24 February 2015

BAYONNE - L'EMBARCADÈRE



This post will be about the second stage of my S. Valentine's day: dinner! 
You can find here more about the first part! 
Like I already stated in the previous post, for this date we chose Bayonne as our destination. While we missed the lunch in our desired restaurant, and had to go with the "So Basque",  we made sure to book the dinner on a restaurant of our selection and on time! We went to the "L'Embarcadère", a mid/high range restaurant with great reviews on both tripavisor and michelin guide. 
I leave you below a quick review, and hope that you will one day have the chance to agree or not with it.

Atmosphere: Romantic, warm and cozy (pictures available on the web do not depict it's beauty ).
Evaluation = 4 points (1 to 5)

Service: Excellent! The employee even brought a dictionary to translate  all the ingredients and give a extra details. 
Evaluation = 4.5 points (1 to 5)

Location: Perfect! In Bayonne's center.
Evaluation = 5 points (1 to 5)

Food: Appealing and flavorous (you can check some pics and extra info here). Everything was delicious; started with the sparkling cocktail, followed by the starters, the main dish was specifically cooked for this day and it's only available two times a year in this restaurant, and chocoloate sweets for the dessert.
The one thing I might have changed was the "Chocolate Sphere"; although home made, it tasted like a kinder egg, which I am not very found of.  Beeing sweet toothed, I'm demanding with desserts, specially if they are made in "The" gourmand country; and for me, to be worth it, a chocolat dessert has to greatly overcome the pleasure I have when eating a milka or toblerone chocolate bar :)
Evaluation = 4 points (1 to 5) 

Price: Taking in account each one of us ate two dishes, one dessert, bread (like in San Sebastian, and other places we alreday ate in France, it is part of the service and cost nothing), drank a cocktail, and a 75ml bottle of french white wine ( my boyfriend drank slightly more than me, I must confess), it was OK, beeing it a somewhat special day. 40-50€ per person, without wine.
Evaluation = 4 points (1 to 5)

Overall evaluation (average): 4,3 in 5 points.

Este post será dedicado à segunda parte do dia de S. Valentim - o jantar! 
Poderá encontrar informações sobre a primeira parte do dia, aqui
Como já referi no primeiro post, para esta data o destino escolhido foi Bayonne. Apesar de não termos almoçado na nossa primeira opção, e optado pelo "So Basque";  em relação ao jantar fizemos questão de reservar com tempo no restaurante pretendido! Fomos ao "L'Embarcadère", um restaurante de classe média/alta, com óptimos comentários tanto no tripavisor como no guia michelin
Segue-se uma pequena avaliação sobre o restaurante e espero que vos seja útil numa ida a Bayonne.

17 February 2015

BAYONNE - SO'BASQUE



In the last post I shared the gourmet dishes that my boyfriend and I ate in our Valentine's day trip to Bayonne. 
When we planned the trip, we had in mind lunching in "La Table", which had good reviews both on tripadvisor and on michelin guide,  but we did not make a reservation,  and when we got there it was full.  We went around and chose a new restaurant based on how it looked. We got into the So'Basque Restaurant.
Based on my experience, this is the review of the restaurant:

Atmosphere: very cozy and warm (and it was a cold rainy day),  clean and comfortable. 
Evaluation = 4 points (1 to 5)

Service:  employees were very aware of our needs and always there at any request. 
Evaluation = 4 points (1 to 5)

Location: perfect! In Bayonne's center.
Evaluation = 5 points (1 to 5)

Food: a bit of a let down. In both dishes my boyfriend and I ate, we felt a bit too much of fat and and sauce overall. I drank a glass of bordeaux wine (merlot) which was delicate and not too much ripe; and the dessert plate (the crème brûlée) was delicious, but I have to confess that had excessive sugar (my boyfriend does not share this opinion) 
Evaluation = 3 points (1 to 5)

Price: Taking in account that both main dishes and starters were not as expected, I have to say it was overpriced.
Evaluation = 3 points (1 to 5)

Overall evaluation (average): 3,8 in 5 points.


