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Archive for the ‘Cambados’ Category

Date of visit: Saturday, April 29, 2017

“Galicia is Different.” That phrase is seen a lot in social media and it’s quite true. Galicia is full of unique places, people and things to do. One unique place to visit is the aldea (village) of Fofán. We first visited Monica and Juan’s charming stone house in the hills of the O Salnés region in 2015 (read all about that visit here). Since then, the industrious couple have made many noteworthy changes to their quirky little agrochic haven:

1.  The 2016 fall harvest was fruitful with the arrival of this sweet little bundle to Fofán – baby Carmen! This captivating little beauty loves everyone who visits.

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Juan, baby Carmen, and Monica welcome visitors to their home in Fofán.

2. Two guest rooms have been welcoming visitors in the main house for some time now via AirBnB. Both done in clean, crisp white, guests will feel quite at home in either of these rooms on the house’s main floor. I can only imagine how wonderful it would be to sleep here and wake up to that delicious, fresh-baked bread smell wafting in from the kitchen just down the hall!

3. Monica now hosts bread making classes in the kitchen at Fofán. The home’s kitchen isn’t for show – it’s a true working kitchen. Monica continues to make her legendary pan de calabaza (pumpkin bread), and now offers various bread making classes by appointment. We participated in an “international” bread making class. Other classes are geared towards artisan bread, pastry, Galician empanadas, and even classes for kids to come and try their hand at crafting homemade bread.

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Here I am getting my hands dirty making Chinese ‘bao‘ buns, stuffed with a delicious mix of ground chicken, ginger, garlic, and scallion. The bao were then placed in a bamboo steamer for about 20 minutes until ready. The best part of the class? Sampling the delicious product!

The Chinese bao and Italian foccaccia that we made during the class are on the left. Monica’s signature bread, the pan de calabaza is on the right.

Delicious homemade Focaccia in three easy steps:
Make the dough.
Spread it out by hand with good olive oil and fresh herbs (rosemary here).
Bake to perfection in the oven with a bit of steam.

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Monica and MyLifeOnVacation pose with the freshly griddled Tunisian black olive flatbread.

4. Monica and Juan are frequent international travelers so inspiration from exotic locales feels right at home in the aldea. As pictured above, we made Tunisian flatbread, Italian focaccia, and Chinese bao during the international bread making class. We then learned about some of that international luxury was also coming to the lower level of the house in the form of a Turkish bath / hammam. The basement was extended to be the home of the new sauna. Since this photo was taken, in April 2017, the construction has been completed: windows and doors of the cellar (pictured below) were installed and the Turkish bath / hammam is operational at the time of publication of this post.

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The basement at Fofán, now home to a relaxing Turkish bath.

5. A bonus of the basement expansion is this gorgeous new terrace above, situated right off of the kitchen. With a quaint white picket fence, ample seating, gorgeous Portuguese tiles, and fantastic hillside views, this is a completely inviting place to relax and soak in the peace and tranquility of the aldea below.

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Visitors will enjoy this beautiful large patio overlooking the entire village. One can actually see the ocean from the house! Looks like the perfect spot to enjoy a bottle of wine.

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How about a closer look at that Portuguese tile on the new terrace? Gorgeous! And our Eferro zocos (wooden clogs – in this case sandals and boots) look great too! I’m wearing newly acquired sandals and Monica is sporting her custom-made wedding boots.

6. The wide variety of trees and plants impressed us during our first visit back in 2015 – more than 30 different varieties. Since then there are even more plants, trees and crops being planted. In addition to the existing greenhouse, two new structures are now on the property in Fofán: a bunny hutch and chicken coop!

Cute bunnies in the hutch and productive heritage chickens in the coop.

You never know what’s going to be growing in the village: During our visit, fresh herbs, artichokes and strawberries were in season. We enjoyed sampling the sweet fresh picked strawberries immensely.

7. There are hórreos all over Galicia, but very few have been transformed into a comfortable guest room that one can stay in.  Talk about a unique opportunity at Fofán!

