Regions explored: Barcelona, Sagas, Madrid, Basque Country, San Sebastian
Length: 7 days
Date: November 6th to 13th, 2022
Availability: Limited to 12 guests
❀ A true one-of-a-kind opportunity for an insider Best of Central and Eastern Spain culinary experience.
❀ Access to award-winning, impossible-to-book restaurants in the premier Culinary destination of Europe.
❀ A unique opportunity to experience in one enchanted week a multitude of different Spanish cuisines and cooking styles.
❀ Spend time in the intimate company of interesting and like-minded people from all over the world.
Here’s a chronological order of the restaurants we shall visit, but not the surprises that we prepared for you in between.
The Hungry Tourist’s sanctuary and foodies’ heaven.
Chef Oriol Rovira’s Els Casals is more than just a restaurant. It’s a way of life. Set within farmland owned by the Rovira family for over 600 years, Els Casals offers cuisine from the land in which the majority of products come from the family’s own farm or nearby producers: vegetables and fruit, eggs, milk, and dairy products, poultry, pork, mushrooms, truffles, etc.
The cuisine is highly dependent on the seasonality of products, which are always treated with the highest respect so they may be appreciated and enjoyed in the best conditions.
Chef Jordi Vilà ‘at the helm of Alkimia, digs deep into the past, present, and future of Catalan gastronomy. Exploring the entire range of our culinary landscape, from the center to the margins, Both grounded in tradition and open to embracing the most radical contemporary ideas.
When thinking about Alkimia’s cooking, we always place value on the moment, that fleeting instant in which the secret of each dish is revealed.
Cooking is an odyssey, a journey that can only be made in one way: cooking.
We shall enjoy a specially prepared feast at Alkimia’s most beautiful Private Dining Room.
In Disfrutar (in English “Enjoy”), which is ranked #5 on the world’s 50 best restaurants list, creativity, high technical skill, fantasy, and good taste are the hallmarks of El Bulli veteran chefs Mateu Casañas, Oriol Castro, and Eduard Xatruchhere.
They conjure up a true gastronomic experience via several tasting menus in a simple, contemporary space with an open-view kitchen. The name of the restaurant, which translates as ‘enjoy’, says it all!
We will enjoy the special “Living” Table experience.
A proposal that was born from the initiative of the interior designer Merche Alcalà and with which chefs Castro, Xatruch, and Casañas have worked to offer a totally different and new culinary experience.
The “living” table is located in the R&D kitchen of the restaurant gives life to the table and invites guests (you) to participate in the gastronomic experience.
photos by gastroactitud.com
Mar Mía defines itself as a Chic Urban Beach Bar. A transversal concept that maintains the freshness and customs of the Mediterranean gastronomic universe, which you can discover in the different environments created within an urban hotel.
A non-stop kitchen, where the Mediterranean Grills are under the control of Chef Rafa Zafra (Estimar) and the fabulous rice dishes of Luís Rodríguez (Casa Elías) are prepared, all under the Mar Mía Mediterranean concept designed by Carlos Bosch (El Portal & Bar Manero), who has managed to elevate informal tapas to luxury with his gastronomic projects.
Estimar is a tribute to a love for the sea and its raw materials, and the brainchild of Rafa Zafra and Anna Gotanegra, his wife. Zafra brings to the table a lifetime of experience in the kitchen that started when he was 16, working in Seville at Tristán, then Arzak, and most notably for several years at Ferran Adria’s El Bulli.
Anna, who manages the restaurant, completes Rafa’s rare talent in the kitchen with deep roots that go back to 1895 in the fish market of plaza Sant Pere de Roses, which ensures the restaurant a daily supply of the best quality products.
Many consider DiverXo, the culinary Circus of genius chef Dabiz Muñoz, the best restaurant in Spain, and the current menu the best ever by chef Dabiz.
Prepare yourself for a rollercoaster of flavors from all over the world as Muñoz personally interprets them, and his crew takes you to gastronomy la la land.
The backdrop to your culinary experience is a stunning modern design, unlike any other restaurant you’ve ever visited.
Asador Etxebarri nestled deep in the Urkiola mountains of Vizcaya is surrounded by green fields and craggy peaks. The entrance takes you through a simple village bar. Once upstairs, though, you are transported to another world, a space at once refined and rustic.
Chef Bittor Arginzoniz dominates that most primal, most basic, most ancient element of fire which he applies with a delicate touch to the best raw ingredients. Using a deceptively simple technique, he elevates them as close as possible to their Platonic ideal.
Bittor and his staff plan to create an unforgettable meal for us on the cusp of spring when some of his favorite ingredients will be at their height. In 2018 Etxebarri will be reducing it’s capacity to half (barely 20 guests a day). We are one of the few groups allowed.
The real action in San Sebastián starts at nightfall when the international crowd of foodies mingles with the local and hops from one pintxos bar to another to try their best creations with a glass of Txakoli, cider or beer.
Elkano is a classic restaurant, a cozy restaurant, a Basque restaurant. Its fish and seafood are peerless. The setting and service are warm, refined, and unfussy. Owner Aitor Arregi expects rodaballo (turbot) to be at its height during our visit. His father was the pioneer in grilling turbot whole over chestnut coals.
