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Wine, Culinary & Cultural tours in Spain, Portugal & SW France

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    Welcome New Year! One we hope is full of cheer And of far travels for you And great experiences too! – Dream that two thousand 18 Brings you sights you’ve not seen? And tastes of local food, Or dining a la Michelin mood? – Dream of Portugal, Spain, Stroll a French country lane? Take a walk through the vines And sip fine top class wines? – Well, there’s no need to dream, Contact your Gourmand Breaks team As we’ve got lots to share To take your dream there.   At Gourmand Breaks we are specialist Food, Wine and Cultural Private Tour creators, custom designing exclusive trip itineraries just for you! On our website you will find many great sample Food, Wine and Cultural Private Tours in Spain, Portugal and SW France, to give you ideas. But, remember, while these samples are all “ready to wear” we can modify any to suit your preferences or build your personal ideal Private Food, Wine and Cultural Tour Itinerary from scratch! Don’t delay, contact us today

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    In October, every year, the Peñin Guide stages the much anticipated El Salón de los Mejores Vinos de España (Salon of the Best Wines in Spain)  in Madrid.  Last year was the 18th edition and over 300 wineries with 1,300 wines from sixty-eight Spanish wine producing regions were united. The wines are divided into categories by points: Vinos del Podio/Podium Wines (95 to 100 points), Vinos Únicos/Unique Wines (93 and 94 points) and Vinos Excelentes/Excellent Wines (90 to 92 points).  This year, organic wines, which have been on the rise in recent years, were also integrated into the selection for the very first time. One of the most anticipated events every year is the naming of the Guía Peñín “Best Revelation” wine. A revelation wine is considered as such as it has somehow imposes a change, either in the conception of the variety, the vintage or the processing. It often creates a new category in the market or even dislocates the philosophy of the region somehow. In already consolidated producing areas a revelation wine may have revealed itself through its excellent quality, where to excel in its first appearance in the guide is much more complicated and exceptional. Whichever road a wine takes to be considered a revelation wine what they all have in common is quality, balance and their native representativeness. What’s more a revelation wine will always awake an interest and provoke surprise in the official Peñín Guide tasters.   WINNER of the Guía Peñín “Best Revelation” wine for 2018: PIRATA 2014 Pirata 2014 is the product of a collaboration between two well-known enologists in the Spanish wine world, Benjamín Romeo (Bodega Contador) and Ismael Gozalo (MicroBio Wines and the co-creator of Ossian). Benjamín and Ismael join their knowledge and experience to bottle together the La Rioja and Castilian Leon landscapes and the product? Pirata 2014.  Ismael contributes 50% of prefloxeric verdejo from sandy soils with clay accumulated from different soils while Benjamín contributes the other 50% through a blend of three native La Rioja varieties: white grenache, viura and malvasia from common clay-calcareous soils. Pirata 2014 is an exceptional white wine of a curious blend of coupage, grapes, soils and climates and with less than a thousand bottles being produced in magnum format it is both a revelation and a rarity. The TOP 10 Spanish wines to watch: Here are all ten nominees considered for the Guía Peñín “Best Revelation” wines for 2018 with their corresponding Peñín Guide points. Wines to watch, if you will, representing a wide range of styles and Spanish wine producing regions:   A Coroa 200 Cestos 2015 (D.O. Valdeorras) from Adega A Coroa – 93 points   Amador Medrano Graciano 2016 (D.O.Ca. Rioja) from Bodegas Medrano Irazu – 93 points   El Buen Alfarero 2016 (D.O. Ribera del Duero) from Bodegas Pradorey – 93 points   Eulogio Pomares 2015 (D.O. Rías Baixas) from Fento Wines – 93 points   Fondillón 1996 Fondillón GR (D.O. Alicante) from Bodegas Monóvar – 94 points   La Pujada 2014 (D.O.Ca. Priorat) from Saó del Coster – 93 points   Pirata 2014 (Vino de Mesa) from Benjamín Romeo and Ismael Gozalo – 96 points   Telm Colet 2006 Barrica (D.O. Penedès) from Colet – 93 points   UBE Carrascal 2015 (V.T. Cádiz) from Cota 45 – 93 points   VO “Cal” 2015 (D.O. Bierzo) from Verónica Ortega – 92 points     Join us on a Private Wine Tour to include some of the great Wine Regions of Spain like our Wine Lovers Tour of Spain of Portugal to explore the Ribera del Duero, La Rioja, Priorat and Penedes Wine Regions of Spain and enjoy expert  guided visits to some fantastic wineries and taste some great Spanish wines.

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    The green Peñin Guide (to Spanish wine what the red Michelin guide is to food) is now in its 28th edition and is THE definitive guide to Spanish wine. This year, over 11.500 wines were reviewed for the 2018 Peñín Guide, with just 163 wines being privileged to receive the highest scores and to take their place in the elitist “Podium” category, the most desired level by the winemakers, the famous sanctuary of the chosen few, reserved only for  wines awarded from 95 to 100 points.   All “Podium” wines have been elaborated by experienced wine-makers and there is a tiny group of these privileged who have managed to enter their first year of tasting through the front door.   Here are 10 “Podium” wines that have fully entered into this select group to be able to be known as some of the best wines of Spain.   Ten Moving Spanish Wines for 2018:     Benjamín Romeo Colección Nº2: La Canoca 2011 Gran Reserva – 96 points Cellar: Bodega Contador Appellation: DOCa. Rioja Varieties: tempranillo, garnacha, mazuelo and graciano Color: dark cherry, maroon edge. Aroma: ripe fruit, candied fruit, wood carving, tabacco, sweet spices. Mouth: spicy, mature tannins, long, elegant, round   Canta la Perdiz 2013 Tinto – 95 points Cellar: Dominio del Águila Appellation: DO Ribera del Duero Varieties: 95% tempranillo / 5% otras Color: cherry. Aroma: complex, expressive, spicy, mineral, with character, toasted. Mouth: full, long, persistent, tasty   Conde de Aldama Amontillado – 96 points Cellar: Bodegas Yuste Appellation: DO Jerez-Xérès-Sherry Varieties: 100% palomino Color: clear mahogany. Aroma: acetaldehyde, sharp, sweet spices, dried fruits. Mouth: full, nuances of ageing, spicy, bitter, a little fiery.   Pirata 2014 Blanco – 96 points WINNER of the Guía Peñín “Best Revelation” wine for 2018 read more here Cellar: Bodega Benjamín Romeo e Ismael Gozalo Table wine Varieties: 50% verdejo, 32% garnacha blanca, 12% viura and 6% malvasía Color:  bright yellow. Aroma: ripe fruit, floral, fine lees, mineral, complex with character Mouth: full, complex, spicy, long, elegant.   Alvear Criadera “A” – 95 points – 5 stars                                                    Cellar: Alvear Appellation: DO Montilla-Moriles Varieties: 100% pedro ximénez Color: iodine, amber edge. Aroma: sweet spices, dried fruits, dried herbs, flor yeasts, sharp, acetaldehyde Mouth: full, spicy, long, complex, good acidity.   Casa Castillo Cuvee N Viñas Viejas 2015 – 95 points Cellar: Casa Castillo Appellation: DO Jumilla Varieties: 100% monastrell Color: cherry Aroma: complex, expressive, spicy, mineral Mouth: elegant, full, long, persistent   El Velado 2014 – 95 points Cellar: Compañía de Vinos Telmo Rodríguez Appellation: DOCa. Rioja Varieties: tempranillo and garnacha Color: cherry, violet edge Aroma: fruity expression, red fruit, floral, spiced, sweet spices. Mouth: tasty, fruity, good acidity, long.   Manuel Aragón Premium Palo Cortado – 95 points Cellar: Manuel Aragón Appellation: DO Jerez-Xérès-Sherry Varieties: palomino Color: mahogany. Aroma: complex, fine cacao, sharp, acetaldehyde Mouth: concentrated, full, long, nuances of ageing.   Mons Urium Vors Palo Cortado – 95 points Cellar: Bodegas Urium Appellation: DO Jerez-Xérès-Sherry Varieties: palomino Color: clear mahogany Aroma: acetaldehyde, dried fruits, sweet spices, joinery Mouth: potent, balanced, persistent, nuances of ageing.   Vatán Arena 2014 – 95 points Cellar: Bodegas Ordoñez Appellation: DO Toro Color: cherry Aroma: complex, expressive, spiced, mineral, fine cacao. Mouth: full, long, persistent, concentrated, structured.     You may also be interested in our article the TOP 10 SPANISH REVELATION WINES 2018      Distributed in more than twenty countries – with editions in English, German and Spanish – La Guia Peñín wine guide reviewed some 11,500 wines for the 2018 edition, making it the most complete guide to Spanish wines in existence. La Guia Penin’s 100-point wine-scoring scale is : 95–100 – Exceptional 90–94 – Excellent 80–89 – Very good 70–79 – Acceptable 60–69 – Unremarkable, but not faulty 50–59 – Not recommended. Join us on a Private Wine Tour to include some of the great Wine Regions of Spain like our Wine Lovers Tour of Spain of Portugal to explore the Ribera del Duero, La Rioja, Priorat and Penedes Wine Regions of Spain and enjoy expert  guided visits to some fantastic wineries and taste some great Spanish wines.

