This is a combined culinary and city trip/seaside blog.
A short trip to Valencia for a family reunion allowed for a feast of culinary testing (and tasting!) on the backdrop of the Mediterranean Sea and a beautiful city.
First stop: Neco. an all you can eat buffet, featuring vegetarian and snails paella, a variety of salads and noodles, pork and chicken stakes, and a sweets tray with creme brulee, baked apples and pears, chocolate cake and alike.
Morning was of course breakfast at Art y Sana. This is a small art deco, concept-bistro, serving natural, slow food vegetarian sandwiches. Our favourite: tostada with avocado y tomato, olive oil and Maldon salt (only “les connaisseurs” know what this salt really is). The venue is also an exhibition of modern art for independent artists, the “day-office” for digital nomads, and a regular host for small cultural events, such as “Cine e Cena” – a film-viewing combined with dinner among friends.
Another breakfast venue was Flying Bean Coffee. This was more modern interior design, but similarly serving only fresh homemade sandwiches and cakes, fresh smoothies and orange juice. Our favourite – tostada “Dragos”. That is my brother, who contributed enough ideas to refine a tostada with avocado, tomato and a few other ingredients up to the point where the owners named it after him 😊. Both these places were owned by young immigrants from across the globe (Canada, Argentina, Germany, Peru etc), who decided to leave their potentially promising business careers to settle on the warm coast of Valencia.
For dinner we went one evening for Zalamero Bar – another newly established small restaurant, owned by Latin-Americans, who served amazingly tasteful tapas – tosta Marinera (smoked sardine, with avocado and trout roe, coca Mallorquina with Mahon cheese melted in honey, coca Calabacin with feta cheese and tapenade, and some amazing deserts that we took turns to taste. Main attraction was the black goffer,with caramelized apple and vanilla ice cream, and also the all too shaky panna cotta de nuttela with passion fruit.
On the seaside now. Nothing more to say really, other than the fact that this is one of the most beautiful beaches I ever seen. Very wide beach with fine white sand, and very long seafront, stretching over several quarters and small villages.
One of these small villages is El Saler, an oasis of clean air nested in the natural park of Albufera, with protected dunes and pine trees.
In between the beach and the food, we also had time to visit Oceanographic – one of the most beautiful aquariums in the world. Dolphins, sharks, belugas, penguins, crocodiles, flamingos and an unusual swan with black neck, all located in the architectural wonder that is Ciutat de les Arts I les Ciencias.
And that is just scratching the surface, not talking about the people, the clean air, the architecture and the care for the environment, but mostly the people…
Valencia is a liveable wonderful city, but shhh… don’t tell anyone about it, else it will be invaded by flocks of tourists which will ruin everything!