No último post partilhei uns pratos gourmet, que eu e o meu namorado comemos no dia de S. Valentim, em Bayonne (França). 


15 February 2015

BAYONNE GOURMAND

Lunch|Almoço @So'Basque, Bayonne

1st Plate: Salade en coque croustillante (lettuce, cheese, duck meet, ham and tomato) 
1º PratoSalade en coque croustillante (alface, queijo, pato, presunto e tomate) 


1st Place: Samosas with lettuce, ham and sour cream 
1º Prato: Chamuças com alface, presunto e nata

2nd Plate: Pork loin with cheese, roasted potatos and lettuce 
2º Prato: Lombo de porco com queijo, batatas assadas e alface

2nd Plate: Chooped beef with fried potatos and lettuce 
2º Prato: Carne de vaca picada com batatas fritas e alface

Dessert: Créme brûlée with vanilla 
SobremesaCréme brûlée com baunilha

Afternoon Snack|Lanche @Cazenavé, Bayonne

Hot Chocolate with chantilly and toastes with butter 
Chocolate quente com chantilly e torradas com manteiga

St.Valentine's Dinner|Jantar de S.Valentim @L'embarcadère

Cocktail de l'amour

1st PlateTatin d’endives caramélisées au chèvre frais et noisettes torréfiées, vinaigrette miellée à la cerise noire (chicory caramelized with goat cheese and fresh roasted hazelnuts, honey vinaigrette on black cherry)
1º PratoTatin d’endives caramélisées au chèvre frais et noisettes torréfiées, vinaigrette miellée à la cerise noire (chicória caramelizada com queijo de cabra e avelãs assadas, com vinagreta de mel sobre doce de cereja)

1st Plate: Marbré de foie gras maison et ganache de chocolat au piment d’espelette, chutney membrillo (Marbled foie gras and chocolate ganache with espelette pepper and chutney membrillo)
1º PratoMarbré de Foie Gras Maison et ganache de Chocolat au piment d’Espelette, Chutney Membrillo (Marmóre de foie gras e ganache de chocolate com pimenta espelette e chutney membrillo)

2nd Plate: Ravioles de homard et foie gras et ses langoustines rôties et décortiquées, mousseline de patate douce (Lobster and foie gras ravioli with roasted and peeled prawns, sweet potato muslin)
2º Prato: Ravioles de homard et foie gras et ses langoustines rôties et décortiquées, mousseline de patate douce (Ravioli de lagosta e foie gras, com camarões descascados e puré de batata)

DessertCoulant chocolat grand cru guanaja et sa crème légère vanille bourbon (Flowing grand cru chocolate guanaja and light bourbon vanilla cream) 
SobremesaCoulant chocolat grand cru guanaja et sa crème légère vanille bourbon (Fluído de chocolate grand cru guanaja com creme ligeiro de baunilha bourbon)

DessertSphère au chocolat, mousse caramel au beurre salé et fruits de saison (Chocolate sphere, salted butter caramel mousse and seasonal fruits)
SobremesaSphère au chocolat, mousse caramel au beurre salé et fruits de saison (Esfera de chocolate, mousse de caramelo com manteiga salgada e frutas da época) 

In the following posts I will do an avaliation of each place I ate; and a tour guide of Bayonne, France.
Nos próximos posts irei fazer uma avaliação de cada local onde comi; e um guia sobre Bayonne, França.

11 February 2015

SAN SEBASTIÁN - HOW TO GET THERE -


San Sebastián (also called Donostia) is a spanish city located in the north of Spain, in the basque country. It has one of the best spanish beaches and in the summer it is a crowed city. It combines warmth, food, and beauty, and for english people it is a must!
If you are thinking on coming to Donostia, look here how to reach the city:

1. BY PLAIN

San Sebastián Airport: only 20 minutes from the city centre, despites it's name, it is located in Hondarribia and has connections to the major spanish cities: Madrid and Barcelona.
Bilbao Airport: 100km far off to the west, also named as Loiu Aiport, it has direct connections to all Europe.
Biarritz Airport: it is located in France, 40km away. A good one if you came from London/Brussels/Dublín/Estocolmo, or even other parts of France, and you can find good flight opportunities operated by low-cost companies.