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    The province of Girona (North of Barcelona) in Spain is one of the world’s major food and wine destinations and a region at the forefront of culinary innovation – El Bulli (near the town of Roses, now closed but many local chefs trained here) was 5 times awarded the World’s Number One Restaurant and El Celler de Can Roca (in Girona city) has been awarded the World’s Number One Restaurant twice (in 2013 and 2015) and is the current Worlds Nº3 Restaurant. The Emporda region of Spain is located within the province of Girona on the Costa Brava. Medieval villages, pine-clad hillsides sloping down to crystal clear bays and picturesque fishing villages make up this enchanting region; it’s a wonderful place to explore, enjoy the natural countryside and indulge in delicious local cuisine. The gastronomy of the Emporda region is rich and varied with a cuisine classed as ‘sea and mountain’, as local produce comes from both the land and the sea.  You will surely enjoy indulging in the delicious star products such as:  Freshly caught Mediterranean fish, Prawns from Palamós, Anchovies from L’Escala, Rice from Pals , DOP Emporda Olive Oil and DO Emporda Wines to name a few. Dining here is not just about eating and drinking, it is a way of life! Not surprising, therefore, that Michelin have dished out some stars here in the Emporda area of Girona with the likes of Michelin 2* Restaurant Miramar (Llançà) and Michelin 1* Restaurants: Castell Peralada (Peralada), Els Brancs (Platja de Canyelles Petites, Roses), Emporium (Castelló d’Empuries), Bo.Tic (Corça) and Casamar (Llafranc). With such great standing and local produce the Emporda region is filled with great places to eat, making it difficult to single out the best!  Without a doubt the Michelin restaurants are all well worth a mention but here are just a few of our favorites,  that we should probably keep to ourselves, but we love to share Compartir, Cadaques A great restaurant, opened in 2012, by 3 ex-Bulli chefs.  Modern well-presented small dishes to share (hence the name, as Compartir in Catalan means Share in English) are offered in a friendly and comfortable atmosphere. The style is contemporary cuisine, based on the culinary tradition of the area. Booking is indispensable as it is the trendiest place in the area. In 2014 Chefs Oriol, Eduard and Mateu opened another restaurant, but this time in Barcelona, Disfrutar (“Enjoy” in English) and it has already been awarded with its second Michelin Star (for the 2018 Michelin Guide to Spain & Portugal). Will Compartir soon be able to share a Michelin star status with Disfrutar? We think it is just a matter of time Mas Pou, Palau-Sator A wonderful local restaurant housed in a 16th-century stone farmhouse in a sleepy medieval village. This authentic and rustic restaurant is family run and serves truly Catalan food, all delicious, traditional and great value. If you’re stuck for a decision on a starter then try their “pica-pica” which is an array of small dishes and a great opportunity to taste various Catalan dishes and produce.  You will certainly not leave here hungry Entre Dos Mons, Palamos This fantastic little and elegant place is ideally located in the middle of the restaurant area of Palamos and only opened in spring 2016. Translating to English as “Between two worlds” the name refers to the young and talented owners and the cultures they were raised in – Peruvian and Catalan. The result is a cuisine that draws inspiration from their childhood memories as well as from influences acquired over the years. Beautifully presented dishes and sophisticated desserts alongside excellent service are guaranteed at this fabulous fusion restaurant.   Can Dolç, Sant Feliu de Boada Located in a quiet and peaceful rural village, next to the stone-house-surrounded church, this old-fashioned restaurant literally translates as “The Sweet House”. This must surely refer to the delicious homemade desserts as their house specialty is Grilled Meats or “Carns a la Brasa”.  Nothing fancy, just authentic local dishes, quality meat, great variety of appetizers, homemade desserts and an extensive wine list, all accompanied by a charming rural atmosphere, will find you enjoying excellent Catalan cuisine.   Villa Teresita Restaurant at Hostal Empuries , Empuries This delightful restaurant is the gastronomic offering of a delightful and romantic little hotel just on the Empuries beach (near L’Escala), with a lovely terrace providing picturesque sea views. Chef focuses on eco-Mediterranean cuisine using local and home-grown produce to combine Mediterranean sea-fare and innovative recipes. Not surprisingly, due to its prime position in the bay of Roses next to the fishing port of L’Escala, the fish dishes are exceptional.   We have many great dining opportunities for you all over Spain, Portugal and SW France.  Any of our sample private Gourmand Breaks Private Food, Wine and Cultural Tours gives you the chance to sample all kinds of restaurants from fine-dining and Michelin stars to authentic haunts and tapas haunts – contact us for your personal quote!

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  • 04/06/18--08:19: Seville Sights Map
  • Seville Sights Map


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    The prestigious 2018 edition of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants will be presented on Tuesday 19th June! The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, will be presented this year from Bilbao, Spain. And what better place for the ceremony to be held than in the foodie mecca of the Basque Country The presentation of the much acclaimed Restaurant Magazine list moves back to Europe for 2018 after having been held for more than a decade in London, it moved to New York in 2016 and to Australia, to Melbourne, in 2017. Prior to the countdown, on June 19th 2018, from number 50 to the World’s Number One Restaurant for 2018, various individual awards will be released and the 51-100 list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018 will be unveiled the week before so WATCH THIS SPACE.  Current TOP 3 World’s Best Restaurants: Eleven Madison Park – New York, USA Osteria Francescana – Modena, Italy El Celler De Can Roca – Girona, Spain   Further reading to whet your appetite in the run-up to The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018: Full List of No. 1-50 plus all individual and continental awards for 2017  World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017 No.51 -100  World’s Number One Restaurant over the years 2002 – 2017  We have many fine dining opportunities for you all over Spain, Portugal and/or SW France.  Any of our sample private Gourmand Breaks Private Food, Wine and Cultural Tours gives you the chance of fine dining – contact us for your custom built quote!

