“Discover Basque Spain” Food & Wine Tour

Another UNIQUE Cooking Passions “Small-Group” Food & Culture Experience

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– BOOKED OUT –
We are currently accepting “Expressions of Interest” from travellers wishing to be placed on our Pre-Notice List for details of our next “Discover Basque Spain” tour. 

NEW – “DISCOVER BASQUE SPAIN – MICHELIN STARS, FOOD & WINE EXPERIENCE

10 Days / 9 Nights
Date : Saturday 07 October 2017 to Monday 16 October 2017

PRICING
€5435 per person  (Double or Twin Occupancy)
Single Supplement (Own Room) + €1390 per person

*ALL INCLUSIVE LAND CONTENT including 9 nights Deluxe Accommodation; Two Meals Daily including three Michelin dining experiences; Food & Wine Experiences; Spanish Cooking Demonstrations & Lunch; All Land Transportation, All Private Guided Tours and Private Group Escort

Cooking Passions “Small Group” Cuisine & Culture Journeys
Cooking Passions Cuisine & Culture Journeys have been designed so that you can make the most of your precious time, as we have done all of the “behind the scenes” research to scope out the finest luxury hotels, local transfers, sights, restaurants, spas & excursions, so you don’t have too. 
Each of our tours are designed so you can do as much or as little as you like, while allowing you plenty of free time to explore and immerse yourselves in the sights, shopping, relaxation and eating that YOU want to experience (we’ll be happy to provide suggestions and tips on some of our favourites from our previous trips). So all you have to do is book your preferred flight, pack a bag & a sense of adventure, and join us for an unforgettable and luxurious Basque Cuisine & Culture experience!!
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
Our newest visit to Basque Spain has more Michelin stars, more Spanish wine experiences from La Rioja, and explores more of the Basque Region than our previous visits to one of Europe’s most beautiful regions. Join Nico & Belinda of Cooking Passions Cooking School as we visit one of the world’s finest gastronomic destinations – the “cult of good eating” – SAN SEBASTIAN in the Basque Country of Northern Spain. In a town where the importance of food & socialising is the backbone of its unique Basque culture, highlights of this special Michelin Star, Food & Wine Tour will include :

Tour Itinerary Overview

Day Activity Accommodation Meals
1 Arrival in Bilbao NH Villa de Bilbao Hotel; Bilbao D
2 Bilbao Walking Tour; Asador Etxebarri 1* Michelin Lunch (#10 of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants) Hospederia Los Parejes; Laguardia B,L
3 Winery Tours & Tasting in La Rioja Wine Region Hospederia Los Parejes; Laguardia B,L
4 Marques de Riscal Winery Tour & 1* Michelin Lunch; Pamplona Hotel Maisonnave, Pamplona B,L
5 Pamplona Walking Tour; San Sebastian Arrival; Spanish Wine Appreciation Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra, San Sebastian B,D
6 San Sebastian Walking Tour; Pintxos Appreciation Tour Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra, San Sebastian     B, Pintxos
7 Basque “Gastronomic Society” Cooking Class; Gin Tonic Experience Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra, San Sebastian B,L
8 Free Day in San Sebastian Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra, San Sebastian B,D
9 Mugaritz 2* Michelin Lunch (#7 of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants) Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra, San Sebastian B,L
10 Departure B

SAN SEBASTIAN (Basque Country)

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Set on the golden crescent-shaped La Concha beach in the Basque Country of Northern Spain is the enchanting seaside beach resort of San Sebastian (Donostia in the Basque language) – one of Spain’s “most beautiful” towns. Long before there ever existed a “Costa Brava” or “Costa del Sol”, wealthy Spaniards followed in the footsteps of Queen Maria Cristina who, in 1886, chose this charming seaside town for the Royal Court of Spain to spend its summers, making it all the rage of it’s time.

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With its elegant & refined “Belle Epoque” resort feel, San Sebastian is synonymous with quality of life – some of the world’s greatest eating experiences combined with a relaxed beach & surf culture on the glistening shores of the Bay of Biscay.
CULINARY CAPITAL OF CULTURE
Recognised as the culinary capital of Spain, San Sebastian is the only city in the world that sparkles under more Michelin stars per capita, and the only city in Spain with more restaurants, bars and taverns per square kilometre than any other.

