Following on from World Food Weekender – Budapest…
In December I was lucky enough to win an amazing competition with Giraffe, a restaurant chain with a menu that takes all the best bits from around the globe. As their ‘World Food Weekender’, over the four weekends in January they will be sent my tastebuds to different European cities to explore, sample lots of local food and drink and report back by way of a short video encompassing my weekend and what I thought of what I ate!
So here is the vlog for my fourth and final trip! (or on vimeo because it doesn’t seem to play on mobiles…) I ended my month on an unbelieavable high note, with my best friend by my side and doing a sterling job with filming and calming down my awkward/embarassed giggles again! Valencia had a lot more to offer than I had imagined, in both food and culture. If you avoid the disappointing and frankly shit beach, it’s the perfect weekend destination.
Let me know what you think 🙂
Love, Lottie xx
(p.s. check out my instagram @alottielost for more photos!)
Where we went in chronological order of the video:
- Mercado Central – the biggest fresh produce market in Europe, built in the modernismo style (the Spanish variant of art nouveau). Full of treats, it’s lovely to see this is where the locals actually shop instead of being a market purely for tourists. Make sure to purchase a pot of olives and a pot of cheese and meats to graze on as you wander around.
- The City of Arts and Sciences – Impressive complex of modern buildings that are well worth seeing. We didn’t have time to venture inside so can’t comment, but don’t miss wandering down the L’umbracle (the open air landscaped walkway with the palm trees)
- We stopped at a bar near Plaza del Negrito to try agua de Valencia. it is a more lethal version of buck’s fizz (cava, orange juice, sugar and spirits) that was invented in the 1920s.
- Placa de Sant Nicolau – small space we discovered by wandering (the best way!). We loved the paintings in the window spaces and beautiful shutters. Never forget to look up and around!
- Plaza del Ayuntamiento – can you guess what I wished for?
- Plaza de Toros de Valencia – This bullring was literally a 2 minute walk from our hotel, but we didn’t notice it until we were heading for the metro to the airport. Something I’ve never done – still not sure If want to – but I find interesting in a cultural sense.
- Vincentino restaurant – We were actually headed to La Riua (for supposedly good, traditional paella), but decided to pop inside for a drink because we spotted men dressed up in traditional outfits with guitars etc. As it turns out, it was a University group of about 30 who were there for their annual meal … after a few serenades we ended up staying until 2am and it was probably one of the funniest nights of my life! In terms of food, the paella was obviously to die for and the squid melted in the mouth like no other squid I’ve eaten before.
- On that note, when trying paella ask for socarrat – the crispy, burnt rice on the bottom of the pan
- We stumbled upon (again) one of the coolest pieces of street art I’ve ever seen in the ‘Ciutat Vella’, or Old Town. The façade of this little house was covered in metal grating giant cross-stitched flowers weaved in. How cool is that! To be found at Plaça de Lope de Vega
- Horchatería de Santa Catalina – sweet but noisy spot to try the local drink ‘Horcharta’ made from tiger nuts, which comes with fartons (yup…there’s a reason I didn’t mention it in the vlog) which are like sugared croissants in a sausage shape. The horcharta was super sweet, milky and a bit chalky and didn’t go down too well. Nothing like the horcharta I tried in Mexico! Alternatively, they serve my all-time favourite: churros with chocolate. The churros were a little disappointing, but the accompanying chocolate was dark and rich in flavour. Can’t go too wrong.
- Valencia’s 13th-century cathedral. If don’t have vertigo, climb the 207 steps of El Miguelete tower for the best panoramic views of the city.
- Plaza de la Virgen – we were lucky enough to see some local dancing! Beautiful part of the old town to wander around.
- The city’s La Tassa district in the old town is particularly well-served by tapas restaurants. We eat at La Taberna de Marisa and tried beautifully crunchy croquettes, paella and hey, you guessed it, another litre of sangria.
- La Lonja de la Seda– a gothic chamber of commerce built to impress visiting merchants in the 16th century and to symbolise the city’s wealth and power. It is now a world heritage site. Sadly we caught it 5 minutes before it closed so didn’t get to explore properly, but that ceiling alone was awe inspiring.
- The slide… Pure hilarity. We spotted it when walking back from the beach (which I didn’t feature because it was shit) and pushed all the kids off so we could have a go. We ambled along the old river bed which is pretty cool, and did so on the way to The City of Arts and Sciences (see above) which was even cooler.