Weekend in Pontevedra.
Pontevedra has become a special destination for us, generating, since a long time, the desire to visit Galicia, because the Ari Dieguez’s grandparents born there. Connect with familiar roots, revive habits and enjoy the local cuisine is the main incentive for this trip.
We left Madrid by car early in the morning, being 615 kilometers, took us six hours to travel between stops, and enjoy a good breakfast. We went for the A6 road, then we took the A-52 towards Ourense / Vigo and to finish the Vigo/ AP-9 / Pontevedra highway. The trip was very pleasant, because the Spanish highways are well signposted and as we moved the vegetation changes in their shades and textures. Really the journey wasn’t heavy. There are instant selfies in our instagram @losarys, that reflect how fun we had, between conversations and laughs.
We arrived at Pontevedra. Our first step was to tour the historic old town, its people and local cuisine. Here we share some images of typical buildings, the Church “la Peregrina”, and the town Hall, among others.Lunch in typicals ” Galician Tascas “, is an experience that couldn’t be forgotten for those who enjoy seafood. While we had talked about the gastronomic quality of Galicia, one thing is the words and quite another to try it !!
Here an exquisite spatter Rape and a Seafood Cocktail.Then we ordered an octopus with potatoes that they call “Pulpo a la arousana” and later we ordered very tender fresh seafood, fried in oil of excellent quality.As you know, we cannot resist sweets and more when it is about 100% homemade. You can see the color of these delicious homemade cheese and chocolate puddings.After the abundant lunch, we left the city of Pontevedra and we headed to Novavila Wine Design Hotel in Meis, just 10 minutes from the city. This is where we spent our time in Galicia. We were received by José Luis Vilanova Peña ,the owner of the place and accompanied us to explore it, later a welcome dinner awaited us!It was time for dinner at Novavila, we were warned to prepare ourselves because in Galicia you eat a lot, in this article you will understand! Here we find friends like the famous journalist Amalia Enríquez.The exquisite Albariño wine house had invited us to kick off dinner at their right temperature to drink it. A selection of starters and Galician pie with sweet waited for us. The night was incredible between laughs and anecdotes.A new day sun began in Pontevedra and in the Novavila breakfast we discovered the delicious handmade jams of Ladybug sugar. They are made from selected fruits and spices obtaining very unique flavors. Very soon we tell you more about its development and the different varieties they offer. We share in another article the scoop on a new and exclusive flavor that will leave pleasurable sensations on the palate. (We can guarantee that this is true).
Today we will visit Pazo de Rubianes, a garden with over 800 varieties of camellias. Originally founded in 1411 by D. Garcia Camaño and rebuilt 300 years later by D. Jacobo Ozores. Upon reaching a friendly guide welcomes us and accompanies us on the journey. He told us the story about the centarios magnolias, calocedros, criptomerias, eucalyptus, camphor, ash, pine, oak, cork and many other species.Certainly they are vegetables monuments!.
We’re surprised by the colorful camellias and different varieties that exist, as well as for various functions for which they are used. Let’s cross it together ..!Among the gardens, flowers and trails we have learned that Green Tea is produced with outbreaks of one of the varieties of these plants, Camellia sinensis. It is an evergreen shrub of Asian origin which is cultivated in Pazo de Rubianes, here we can see in the pictures below.The flowers of Camellia sinnensis, being politicized, produce small brown seeds. When they are pressed, we get the nutritional Camellia Oil which uses it for cosmetic treatments. It is a highly moisturizing, healing vitamin E and has antioxidant properties and other characteristics oil. We are researching the possibility of using it for food due to its high nutritional percentages. As we can see, behind the camellias there are much more than natural beauty. The man was discovering different uses such as creating soaps, candles, oils, teas, among others!
In the Pazo de Rubianes is a store dedicated exclusively to these products made with camellias ,as well they have camphor candles of their own trees. Following the tour of the Pazo, we come to a very old chapel where religious ceremonies were held. Very well preserved and a travel in time.It cannot miss the typical Galician “Hórreo” where seeds and other foods away from moisture and animals are preserved. In this way, foods are preserved optimal for everyday consumption. Granaries, are caracterized by keeping lifted from the ground on the pillars to prevent ingress of moisture and animals (especially mice and other rodents). Thus allowing ventilation through slots in the perimeter walls.
Upon reaching Galicia you find them in many private houses with various measures, some with crosses or other decorative elements. There are of stone which are the authentic, have also built at present brick or wood. By ignoring its meaning at first we thought they were graves of relatives on their own land, we said to us, (how weird is all this). Curiosity led us to ask, we got the explanation and here we share with you.Really worth knowing the Pazo de Rubianes, besides being in touch with nature and unpolluted air we breathe, we always learn new concepts!After the tour it’s time for a tempting lunch at the same Pazo, await us with artisan cheeses, Albariño wine produced in its vineyards, zamburiñas pies, tortilla chips, pickled mussels, among other Exquisiteses!It is time to return to Novavila where we find different activities to do. While we have been walked a lot this day, the desire to know Galicia forces do not easily decay.