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    The leading French wine region of Bordeaux is THE place for the wine lover and home to some of the most sought-after and expensive wines in the world!! With more appellations than any other wine region in the world, incredible wineries, impressive wine chateaux and more than 7000 wine producers and 13,000 wine growers,  you cannot be bored in Bordeaux   Bordeaux’s reputation as a great wine region rests on its most superb reds, legendary and long-lived wines made by historic wine estates (chateaux), which can improve for several decades. About 75 to 80 percent of Bordeaux’s wines are red, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, which give vigor, tannin and excellent cellaring qualities, and Merlot which brings a softness and suppleness. White wines are produced mostly from Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon and sometimes also Muscatel. Bordeaux spreads 60 miles around the city, of the same name, on the biggest estuary in Europe along 3 rivers: Gironde, Garonne and Dordogne, creating the appropriate setting for wine production. Bordeaux has 60 separate, distinct, unique appellations but the most famous and important appellations, from North to South, are the Medoc, also known as the Left Bank, Pessac Leognan and the most prestigious regions of the Right Bank: St. Emilion and Pomerol and Sauternes and Barsac. The Medoc or the Left Bank The Medoc is perhaps the most famous Bordeaux appellation and here you will find the famous appellations of Saint-Estèphe, Pauillac, Saint-Julien, Margaux, Haut Medoc, Listrac, and Moulis. This is the region of the legendary Grand Cru Classé 1855 and Cru Bourgeois and is home to the famous First Growth estates and big chateaux that make breathtaking wines, with prices to match. Smaller, more modest, chateaux can also be enjoyed as they  can also make some of the world’s most compelling wines. The beautiful chateaux route or “Route des Châteaux” will find you passing more magnificent châteaux, famous wineries and vineyards than any other wine route and include such estates: Lafite, Mouton Rothschild, Margaux, Pichon-Longueville and Cos d’Estournel. The Cabernet Sauvignon grape rules here on the gravely soil and ripens to perfection and is blended mostly with Merlot to provide a structured, aromatic and harmonious wine. Pessac-Léognan Pessac Leognan, before 1987, was originally known as Graves, due to the gravely soil on which the vines grow. Branded as the “cradle of Bordeaux-wines” some of the chateaux date back to the middle Ages and very particular to this appellation is that some chateaux and their vineyards are situated in the suburbs of the city of Bordeaux! Pessac Leognan produces some of the most elegant, refined, perfumed and age worthy wines in all of Bordeaux. And not only sublime red, Bordeaux wine, but the appellation is also known for producing the best dry white wine, primarily from Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, in the entire Bordeaux region. Pomerol and St. Emilion Saint Emilion and Pomerol are the most important Bordeaux appellation’s of the Right Bank, home of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The chateaux may not be as big and grand as the top chateau of the Medoc but the wines are equally stunning – often called opulent, rich and decadent – and can be even more expensive. Pomerol is a small appellation with big wines.  The wines are sometimes made of 100% merlot thanks to the special clay soil of Pomerol with iron layers and accompanying microclimate. Saint-Emilion is as well-known for its medieval village as for its wine. The Grand Cru Classé chateaux from Saint-Emilion as well as the lesser known chateaux are notably smaller than in the Médoc but they still make delicious wine with great finesse. Saint Emilion actually consists of two appellations, St. Emilion Grand Cru and St. Emilion and also situated nearby are the appelations of Puisseguin St. Emilion, Lussac St. Emilion, Montagne St. Emilion and St. Georges St. Emilion – known as the St. Emilion Satellite Appelations. Sauternes and Barsac In the Sauternes region of Bordeaux, there are five villages, of which Barsac is the only one that is allowed to use the village name to identify the famous sweet wines of the region, produced from rotten grapes. Known around the world for producing some of the best sweet, white wines from any wine region,  in general, Sauternes tends to be a little fuller than Barsac, which has higher acidity. It is difficult to make good Sauternes and Barsac, as the noble rot of the grapes is essential, so as not to ruin the grape but dry it out, for which the special microclimate with fog in the morning and sunshine in the afternoon. Other Bordeaux appellations also produce sweet wine but not to the level of the Sauternes appellation – the dominant producer, with close to 50% of all the sweet wine made in Bordeaux.   Join us on a wonderful private wine tour to include Bordeaux such as our sample Essentially Wine – Spain & France Tour and you too could raise your glass with a “santé” and sip fine wine along the left bank of the Gironde !

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    In the run-up to the Worlds 50 Best Restaurants 2018 presentation, June 19th from Bilbao – Spain, the World’s Best Female Chef Award 2018 has now been revealed: Clare Smyth  – UK Clare trained under world famous chef Gordon Ramsey and became the only female chef in the UK to head a Michelin 3* restaurant. Now Clare heads fine-dining restaurant Core by Clare Smyth in the Notting Hill area of London, UK and combines her background of French cuisine with her passion for Great Britain’s  produce to create a unique and British cuisine.      Previous holders of the World’s Best Female Chef Award: 2017 Ana Roš,  Hiša Franko – Kobarid, Slovenia 2016 Dominique Crenn, Atelier Crenn – San Fransicso, US 2015 Hélène Darroze, Restaurant Hélène Darroze – Paris,  France & Hélène Darroze at the Connaught – London, England 2014 Helena Rizzo,  Maní – Sao Paulo, Brazil 2013 Nadia Santini, Dal Pescatore –  Canneto sull’Oglio, Italy 2012 Elena Arzak, Arzak – San Sebastian, Spain 2011 Anne-Sophie Pic, Maison Pic – Valence, France  

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    In the run up to the Worlds 50 Best Restaurants ceremony to be held live from Bilbao, Spain, on June 19th 2018, the WINNER of The Diners Club® Lifetime Achievement Award 2018 has now been announced as Gastón Acurio: Gastón Acurio is a chef, writer, business man and Peruvian cuisine ambassador. 50 year old Acurio began his career as a chef in 1989 in Madrid, after he abandoned a law degree to go to cooking school. A few years later, he moved to Paris to continue his training at Le Cordon Bleu, and there met his future wife, German-born pastry chef Astrid Gutsche. Together they inaugurated Astrid & Gastón in Lima in 1994 and since then Acurio has opened 34 restaurants in 11 worldwide countries dedicated to the different specialities of the Peruvian Cuisine. The Lifetime Achievement Award is sponsored by Diners Club ®, and is part of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards. Previous winners of the Lifetime Achievement Award are:  2017 – Heston Blumenthal 2016 – Alain Passard 2015 – Daniel Boulud 2014 – Fergus Henderson 2013 – Alain Ducasse 2012 – Thomas Keller 2011 – Juan Mari Arzak 2010 – Eckhart Witzigmann 2009 – Joël Robuchon 2008 – Gualtiero Marchesi 2007 – Alice Waters 2006 – Albert Roux and Michel Roux 2005 – Paul Bocuse   Other Individual Awards are being announced in advance such as: World’s Best Female Chef Award 2018 Next up: One to Watch Award 2018  