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San Sebastian is the cooking epicentre of Basque gastronomy with good eating an important part of Basque culture. It has an almost reverential respect to organic seasonal products and only the best raw materials are used by restaurants and famed Michelin-awarded chefs of San Sebastian’s “New Basque Cuisine” revolution.
SS Tapas 600x400Pintxos (Basque tapas) – One of the distinquishing marks of Basque gastronomy, pintxos (“pinchos”) is the classic “miniature cuisine” which has experienced unparalleled sophistication in the last few years, with more and more complex creations presented in bars across San Sebastian’s Parte Vieja (Old Town). San Sebastian is the world capital of pintxos, and it even has it’s own tradition which the locals carry on called txikiteo – bar crawls through the public houses of the Parte Vieja, each offering their own pintxos speciality. Washed down with the Basque country’s fine, young regional wine, txakoli, or a spicy red from the nearby Rioja wine region, you continue until you are suitably full, keep a tab of what you have eaten, then settle up with the bar staff before moving on to the next establishment.
Txoko 300x452Txokos (Private Gastronomic Eating Societies) – A Basque tradition established in the 1840’s, San Sebastian’s txokos are gastronomic societies where Basque men come together to cook, eat, drink, talk and sing. Each txoko has a society constitution that sets out the maximum number of members, administration issues and a communal funding system. Originally women were not allowed entry to a txoko, however most txokos now allow women access to enter the txoko to eat, drink and socialise, but not to cook. Meals can be elaborate affairs featuring dishes made from the Basque regions bountiful supply of fresh produce. Txokos operate on an honour system where each member is expected to keep track of what stocks were used from the communal foodstores and how much alcohol their group consumed. During the Franco era, txokos became a refuge for many Basques. As the constitutions of the txokos prohibited the discussion of politics on the premises, people could meet without state control, so they were free to speak Basque and sing Basque songs which was illegal during Franco’s realm.
Mugaritz - Chef Andoni

Mugaritz – Chef Andoni

New Basque Cuisine – Influenced by the nouvelle cuisine of France in the 1970’s and 1980’s, Basque chefs created the nouvelle cuisine basque, which, while retaining a solid Basque substance, were lighter and less rustic versons of traditional Basque dishes and flavours. San Sebastian boasts three of Spain’s five Michelin three-star restaurants (Arzak, Akelarre & Martin Berasategui), complemented with other great two-star (Mugaritz) and one-star restaurants to total 16 Michelin stars. This fact makes San Sebastian the city with more Michelin stars per square meter in the world.
Tour Itinerary

Day 1 – Saturday 07 October 2017 – BILBAO ARRIVAL

Arrive in Bilbao at your leisure so that you can have a rest before our tour begins. Flights arrive into Bilbao Airport, from many European destinations. Should you wish to have an extra day to visit Bilbao’s famous Frank Gehry designed Guggenheim Museum, we can arrange to schedule an additional nights stay at our Bilbao hotel for the evening of Friday October 6th 2017.
Bilbao
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Bilbao, with a population of 350,000 , is an industrial port city in northern Spain and surrounded by green mountains. Once a prosperous steel production, shipping, ship building and banking city, by the 1970’s the city had developed into a gray smokestack and a serious economic crisis had arrived. A new plan was devised and Bilbao started its journey of rebirth becoming one of the most cosmopolitan cities of the region and the de facto capital of Basque Country. This once heavily industrial and gritty city now shines with culture, thanks to the Museo Guggenheim, which sparked revitalization of the city when it opened in 1997. Designed by Canadian architect Frank Gehry, the museum houses prominent modern and contemporary works, but it’s the curvy, titanium-clad building that receives the most attention. Bilbao’s historic Casco Viejo neighborhood along the city’s Nervión River teems with architectural interest and excellent restaurants and small shops, and gorgeous old churches pepper every district in the city.

