Billed as ‘the most important gastronomic event San Sebastián/Donostria will hold this year,’ Russell Allen (from Aubrey Allen) and I headed out for a couple of days.
It’s one of those wonderfully under the radar cities. Sure there are tourists, but not so many that the balance between local and holiday is lost – it feels like you’re visiting somewhere people live. A cheese festival (or any food festival) is a great reason to visit, but is only the beginning. The streets around Constitución Plaza are lined with Tapas places – some are ok, some are brilliant, and working it out is the best bit. Zeruko is as good a place to start as any – and you have to try all the slightly odd things we don’t usually eat, the Elvers are good, honest…
Our main day was a few hours at the festival tasting many raw milk cheeses and talking to enthusiastic cheesemakers, followed by Tapas, then dinner at Akelare – not as formal as it looks, with a friendly team, and delicious small tasting plates. That’ll do as a day for a couple of food lovers!
Before leaving the next day, we had time to walk across the beach and take the funicular up to Monte Igeuldo, great view, and the last of the Autumn sun it seems (as it’s pouring down here now). A short-ish lunch at Juanito Kojua (recommended by a taxi driver, and you have to book as they are full every service), a real old Basque classic, then a snooze on the flight home.
Can’t wait to go again, a fantastic place to trip to.