8. But the most notable change since our 2015 visit has got to be the acquisition of Galicia’s “largest bottle of Albariño”!  It was originally a boat (constructed in 1999 to promote the Camino de Santiago) and is now affixed to the land here in Fofán. A local artist from Coruña was brought in to paint the “label” of the wine bottle. Since these photos were taken in April 2017, all of the construction work has been completed and the bottle is ready for guests to stay in this utterly unique lodging.

The local newspaper published this great article titled “Sleeping inside a bottle” in June 2016, which shows the final look of the bottle inside and out. In addition to offering the entire bottle for guests to rent overnight, they plan to also use the sitting area to host wine tastings, or other events, in the garden. Let me guess …. tastings of Albariño wine??

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Photo courtesy of MadeinFofán.

As mentioned above, one can actually see the ocean from Made in Fofán.  As the map above illustrates, they are conveniently located to a variety of interesting towns in the O Salnés region:

 

 

 

  • Meaño (13 minute drive) The closest destination wineries are in Meaño, a mere 13 minutes away from Fofán.
  • Cambados (15 minute drive) The noble old town of Cambados is known as the “Capital of Albariño” and was named a “Cidade Europea de Vino 2017” (2017 European Wine City). Their annual Albariño wine festival, the first weekend in August, is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year in the region.
  • Portonovo (18 minute drive) Just on the other side of Sanxenxo is the beautiful Baltar Beach in the town of Portonovo. Calm waters welcome visitors of all ages.
  • Sanxenxo (20 minute drive) In the mood for a party atmosphere? Look no further than Sanxenxo, the “Marbella of Galicia”. Expensive yachts populate the marina and Silgar Beach fills with local and international tourists all summer long. From here one can even catch a boat to explore the island of Ons.
  • Combarro (21 minute drive) Try Combarro for a quiet and quaint atmospheric fishing village with a beautiful port and winding alleyways.
  • O Grove (30 minute drive) O Grove is known as the “paraiso de marisco” shellfish paradise and worth a visit explore and enjoy their many beaches (especially the longest, Lanzada Beach) and many (many!) seafood restaurants.


Made in Fofán
Lugar de Fofán 8, Armenteria
Meis, Galicia, Spain
+34 622 098 721

Website: www.madeinfofan.com/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/madeinfofan
Twitter: www.twitter.com/madeinfofan
Email: madeinfofan@gmail.com

See links to AirBnB listings here: SleepInFofán

English spoken: Yes

For more information on the O Salnés region, please visit: www.osalnes.com/en

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Monday, October 12th, 2015

Cambados is a charming little coastal town located in the province of Pontevedra, Galicia.  It is home to the iconic, picturesque cemetery and ruins of Santa Mariña De Dozo. 

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Ruins of the church of Santa Mariña de Dozo located in Cambados.

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Cemetery of Santa Mariña de Dozo.

Cambados is now also known as home of the Michelin star restaurant run by Yayo Daporta and his sister, Esther.  Yayo opened the restaurant in 2005 and earned a Michelin star in 2008.  Just a few weeks before our visit in early October 2015, Esther, who also runs the front of house, won a prize for best sommelier in Galicia.  The restaurant is situated in a venerable building on a quiet pedestrian street in the historic center of Cambados.

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The charming street where the restaurant is located – Rúa Hospital.

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Welcome to Yayo Daporta Restaurante.

We were accompanied at lunch by our friends José of Turismo Verde de Galicia and his wife Montse.  There were a couple of different tasting menus available to choose from, so we had quite a bit of conversation at the table in selecting which menu we would go with.  In addition to the standard tasting menu (pictured below), there was also an extensive menu celebrating the restaurant’s 10th anniversary.  In the end we opted for the regular tasting menu.  It had more than enough variety to satisfy all of us!

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The table opted for the traditional tasting menu.

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Elegant and simple table setting.