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    In the run up to the Worlds 50 Best Restaurants ceremony to be held live from Bilbao, Spain, on June 19th 2018, the WINNER of the Miele One To Watch Award 2018 has now been announced as: Single Thread in Healdsburg, USA This Michelin 2 star restaurant in the heart of Sonoma Wine Country and at the hands of chef Kyle Connaughton and his farmer wife, Katina. Single Thread is a farm, a restaurant and an inn. The farm is located on five acres between the Russian River and the historic San Lorenzo Ranch and supplies vegetables, fruit, herbs, flowers, honey, eggs, and olive oil to their restaurant kitchen. In the dining room an eleven-course tasting menu can be enjoyed, showcasing the seasonal produce from the couple’s farm combined with Japanese technique. The One to Watch Restaurant Award is sponsored by Miele, and is part of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards. Previous winners of the One To Watch Award are:  2017 – Disfrutar, Barcelona – Spain 2016 – Den, Tokyo – Japan 2015 – Sepia, Sydney – Australia 2014 – Saison, San Francisco – USA 2013 – The Test Kitchen, Cape Town – South Africa 2012 – La Grenouillere, La Madelaine-sous-Montreuil – France 2011 – Frantzen/Lindeberg, Stockholm – Sweden   Other Individual Awards have been announced in advance and here are the following results that have already been revealed: World’s Best Female Chef Award 2018 The Diners Club® Lifetime Achievement Award 2018   * * * * * Next up * * * * * The countdown begins with the 51-100 list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018

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    The countdown to the World’s Number One Restaurant 2018 has begun!!!! RESULTS ARE NOW IN for the The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018 places 51-100!!!!!   Spain and Portugal hold a fantastic 7 places in the 51-100 World’s Best Restaurants 2018: DiverXo is back!! The Michelin 3* Madrid restaurant last appeared in the 2016 list. Nerua, Quique Dacosta, Martín Berasategui and Belcanto stay in the 51 – 100 list for 2018 There are 2 NEW ENTRIES for Spain with ENIGMA, Barcelona and ELKANO, Getaria Michelin 2* restaurant DISFRUTAR in Barcelona is out of the 51-100 list for 2018 but does that mean that they’re in the TOP 50???? Find out next week … Here’s the FULL LIST of the 51-100 World’s Best Restaurants 2018: No.51 DE LIBRIJE – ZWOLLE, NETHERLANDS No.52 L’ASTRANCE – PARIS, FRANCE No.53 BENU – SAN FRANCISCO, USA No.54 SÜHRING – BANGKOK, THAILAND No.55 DON JULIO – BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA No.56 AMBER – HONG KONG, CHINA No.57 NERUA – BILBAO, SPAIN            *  falls 1 place from No.56 in 2017 * No.58 BRAE – BIRREGURRA, AUSTRALIA No.59 FLORILÈGE – TOKYO, JAPAN No.60 TEGUI – BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA No.61 BURNT ENDS – HONG KONG, CHINA No.62 MOMOFUKU KO – NEW YORK, USA No.63 HOF VAN CLEVE – KRUISHOUTEM, BELGIUM No.64 SUD777 – MEXICO CITY, MEXICO No.65 FRANTZÉN – STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN No.66 VENDÔME – BERGISCH GLADBACH, GERMANY No.67 FÄVIKEN – JÄRPEN, SWEDEN No.68 QUIQUE DACOSTA – DENIA, SPAIN   * falls 6 places from No.62 in 2017 * No.69 CHEF’S TABLE AT BROOKLYN FARE – NEW YORK, USA No.70 SELFIE – MOSCOW, RUSSIA No.71 RELAE – COPENHAGEN, DENMARK No.72 TWINS GARDEN – MOSCOW, RUSSIA No.73 AQUA – WOLFSBURG, GERMANY No.74 THE FAT DUCK – BRAY, UK No.75 BELCANTO – LISBON, PORTUGAL   * rises 10 places from No.85 in 2017 * No.76 MARTIN BERASATEGUI – LASARTE-ORIA, SPAIN  * rises 1 place from No.77 in 2017 * No.77 ELKANO – GETARIA, SPAIN          *** New Entry *** No.78 MINGLES – SEOUL, KOREA No.79 A CASA DO PORCO – SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL No.80 LUNG KING HEEN – HONG KONG, CHINA No.81 PER SE – NEW YORK, USA No.82 HEDONE – LONDON, UK No.83 ESTELA – NEW YORK, USA No.84 ST JOHN – LONDON, UK No.85 LE COUCOU – NEW YORK, USA No.86 THE FRENCH LAUNDRY – YOUNTVILLE, USA No.87 MANÍ – SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL No.88 NOBELHART & SCHMUTZIG – BERLIN, GERMANY No.89 THE JANE – ANTWERP, BELGIUM No.90 INDIAN ACCENT – NEW DELHI, INDIA No.91 SINGLETHREAD – HEALDSBURG, USA No.92 L’EFFERVESCENCE – TOKYO, JAPAN No.93 8 1/2 OTTO E MEZZO BOMBANA  – HONG KONG, CHINA No.94 ALO – TORONTO, CANADA No.95 ENIGMA – BARCELONA, SPAIN          ***  New Entry *** No.96 DIVERXO – MADRID, SPAIN      ** Re-enters for 2018 last placed at No.79 in 2016 ** No.97 ATELIER – MUNICH, GERMANY No.98 108 – COPENHAGEN, DENMARK No.99 LEO – BOGOTÁ, COLOMBIA No.100 LASAI – RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL   Some Individual Awards have already been announced in advance and here are the following results that have already been revealed: World’s Best Female Chef Award 2018 The Diners Club® Lifetime Achievement Award 2018 Miele One To Watch Award 2018   * * * * * Next up * * * * *  The 1 – 50  list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018 Who will be the World’s Number ONE Restaurant 2018 ?????  Find out on the 19th of June LIVE from Bilbao, Spain   We have many fine dining opportunities for you all over Spain and / or Portugal.  Any of our sample private Gourmand Breaks Private Food, Wine and Cultural Tours gives you the chance of fine dining – contact us for your custom-designed quote!