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The Guggenheim Museum (Bilbao)
Bilbao’s “titanium miracle” known as the Guggenheim Museum is much more than a simple art gallery or a mere exhibition hall. It is the emblem of a modern and versatile Bilbao. The artworks surrounding the building – PUPPY, by Jeff Koons and MAMA, the Spider, by Louise Bourgegois – have become icons of the ‘new’ city.
19:00pm – Welcome dinner at a local Bilbao restaurant
THE HOTEL – NH Collection Villa de Bilbao Hotel (Bilbao) –  1 Night 

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Set in the heart of the city, the NH Collection Villa de Bilbao Hotel is an upscale modern hotel conveniently located only a 6-minute walk from San Mamés metro station and 1.5 km from the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. The stylish and modern hotel was completely renovated in 2012, with guest rooms decorated in a chic, contemporary style.

Accommodation : NH Collection Villa de Bilbao Hotel

(Included meals: D)

Day 2 – Sunday 08 October 2017 – ASADOR ETXEBARRI 1* MICHELIN DINING EXPERIENCE

am – Breakfast at your leisure.
09:00am – Walking tour of Bilbao’s Casco Viejo (Old Town) and ancient historic centre. This morning is also an opportunity for you to visit the Guggenheim Museum, should you have not had the opportunity the day before.

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13:00pm – Depart from Bilbao for our short transfer to the famous Asador Etxebarri restaurant for our Michelin-starred lunch, and voted the world’s No. 10 restaurant in The San Pellegrino World’s TOP 50 Best Restaurants – 2016
Asador Etxebarri

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Here’s how the San Pellegrino World’s TOP 50 Best Restaurants describes Asador Etxebarri:

“Basque barbecue master cooks up a meat feast in the countryside”

What makes it special: Nestled beneath mountains in a sleepy village an hour’s drive from San Sebastian, the old stone building that houses Asador Etxebarri is a destination in its own right. So peaceful are the surroundings that the chimes of church bells and the odd bleat of an animal are the only sounds to be heard.

The chef: Victor Arguinzoniz was born in the village, just moments away from the restaurant, and worked in a flag factory for many years before buying the restaurant with his father and uncle. He taught himself to cook and built his own kitchen full of manual grilling contraptions using multiple types of wood. Known for his devotion to the barbecue, he is rarely seen out of the kitchen.

On the menu: Etxebarri’s tasting menu takes in enormous juicy Palamós prawns, homemade chorizo tartare and finally a huge tomahawk steak before dessert. Customers can also order à la carte, with the speciality being Arguinzoniz’s personal favourite – grilled eel. 

Bonus point: Arguinzoniz’s produce is so fresh that some of it comes from his own back garden, yards from the restaurant. He recently purchased eight buffalo, which graze in a field overlooking the village, alongside chickens and homemade chorizo that hangs outside his house. He produces fresh buffalo mozzarella daily, to serve alongside goat’s milk butter and other snacks.

16:00pm – Group transfer to Spain’s famous La Rioja Wine Region for our exploration of this famous Basque region.
Rioja Alavesa (La Rioja) Wine Region
Romans brought the vine plant with them when they landed in this Southern Basque Country over twenty centuries ago. With a history such as this, the Rioja Alavesa has established one of the most rooted, reliable and forceful wine traditions in all of Europe. It is a region which not only produces wines under a “designation of origin” recognised as one of the best in the world, but combines it with a gastronomy tradition and charming fortified historic villages scattered across the vinelands. Far from resting on its history, some of La Rioja’s main wineries have embraced change and entrusted the renovation of their facilities to renowned architects. These include Bodega Ysios designed by Santiago Calatrava; Bodega Baigorri by Iñaki Aspiazu; and Canadian architect, Frank Gehry who designed the titanium “City of Wine” for winery Marques de Riscal to celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2008.
17:00pm – Arrival in the medieval village of Laguardia, our base in La Rioja for the next two days.
Laguardia, Rioja Alavesa

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Set atop a hill in the middle of a valley is the picture-perfect town of Laguardia. This walled town is surrounded by vineyards on all sides and offers a glimpse into the region’s wine making past. A few of the wine cellars located under the town houses are open for tours and are a definite must see.
Founded in the 10th century as a defense town for the kingdom of Navarra, this beautiful walled town is located in a hill overlooking the vineyards, with the Cantabrian Mountains in the background. It is without a doubt the most known, but also the most attractive, town of the region. Enjoy the walk through the medieval narrow streets and stop at one of the multiple bars to try some local wine accompanied by a ración or a pintxo.
THE HOTEL – Hospederia Los Parajes (Laguardia) – 2 Nights

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19:00pm – Evening at your leisure. After a little rest following checking into your rooms, we can enjoy a walk through the medieval narrow streets of the town and call into one of the many pintxos bars to try some local wine accompanied by a ración or a pintxo.

