Thursday, 18 July 2013

Costa Brava travel guide

Our guide to Spain's Costa Brava covers the area's top attractions, best hotels and most highly recommended restaurants, as selected by our expert Eddi Fiegel. 

Eddi Fiegel
Eddi Fiegel Destination expert Eddi Fiegel is a travel and arts journalist and author specialising in Spain. She has written on Spain and Spanish food and culture for numerous newspapers and magazines. Whilst living in Barcelona for several years, she got to know the Costa Brava extensively and still visits the region regularly. 

Why go?Because it’s one of the most romantic, gorgeous, unspoilt stretches of coast in Europe. Where else, less than two hours’ flight from Britain, can you drive or walk alongside rugged pink rocks with the teal-coloured Mediterranean glimmering below, framed by grand, arabesquing pines? You can, of course, on the Cote d’Azur. But essentially what you find on the Costa Brava is the same coastline, a little farther south, generally at a fraction of the price.Gloriously wild in parts and tastefully manicured in others, the Costa has some of the finest Blue Flag beaches in Europe, broad and sandy stretches to elegant horseshoe bays and secluded smugglers’ coves.You’ll also find wonderful independent hotels and exceptional food. Any lingering associations there may be with egg and chips are well past their sell-by date. Yes, English menus may still be a fixture in the larger resorts on the southerly part of the coast, such as Lloret de Mar, but further north you won’t catch a glimpse of them. In fact this stretch of the coast is a foodie’s paradise and Catalonia – where the Costa Brava lies – has one of the highest concentrations of Michelin-starred chefs in Spain, not to mention superb, locally produced wines. Little wonder that this has been the holiday spot of choice for well-heeled Barcelonesas and in-the-know French for years.The weather is another key factor, and one of the things I most love about living here. Going for a walk along the beach on Christmas day in short sleeves without feeling chilly was a blissful revelation after British winters. Beyond that there’s art, history and outdoor activities aplenty. This is Dalí country and three excellent museums – including the painter’s home at Cadaqués – are devoted to him. The Costa is also home to some of the most scenic and important Greco/Roman and Iberian archaeological sites in Europe. Alternatively, if you just want to enjoy the spectacular surroundings, there are exceptional coastal walks and world-class golf courses, as well as extensive swimming, diving, snorkelling and sailing.

A decent dose of sunshine is reasonably guaranteed most of the year round 
A decent dose of sunshine is reasonably guaranteed most of the year round

When to go

A decent dose of sunshine is reasonably guaranteed most of the year round. If you’re not bound by school holidays and can visit during May, June or September, these are brilliant months to enjoy the joint benefits of warm temperatures and lower hotel rates while avoiding the crowds of July and August.
Having said that, if you’ve set your heart on perfecting a tan in sizzling heat, high summer is the time to choose. If you do come during those peak months, you’ll find the region busy but not over-run, and you can still enjoy relatively secluded beaches without having to knock elbows with half of Europe.
From February to April and October to November the weather is generally pleasant: you might catch springtime electric storms or autumn rains but these don’t usually last for many days.

Getting there

Ryanair ( flies from London Luton to Girona (flight time about two hours), which is the nearest airport to the prettiest parts of the Costa Brava.
Otherwise, the following airlines fly into Barcelona (about two hours south of the Costa by car or bus): BA (, Iberia (, easyJet (, Monarch ( and Air Europa (
The bus operator Sarfa ( runs regular air-conditioned coaches from Barcelona Airport to most key destinations along the Costa Brava, including Begur, Palafrugell and Pals.

Getting around

If you want to explore, renting a car is the easiest way. You’ll get a real sense of the landscape and countryside as well as being able to explore the hilltop villages and smaller towns.
Hire an open-topped convertible and pretend you’re Cary Grant or Grace Kelly in To Catch A Thief, breezing along winding coastal roads with the Mediterranean shimmering down below. Cars can be hired from Girona and Barcelona airports through companies such as Europcar , Hertz, Avisor and Atesa..
If, on the other hand, you just want to chill out on a beach and do some gentle walking, there are good public buses between many of the main towns and beaches. Several of the hotels I’ve recommended are also either on the beach or very close to it, so if you’re happy with staying put or coastal walks, you’ll be absolutely fine without wheels.

