Best Restaurants in San Sebastian

San Sebastian has a long held reputation for fine dining and excellent restaurants. Situated in the Basque Country on  Spain’s northern coast partly tucked away in the Bay of Biscay. San  Sebastian’s  location on the sea shore and on the edge of fertile growing area gives it a head start in producing fabulous local produce.


Two of San Sebastian’s restaurants are in the World’s Best 50 Restaurants list for 2016  and they are Mugaritz and Arzak.

Arzak is run by Juan Mari Arzak and Elena Arzak Espina and they serve Modern Basque cuisine. One of the their signature dishes is Pigeon with Potato Feathers.


The restaurant, located on the top of a hill, has been in the family for generations. It was Juan Mari, now 74 years old, who made it into what it is today. It offers Tasting or A la Carte menus which display their skills and flair. If you want to try some different wines you won’t be disappointed, their wine cellar is said to hold over 100,000 bottles!

Mugaritz prides itself on a Techo-emotional style of food cooked by Chefs Andoni Luis Aduriz and Juan Vargas. Andoni follows in the footsteps of the pioneering chef Ferran Adria.


In their elegant restaurant why not try the 20-course tasting meal with elements chosen from the mountains and the sea.

Photos and Source: World’s 50 Best  and Mugaritz

Bib Gourmand Restaurants in Spain 2016

Having recently visited the lovely small white town of Cazalla de la Sierra to stay in the very charming and unique El Palacio de San Benito we arrived early to explore the town and have lunch before checking in.  To our very pleasant surprise we stumbled across  Restaurant Agustina and both hubby and I immediately knew we’d found our lunch spot, even before we’d noticed the Bib Gourmand seal of approval.

Restaurante Agustina

A quick glance and the menu and we sat ourselves down opposite the restaurant on a charming plaza with a road between us, if there’s a choice of sitting outside (in the shade) we do. I didn’t even go inside the restaurant, not even for a nose, very unlike and remiss of me.

Restaurante Agustina

It was to be a light lunch as it was early for us which made the mouth-watering menu choosing quite tricky and not very speedy. Into our second beer I’d narrowed it down to two starters and hubby chose a non-written choice of Pork Loin with a touch of Mustard.

Restaurante Agustina

I only photographed mine! The top photo a starter – Atun Marinada en ‘Algo Picantito’ con ensalada de alga ‘wacame’ y sesame and the second  a dish to share – Ensalada de Codorniz en Escabeche con Vinagreta de jinibre.

A very edible lunch with some interesting dishes, it got me thinking about how many and where the other Bib Gourmand restaurants are in  Andalucia and so here is the Bib Gourmand list  and I’ll definitely be looking out for some of these on my travels, and adding a comment as I tick them off!

Bib Gourmand Restaurants in Andalucia

Agua  Amarga-  Asador La Chumbera

Almodovar del Rio – La Taberna

Almuñecar – El Chaleco

Cadiz – Sopranis

Cazalla de la Sierra – Agustina  – Very good, indeed. Loved the little plaza we sat on.

Cazorla – Meson Leandro

Cordoba – El Envero

Cordoba – La Lonja

Fuengirola – Girol

Jerez de la Frontera – La Carbona

Linares – Canela en Rama

Linares – Los Sentidos

Linares de la Sierra – Arrieros

Malaga – Café de Paris

Malaga – Figón de Juan

Marbella – Bibo

Medina sidonia-  El Duque

Medina Sidonia – Venta La Duquesa

Monachil – La Cantina de Diego

Montellano – Deli

Los Palacios y Villafranca – Manolo Mayo

Priego de Cordoba – Balcon del Adarve

Puente Genil – Casa Pedro

Puerto Real – La Curiosidad de Mauro Barreiro

Sanlucar de Barrameda – Casa Bigote

Sevilla-  AzcZait

Sevilla – El Gallinero de Sandra

Ubeda – Amaranto

Ubeda – Cantina La Estacion – Very good, loved the train carriage decor and olive oil tasting.

Ubeda – Zeitum

Vera – Juan Moreno




Hotel Abadia Retuerta Le Domaine

Spanish 5* Vineyard Hotel in Ribera del Duero

The Estate Abadia Retuerta LeDomaine, once a 12th century monastery, now a 5* star Relais & Chateaux hotel with the Michelin star restaurant – Refectario.