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    The 51 – 100 World’s Best Restaurants List 2018 has already been revealed (Full List HERE) and this just leaves us hungry (pun intended :-)) to know who are the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018 ! What we do know is that there are 7 restaurants from Spain and Portugal in the NEW 51-100 list of the Worlds Best Restaurants 2018: Nerua at No.57, Quique Dacosta at No.68, Martín Berasategui at No.76 and Belcanto at No.75 all staying in the 51-100 list from last year. DiverXO re-enters in 96th place after disappearing from last years list and Elkano and Enigma are 2 NEW ENTRIES for Spain in 77th and 95th place respectively. The World’s 50 Best Restaurants List 2018 1 – 50 will be announced LIVE from Bilbao on June 19th, but, what can we expect next week ? A new World’s Number One Restaurant? and what about the 7 Spanish Restaurants that were in last years list that we have no news of, just yet: EL CELLER DE CAN ROCA – Girona, Spain: Currently at  No. 3! 3 Brothers, 3 Michelin Stars, 3 Repsol Suns and the World’s Nº3 Restaurant (for 2017)! Since 2011 El Celler de Can Roca has been in the TOP 3 of the prestigious World’s 50 Best Restautants List ultimately being voted the World’s Number One Restaurant in 2015, and 2013. Another Top 3 year for the 3 Roca Brothers? ASADOR ETXEBARRI – Axpe, Spain: Currently at No. 6 and in 2016 were placed at  Nº10. Probably the best BBQ in the World has climbed higher in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants List every year since 2013! Can Asador Etxebarri  climb further up the list again this year? MUGARITZ – San Sebastian, Spain: Currently at No. 9 after slightly falling from 7th place in 2016. Mugaritz has been considered one of the World’s best 50 restaurants since 2006 by the prestigious Restaurant Magazine where it entered in 10th place!  Since then it has always appeared in the Top 10 with it’s highest placing being in 3rd place in 2011 and 2012. A Top 10 place again for Mugaritz this year? TICKETS – Barcelona, Spain: Currently at No. 25 after climbing from Nº 29 in 2016. Actually Tickets has always climbed up the Restaurant Magazine’s prestigious World’s Best Restaurants List from Nº 77 in 2013 to nº 57 in 2014 to  Nº 42 in 2015 to Nº 29 in 2016 and currently (2017) to Nº 25. Another year climbing the prestigious list for Tickets? ARZAK – San Sebastian, Spain: Currently at No. 30  falling from Nº21 in 2016. Arzak has constantly featured in the acclaimed Restaurant Magazine World’s Best 50 restaurants list, but surprisingly in 2015, after being in the Top 10  since 2006, Arzak fell to No 17! Hopefully 2018 will see Arzak climbing up the charts again. AZURMENDI – Larrabetzu, Spain: Currently at No. 38 after quite a big fall from Nº16 in 2016.  Azurmendi was a NEW ENTRY at Nº26 in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards 2014,   then in 2015 rose to 19th place. Hopefully last years fall is just a short setback for Azurmendi and they climb back up the list again this year. DISFRUTAR – Barcelona, Spain: Currently at No.55 … well, not theoretically Disfrutar’s current position as the Worlds 55th Best Restaurant 2018 has already been awarded to DON JULIO – Buenos Aires, Argentina, so can we expect to see them in the Top 50 for 2018? Disfrutar  was a NEW ENTRY in 2017 and was also the Miele One To Watch Award 2017 winner, so we’re watching for a Top 50 place this year for Disfrutar “To Enjoy”! Congratulations to all the wonderful Chefs in the 51 – 100 World’s Best Restaurants List 2018 and good luck to all the Chefs anticipating the much awaited 1 – 50 World’s Best Restaurants List 2018 presentation next week.  We’ll bring you the results of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018 1-50  LIVE from Bilbao on Tuesday …   We, Gourmand Breaks,  have many fine dining opportunities for you all over Spain and / or Portugal.  Any of our sample private Gourmand Breaks Private Food, Wine and Cultural Tours gives you the chance of fine dining – contact us for your custom-designed quote!

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     RESULTS ARE IN for the acclaimed Restaurant Magazine’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018 and  there’s a NEW NUMBER ONE RESTAURANT!!! LIVE from Bilbao, Spain and the Foodie Mecca that is the Basque Country, the sixteenth edition of the prestigious awards ceremony for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants has finally been presented. And Oh! What a Delicious Night!!!! Congratulations Osteria Francescana and chef Massimo Bottura  for regaining the NUMBER ONE spot in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018 List!!! El Celler de Can Roca, Girona – Spain climbs from last year’s 3rd place to the World’s NUMBER 2 RESTAURANT in 2018 and at Nº 3 Mirazur, Menton – France climbs one place from Nº 4 in last year’s list. Here’s the COMPLETE FULL 1-50 The World’s Best Restaurants 2018 list 1.Osteria Francescana (Modena, Italy) 2.El Celler De Can Roca (Girona, Spain) 3.Mirazur (Menton, France) 4. Eleven Madison Park (New York City) 5. Gaggan (Bangkok, Thailand) 6. Central (Lima, Peru) 7. Maido (Lima, Peru) 8. Arpège (Paris, France) 9. Mugaritz (San Sebastian, Spain) 10. Asador Etxebarri (Atxondo, Spain) 11. Quintonil (Mexico City, Mexico) 12. Blue Hill at Stone Barns (Pocantico Hills, NY) 13. Pujol (Mexico City, Mexico) 14. Steirereck (Vienna, Austria) 15. White Rabbit (Moscow, Russia) 16. Piazza Duomo (Alba, Italy) 17. Den (Tokyo, Japan) 18. Disfrutar (Barcelona, Spain) 19. Geranium (Copenhagen, Denmark) 20. Attica (Melbourne, Australia) 21. Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenée (Paris, France) 22. Narisawa (Tokyo, Japan) 23. Le Calandre (Rubano, Italy) 24. Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet (Shanghai, China) 25. Cosme (New York, New York) 26. Le Bernardin (New York, New York) 27. Boragó (Santiago, Chile) 28. Odette (Singapore) 29. Alléno Paris au Pavillon Ledoyen (Paris, France) 30. D.O.M. (Sao Paolo, Brazil) 31. Arzak (San Sebastian, Spain) 32. Tickets (Barcelona, Spain) 33. The Clove Club (London, England) 34. Alinea (Chicago, Illinois) 35. Maaemo (Oslo, Norway) 36. Reale (Castel Di Sangro, Italy) 37. Tim Raue (Berlin, Germany) 38. Lyle’s (London, England) 39. Astrid y Gaston (Lima, Peru) 40. Septime (Paris, France) 41. Nihanryori RyuGin (Tokyo, Japan) 42. The Ledbury (London, England) 43. Azurmendi (Larrabetzu, Spain) 44. Mikla (Istanbul, Turkey) 45. Dinner By Heston Blumenthal (London, England) 46. Saison (San Francisco, California) 47. Schloss Schauenstein (Fürstenau, Switzerland) 48. Hisa Franko (Kobarid, Slovenia) 49. Nahm (Bangkok, Thailand) 50. The Test Kitchen (Cape Town, South Africa)   * * * * And remember, there’s more * * * * Click here  -> World’s 50 Best Restaurants 51-100 FULL COMPLETE LIST 2018  including Nerua at No.57, Quique Dacosta at No.68, Martín Berasategui at No.76 and Belcanto at No.75 all staying in the 51-100 list from the previous year. DiverXO re-enters in 96th place after disappearing from 2017’s list and Elkano and Enigma are 2 NEW ENTRIES for Spain in 77th and 95th place respectively.   Congratulations to all the great Superchefs for their fantastic World rated restaurants and for another year of the prestigious Restaurant Magazine list! The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards and List, which is now in its 16th year, is organised and compiled by Restaurant magazine and sponsored by S Pellegrino & Acqua Panna. It is an annual recollection of the opinions and experiences of over 900 international restaurant industry experts and is attended by the world’s finest chefs, international media and the world’s most influential restaurateurs. After 13 years of being presented in London, the World’s 50 Best Restaurants List Ceremony went on tour! First to New York, then to Melbourne and this year to Bilbao, Spain. Where in the World will the World’s 50 Best Restaurants be presented from in 2019????? We’ll let you know when we find out   We, Gourmand Breaks,  have many fine dining opportunities for you all over Spain and / or Portugal. Any of our sample private Gourmand Breaks Private Food, Wine and Cultural Tours gives you the chance of fine dining – contact us for your custom-designed quote!