Then you can catch the bus/train:
From San Sebastián Airport to San Sebastián: the Ekialdebus bus stops stands 30 metres away from the airport, on the main road. Note that the airport bus first goes to Hondarribia center and, from there, back to San Sebastián. The bus takes approximately 40 minutes. Check the site to see the timetable. The price is a bit over 2 euros.
From Bilbao Airport to San Sebastián: PESA operates frequent bus services to and from Bilbao Airport from and to San Sebastián; it takes 1 hour. The price is 16,85€ each way.
From Biarritz Airport to San Sebastián: you have direct PESA buses that take 45 minutes, and others with some stops that take 1.15h. The price is approximately 5 euros.

There is also a train connection from Biarritz to Hendaye with SNCF, and from Hendaye to San Sebastian by Euskotren.

2. BY TRAIN

The train station in the centre of San Sebastián, the "Estación del Norte", offers connections to numerous Spanish cities including Madrid and Barcelona, and to international destinations such as Paris and Lisbon. Sites: Renfe, Euskotren and SNCF (French train company).
There is also an underground railway, the Metro Donostialdea, a narrow-gauge train connection with Bilbao and cities along the basque coast, such as Zarautz, and a service linking it with France (Hendaye) popularly known as the "Topo" or "Mole".

3. BY BUS

San Sebastián bus station has lines to cities throughout Spain and some part of Europe.
Interesting Links: Alsa, Eurolines, Monbus, Pesa, Conda and Lurraldebus.
Buses arrive and depart at the San Sebastián bus station, in Gros.

4. BY CAR

The city is connected to the rest of Spain and France by the N-1 (the national highway connecting Madrid to Irun), the AP-8 (Bilbao-Irun) and A-63 (Paris-Irun) motorways and the A-15 highway (Pamplona-San Sebastián).
Infomations about parking availability here and on-street pakings zones and fares here.

5. BY CAMPERVAN

San Sebastián has a service area for overnight stays in campervans located in Paseo Berio, 12.

6. BY FERRY

There is also a ferry service available to Bilbao that runs two times a week from Portsmouth, UK.

For further informations about San Sebastián, see here!

SAN SEBASTIÁN - COMO CHEGAR -

San Sebastián (Donostia) é uma cidade espanhola localizada no norte de Espanha, no país basco. Tem uma das praias mais bonitas de toda a Espanha e no verão conta sempre com uma grande afluência de turístas, pois consegue combinar a beleza da cidade com o calor e a boa comida.
Se está a pensar vir a Donostia, veja como cá chegar:

1. AVIÃO

Aeroporto de San Sebastián: localizado a 20 minutos do centro de Donostia, na cidade Hondarribia, oferece conexões para as duas grandes cidades espanholas: Madrid e Barcelona.
Aeroporto de Bilbao: a 100km da cidade, também chamado por Aeroporto Loiu, oferece conexões para toda a europa.
Aeroporto de Biarritz: localizado em França, a 40km da cidade. Uma boa alternativa se vem de Londres/Bruxelas/Dublín/Estocolmo ou mesmo de outras cidade Francesas. Poderá encontrar bons preços por companhias de voos low-cost.

Depois apanhe o autocarro/comboio:
Do Aeroporto de San Sebastián para San Sebastián: o autocarro Ekialdebus pára a 30 metros do aeroporto, na estrada principal. Note que o autocarro primeiro vai à cidade Hondarribia e daí para San Sebastián. A viagem demora aproximadamente 40 minutos. Verifique no site os horários. O preço é pouco mais de 2 euros.
Do Aeroporto de Bilbao para San Sebastián: os autocarros PESA têm serviços frequentes de e para o aeroporto e demora 1 hora. O preço de uma viagem é 16,85 euros.
Do Aeroporto de Biarritz para San Sebastián: há autocarros directos da PESA que demoram cerca de 45 minutos e outros com algumas paragens demoram 1.15h. O preço aproximado é de 5 euros.