The crispy skin, the delicate buttery flesh, the crunchy fins, the squishy bits around the head: all are meant to be eaten in turn, and Aitor will come to the table to give us directions and advice; it’s almost like a piscine anatomy lesson. In a long lineup of Basque grill experts, Elkano is a leader of the pack.
Text About Casa Julian to follow
Experience the 5-star luxury of The Barcelona EDITION. This luxury lifestyle boutique hotel epitomizes luxury through a personal, intimate, individualized, and unique local hotel experience and the timelessly elegant design that Ian Schrager is known for and provides inspired amenities for your stay in Spain.
The Barcelona EDITION is located in the city center, beside the Picasso Museum and the Barcelona Gothic Cathedral, adjacent to the Santa Caterina Market and steps away from Plaça de Catalunya, Passeig de Gràcia and Barceloneta beach. More than 15 iconic Barcelona sights and historic landmarks are walking distance from the hotel, avoiding the need for any transportation while discovering Barcelona’s best kept secrets.
The hotel features 100 stylish and sophisticated rooms and suites with custom-made Le Labo bathroom amenities, a selection of rooms with stunning views over the iconic architectural masterpiece Santa Caterina Market roof, multiple connecting rooms for family travel and exclusive penthouse suites with private panoramic terraces and extended space.
Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid is a luxury Belle Époque palace located in the famous Golden Triangle of Art of Madrid.
For over 110 years, the hotel has hosted royalty, dignitaries, and some of the most distinguished guests from around the world. This spectacular property is the epitome of luxury and excellence.
With a stunning and meticulous restoration that celebrates César Ritz’s pioneering spirit, a prestigious central location, five restaurants and bars overseen by one of Spain’s most celebrated chefs, and exceptional fitness and wellness facilities,
Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid is set to become the city’s most luxurious hotel.
Since opening in 1912, the restored Hotel Maria Cristina has been closely linked to the history and cultural life of San Sebastian and. the favored accommodation for international high society and movie stars like Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Davis, Woody Allen, Julia Roberts, Richard Gere, Brad Pitt, and Susan Sarandon.
Decorated in a sophisticated palette of greys and white, the rooms are a quiet haven of luxury, style, technology, and a dazzling range of services which, combined, make for an unforgettable stay.
Itinerary and Hotels
Els Casals: Night of Nov 6, 2022
The Barcelona Edition Hotel: From Nov 7 to 9, 2022
The Madrid Mandarin Oriental Ritz Hotel: From Nov 9 to 11, 2022
Londres y de Inglaterra Hotel: From Nov 11 to 13, 2022
Kick-off meal: Lunch at Els Casals at 13:00 on Nov 6.
Last meal: Dinner at Casa Julian on Nov 12.
The price includes all food, beverages, wine pairings, taxes, service charges, intercity transportation, and 7 nights of accommodation.
The price does not include airfare to and from Spain, and any travel or medical insurance.
Extra nights: in Barcelona Edition before the tour, or in Maria Cristina Hotel after the tour can be booked in advance at special rates.
A Note on Set Menus
The menus offered during the tour are selected by The Hungry Tourist with the help of our local partners. We believe they represent the best culinary fare the Basque Country has to offer. Guests may order outside of these menus at their own expense.
A non-refundable deposit of Euro 1500 per person will be charged upon reservation.
The balance must be paid no later than 60 days prior to the first day of the tour.
Payments are preferred by bank transfer. Payments with Credit Card will incur a 4% supplement.
Cancellation Policy and Penalties
If cancellation is received up to 30 days before the first day of the tour, the deposit will be forfeited.
If cancellation is received up to 10 days before the first day of the tour, a penalty fee of 50% of the remaining balance will be charged. If cancellation notice is received within 10 days of the first day of the tour or the guest is a no-show, the entirety of the remaining balance will be charged.
Joined THT San Sebastián tour and it is a must-do experience for food lovers!
David is warm and welcoming, and super happy to be hanging out and eating with others who love food as much as him. Gabriella, our local guide, also elevated the experience – sharing the history of the region, the people, food, and culture and giving us insider access to the chefs, which was amazing.
It was great to interact with the chefs directly for some of the spots and see the action behind the scenes. Every restaurant was very happy and excited to host both David and Gabriella, which made our group feel right at home – as if we were at a friend’s place dining and chatting.
The food and wine were endless and delicious and the menus were very thoughtfully curated for the group. The planning and logistics were perfectly done as well, and we easily got from place to place – very much on time and also with time for us to explore on our own in between (with great local recommendations from both David and Gabriella).
Lastly, it is amazing how people from all over the world from such different backgrounds can be brought together by David and bond over the common love of amazing food. You’ll leave not only having had the best meals of your life but also with connections around the world!
This was my second THT experience in San Sebastián and I’ll start from the end: I would definitely do it again.
Gabriela is a walking encyclopedia who truly enjoys what she does. David has done these who knows how many times and is like a child in a candy store visiting for the first time.
The other hungry tourists were also troopers who truly enjoy food. The chefs and waiters all connect even more with everyone’s enthusiasm and joy.
You add all that and you have not just a food experience but a life experience.
Sensual, exciting, amazingly tasty.
Great group of foodies with a common passion and a lot of respect for people in general and the group members in particular. Friends who become happy when they meet fresh ingredients, perfect technique and extraordinary creativity on a plate.