We are Brian and Olivia, hailing from Co Clare, Ireland and Bedford, UK, respectively. Currently living in Bedford, a medium sized market town, around 50 miles north of London.
Our love for Spain started many years ago; inspired by the writing of Hemingway, Orwell and Laurie Lee as a teenager, family holidays in Menorca, to living with Spanish friends at university. Our first trip together was to Sant Pol in Catalonia. Visits to nearby San Feliu de Guixols, the local markets and eating the best quality produce at the simple eateries. All inspired our love for the area.
The more we travelled in Spain, the more we became fascinated by this vast and varied country, so rich in history and natural beauty.
We were fortunate enough to spend some considerable time living in Arcos de la Frontera, a pueblo blanco (white village) in Cadiz province, Andalusia. We met welcoming people and attended the liveliest fiestas. We ate the finest seafood from the bay of Cadiz, sampled the gamut of fabulous sherries – Andalusia was everything, and more than we could have hoped for.
On our return to the UK, we established and ran a successful tapas bar in Bedford, called Andaluz. This was the perfect opportunity to share our love for the authentic food and wines from the region of Andalucia. We were incredibly fortunate to meet many like-minded people, who shared our passion for Spain and all things Spanish.
Several years ago, we had the opportunity to return to Catalonia. We worked for a travel company; organising cycling and walking tours for international customers. Whilst living there, in the town of Palafrugell, we soon became aware not only of the beautiful landscape; of sea and mountains, but also the quality and sheer abundance of local produce and producers. Combined with the artistic nature of the region and the friendliness of everyone we met, we were well and truly hooked.
So, on returning to the UK, we tried to think about how we could bring all our experiences together and create a platform for sharing food and wine-based adventures with others.
We decided to create a space where we can share information and advice about local producers, food experiences, festivals, as well as adventures, in the wider sense. So here we are….
The trip starts on the 1st September. The Plan; Ferry from Dover to Calais. Drive through France and then from the north to south of Spain (sounds logical enough!), seeking all manner of food/wine based adventures on the way.
Our favourite eateries usually have the word cooperative, or club or society in the name and we tend to avoid places with linen and tablecloths!!! We like to eat like the locals, as we believe this is where the best food and craic can be found!
We will be testing our theory that the best eateries (and bars) are to be found in local markets and often bus/train stations. We will happily hang out around harbours and ports, in the hope of a good tip off. We will visit farms and producers and we will always try to buy local. We’ll also try to get involved in local festivals, harvests, whatever….all in the name of Taste Adventures!
There is no large budget for this trip. For a start, we will be doing the journey in our 20 year old VW Golf (we love an element of jeopardy)….
Accommodation wise, we plan to do Workaway assignments (see our related blog for further info). Where this is not possible, we will most likely be staying in 2 star hostales or pensions (not to be confused with UK/Irish hostels), as we’re not big lovers of faceless, corporate style 4 star hotels. We love a bit of character…
We do not claim to be experts in any sense. We are just enthusiastic about food and drink. We love to meet new people, visit new places, learn new things, but mainly have fun. We want you to get involved by sharing your adventures. Point us in the direction of something we may otherwise miss.
We’ve included some info on the blog about some of our favourite spots and recent visits, to give you a flavour of what’s to come.
We hope to feature regular guest blogs, so please get in touch, if you’ve eaten a meal, found a fab shop or producer, or maybe you’ve had a food based experience that you would really love to share. Our adventure starts in Spain, but your adventures can be from anywhere in the world!
Who knows where it may all end up…Get adventuring and get involved (please)!