Know before you go

Flight time: Approximately two hours to Girona or Barcelona
Currency: Euro
Further reading:
Emergency numbers/contacts: Medical, fire and police: 112. Local police: 092.
British Consulate in Barcelona: Avenida Diagonal 477, 13a Planta, 08036 Barcelona. Tel: 00 34 902 109356 or 00 34 913 342194;

Local laws/etiquette

When it comes to tipping: about five per cent for taxis and restaurants, €1 for hotel porters. Bars and cafes don’t normally expect tips unless you’re sitting at an outdoor terrace, where it’s polite to leave €0.30-€0.50.
Keep your passport with you as some shops quite often ask to see it if you’re paying by credit card.
If you don’t have one, apply for a European Health Insurance Card so you’re eligible for state medical treatment, should you need it.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Photographs Finca Carolina Ordis

Villa | 6 bedrooms | sleeps 12

Key Info
  • Swimming Pool
  • Great for children of all ages
  • No pets allowed
  • Private garden
  • Car essential
  • Nearest beach 23km
A spacious Mediterranean holiday Villa and pool, offering self catering accommodation for families or groups. Villa is situated in the picturesque Catalan countryside; yet just 6km. from the city of Figueres and the Costa Brava coast is only 30 mins away.
Enjoy a glass of Cava on the extensive south facing patio terraces as the sun sets over the nearby mountains. Log burning fire for those Romantic evenings at home.
Large gardens for you to relax and unwind in whilst the children can runaround and play safely.
The sides of the pool are 1.4 m high .The water depth is 1.2 m throughout the pool. We have a large floatation ring for the children's use. Entrance to the pool is only possible via a gate secured by a lock the key will be given to the parents on arrival at the house.
Sleeps up to 12, 6 bedrooms
Nearest beach
Empuriabrava 23 km
Will consider
Corporate bookings, Long term lets (over 1 month)
Car essential
Nearest Amenities
1 km
Nearest travel links
Nearest airport: Girona 35 km, Nearest railway: Figueres 6 km
Family friendly
Great for children of all ages, Suitable for people with restricted mobility
No pets allowed, No smoking at this property

Features and Facilities

Log fire, Internet access, DVD player, Staffed property
Private outdoor pool (unheated)
Central heating, TV, CD player, Satellite TV, Wi-Fi available
Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer
Dishwasher, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine
6 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms, 1 En suites and 1 Shower rooms
Double beds (6), Dining seats for 12, Lounge seats for 8
Linen provided, Towels provided
Private outdoor pool (unheated), Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ, Bicycles available
Further details indoors
Spacious Villa will log burning fire and central heating. Large well equipped kitchen electric ovens and hob.
There are 6 double bedrooms one of which is en-suite. Family bathroom and separate shower room. All windows are double glazed and fitted with Persian blinds to exclude the sunlight when required.
Sky Tv (not sport or movie - try your own card)
Further details outdoors
Large garden with BBQ. Try the famous local Butifarra Sausage with Calcott Onions a Catalan delight.
The above ground swimming pool measures 7.5m x 3.75m and is 1.4m deep
Large terraces offer sun or shade throughout the day with Sun loungers provided; please bring your own beach towels. There are comfortable sofas and chairs too for quiet conversationalists and readers where birdsong is often the only sound you will hear.
You will soon relax as you dine al fresco on the terrace at the 12 place table.
There is Volleyball, Football, Petanqe equipment for client use.
There are woodland and country pathways surrounding Finca Carolina ideal for strollers or ramblers. Mountain Bikers and Cyclists will find lots of testing routes to explore.
Further details
The owners live on the property in separate accommodation under the villa and will be happy to help or advise you if required.
The Villa is set amongst other Fincas (farms). The village centre is 100 meters away.
Nearest restaurant is 1.3km.
Car rental essential.
Bed linen and towels provided. Bring your own Beach towels for sun loungers.
Please do not sit on upholstered patio furniture with sun tan creams and products, other guests as well as your own party will use that furniture on an evening.

The Costa Brava/Catalonia/Barcelona region

Alt Emporda (high market) is primarily and agricultural area with a long history of settlements by Greek,Roman & Visigoths all of whom have enriched the native culture; nearby Besalu a world heritage site is testimony to that.
The Volcanic mountainous regions lead down to the warm Mediterranean Sea with picturesque bays and coves.


Figueres is perhaps best known as the home of Salvador Dali his theatre museum being an iconic image. There are several open air markets throughout the week as well as seasonal exhibitions of handicrafts, art and local delicacies.
There are many local fiestas and fairs held in surrounding villages ask Colin and Carol for details.


Prices originally quoted in GBP United Kingdom Pounds Convert to

For up to 4 guests

Weekday night
Weekend night
Minimum stay
Changeover day
1 May 14
28 Sep 14

1 week

For up to 8 guests

Weekday night
Weekend night
Minimum stay
Changeover day
1 Jun 14
28 Sep 14

1 week

For up to 12 guests

Weekday night
Weekend night
Minimum stay
Changeover day
15 Mar 14
1 Jun 14

1 week
1 Jun 14
28 Sep 14

1 week

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Moon and Planets in Catalonia - Figueres

The Emporda newspaper reports:-

The DDG of the NASA research center published a picture of the day (yesterday for the reader), a photo of astrophotographer Juan Carlos Casado, taken last week to Figueres to illustrate the alignment of Venus and Jupiter view from Catalonia. Both planets will be unusually close together this month, with the exponent on March 15. The next conjunction will occur in May 2013. 