Accommodation : Hospederia Los Parejes (Laguardia)

(Included meals: B, D)

Day 3 – Monday 09 October 2017 – LA RIOJA WINE REGION (Tradition to Contemporary)

am – Breakfast at your leisure
10:00am – Group departure to the historic village of Haro, considered to be the capital of the La Rioja Wine Region. For our exploration of the history and traditions of the region’s winemaking we will visit one of region’s oldest and most traditional wineries – Bodegas Lopez de Heredia.
Bodegas Lopez de Heredia
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Dating back to 1877, the López de Heredia winery is the oldest in Haro and one of the first three houses in the Rioja region. Bodegas López de Heredia is one of the wine world’s great wine treasures and stands out as one of the few family-run bodegas regulated by the Denominación de Origen Calificada Rioja – DOC (Appellation region).

Little has changed in the more than 130 years since its founding. It occupies the same historic cellars and unlike most of their competitors, which are now owned by outside investors, López de Heredia is owned—and every detail of its operation is handled—by the family who founded it. Many Rioja wineries buy grapes from dozens of small growers; but López de Heredia own every inch of the vineyards that supply their wines. Only natural yeasts are used and there is no filtration. They still age their greatest wines in wood for six to eight years and even make their own barrels in their onsite coopery.

13:00pm – Wine Tasting Lunch at Bodega Baigorri
Bodega Baigorri

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From La Rioja’s  “traditional” wine making techniques of Bodegas Lopez de Heredia we now venture forward 130 years to an example of the “new style Rioja” winemaking with a visit to the visually impressive Bodegas Baigorri. Founded in 1997, with the collaboration of architect Iñaki Azpiazu, Baigorri began production in 2000.

Azpiazu’s crystal glass box that identifies Bodegas Baigorri’s winery amidst the regions vineyards, belies what lies beneath. Sitting at the top of a hill, with a commanding view of the Ebro valley on one side and the Cantabrian mountain range on the other, the winery is built underground to minimise its impact on the surroundings. It’s unique setting plays a vital role in how its wines are produced, with all movements of grapes and wine optimised by gravity, avoiding the use of mechanical methods of any kind. The winery is built over seven levels with the wine flowing down 32m from vinification to ageing, bottling and shipping, with no reception hoppers or pumps to move the grapes or pump them over in the tanks.

16:00pm – Return to Laguardia. Spend the remainder of the afternoon relaxing, or for those that are interested, we can visit one of Laguardia’s oldest wineries – Casa Primicia
Bodega Casa Primicia

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Situated in one of the oldest buildings of the 11th century village of Laguardia is Bodega Casa Primicia. With its over five hundred years history, stepping in through the doorway of Bodega Casa Primicia presents a building whose wooden roof structure has withstood the test of half a millennium.

19:00pm – Evening at your leisure.

Accommodation : Hospederia Los Parejes (Laguardia)

(Included meals: B, D)

 

Day 4 – Tuesday 10 October 2017 – MARQUES DE RISCAL 1* MICHELIN DINING EXPERIENCE & PAMPLONA

am – Breakfast at your leisure.
10:00am – Check out from our hotel for the short transfer to the medieval village of Elciego and one of La Rioja’s most famous winery – Marques de Riscal and it’s “City of Wine”.
10:30am – Winery tour of Marques de Riscal & “City of Wine”

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Marques de Riscal is without doubt Rioja Alavesa’s grandest name and most important house. In 1858 it became the first winery in the Rioja to produce wines following the Bordeaux method. Don Guillermo Hurtado de Amézaga, the Marqués de Riscal, was asked by local producers to find a French wine expert to train them in the winemaking techniques of the Médoc. Subsequently he hired Jean Pineau, winemaker at Château Lanessan to come to Spain and the rest, as they say, is history.  The Marqués de Riscal’s City of Wine merges deep rooted wine-growing tradition with twenty-first century avant-garde design. Nestled in the renowned Marques de Riscal’s vineyard in the medieval village of Elciego, the winery’s spectacular curves, titanium roof and asymmetry of walls provide an elegant contrast to the historic wine cellars designed in 1858 by the architect Ricardo Bellsola, and has become one of the “Ten Architectural Wonders of the World”.

