Your East Midlands Wedding - February/March 2024 (Issue 60)

and caviar; tortellini of langoustine and foie with Nantua cream; and squab in two firings with souffle potatoes. All was expertly paired with unbelievable wine selections by the knowledgeable sommelier. Equally unmissable is La Taverna del Mar, located on the beach of Sant Pol, just a two-minute walk from the hotel. Let’s be clear, seafood is a big deal here, as it is for the region as a whole, and this eatery will bring you the freshest and very best. It was here I discovered Catalonian delicacy sonsos, or Mediterranean sand eel. Fried and crispy it’s delicious served with a chilled glass of local white wine. Plus, the serving of wild sea bass in a sea salt crust is a wonderful piece of theatre, not to mention the perfect way to cook fish. It’s also well worth trying Galician clams and red tuna tartare. In fact, whatever the experts suggest, trust me, go with it. I’ve never eaten seafood like it and given the restaurant’s partnership with local fisherman to deliver the freshest fare, I likely never will again. For a lighter meal in between dips, head to poolside restaurant Garbi. Its light and healthy menu offers many of the delights found in the renowned Mediterranean diet. The paella here is to die for! OUT AND ABOUT Just one hour north of Barcelona and half an hour from beautiful Girona, Hostal de La Gavina is excellently appointed for exploring the Costa Brava. I headed into the medieval city of Girona for a culinary tour and thoroughly recommend a visit. Catalans are quite rightly very proud of their local dishes and delicacies, and during the tour I had the opportunity to sample many of them. If you’re in town, do seek out a xiuxiu for breakfast. Made from an old Girona recipe these sweet treats can only be found in the city and its surroundings. When in Catalonia it’s virtually impossible not to try some jamon (Iberico ham), unless of course you’re vegetarian or vegan in which case there’s no shortage of equally divine alternative local bites. Served with some Manchego cheese or perhaps some local Catalan goat’s cheese and a glass of Cava it’s a real treat. I became addicted in a very short space of time! Girona was originally a city of traders, which is a heritage still evident in the city’s food markets. With vegetables at least three times the size of anything I’d ever seen before and more fresh fish than you could ever dream of finding in your local Morrisons – anchovies, cod tartare, sonsos – they’re worth looking in on. Paella is of course a must-have in Spain, but if you get the chance, do try Catalan speciality Fideua, made from short noodles instead of rice. Packed so full of flavour, you won’t be happy until you’ve finished the dish! I stopped at L’Arròs &... for mine, an intimate seafood restaurant on Carrer Ciutadans. For dessert the final stop was the oh-so quirky, Wonkaesque Rocambolesc Gelerateria. As I was visiting during Girona’s Temp de Flors (Flower Festival) they were offering new floral flavours created especially for the occasion, which had to be tasted! If you’re a wine enthusiast, a little further out of town you’ll find Clos d’Agon (, a 15th-century vineyard based around a picturesque historical farmhouse. Hostal de La Gavina has recently partnered with it to offer guests exclusive wine experiences. I met the estate’s Nora for a fascinating tour, where I learned of the vineyard’s own micro climate, which allows it to be ecological as the wind clears the humidity creating the perfect environment for its fruit. The grapes are all picked by hand so only the best ones get through at harvest time allowing the passionate winemakers, such as Miguel, to make award-winning wines. Although the aforementioned wet weather didn’t permit us to, you do have the chance to idyllically picnic among the vines, as you indulge in a glass of the wonderful Clos d’Agon Valmaña wine with cheese and charcuterie board. TAKE IN THE VIEW For days when you’re looking to stay a little closer to base, the Cami de Ronda coastal path ( runs alongside Hostal de La Gavina. The entire 43-kilometre stretch would take around two days to walk in its entirety, but you can enjoy a gentle stroll in stretches however you wish. I thoroughly enjoyed a short 30-minute stint along the bay, with it’s breathtaking views of S’Agaro, the Mediterranean and the historical hotel with its folly, a particular treat first thing in the morning. So, there you have it. The Costa Brava is an idyllic corner of the world, a paradise for foodies, wine lovers and history buffs alike. Whether you’re looking to relax and enjoy the luxurious surroundings, or set out on an adventure to explore the region, Catalonia has so much to offer and Hostal de La Gavina is a dream of a base. FIND OUT MORE Rates at La Gavina start from €280 (approx. £239) per night for a Classic Room, including breakfast, and from €380 (approx. £324) per night for a Superior Double Seaview Room, including breakfast. Hostal de La Gavina, Plaça Roserar s/n, 17248 S’Agaró (Costa Brava), Girona, Spain +34 972 32 1100 HONEYMOON REVIEW 83