It seems appropriate that, on the week the Michelin ratings were published, I should write about my amazing experience in San Sebastian.
Incidentally, we now have a local pub which has just received its first and well deserved Michelin star, The Wild Rabbit at Kingham (part of Daylesford of course!)
Back to San Sebastian. It is recognised as one of the world’s great gastronomic cities and has more Michelin stars per square metre than any other city on the planet!
San Sebastian isn’t all about Michelin stars. There are wonderful and well priced restaurants and ‘Pintxos’ bars throughout the city. For a foodie, it’s a heavenly place to be. In a future post I will detail all about Pintxos, a style of tapas unique to the Basque region.
There are 3 x 3 Michelin star restaurants in San Sebastian, Arzak, Mugaritz and our choice, Akelarre. It’s some time since I ate at the same rated restaurant, The Fat Duck in Bray, which, this week, regained its 3rd Star.
The city is not renowned for a mediterranean climate, being on the Atlantic coast. On the day we had reserved Akalarre, it was particularly wet and misty. We headed out on the coast road and could barely see a step in front of us. Strangely, on arrival at the stunning restaurant it all added to the beauty of the place.
It’s difficult to know how to start writing about Akalarre. I can only be a little clichéd and say from the moment we arrived service was unforgettable with beautifully uniformed and very friendly staff.
We had a table overlooking the sea, which we couldn’t see! Lunch started with a glass of Cava, of course.
Menus consist of 3 tasting menus, Aranori, Bekarki and Classics of Akallare or an a la carte menu. This was a once in a lifetime moment and Mrs H and I both chose Aranori.
Every dish was a true spectacle in itself. So here we go
I couldn’t begin to select a favourite dish because they were all so memorable.
In time, the sun came out and we had the most magnificent view over the Atlantic Ocean.
Because I’m not one to hold back, I asked for a tour of the kitchens and to meet with chef, Pedro Subijana. I was given a delightful tour by the Maitre d’. The kitchen is vast, well designed and sectioned. This was followed by the honour of meeting the great man himself.
This was a truly memorable experience but I will tell you an experience like this comes at a significant cost. We were especially privileged to be given the gift of lunch by a very special friend.
A visit to San Sebastian is a must do. I’ll be posting the best parts shortly.
Dates for your diary
The Parlour Series continues at The Lifford Hall
22nd November and 22nd December
Details to follow very soon. Please contact me to provisionally reserve a space.