The wine cellar was impressive; a glass encased room visible from the dining area with individual tasting notes hanging from tags around the necks of each wine bottle.  Given their location in the Rias Baixas region, local Albariño wines feature prominently with Galician wines making up around 80% of all bottles in the cellar.  The wines selected by Esther paired perfectly with our meal.  The first bottle (left) featured label art by the well-known cartoonist from O Grove, Gogue.

The restaurant considers itself to be “updated” Galician cuisine.  They start with the best products from the market and apply modern techniques to the traditional ingredients.  We find this as a theme among the higher end restaurants that we have visited in Galicia.  Given their location right on the coast, there’s an emphasis on the freshest seafood here too.

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Mouse de coliflor, berberechos y reducción de café. ~ Cockle on cauliflower mousse and coffee reduction.  Beautiful presentation and wonderfully flavorful.

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Tartar de navajas y emulsion de su jugo. ~ Razor clam tartar with an emulsion of oil and the clam’s own juice, with parsley.  Served on natural stone, this one in a lovely heart shape.  This was one of my favorite dishes of the day. Sweet and tender razor clams are something to seek out when visiting Galicia.

 

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Huevo de corral a baja temperatura con menestra de verduras de estación.  ~  Sous vide farm egg with stew of seasonal vegetables and crujiente (crunchy bits) of jamón ibérico.  I really enjoyed this combination of fresh veg,  runny yolk and wonderful Iberian ham!

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Xurel asado a la brasa con el jugo de su asado y migas de pan de maíz.  ~  Grilled mackerel with jus from the grill and cornbread crumbs. The skin on top of the fish is actually a ‘fake’, made with the fish’s own broth. Inventive and flavorful.  Our dining companion shared with us that this dish tasted like his childhood, having eaten grilled mackerel caught by his fisherman father many times.

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Merluza de bajura rebozada con panko y mayonesa de chile jalapeño.  ~  Panko crusted coastal hake with jalapeño chile mayo and Iberian ham oil.

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Cabrito asado con suflé de patata al tomillo y jugo de su asado. ~  Grilled goat with thyme potato soufflé and pan jus. This was deboned and slow roasted then grilled, so a little bit of crispy on the outside and oh, so tender on the inside.  the main portion rolled in dried fruits & nuts.

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Delicious all chocolate dessert – chocolate ice cream, cookie, mousse and even chocolate pop rocks.

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Dessert for 4!  Light little tastes were perfect after the heavier dishes.  Coffee service (not pictured) was lovely as well.

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Chef Yayo with yours truly.  (Note my Montse Betanzos necklace!)

Yayo Daporta Restaurante is part of Grupo Nove, a collective of Galician chefs created in 2003 to promote the “new Galician kitchen”, first emphasizing quality Galician products and honoring tradition and innovation at the same time.  In 2015 Grupo Nove published a book, Nove e a Nove Cociña Galega, Cociñeiros, Paisaxes e Productos, featuring all of the various chefs in the group.  Each is profiled in the context of the landscapes, products, and producers that are meaningful to them, personally.  How wonderful that copies of the book were available for sale at the restaurant, and even more wonderful that our dear friend José presented one to me as a gift!  (Grazas, meu!)

In the book, Chef Yayo is featured on a batea (a large wooden raft that floats in the waters of Galician inlets where shellfish are cultivated) [the landscape], with fresh oysters [the product] that are cultivated by his own father [the producer].  He was nice enough to come out from behind the stoves to greet us and sign my book.

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Chef Yayo signing his page in my copy of “Nove e a Nova Cociña Galega – Cociñeiros, Paisaxes e Productos”

After such a lovely meal, we were ready to set off for the charming aldea of Fofán (you can read about that here!).


Yayo Daporta Restaurante
Rúa Hospital, 7
Cambados, Galicia, Spain
+34 986 526 062
http://www.yayodaporta.com/en
Email:
restaurante@yayodaporta.com
Facebook:  Yayo Daporta

 

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