Our first afternoon in Salamanca was a lazy affair. I say afternoon, because we didn’t surface until nearly 1pm. Holidays were made for this stuff…so it’s 100% allowed. We weren’t in much of a hurry out the door anyway; the sky was overcast and the air was muggy. When we finally got going, we walked toward the Plaza Mayor (as always! It’s a fantastic starting point for everything..) stopping for a late breakfast at a well known bakery in Salamanca, La Tahona de la Abuela. LTDLA are dotted around the city in various shapes and sizes, yet I don’t think I ever visited one. We stopped by that day as they have opened a new franchise, that precedes the corner of the Plaza we walked in and out of so many times. The new franchise is located in a space that was boarded up the whole time we were living there, so we went in based on two accounts – pastries and curiosity.
I had a caramel iced coffee and a slice of flakey pastry. The pastry was similar to an empanada, stuffed with béchamel and plenty of spinach. The combination of the two was welcomed on such a heavy and sticky day.
Niall had espresso and ordered something similar, except his was stuff with ham and cheese…more like hornazo. Hornazo is a type of meat pastry pie, typical in Salamanca. The lovely people of Salamanca have a festival each year called ‘Lunes de Aguas’ (Monday of the Waters) where they celebrate Lent, prostitutes and eat plenty of hornazo. Only in Spain. I do love the Spanish.
My sister was the order winner. She had a croissant and ordered a cup of thick hot chocolate for dipping. Although filling, I love how French and Spanish hot chocolate is so dense. It’s glossy, rich and indulgent – the way chocolate should be! If we have anywhere in Dublin that sells something remotely similar, hit me up.
Post pastries, we walked around the city in the direction of the cathedral. While eternally beautiful, there’s no arguing that the sun shining in the sky really lifts Salamanca’s brilliant sandstone and architectural intricacies. Soon after we reached the cathedral waves of thunder travelled overhead, followed by blasts of forked lightening blazing in the distance. I love epic forked lightening as much as the next guy, but we decided to do something cultural before the rain hit…because when it rains in Salamanca, it drowns!
We followed this little dove toward the Tormes river, where the Casa Lis museum resides. Anytime I tried to visit Casa Lis when I was living here, it was either closed or I foolishly forgot siesta times, and I never really got around to organising myself properly. Now that I’m a tourist, it was first on my list. Tourists aren’t lazy about these things.
Here’s the exterior of Casa Lis. It was originally home to Don Miguel de Lis, a merchant who lived in Salamanca who had a penchant for Art Nouveau. The house was opened as a museum to the public in 1995. It’s a building you just can’t miss – the design is beautiful and the stained glass windows are outstanding. Entry to the museum was just €4 each, which includes a guidebook in your chosen language. The museum is free to the public on Thursday mornings, and well worth a visit. More info here.
Here’s a shot of the stained glass windows from the inside. Photography is forbidden in the museum but I can tell you that it’s a treasure trove of incredible design, beautiful statues, haunting paintings, glasswares, incredibly creepy dolls, luxurious intricate jewellery and dainty perfume bottles all from Art Deco and Art Nouveau periods.
We went to the café before we left for a little coffee break, and I took a few sneaky shots in there too.
Here’s me, on a seat so sunken and old it was near impossible to get out of. It smelled of mothballs. I loved it!
Sticky days call for frequent showers, so we went back to the hotel for a drink in the bar and a sprucing up for dinner.
I took another picture of my second favourite street in Salamanca, La Compañía. It has appeared on this blog a few times, and no doubt will again in the future. Postcard-worthy streets need to be admired, don’t you think?
We went to dinner at La Tagliatella, one of my favourites! I know it’s a chain restaurant but it’s really, really good. If you’re ever visiting Salamanca and feel a little out of your depth with all the different tapas in various shapes and sizes and some stuffed with who knows what, La Tagliatella will offer you a square meal! It was great when visitors came over..especially my Mother, who would prefer a starter and main course to lots of little plates.
We shared a goats cheese, duck and foie gras salad with pine nuts, pesto and honey mustard dressing. The flavours. Holy moly.
This is my thinking face. Pizza or pasta? Steak or more salad? Hmm…
Niall had La Pizza Tagliatella. All the toppings are laid out in a line, so you can cut one way to have them all together, or in strips to have each topping separately. I noticed he likes to cut a strip of all the flavours together, and make a pizza swiss roll.
Sarah had the controfiletto (beef sirloin) with foie and port sauce
I went for the mushroom, assorted cheeses and black truffle cream pizza. The base was light and crispy, the truffle cream mixed with the strong cheeses was incredible..and the mushrooms, although sliced finely added texture. I love this pizza.
La Tagliatella has amazing desserts too, so that wasn’t going to be missed. Despite the fact I was incredibly full, but an espresso made me feel better!
For dessert, us gals had..
Mascarpone cream, melted chocolate and brownies
Ferrero Rocher mousse, chocolate brownie, chocolate ice cream and sweet peanut butter crispy wafers. I rolled my eyes while I ate this, many times. It was inspiring! I need to find a ferrero rocher mousse recipe.
Full (maybe a little over full) we visited Tio Vivo for an after dinner drink. Although the weather wasn’t ideal on our first full day, friends, a family member and amazing food was all I needed.
A previous La Tagliatella review, from way back when.
More on Tio Vivo.
I hope you’re having a great Sunday! x
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