Please blame my Spanish travels for the lack of blog posts over the last few days – because for the first time in six years the whole family is together on holiday. All ten of us have descended on Alcossebre looking for good food, good wine and good weather!
So here is a recap of the first 5 days…
Day 0: Thursday –> A Travel Day
After the annual mad dash to the furthest possible airport gate and a family disagreement over the music playlist in the car, we have finally arrived in a very hot and extremely humid Spain.
For as long as I can remember, a small fishing village in the Castellon province has been the holiday destination of choice for my family. When I first step off that airplane, breathe in what I can only describe as the scent of Spain, and pop my sunglasses on, it really does feel like I’m home. You may have read a lot of reviews about Barcelona, Madrid and similar busy cities, but I’m currently staying up in the mountains above the tiny village of Alcossebre so the experience is very different. The views are incredible and you feel like you have a sort of isolation from the rest of the world, which is great if you need a break like I do! Alcossebre is the perfect place to be if you are looking to brush up on your language skills or take a break from the hustle and bustle of modern life, as this isn’t a typical tourist hotspot and life here is very quiet.
Day 1: Friday
Our first morning here was spent exploring the rocks along the coast and having a relaxing tapas lunch at Valentin’s restaurant next to the beach. After a stressful day of travelling, how is it possible to resist a few hours lazing in the pool, playing various games of Yahtzee and Rummikub, and catching up on the TV shows missed in England? – It isn’t possible to resist it, so that’s exactly what we ended up doing. We even brought the “Game of Thrones” boxset with us so hopefully we’ll actually start the first season soon…
Day 2: Saturday
In preparation for the rest of the family arriving on Saturday evening, we spent most of the day at home, making good use of the swimming pool and preparing for everyone to get here. At 8pm we slowly made our way down to the village and ate dinner together at El Nautico, which is a restaurant on Las Fuentes beach. After consuming what should have been an impossible amount of food, we then managed to roll ourselves and our huge stomachs along the promenade to have a look at the pop-up market and buy ourselves some homemade mint ice-cream which was amazing!
Day 3: Sunday
Sunday turned out to be a day that consisted solely of eating and shopping (again…) Lunch at Ca Batiste was fabulous and I spent my time alternating between eating garlic prawns and roast lamb – an interesting but delicious combination! In the evening we found ourselves listening to live music and watching a fashion show that was shown on a stage that seemed to suddenly appear in the centre of town. This then set the scene for the clothes shopping that occurred afterwards – I will probably have to return to Doble-D to buy myself a wicker handbag… We then dodged the scary clown (?!) that we kept on bumping into and ended our day with fresh banana ice-cream from My Gelatto – I highly recommend this…!
Day 4: Monday
Today we decided to go to the best – and most upmarket – restaurant here. El Pinar is situated high up in the mountains close to the Monastery so of course the views are breathtaking… and highly instagrammable! The meal consisted of veal carpaccio and prawn cocktail for starters, monkfish and prawn skewers for main course and orange ice-cream, served in an actual orange (of course…) for dessert. El Pinar is the single place I dream of returning to whenever I visit Alcossebre. The food was fabulous as always and the drive up to the top of the mountain just adds to the experience – even though the drive back down the narrow road is slightly unnerving.
And just when we thought we couldn’t manage to eat another scrap of food in our lifetimes, we decided we were hungry again. So we ended up making the trek down to the village where we ordered pizzas at Sam’s Pizzeria – the best pizzas ever FYI… But of course we couldn’t end the evening there. So being the night owls we are, we skipped our way along to The Flamingo to have what ended up being the most hilarious Karaoke night ever… Ear plugs were definitely needed.
Day 5: Tuesday
Lunch at L’Illa this afternoon was bittersweet because although it may be the best restaurant along the port for grilled meat and fish, it was my Dad’s last meal before he flew back to England. Lunch was therefore a bit of a hit and run because there was a plane involved that wouldn’t be waiting if we were late leaving the restaurant, but we had gorgeous food and fab company so there were no complaints from us. I travelled with my Dad to the airport to say my goodbyes, but hopefully he’ll be back with us in Spain in a few weeks time.
Aside from this, Tuesday is my favourite day of the week simply because it’s market night! I absolutely love the Alcossebre market because it has a stall for practically everything. However, this Tuesday I came across a gem of a stall which I had never seen before. The Man of the Olives! This is an artisan stall which specialises in carving jewellery from Olive wood and inserting metal work and gemstones into the carving. Every piece was incredible and because I love anything that is handmade and unique, I just had to buy myself the Moonstone ring for €16. There was a matching necklace as well which I couldn’t afford that night because silly me didn’t pack enough notes into her cow print bumbag. So guess what I’ll be buying next Tuesday…?
Song Recommendation (My Karaoke song of choice…):
John Waite –> Missing you