Don’t panic, during our trip to Barcelona, the boy and I managed to find some excellent eateries.
The first one I’d like to tell you about was actually about 30 miles outside of Barcelona in a lovely seaside town called Sitges. It’s a very gay-friendly party town with a gorgeous church on the seafront and some lovely bars and restaurants. Whilst I had a lovely time there, it’s lacking a little bit of that authentic Spanish charm that we’d seen previously during our holiday, however, restaurant Nem is well worth a visit to Sitges, if you go for no other reason.
Nem calls itself a tapas bar and to an extent, it is. The small but perfectly formed menu is made up of sharing plates. Six was enough between the boy and I, but there wasn’t a patatas bravas in sight. The dishes are fusion style, Spanish inspired for sure, but with some British influences, unsurprisingly, given that the lovely owner and chef is a super authentic cockney. The menu changes monthly, depending upon the local delicacies in season.
The dishes we chose included; a warm tomato and cheese salad with fab home-made pesto, brie and mushroom tart, beef carpaccio, steak and blue cheese salad with pears and walnuts,bonito with tomato salsa and Catalan tomato bread. They were all incredible, so fresh and tasty.
And if that wasn’t enough, pudding came tapas style, too. We ordered a vanilla custard dish and french toast. Stunning. Coupled with a lovely bottle of rose, the whole meal was less than 50 Euros, and one of the most delicious I’ve ever had.
The steak, amazing
La Sala, Puerto Banus (picture courtesy of La Sala)
There aren’t many jobs that come with a surprise trip to Marbella for the end of year party, but luckily for me, I have one! My sleepy colleagues and I arrived at the office at 5.30am, the cat finally let out of the bag after a short bus journey to Leeds Bradford airport where boarding passes were handout out by the world’s best boss.
Arriving in Puerto Banus just in time for lunch, the afternoon was jam-packed with a bit of work but mostly play, before heading back to the hotel to get read for a night on the town. After our only celeb spot of the trip (a bit of cringe worthy but very fun hob nobbing with Strictly dancer James Jordan) we arrived at restaurant, La Sala.
The table booked for a laid-back 10.30pm, we arrived early to enjoy drinks on the terrace where the outdoor heaters took the edge off the evening chill. A couple of bottles of Sauvignon and a few cold beers later, the 14 of us were shown to our table to enjoy a beautiful three-course dinner. The restaurant was bustling, clearly a popular hot spot, with live music being enjoyed by a mixture of locals and tourists in the bar area, although I do think we were the only party dancing at the table…
Spoilt for choice from a mouth-watering set menu, I opted for; deep-fried Camembert, grilled sea bream with lime risotto and asparagus, followed by a selection of home-made ice cream. Knowing the amount of drinking that was on the cards after said meal, I wanted to keep my choices as light as possible. Dinner was really incredible and I clearly played it well given the amount of wine that was consumed during the hours that followed (no nap required) however, I had super food envy at my neighbour’s spinach and ricotta tortellini with pine nuts. When she was full I ceased the opportunity to tuck in, it was so rich and creamy I could have finished the whole bowl but resisted. An option for next time for sure.
Dinner done we finished the evening nightclub Seven. An Arabian-inspired club with great music and generous measures of spirits. Both venues come highly recommended and made for a great whistle-stop tour of this popular destination. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to nurse my headache…