13:00pm – Lunch at the 1-Michelin Star “Marques de Riscal” restaurant which was awarded it’s first Michelin-star on 25 November 2011. Riojan chef, Francis Paniego and his young, dynamic team of 15 chefs present a fusion of tradition and modernity with a careful selection of local-produced and seasonal ingredients.
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2016 MICHELIN Guide – Marques de Riscal

“Design, design, design! Beneath the magnificent high-ceilinged dining room guests are immersed in a magical world full of glorious detail with innovative cooking that makes constant nods to tradition. Concise à la carte choices alongside a comprehensive tasting menu.”

16:00pm – Group transfer to  Pamplona

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Pamplona
Outside of the 8 days in which Pamplona (Iruña in Basque) is home to one of the world’s biggest parties, the festival of San Fermín, where the exhilarating “Running of the Bulls” takes place, this well preserved medieval city is the capital of the Navarra region. Made famous by Ernest Hemingway in his 1926 classic novel “The Sun Also Rises” and with its steady flow of pilgrims doing the Camino de Santiago (Route of St. James), historical Pamplona is impressive with its Citadel and fortified city walls, the Bull running route and the beautiful Town Hall (Ayuntamiento)
THE HOTEL – Hotel Maisonnave (Pamplona) – 1 night
This restored 1883 inn-turned-hotel, fully refurbishing in 2013, is ideally located for taking a stroll through the city to visit its most iconic sights.

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pm – Evening at your leisure to stroll around the historic centre of Pamplona. Stop off at one of the many bar/restaurants for a glass of wine and a pintxos.

Accommodation : Hotel Maisonnave (Pamplona)

(Included meals: B, L)

Day 5 – Wednesday 11 October 2017 – SAN SEBASTIAN

am – Breakfast at your leisure
10:00am – Morning Walking Tour of Pamplona’s historic centre.
13:00pm – Group departure for San Sebastian and check in tour our hotel, the beachfront Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra
THE HOTEL – Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra (San Sebastian) – 5 nights
Situated directly on San Sebastian’s famous La Concha Beach and seafront promenade is our accommodation, the historic 4-star luxury Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra, dating back to 1865 and once the home of exiled Queen Isabella II. Conveniently located right on the beach, the hotel is only a short distance from San Sebastian’s pintxos bar laden streets in the Parte Vieja (Old Town) and world class shopping precinct.

Hotel Londres San Sebastian

YOUR ROOM – Situated on the top floor of the hotel are brand new sea view rooms, constructed in 2013, with private terrace and spectacular ocean views towards La Concha Bay.

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17:00pm – Although we have already experienced exploring the wines of La Rioja, this evening we will venture into San Sebastian’s “Parte Vieja” (Old Town) for a pre-dinner  “Introduction to Spanish Wines – Wine Tasting” conducted by the knowledgeable and passionate Nerea, who along with her brother, have pursued their passion for Spanish wines and have established one of San Sebastian’s finest wine stores.

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19:00pm – Group Dinner at Restaurante Marinela – we have arranged for a relaxed alfresco seafood dinner at one of San Sebastian’s port side restaurants, owned by our very close friends the Azkue family.
pm – Evening at your leisure.

Accommodation : Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra

(Included meals: B, L)

Day 6 – Thursday 12 October 2017 – SAN SEBASTIAN “Parte Vieja” (OLD TOWN & PINTXOS APPRECIATION

am – Breakfast at your leisure. Take advantage of our prime beachside position with a walk or cycle along the beautiful La Concha beach.
Free Day – Today is an opportunity for you to relax; go for a walk; hire a bike and use San Sebastian’s amazing network of cycle paths; or go shopping in San Sebastian’s “high streets”. Here are a few suggestions:
San Sebastian Discovery Suggestions

