzzword of 2013 and our appetite for destinations offering us a foodie fix shows no sign of waning for 2014. While Copenhagen is bringing up the rear with its cool openings, such as Henne Kirkeby Kro, a restaurant with rooms owned by chef Paul Cunningham (www.hennekirkebykro.dk), Spain is still our main go-to place to fill our boots.
San Sebastian, of course, is known for its superlative tapas and high-end restaurant offerings. Head to Astoria 7 (www.astoria7hotel.com), a boutique hotel converted from a former cinema, to sample its tailor-made gastro tours.
Guests can formulate their own culinary trips choosing from pintxos tastings in the old quarter, gourmet experiences, which include shopping for ingredients with a chef followed by a masterclass in Basque cuisine, and wine trips into the Rioja region.
Having knocked the crown off Noma, as the world’s best restaurant, El Celler de Can Roca in Girona (www.cellarcanroca) has put the Medieval Costa Brava town firmly in the spotlight with food connoisseurs. Base yourself at the design-led PGA Catalunya Resort (www.pgacatalunya.com), 15 minutes away, and you’ll be perfectly situated to feast at the 22 Michelin starred restaurants that can be found in a 50km radius of the resort. Made up of showstopping open-plan villas offering state-of-the-art living, the resort offers a renowned concierge service as well as two of the world’s best golf courses. Among the highlights on offer are private dinners cooked by in-house chefs in your own villa.
You can’t stay here and not explore some of the world’s best eateries in Girona. Make sure you visit Jordi Roca’s incredible ice-creamerie Rocambolesc (www.rocambolesc.com) and Massana (www.restaurantmassana.com), a stand-out Michelin-starred restaurant. For fans of experimental cuisine, its more informal sister restaurant Nu offers an exquisite inventive menu (www.nurestaurant.cat).
Read my full feature on travel trends for the year ahead in the January issue of The Mayfair Magazine. Out now.