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    The World’s 50 Best (well, the Top 100) Restaurants 2018 have now been released and Spain and Portugal occupy 14 places in the Top 100 World’s Best Restaurants – 7 in the 1-50 List and 7 in the 51-100 List! El Celler de Can Roca hits the Top 3 again and is awarded the World’s Nº 2 Restaurant 2018 Here are all 14 Restaurants from Spain and Portugal in the World’s Best Restaurants List 2018: No. 2  El Celler De Can Roca – Girona, Spain climbs from last year’s Number 3 No. 9 Mugaritz – San Sebastian, Spain stays put at No.9 from 2017 No. 10 Asador Etxebarri – Axpe, Spain falls from No. 6 in 2017 No. 18 Disfrutar – Barcelona, Spain rises 37 places and achieves winner of the Highest New Entry Award 2018 No. 31 Arzak – San Sebastian, Spain falls 1 place from 2017 No. 32 Tickets – Barcelona, Spain falls 7 places from No25 in 2017 No.43 Azurmendi – Larrabetzu, Spain falls 5 places from 2017 but achieves winner of the Sustainable Restaurant Award 2018, which it also won in 2014! No.57 Nerua – Bilbao, Spain  falls 1 place from 2017 No.68 Quique Dacosta – Denia, Spain falls 6 places from 2017 No.75 Belcanto – Lisbon, Portugal climbs 10 places from 2017 No.76 Martin Berasategui – Lasarte-Oria, Spain climbs 1 place from 2017 No.77 Elkano – Getaria, Spain NEW for 2018 No.95 Enigma – Barcelona, Spain NEW for 2018 No.96 DiverXO – Madrid, Spain reenters from the 2016 list- last placed at No79 * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018 COMPLETE LISTS: FULL LIST 1 – 50 here ->  http://www.gourmandbreaks.com/…/results-worlds-50-best-res…/ FULL LIST 51 – 100 here -> http://www.gourmandbreaks.com/…/worlds-50-best-restaurants…/ * * * * * * * * * * * * * *    We, Gourmand Breaks,  have many fine dining opportunities for you all over Spain and / or Portugal. Any of our sample private Gourmand Breaks Private Food, Wine and Cultural Tours gives you the chance of fine dining – contact us for your custom-designed quote!

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    The World’s Best Restaurants 2018 have recently been announced and once again Europe features high up in the list and in fact  all the Top 3 Restaurants 2018 are European !!!! (Skip to the bottom for the FULL list of the World’s Best Restaurants 2018 or read on to find out all the World’s TOP 3 Restaurants over the years) The Worlds Best Restaurants List has been around for a quite a few years! and is organised and compiled by Restaurant magazine and sponsored by S Pellegrino & Acqua Panna. The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards and List,  now in its 16th year,  is an annual recollection of the opinions and experiences of over 900 international restaurant industry experts and is attended by the world’s finest chefs, international media and the world’s most influential restaurateurs. After 13 years of being presented in London, the World’s 50 Best Restaurants List Ceremony went on tour! First to New York, then to Melbourne and this year to Bilbao, Spain. Where in the World will the World’s 50 Best Restaurants be presented from in 2019????? We’ll let you know when we find out … In the meantime here’s a look back over the last few years at all  the World’s TOP 3 Restaurants  from 2002 -> 2018: 2018 Osteria Francescana (Italy) El Celler De Can Roca (Spain) Mirazur (France)   2017 Eleven Madison Park (USA) Osteria Francescana (Italy) El Celler De Can Roca (Spain)   2016 Osteria Francescana (Italy) El Celler De Can Roca (Spain) Eleven Madison Park (USA)   2015 El Celler De Can Roca (Spain) Osteria Francescana (Italy) Noma (Denmark)   2014 Noma (Denmark) El Celler De Can Roca (Spain) Osteria Francescana (Italy)     2013 El Celler De Can Roca (Spain) Noma (Denmark) Osteria Francescana (Italy)   2012 Noma (Denmark) El Celler De Can Roca (Spain) Mugaritz (Spain)   2011 Noma (Denmark) El Celler De Can Roca (Spain) Mugaritz (Spain)   2010 Noma (Denmark) El Bulli (Spain) The Fat Duck (UK)   2009 El Bulli (Spain) The Fat Duck (UK) Noma (Denmark)     2008 El Bulli (Spain) The Fat Duck (UK) Pierre Gagnaire (France)   2007 El Bulli (Spain) The Fat Duck (UK) Pierre Gagnaire (France)   2006 El Bulli (Spain) The Fat Duck (UK) Pierre Gagnaire (France)   2005 The Fat Duck (UK) El Bulli (Spain) The French Laundry (USA)   2004 The French Laundry (USA) The Fat Duck (UK) El Bulli (Spain)   2003 The French Laundry (USA) El Bulli (Spain) Le Luis XV, Alain Ducasse (Monaco)   2002 El Bulli (Spain) Gordon Ramsey (UK) The French Laundry (USA)   * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  KEEP UP TO DATE WITH THE CURRENT 100 WORLDS BEST RESTAURANTS FOR 2018: FULL LIST 1 – 50 World’s  Best Restaurants 2018 here ->  http://www.gourmandbreaks.com/…/results-worlds-50-best-res…/   FULL LIST 51 – 100 World’s  Best Restaurants 2018 here -> http://www.gourmandbreaks.com/…/worlds-50-best-restaurants…/   * * * * * * * * * * * * * *    We, Gourmand Breaks,  have many fine dining opportunities for you all over Spain and / or Portugal. Any of our sample private Gourmand Breaks Private Food, Wine and Cultural Tours gives you the chance of fine dining – contact us for your custom-designed quote!  