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OPTIONAL – 3-Star Michelin Experience
– Lunch today  is an opportunity for you to experience one of San Sebastian’s three 3-Star Michelin restaurants. We will be happy to arrange your preferred reservation, but please ensure that you make your request at least 3 months in advance. These include:
Via Michelin – The inspector’s view: “Enjoy superb cuisine in one of the city’s prominent culinary institutions, where a sense of history and the height of contemporary design come together seamlessly. The father and daughter team work in perfect harmony and delight guests with highly creative dishes prepared with the very finest ingredients.” Menu: 195€ – Carte: 140€-160€
Via Michelin – The inspector’s view: “A classic dining setting boasting stunning sea views. Akelare’s chef has created an extraordinary culinary concept that is high on creativity without abandoning traditional roots, and at the same time showcases well-defined flavours and unique textures. Every dish on the fixed menus can be ordered à la carte.” Menu: 175€ – Carte: 110€-163€
Via Michelin – The inspector’s view: “Embark upon an incredible gastronomic journey at this restaurant that combines culinary mastery, passion, talent and creativity. Discover truly unique, fresh and innovative cuisine in the chef’s attractive, elegantly classical house that is completely open to nature. Dishes are created using sublime techniques, enabling ingredients to come together and bring out the very best flavours.” Menu: 195€ – Carte: 120€-140€
18:00pm – Pintxos Appreciation Tour – This evening we will go on a private Pintxos Tour of the Old Quarter and get some “insider’s” tips from locals, Amaia & Nathan, our personal local guides for the evening. We will eat where the locals eat, drink what the locals drinks and most importantly laugh and enjoy life as the locals do. Along the way, Amaia & Nathan will give us some inside knowledge about what it is to be Basque, the nuances relating to pintxos, and also share with you cultural and historical facts of the old town and San Sebastian.

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San Sebastian

Accommodation : Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra

(Included meals: B, Pintxos Dinner)

Day 7 – Friday 13 October 2017 – BASQUE COOKING CLASS & “Gin Tonic” EXPERIENCE

am – Breakfast at your leisure.
11:00am – Basque Pintxos Cooking Class with Chef Enrique San Jose Azkue (and Chef Enrique Sr.), chef/owner of Restaurante Marinela, whose family have been San Sebastian restauranteurs for many years, and whom we have hosted in Perth on their previous visits. We will be invited into one of San Sebastian’s unique “Private Gastronomic Eating Societies” called “txokos” for a fun & relaxed cooking lesson with Enrique and a look into these unique & special “members-only” Basque institutions. Enrique will take us through the preparation of some classic Basque dishes.

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pm – Remainder of the afternoon  at your leisure.
17:00pm – Meet in the lobby for the short walk to experience Spain’s obsession with Gin & Tonic. We were surprised to find out on our previous visit to San Sebastian that  “Gin Tonic” is actually Spain’s national drinkSpain is actually the largest drinke This evening we will share with you one of our favourite “Gintonneria” emporiums where you will experience the alcchemy & passion that San Sebastian’s bartenders have for their “Gin Tonic”. Please click here for a little story we put together about “Gin Tonic – Spain’s Obsession & National Drink”.

La Gintoneria Barman

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pm – Remainder of the evening at your leisure. We can use our newly acquired Pintxos Appreciation skills to visit some of our favourite Pintxos bars.

Accommodation : Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra

(Included meals: B, L)

Day 8 – Saturday 14 October 2015 – FREE DAY

am – Morning at your leisure. An early morning walk along one of San Sebastian’s grand boulevards or the beach promenade, or maybe just a sleep in.
Today is an opportunity of a final free day for you to relax or check out some of the other interesting sights around San Sebastian. Here are a few more suggestions:
San Sebastian Discovery Suggestions

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19:00pm – After a week of enjoying some incredible Basque cuisine, tonight we will have a little break from Basque food with dinner at a beautiful and elegant Asian restaurant,  Belinda & I always visit when we are in San Sebastian.