At night we went to know the wonderful Casa Solla Restaurante of (Pepe Solla) awarded with a Michelin star. Its creativity, service and quality make that if you are in Pontevedra be sure to visit. We had a very filling lunch at noon, we will try to have more quiet dinner, the kg in Galicia are easy to earn …!
They get some great snacks to taste the different fusions that prepare the house. The elegance of the place, its creative cuisine and atmosphere make you to enjoy a romantic evening and show off for electing it.The star dessert of the place is the Souffle, the only dish that has been on the chart after the restaurant went from father to son. When you go to Casa Solla dont stop asking for it, eating it is an experience and a taste that will remain forever. The moment they bring it to the table, sprinkle it with Rhum and immediately with a lighter capture it. Once the flames die down, they serve it immediately so you do not have to wait a second longer to take the first bite.A new day begins in Pontevedra and after breakfast we will enjoy the coastal scenery of Combarro, Sanxenxo, Portonovo, beach of La Lanzada, San Vicente del Mar, O Grove. We have been fortunate to have sunny days, these places are ideal to visit them in the car and go down where you like best, to make beautiful pictures! After the coastal walk and the sea breeze, we come for a delicious lunch, we recommend a wonderful place: “O Eirado das Margaridas” a rural restaurant that has enchanted us in the town of POIO (Pontevedra). This discovery is thanks to our dear, Amalia Enríquez, without hesitation has exceeded our expectations.!Here next to Margarita González Torres, the owner of this magnificent house that has welcomed us with open arms!In Galician land, we started lunch with Albariño wine this time we recommend the Valtea, which has won the 2014 international competition “Bacchus Oro” (VINOFED) of the Rias Baixas.Incoming scrambled Algae and Hedgehogs and corn pie Galician zamburiñas. How delicious!!The main dish is a monkfish brochettes, shrimp and cherry tomatoes garnished with potatoes poor.Grilled cod desalting at point with potatoes and onion vinaigrette, all a delicacy! Sure that sweets here is an absolute temptation, a Swiss roll with cream and strawberries and below a cheese flan with berries.To do good digestion, Margarita invites us this delicious strawberry flavored cider, says that after drinking it all feel better, we follow her advice! We had to keep the nap thing because we had to continue our adventure.Thanks to Saul Abal Amorín Chef style, who was in charge of the kitchen, a master! We also thank Eva López Casariego and all the team of O Eirado das Margaridas for the great service, quality and readiness at all times, we know it will not be our first time in your home!The evening has just begun in Galicia and a very nice place await for us, we will visit the island of La Toja and its charms! Car keys in hand and to continue this journey!We headed to Gran Hotel La Toja, a great place, with great level and class. There are multiple artists and renowned figures who enjoy their holiday in this 5 stars hotel. So they choose for various celebrations and events.The Hotel features 199 spacious and elegant rooms, most with terrace and sea view or garden. A Spa with mineral water, heated and outdoor pools and many more amenities!The English Bar at the Hotel is where you can enjoy snacks or drinks overlooking the sea. An experience that we recommend when you plan on visiting the island!Next to the hotel is the chapel of shells, as its name indicates its walls are lined with real seashells. Is where the President of Spain Mariano Rajoy formed his marriage to Elvira Fernandez. A very cozy and romantic chapel. At night we wanted to say goodbye to Galicia with a dinner at typical Galician Taxca, this time in the town of Carril in Vilagarcía de Arousa. The site is called Panela located in Praza Da Liberdade (Track), S / N. We appreciate the recommendation of Yolanda and David who were not wrong in recommending us this wonderful restaurant.
So we said goodbye to Galicia … Pan Gallego, wine clams and clams marnière for start! Squid and grilled scallops, are delicious and fresh here. Now we understand when they had told us about the Galician seafood. Yes, we have to say it : “There is nothing more delicious than the Galician octopus”. It is tender and with a great taste!With this magical evening we say goodbye to this wonderful place, knowing we will return very soon! We thank all those who at all times made us feel at home, we can say that our trip exceeded all our expectations.
To José Luis Vilanova Peña for the great care at Novavila, to Yolanda and David for the recommendations, predisposition and that picture so nice that they have taken us with yellow flowers.
Special thanks to our dear journalist Amalia Enríquez who accompanied us in this great adventure through the most unusual places and make us enjoy her “tierriña”.
We also want to thank the journalist Carlos Crespo of “La Voz de Galicia” by the report that he has made us in our stay. We invite you to see it here.