Back to Salamanca, back to the scene of the crime.
A summary of my trip and how to describe it? The more things change, the more they stay the same.
I first stepped foot in Salamanca in early summer 2012, moved there later that summer and through most of 2013 (so many posts about it under this category .) I came back for a visit in 2014, and again a few weeks ago to visit my old and much loved stomping ground. So much has changed in my life since living there, and yet the city is exactly the same; apart from a new shop or two, a cocktail bar; and a fresh lick of paint at some of my old favourites.
My posts have taken the shape of a digital torture device of late, with finger scrolling reaching new and epic lengths. I’d like to avoid a rebuke as much as I possibly can…so I thought I’d revert back to some photo diary stuff (complete with collages!)
So here is a quick summary of my trip to the city, where I’m pretty sure a part of me will reside forever.
We stayed at the Alameda Palace Hotel, very close to the train station and the square. A 5 star spot with a small rooftop pool, all at very good prices. Speaking of the train, it’s definitely the way to go. Although more expensive, it’s an hour faster than the bus and far more comfortable.
Our main aim for the weekend was to eat, and visit as many old favourites as we could. Some I didn’t get a chance to revisit yet, but it just gives me an excuse to go back later in the year. The above picture is from the university bar, which is a must if you’re in Salamanca. Really delicious tapas at very, very cheap prices. We came at a very quiet time but I’ve been here many a time before where the place was hopping, all afternoon long really, during college term. My sister and I had two slices of tortilla stuffed, two drinks and huevos rotos (broken eggs and pieces of ham over potato) for €4.80 in total.
We had dinner in El Pecado on our first night, another Salamanca favourite. The menu still has some old classics, and some newbies too – I had the little parcels of ham, mushroom and foie which were really, really good; followed by the entrecôte, and my sister had the ham hock. We had really unusual desserts. White chocolate soup with mango ice cream, and on the bottom right, four different lemon desserts. Although really nice, the lemon got a bit overwhelming after a while, as you can imagine. Lemon foam, yoghurt, sorbet and panna cotta. El Pecado is such a nice spot, and we closed the restaurant, which we tend to do quite a bit when we dine together. Sisters never seem to run out of things to talk about.
It turns out that there are a lot of opportunities to catch a Pikachu in Salamanca.
The view from our hotel window. Day two was exploring, boating, eating, and more eating. We started in the square with a coffee, where we saw a few beautiful brides.
We continued to Valor for churros for a sweet and hearty breakfast. The churros at Valor are my favourite type; ‘porras.’ The thicker, fluffier (and usually greasier) type of churro. We then went on the boats and floated in the sunshine until we worked up our appetites from all that pedalling. The boats are €15 to rent by the hour and a very worthwhile activity. I mentioned them here before!
We had lunch at Tapas 2.0, and round the corner they now have Tapas 3.0! I didn’t try that one yet, and will in the future but Tapas 2.0 never disappoints and I was continuing my trail of nostalgia.
Their croquetas are the best I have ever tasted, and their vegetables and prawns in tempura batter were delicious. I ordered a terrine of foie in a moment of madness but it was too sickly and rich for me; a tiny bit went a long, long way but the strong flavours lingered…I wouldn’t recommend it; a little bit of foie in a dish seems to do the trick. Foie terrine aside, the rest of the food at Tapas 2.0 is excellent and well priced.
People say San Sebastian is best for pinchos. I’ve been there and loved it, but Salamanca is my favourite for tapas (and pinchos too!) A lot of the time you get something really delicious for free, or the prices are next to nothing and the food is top notch. I never really appreciated how good the croquetas were until we had them in plenty of places throughout Salamanca and they beat any I’ve tried in Madrid.
We spent the rest of the afternoon walking around the city, and had a couple of drinks in Café Corrillo; another old favourite. Café Corillo has regular live music concerts downstairs and an extensive bar and cocktail menu. They also have far more of a tapas selection than in previous years.
We went back to the hotel for a while to swim, read and muster up the feeling of hunger again (we were just eating for fun at this point, I’ll be honest!) We went to Zazu for dinner where I was pleased to see they still serve my favourite starter (deep fried French cheeses…for a starter, madness) and my sister had chicken skewers. We followed with fish en papillote and ribs, while we watched people passing through Plaza de La Libertad below. I love this La Libertad for dinner at Zazu and a drink at Hernandez y Fernandez on the other side, and again it’s just off the Plaza Mayor, right in the centre and close to everything. They have special lights fitted in Hernandez y Fernandez; so if you order a gin and tonic, it glows!
Zazu was the very first restaurant I went to in Salamanca with my family, when we stopped by on a holiday to check out where I would be living; so it’s always been a special place.
Sunday was spent exploring the cathedral, eating fancy tapas at Bar Doze (another favourite) where we started the day with more croquetas, chips, hamburgers with foie (you can probably guess I really like foie) and artichokes with bacon and you guessed it…foie. It’s on so many menus here and Madrid – who can blame me for loving the stuff?
We ended the trip in a brand new spot, The Doctor Cocktail, which really impressed me. Owned by three guys, this place is a wonderful addition to the city, and totally original, which is really nice to see. They have a huge selection of expertly made cocktails including the classics, classics with a unique twist, and a whole host of new cocktails I’ve never tried, let alone heard of.
Prices are really good, with many starting at just €6 and it’s hard not to want to try them all, although not advisable in one sitting, as tempting as it may be. I ordered a chilli margarita which was really impressive. I love spicy anything, and combined with my favourite cocktail, it was a nice contemporary twist. The barman actually made a classic margarita, only realising halfway through that I asked for the chilli version, so he gave me the classic one free of charge! I wouldn’t have even noticed the mistake or the time it took to make it, so it was really honest of him.
The Doctor Cocktail staff are really friendly, and you can tell they’re very proud of their bar, and adore making their creative cocktails. I’ll definitely be back, and the cocktails were a nice way to finish our trip before we made our way to the train station.
A wonderful trip as always; Salamanca, you’re nothing short of magical!
♥ ♥ ♥