As a city of fine architecture and shopping, Valencia gains extra lustre at Christmas. Though it doesn’t snow here and days are mostly mild and sunny, the city still abounds in typical Christmas atmosphere, with shoppers filling the streets, department stores creating dazzling displays and decorations lighting up the world.
Coloured lights and tall Christmas trees add a sparkle to the city centre, but what really lends a fairytale touch is the way in which the outlines of Valencia’s many beautiful buildings are traced in elegant lighting – setting the tone for a seasonal ambience that is as stylish as it leaves you with a warm, glowing feeling.
We already knew he was super-talented, but Quique Dacosta has just been awarded a third Michelin star in the Michelin Red Guide for Spain and Portugal 2013. That brings the number of Spanish chefs with this, the highest of distinctions, to no fewer than seven, confirming the country’s position at the very top of the world of gastronomy. As for the Valencia region, well it’s own prowess in this field is once again confirmed by Dacosta himself. Though born in Cáceres, on the western side of the country, he has become a Valenciano by adoption, with the renowned fine dining restaurant Quique Dacosta in the coastal resort town of Denia, near Jávea on the Costa Blanca, as his flagship.
This week we continue with the series of articles that we started a few weeks ago, where we spoke about the history of tapas and the delicious patatas bravas. But, of course, potatoes are used to create many dishes, among them another that is typically Spanish: Spanish omelette (tortilla de patatas)! Spanish omelette, also commonly called Spanish tortilla, is a delicious and nutritious dish, which is ideally served as an appetiser, in the form of a
If you’re looking for a healthy natural alternative to Coca Cola and other soda drinks, Valencia has long since had the answer. Free of added sugars, preservatives, colorants and artificial flavours, horchata is a refreshing thirst quencher made from nutrient-rich tiger nuts. This traditional summer drink is available in cafés and outdoor stalls throughout the city and region, and also found in supermarkets, but can now also be made easily and quickly at home thanks to the innovative Chufamix.
A city such as Valencia that celebrates the famous Bavarian Oktoberfest tradition with great enthusiasm must harbour a beer-making tradition of its own and indeed, both city and region have a history of brewing German-inspired pilsner that reaches back over a century.
Valencia was by no means bypassed in this process, and thus the concept of the cervecería was born. Lively establishments where hearty Spanish meat dishes blended beautifully with beer, the cervecerías soon became a common feature in Spanish life and continue to do so today, complete with slightly retro décor touches reminding us of their origins during the elegant Belle Epoque.
Spain is very famous for many things: its endless beaches, its beautiful monuments, its long history (the Phoenicians, the Romans, the Arabs…). its people and, of course, its fantastic cuisine. Nearly all regions in Spain have their own typical dishes, such as the very well-known Valencian paella or the Fabada asturiana (Asturian bean stew), but one thing they do all have in common when it comes to food, is their passion for tapas.
You could be forgiven for thinking that Oktoberfest would take place in October, but not in Valencia! The fifth Oktoberfest Olé opened on 6th September and will run for eleven days until 16th September. Valencia’s bullring has been transformed into a 2,000m2 marquee-topped Bavarian style beer festival, crammed full with all the delights and specialties for which Oktoberfest is known. Open every day from 12.30pm to 01.30am, Oktoberfest Olé introduces a little bit of Munich to Spain. Drink too much beer and you may even forget which country you are in!
From 31 August to 15 September this year Sueca will be the scene of the annual Fiesta del Arroz, a veritable feast for lovers of food, fun and culture. Situated along the coastline just south of Valencia, this town of around 25,000 people borders the Natural Park of La Albufera, a wetland area known for its waterways, its birdlife and above all, for being one of the two most important rice growing regions in Europe.
If you are a shopaholic and happen to be in Jávea in the Costa Blanca on Wednesday August 8th, then there is good news, since the town’s trade association has organised another late night shopping evening. The last such event held in July, was such a massive success that shopkeepers reported a 50 per cent increase in sales, so naturally there was a great deal of interest in participating in August’s retail fiesta. In order to make the whole occasion feel more festive, the streets will be buzzing with little extras, such as a display of classic and vintage motorbikes in the Placeta del Convent. The bars and restaurants in the area will be organising a tapas trail for hungry shoppers, who are invited to enjoy the variety of local stores, which will remain open until midnight.
Lambrusquería, in the heart of the city, is therefore an authentic piece of Italy transported westwards. The cuisine bears this out, with real Italian food as you would expect to find at a village Osteria or an Agriturismo in the countryside. This means that, although you can order a range of wonderful dishes off the menu, the standard procedure is let the flow of country bread, fresh salads, mozzarella and Italian hams come your way before moving on to a pasta, meat or seafood dish en route to dessert.
A1 Concepts, the Dutch company behind this sacrilegious machine, is at pains to emphasise that its invention can cook a pizza from start to finish in three minutes. Moreover, it’s not just a re-heater warming through pre-made soggy margaritas, the Let’s Pizza vending machine actually makes each of its customers a fresh pizza every time.
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