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  • 10/04/18--06:10: The Old World Charm of Porto
  • How does one begin to summaries the greatness of Porto. The vibrant, charismatic city is full of life, history, culture and of course delectable food and wine. If you are wanting somewhere that will ‘wow’ you Porto is an absolute gem which shares fascinating snippets from Medieval and Roman influences. The old world charm will pull on your heart strings and have you wanting to come back before you have even left.  Learn more and be inspired with our    PURELY PORTUGAL  itineraries,  to experience the best of what Porto has to offer!   There is a good reason why Porto has won the ‘peoples’ vote for three years (2012, 2014 & 2017) as the best place to visit in Europe. From the hustle and bustle of the Art Nouveau cafes, such as the stunning Café Majestic, to the spectacular 19th Century construction of the Dom Luis I bridge which was worked on by Seyrig and Eiffel (prior to the Eiffel tower), there is no shortage of elegance! From the old iron bridge make sure you get your camera ready for the incredible views of the historic city and Douro River when the sun starts to set, feel the romance of the city!   What helps to make Portugal even more unique are the fascinating Azulejo ceramic tiles. You will notice the beauty of this art on the facades of apartments, buildings and over the streets of Porto. The most impressionable work is displayed at the São Bento railway station, Igreja de Carmo and Igreja de Santo Ildefonso (two fascinating churches), which displays thousands of, mostly blue and white, tiles transformed into beautiful mosaics. Take moments to not only ‘view’ the Azulejo tiles but to also study them. Let the tiles take your imaginary on a time travel back to Portugal at that point in time.   Allow yourself to be inspired by the intriguing world of the Neo-Gothic craftsmanship.  An example of this incredible detail is famously seen in a bookstore from 1906, by the name of Livraria Lello. This one of a kind bookstore will have you in awe; it is a truly unique and fun experience. When you enter Livraria Lello you easily begin to imagine how JK Rowling was inspired by one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world when she was began creating the Harry Potter series. Porto is not short of unique Neo-Gothic architecture to keep you fascinated along your journey!   Porto is one of the leading gastronomic cities in Portugal with a mind blowing, mouth watering variety. Catering to everyone’s tastes all hours of the day you won’t go short of delicious restaurants or cafes. Make sure you leave your comfort zone for at least one local meal to try a signature dish such as Tripe (Tripas a Moda do Porto) or Cozido or Caldo Verde. Typical Portuguese dishes are commonly described as comfort food so make sure you arrive hungry! Also, it would be a crime to leave without getting a typical Portuguese custard tart, Pastéis de nata, to tantalise your taste buds so don´t miss this gem!   If you’re a meat lover, then don’t shy away from trying the mouth watering Francesinha, one of the most typical dishes of Porto. This epic sandwich stack has multiple layers of different meats including ham, roasted pork, sausage and beef between slices of bread. The sandwich doesn’t end here; it is then smothered in cheese and completed by being drenched in a rich sauce (which is a hidden secret at each restaurant) that includes the likes of whisky, brandy and beer.  This is a unique, fun and local food experience that would be a shame to miss! Make sure you allow recovery time.   A fantastic quarter not to miss by foot is walking from the antique neighbourhood of Ribeira, packed with vibrant restaurants and café, to the Cathedral (Porto’s Sé Catherdral). This is a great place to be inspired by the beautiful medieval influences along the long windy streets. It was here that Henry the Navigator was born so take advantage of visiting his historic house if you can. The Clerigo’s Tower is also well worth the walk up the 222 stairs for breath taking views over the electric city. Be sure to also visit the spectacular  Palácio da Bolsa which dates back to the 19th Century. It is renowned for its incredible neoclassical façade, gilded Arabic hall and stairs that took 40 years to carve by hand, this is a fascinating experience!   In Vila Nova de Gaia you will find the stunning Porto Wine Lodges with magnificent views over the Douro River. Porto is famous not only for the delicious Port wine which is derived from the beautiful Douro Valley but also Vinho Verde (which directly translates to ‘green wine’), which is made even closer to Porto. To sample these traditional wines visit reputed wine lodges such as Grahams, Croft or Taylor,, you won’t be disappointed! Keep your eyes peeled for an up and coming project called ‘The World of Wine’ that is expected to open in 2020 which will consist of a wine school, cork and design museum, multiple new restaurants and retail.   Get further acquainted with this vibrant city with our  PURELY PORTUGAL tours!

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    The Dream of Pôpa: Once upon a time a local named Francisco Ferreira, had a dream, he wanted to own his very own vineyard in the picturesque Douro Valley. Francisco, nicknamed Pôpa, was the illegitimate son of a wealthy winemaker, although his veins too, were filled with the wine and soil of the Douro. Pôpa worked hard and helped his mother on his father’s vineyard by carrying grape filled baskets to the old lagares (wine presses).  Pôpa was a simple soul and lived in sadness, hoping that one day his father would recognise him as his child.  All the while Francisco dreamed of owning his own estate and producing his own wine, a dream he unfortunately never managed to fulfil in life. Fulfilling the Dream Generations Later: In 2003, however, his son, José Ferreira, also known as Zeca do Pôpa, fulfilled the dream of his father, a dream that had also been passed on to him. He started to put together smallholdings, common in the agricultural structure of northern Portugal, and acquire small plots of mostly old vineyards, as well as planting new vines and olive groves. The vines planted on the terraced hills above the magnificent Douro River, were blessed with a favourable climate and a high quality soil. As time passed a true vineyard was formed, in one of the best and oldest wine region in the world. José named the vineyard in honour of his father, Quinta do Pôpa! Built with both great economic effort and enthusiasm, the first harvest took place in 2007. Today, Francisco’s grandchildren, Stéphane and Vanessa Ferreira, head the team at Quinta do Pôpa, keeping the wheels turning with enthusiasm, charisma and commitment to produce signature wines in the family name. The estate now occupies 30 hectares of land, 14 of which are vineyards. Both sophisticated techniques and traditional methods are used, and despite the small number of years that Quinta do Pôpa has been active; this young estate has now established itself as a quality winemaker! A fascinating history, warm welcome, fantastic views and great wines await you at Quinta do Pôpa! We will be delighted to include a visit to Quinta do Pôpa for you in your private tour or in any of our sample itineraries that take in the beautiful Douro Valley, Portugal. Special Edition Products to Delight your Senses: QUINTA DO PÔPA HOMENAGEM: The tribute of tributes, named in honor of Francisco Ferreira! This powerful and robust red demonstrates good structure and complexity. PÔPA TINTO DOCE:  The 1st Sweet Red Wine from the Douro which is a tribute to the women of the Pôpa Family. PÔPA VV:  Made exclusively out of the old vines, aged over 80 years, and trodden by foot, this complex red wine is simply called VV, for Vinhas Velhas (old vines).      

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    The kitchens in Spain and Portugal are heating up as next week the 2019 Michelin Guide to Spain & Portugal will be presented, and for the first time in history, LIVE from Lisbon, Portugal! Over the last nine years, Madrid, San Sebastian, Barcelona, Bilbao, Marbella, Santiago de Compostela, Gerona and Tenerife have all played host to the prestigious Michelin Guide to Spain and Portugal gala. But, this year, for the first ever, the gala will be held in Lisbon. This year’s gala meal will be prepared by Lisbon’s seven Michelin-star chefs.  José Avillez, head of Michelin 2* Belcanto in Lisbon will coordinate the meal and be joined by Michelin 1* Lisbon Restaurant Chefs Henrique Sá Pessoa from Alma, Joachim Koerper from Eleven, João Rodrigues from Feitoria,  Alexandre Silva from Loco, Miguel Rocha Vieira from Fortaleza do Guincho (in Cascais) and Spanish chef Sergi Arola from Lab by Sergi Arola in Sintra. Curiously, Portugal holds no Michelin 3 starred restaurant to date and actually holds very few Michelin stars compared with its Iberian cousin Spain who currently boasts 11 Michelin 3 starred restaurants (although 1 has recently closed!). Could Portugal hosting the NEW Michelin Restaurant Guide mean we will be seeing the 1st Michelin 3* Restaurant in Portugal for the 2019 Michelin Guide to Spain & Portugal?????? We’ll let you know next week … There are currently 30 Michelin 2* Restaurants in Spain and Portugal 2018 … only 5 of which are Michelin 2* Restaurants in Portugal:  Belcanto (Lisbon), Ocean (Porches, Algarve), Vila Joya (Albufeira, Algarve), Il Gallo d’Oro, (Funchal) and TheYeatman (Vila Nova de Gaia, Porto). Could one (or more) of Portugal’s Michelin 2* Restaurants be gaining that 3rd Michelin star  for the 2019 Michelin Guide to Spain & Portugal to finally give  Portugal  a Michelin Three Starred Restaurant? We’ll let you know next week … There are currently 177 Michelin 1* Restaurants Spain and Portugal 2018 … of which, only 18 are in Portugal. Hopes are high for a star studded night for both Spain and Portugal next week and for some surprises for the great Portuguese chefs to take the current 23 Michelin Starred Restaurants to an even greater number. We’ll keep you updated on all the results next Wednesday 21st of November 2018, in the meantime happy dining In the meantime here’s a LINK to the COMPLETE full list of all CURRENT Michelin Starred Restaurants in Spain and Portugal Good luck chefs !!!!!!   We, Gourmand Breaks,  have many fine dining opportunities for you all over Spain and / or Portugal.  Any of our sample private Gourmand Breaks Private Food, Wine and Cultural Tours gives you the chance of fine dining – contact us for your custom-designed quote!