Também há conexões férreas de Biarritz para Hendaye com a SNCF, e de Hendaye a San Sebastián pela Euskotren.

6 February 2015

10 STEPS TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT DESTINATION

The overall strategy is listing possible combinations of accommodation/flights/living costs/transportation/ and extras that fit your budget! It gives some work, but it pays off!

1. DEFINE THE BUDGET
Start by knowing how much money you have available to spend in the trip. Avoid requesting credit for some easy help - it's always harder in the long run. Throwing out a number from the start will really help you manage the costs of your trip!

2. DEFINE YOUR TRAVEL'S DAYS
Check your calendar; if possible schedule the days together with some holiday close to a weekend.

3. GOOGLE ''WHERE TO GO IN..."
Put the month you want to travel instead of "...".

4. SELECT YOUR PREFERENCES
Write down the results that suit your interest.
Pay attention to the low and high seasons, and tourist picks. Try to choose places with less tourists in your selected month to avoid confusion. If you don't want to do sun bathing or can tolerate some cold and rainy days, probably you can find some nice places to go in low seasons.

5. SEARCH FOR FLIGHTS
Use an incognito page (CTRL+SHIFT+N in google chrome). If you don't do so, the next time you do a search your flight will be more expensive (due to web cookies).
My favourite flight search pages are Skyscanner, Momondo and Kayak

6. SEARCH FOR ACCOMMODATION
I use Booking and Kayak most of the time. Search for hotels, hostels, resorts, everything according to your preferences. 

7. SEARCH FOR "LIVING PRICE" IN EACH PLACES
Numbeo is a good site for this purpose; if you have any doubt, and you can't find in google, just make a question in Tripadvisor or Fodor's Travel forums.

8. CALCULATE THE COST FOR EACH DESTINATION 
Take in account flights, accomodation, daily costs (food, museum tickets, taxi/bus/train/metro fares to and from aeroport and city travels, some extras, gifts, night out...) and always round up the sum of this factors.
If it ends up beeing over your budget, go to step 2 and re-do it all over!

9. VISIT HOLIDAYPIRATES.COM
Before you take your decision, visit this site. Sometimes you can find good opportunities for your destinations.

10. FINAL DECISION
If your selection fits your budget, great! 
If all of them are very expensive for you... well, you always have next year! And until then make an effort to spare: small tidbits, like reducing one or two coffees here and there, don't go out all saturdays' nights, walk more instead of using your car, buy less clothes and cheaper ones, try to eat at home more often, etc. 
For everything we need to choose priorities, and, if you love travelling, the motivation for saving is already there:)


A estratégia é listar possíveis combinações de alojamento/voos/custo de vida/transportes/ e extras que cabem no seu orçamento! Dá algum trabalho, mas valerá a pena!

2 February 2015

MYKONOS OR SANTORINI?


There are three common questions that arise once you plan a trip to one of the many tropical (and mediterranean) destinations: Where should I go? Which island is better? How to choose?
I'll write in short sentences about my experience in two Greek islands. I'll let the images speak for themselves.
Há três perguntas comuns que surgem quando se planeia uma viagem para um destino tropical (e mediterrânico): Onde ir? Qual a melhor ilha? Como escolher?
Neste post irei falar da minha experiência em duas ilhas gregas (Mykonos e Santorini) e espero que o mesmo vos seja útil numa futura escolha.

1. Beaches
If you want to relax in a paradisiacal beach you must go to Mykonos.
Se pretende relaxar numa praia paradisíaca, deverá ir para Mykonos. 
But if you want to discover unique beaches, you have to visit the red beach in Santorini.
Santorini does not have the typical white sandy beaches - its beaches are made of volcanic rock! 
Mas se quer descobrir praias únicas, terá que visitar a praia vermelha em Santorini.
Santorini não tem as praias típicas de areia branca, as suas praias são feitas de rochas vulcânicas!
2. Sunsets