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Accommodation : Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra

(Included meals: B, D)

Day 9 – Sunday 15 October 2017 – MUGARITZ – 2* MICHELIN EXPERIENCE

am – Morning at your leisure.
13:00pm – Two-Star Michelin Final Group Lunch
Mugaritz
Mugaritz - Chef Andoni

Mugaritz – Chef Andoni

Today we will enjoy our final group lunch at the 2-Star Michelin, MUGARITZ (#7 of The San Pellegrino World’s TOP 50 Best Restaurants – 2016) and “Chef’s Choice” as voted by the 50 Best Chefs of the world in 2012) Undeniably, one of the most amazing dining experiences we have ever had, to experience one of Chef Andon Luis Aduriz’s 18 course degustation menus, is to experience “gastronomic theatre” at it’s sensory best. From visiting the kitchen, to meeting one of the world’s most innovative chefs, our previous tour visits here have always been some of the most memorable meals we have ever experienced!
Mugaritz
Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz completed his academic studies at the School of Hotel & Restaurant Management in San Sebastian and has worked with such chefs as Juan Mari Arzak and Ferran Adria, as well as serving as head chef with Martin Berasategui at his three Michelin starred restaurant.

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Situated a short drive from the centre of San Sebastian in a rustic yet modern caserio (country cottage), Mugaritz’s 18-course tasting menus change daily according to what chef Andoni Luis Aduriz can obtain at the street markets and what’s growing in the restaurant’s herb garden. His team creates intricate dishes that seek to reconnect diners with nature. His self-dubbed “techno-emotional” approach sees the use of science and a rigorous understanding of ingredients mix with produce-driven cuisine.
Here’s how the San Pellegrino World’s TOP 50 Best Restaurants describes Mugaritz:

“A powerhouse of creativity hidden in the green hinterlands of the Basque country”

Who is behind Mugaritz’s magic? Andoni Luis Aduriz, simply known as Andoni, is considered by many observers to be the natural heir to the title of Spain’s most pioneering chef after Ferran Adrià.

How does it play out? A meal takes place over 20 courses – several of them, if the weather is clement, served in the gorgeously appointed gardens around the restaurant. Basque cuisine often combines elements of the mountains and the sea, and so it is at Mugaritz where  the menu might roam from oyster and young garlic omelette and pig tails and squid,  via a crunchy “sandwich” of local cheese presented in a book, to a loin of lamb smoked over eucalyptus and served with “its cultivated wool”.

What’s the vibe: One of the greatest things about Mugaritz is the sense of play, whether it’s the waiters throwing a curve-ball for the wine lovers at the table with a mystery bottle (a well-aged rosé from Lebanon’s Chateau Musar, perhaps), or the presentation of chocolate petit fours in stacked oak boxes designed to allude to the seven deadly sins.

For another take on the Mugaritz experience, check out what Gary Mehigan of Australia’s MasterChef series said about “my all time favourite meal, absolutely amazing. Five hours and 15 courses later I don’t think I could be any happier with my life”. Please click here to read more from Gary’s MUGARITZ experience in 2010.

mugaritz dining room

Mugaritz Food Peaches 620x370 Mugaritz Food Green 250x144 Mugaritz Food 216x144

Mugaritz Food Apple 257x144 Mugaritz Food Crumbed Foie 266x144 Mugaritz Food Egg 257x144

pm – Final group outing. Depending on what room we have left after Mugaritz’s tasting menu, a final stroll through the narrow streets of the Old Town and along the beach might be in order.

Accommodation : Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra

(Included meals: B, L)

Day 10 – Monday 16 October 2017 – DEPARTURE

am – Check Out from our hotel and final “Hasta luego” (See you later) to the group. Gather up your memories from our special week together in San Sebastian and safe journeys to your next destinations or home!
BOOKINGS & BOOKING DEADLINE
To secure your places, please contact Nico Moretti at nico@urbanprovider.com.au or 08 9228 0507, and we will forward you a 2017 Discover Basque Spain Booking Form, or please click here –  2017 Discover Basque Spain Booking Form – to download a copy.
Booking Deadline01 February 2017 or until booked out. 
Booking Deposit: A $AUD800 non-refundable BOOKING DEPOSIT is required to hold a booking for the tour, at the time of your reservation.
Final Payment: Payment in full is required at least 90 days prior to departure (Payment Due : 06 July 2017)
We look forward to hosting you on this very special “Discover Basque Spain – Michelin, Food & Wine Experience”. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate in contacting us.
Muchas gracias, Nico & Belinda Moretti

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