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    The 2019 Michelin Guide to Spain & Portugal will be presented on November 21st, LIVE from Lisbon – Portugal. (more info.) We’ll bring you the 2019 Michelin Guide to Spain & Portugal RESULTS next week but one thing that we already do know is that Spain has lost a Michelin 3* Restaurant!!!! Carme Ruscalleda elegantly closed her Michelin three star restaurant Sant Pau, near Barcelona, on October 27th 2018 after 30 years of success. Sant Pau, situated in the coastal town of Sant Pol de Mar, was awarded the first of its coveted Michelin  stars in 1991, the second five years later and since 2006 maintained its Michelin 3* status. Sant Pau closed on a high but world-class Catalan chef Carme Ruscalleda is not hanging her apron up just yet.  Along with some interesting projects in the pipeline her other two restaurants, Michelin 2* Sant Pau in Tokyo and Michelin 2* restaurant Moments in Barcelona, led by her son Raül, remain open. Could another Michelin 3* restaurant appear in the 2019 Michelin Guide to Spain & Portugal to substitute Sant Pau ???  There are 30 Michelin 2* Restaurants in Spain and Portugal (25 in Spain/ 5 in Portugal) so there are a few contenders! What’s more, the 2019 Michelin Guide to Spain & Portugal is being presented, for the first time ever, from Lisbon!!! Could this mean that a Michelin 3* restaurant is on the cards for Portugal?????  We hope so … here are the 5 current Michelin 2* starred restaurants in Portugal possibilities: Vila Joya (Albufeira, Algarve) Ocean (Armaçao de Pêra, Algarve) Belcanto (Lisbon) Il Gallo d´Oro (Funchal, Madeira) The Yeatman (Vila Nova de Gaia, Porto) Remember we’ll bring you the RESULTS Live next week but in the meantime here’s a recap of the current 11 Michelin 3* Restaurants in Spain 2018 (none, to date, in Portugal): ABaC, Jordi Cruz (Barcelona) Aponiente, Angel Leon (El Puerto de Santa María, Cádiz) Akelarre, Pedro Subijana (Guipúzcoa) Arzak, Juan Mari and Elena Arzak (Guipúzcoa) Azurmendi, Eneko Atxa (Larrabetzu, Vizcaya) Diverxo, David Muñoz (Madrid) El Celler de Can Roca, Joan Roca (Girona) Lasarte, Martin Berasategui (Barcelona) Martín Berasategui, Martín Berasategui (Guipúzcoa) Quique Dacosta, Quique Dacosta (Dénia, Alicante) Sant Pau, Carme Ruscalleda (Barcelona) – CLOSED IN October 2018   Heres’s  a COMPLETE full list of all CURRENT Michelin 3, 2 and 1 Starred Restaurants in Spain and Portugal for 2018    Experience Michelin starred Restaurant dining opportunities in Spain and Portugal on one of our Private Food, Wine and Cultural Tours. Contact us to custom build your ideal trip!

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    Michelin Guide to Spain & Portugal 2019 RESULTS ARE IN: The 2019 Michelin Guide to Spain & Portugal has now been presented and spoiler alert: There’s a NEW Michelin 3* !!!!! The gastronomic Oscars festival was presented this evening LIVE from Lisbon – Portugal – at the Carlos Lopes pavilion, under the culinary coordination of two Michelin-starred Belcanto chef, José Avillez. This is the first time ever that the Michelin Guide to Spain & Portugal has been presented from Portugal but … Oh what a night!!!! A night that has left Michelin stars raining down all over Spain and Portugal! This year a whopping 30 NEW Michelin Stars were awarded between Spain and Portugal! 1 NEW Michelin 3* Restaurant  – awarded to Dani Garcia    *** ALL  11 Michelin 3* Restaurants in the 2019 Michelin Guide to Spain & Portugal NEW: Dani Garcia, Dani Garcia (Malaga) ABaC, Jordi Cruz (Barcelona) Aponiente, Angel Leon (El Puerto de Santa María, Cádiz) Akelarre, Pedro Subijana (Guipúzcoa) Arzak, Juan Mari and Elena Arzak (Guipúzcoa) Azurmendi, Eneko Atxa (Larrabetzu, Vizcaya) Diverxo, David Muñoz (Madrid) El Celler de Can Roca, Joan Roca (Girona) Lasarte, Martin Berasategui (Barcelona) Martín Berasategui, Martín Berasategui (Guipúzcoa) Quique Dacosta, Quique Dacosta (Dénia, Alicante)   But, apart from 1 NEW Michelin 3 Starred Restaurant, for the Michelin Guide for Spain and Portugal 2019 there are:   4 NEW Michelin 2* Restaurants Spain and Portugal 2019: Cocina Hermanos Torres  (Barcelona) Ricard Camarena Restaurant  (Valencia) El Molino de Urdániz  (Urdaitz, Navarra). Alma (Lisboa)   and 25 NEW 1* Michelin 1* Restaurants Spain and Portugal 2019: La Barra de Carles Abellán (Barcelona) Oria (Barcelona) Eneko Bilbao (Bilbao) Etxanobe Ateliar (Bilbao) Beat (Calpe, Alicante) Orobianco (Calpe, Alicante) Trivio (Cuenca) eMe Be Garrote (San Sebastián) Bagá (Jaén) LÚ Cocina y Alma (Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz) Pablo (León) Ikaro (Logroño) Clos Madrid (Madrid) Corral de la Moreira Gastronómico (Madrid) El Invernadero (Madrid) La Tasquería (Madrid) Yugo (Madrid) El Xato (La Nucía, Alicante) Terra (S’Agaró, Alicante) A Tafona (Santiago de Compostela) El Molino de Alcuneza (Sigüenza, Guadalajara) Cancook (Zaragoza) G Pousada de Bragança (Tras os Montes) A Cozinha de Guimaraes (Minho) Midori de Sinra (Estremadura)   Congratulations to all our wonderful Michelin Star Chefs in Spain and Portugal !  

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