Nestling between vines along the River Duero it radiates luxury and peace and quiet rule from the inside the historical Romanesque-Baroque monastery walls.

Abadia Retuerta Le Domaine @ Relais & Chateaux

North of Madrid in the region of Castilla y Leon and east of Valladolid this is wine growing country so a vineyard visit is a must but there are plenty of other experiences available, Horse riding, Cycling or Hiking Trails, Historical and cultural guided tours, Medieval falconry and the almost obligatory wine tastings.
Hotel Abadia Retuerta Le Domaine


Luxury Cycling Holidays

Echelon – small, family run exclusive cycling holidays – luxury vacations for discerning cyclists

Echelon are passionate about cycling and believe that it’s the best way to discover and live the experience of a new place. They believe that by cycling you can connect with a region in a unique way not otherwise seen by visitors.

Guests cycling the Camino de Santiago
Cycling The Camino de Santiago de Compostela

As locals, keen cyclists and your guides, they know the regions well and have an intimate knowledge of the winding back roads, best views and sunsets and hidden gems that are often overlooked.

Herdade de Cortesia
Herdade de Cortesia


Committed to providing value and unique experiences, from the bikes and equipment used to staying in the best hotels and dining at the finest restaurants – that’s  Echelon – offering the exclusive for those looking for exclusivity.

Marques de Riscal, Rioja
Hotel Marques de Riscal, Rioja

Luxurious hotels, local food and delicious regional wine so you can relax and unwind after the day’s cycling, knowing everything else is taken care of by those who know how to provide the best Echelon.

Toledo – Spanish Gastronomic Capital

El Carmen de Montesion

Spain’s new capital of gastronomy 2016 has been chosen. The last five years, since its beginning, the Spanish Gastronomic Capitals have been 

Logroño  – 2012
Burgos – 2013
Vitoria  – 2014
Caceres  – 2015

This week the new capital for  2016 has been decided – Toledo. A double celebration as it will also be its 30th Anniversary with the UNESCO Ciudad Patrimonio de la Humanidad.

Famous for its flavoursome yet simple dishes and with support of local chefs it’s expected that Toledo will see a rise in visitors not only during it’s year of fame. Probably one of the best times to visit is in autumn and winter when groups of hunters can be seen trawling throughout the countryside and their provisions of hare, rabbit and deer on the menus.

Another famous product from Toledo stretching back to its Moorish influence is marzipan and nougat, now popular at Christmas time.

Michelin Star Restaurants in Castilla-La Mancha

Out of Spain’s 134 new Michelin One Star eateries Toledo and its surrounds boasts three, so where to experience the best of Toledo’s gastronomy? Right here

Maralba in Almansa
El Bohio in Illescas
La Casa del Carmen in Olias del Rey
Las Rejas in Las Pedroñeras
El Carmen de Montesion in Toledo
Tierra in Torrico

The Serras, Barcelona’s New 5* Boutique Hotel


The Serras Barcelona is a new 5* boutique hotel in the heart of the city and with views of the Med and a Michelin star chef – Marc Gascons. This classy 28 bedroomed ‘Design Hotel’ has to be your stylish stay in the Gothic quarter.

Just five minutes walking distance from golden beaches, 3 minutes from must-visit famous Las Ramblas and the historial centre, a perfect spot to relax on the beach, take in a bit of culture and sample the fabulous tapas bars as well as the hotel’s fabulous yet informal Catalan cuisine restaurant.

TThe Serras Roof Terrace

The rooftop terrace overlooking the new Port Vell marina and the deep blue Mediterranean has a superb infinity pool and comfortable lounging area. A perfect hideaway, a sun trap and a gorgeous spot for a late breakfast, a light lunch or a cocktail or two while watching the setting sun.

The Serras is compact, classy and definitely cool.

Ferran Adria’s Michelin Restaurant Hotel in Sevilla

El Bulli Hacienda Benazuza, Ferran Adria’s  centuries-old estate, just outside of Seville offers a 44-room hotel surrounded by gardens, Andalusian patios, babbling fountains, and olive groves.

The decor pays homage to Andalusia’s Muslim roots without sacrificing modern luxuries,  but it’s the food that counts.  The Michelin two-star La Alquería restaurant  by Ferran’s right-hand man, Rafa Morales serves  El Bulli’s greatest  edible works of art. 

 As Adria says  “Cuisine is not something to be had, but a state to be in.”