"Moon and Planets in Catalonia" is the title of the information offered by NASA yesterday to their website.

 "To see the lineup only has to look to the west in the evening," explained, adding that the combination will be easily visible because Venus appears brighter than any star in the background, and Jupiter will be too bright. In the picture, "a bright crescent on the right of Venus, while Jupiter appears at the top of the image." 

Was photographed from a sculpture "represents the legendary battle between a warrior and a dragon." 

The picture was taken from the sculpture of Catalonia square with the image of the bottom three stars.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

National Geographic magazine has recommended  the Costa Brava as a destination for one of their top trips for next year 2012.

  National Geographic Top Trips 2012.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Pais Catalans

Catalan culture in France and Spain: Homage to both Catalonias

Ferne Arfin samples Catalan culture in both French Catalonia and Spain's Catalunya, in an area straddling the French and Spanish border.

Catalogne Nord
French Catalonia, or Catalogne Nord, climbs from a small patch of coastal Roussillon, that includes Perpignan, up into the eastern Pyrénées.
Though local signs identify the regional capital in the Catalan language – Perpinyà la Catalana – this is a recent innovation and somehow you just know their hearts aren’t in it. Catalan was only recognised as a regional language in the Pyrénées Orientales in 2007. If you try the Catalan pronunciation for a place name or a menu item, Perpignan locals will still steer you back to French.
In the mountains, closer to Spain, it’s a different story. The air of the enormous Saturday market in Ceret resounds with Catalan; the market stalls are laden with Catalan specialities – bunches of vegetables and jars of sauces rarely seen elsewhere in France.
After visiting Ceret’s gem of a modern art museum (Picasso, Matisse, Soutine, Braque), we stopped in a café to try pain à la catalana (pa amb tomàquet), toasted bread topped with ripe tomato and olive oil, and calçots with romesco sauce, a combination of almonds, pine nuts, sweet peppers and garlic.
A pair of fortified villages high in the mountains might explain the cultural amnesia that, until its recent revival, turned French Catalan culture into a mountain outlaw.
When the 17th-century Treaty of the Pyrénées put most of Catalonia in Spain, Louis XIV drove the language underground by banning its public use. His architect, Vauban (whose works seem as common in France as pubs named the King’s Arms in England), fortified two border outposts in the mountains to make sure that France stayed French. The Sun King’s fortresses, Mont Louis and Villefranche-de-Conflent, near the base of Mount Canigou, are part of the Vauban Unesco World Heritage Site in the Pyrénées Regional Natural Park.
Mont Louis, at 96 acres and 5,250ft, is France’s smallest “commune” and highest fortified town. Though parts of it can be visited year round, its citadel is still an active military base where French commandos train.
Villefranche-de-Conflent is an unusually oblong-shaped walled town crammed into a narrow valley, between steep slopes and the River Tet. Though the fortifications had a Vauban makeover, most of the pink marble town and its walls date from the original 11th-century “enterprise zone”.
The local Count of Cerdanya and Conflent built it as a freetown in 1095 to control the valley and cut off his enemies’ wine supplies in winter. To attract a population of shopkeepers and craftsmen, he invited settlers to live tax free for three years, after which they could pay when and only as much as they wanted. Their stone shopfronts and tall, narrow houses line deeply shaded streets that open onto dazzling mountain views.
Several hundred feet higher, 18th-century Fort Liberia clings to an outcrop, protecting Villefranche from “aerial” attack. Visitors can take a shuttle bus from the parking area outside the town walls.
The reward is a view over three valleys Mont-Louis, Vernet-les-Bains, and Prades. While you’re there, take a
10-minute side trip to Vernet-les-Bains. The historic spa town is the site of the world’s only monument celebrating the Entente Cordiale.
The A9 motorway crosses the border into Spain near Perthus, flying over the high passes before descending to the plains of Girona, one of the provinces which, with Barcelona, Tarragona and Lleida, make up Catalunya.
Since 1978, Catalunya has been one of Spain’s 17 autonomous communities. Its language, suppressed for four decades under Franco but now spoken by about half the population, has official status and is taught in schools.
This part of Spain feels like an empty quarter. The impeccably restored medieval villages of Pals and Peratallada are lovely but eerily quiet.
Crossing the small province capital of Girona, we came across a group of people outside the polytechnic faculty of the University of Girona taking part in a training session of the Colla Castellera dels Xoriguers. This peculiarly Catalan activity, known as castelling, is a feature of public holidays and feast days all over the region.
Castellers form human towers, or castells. The castell is complete when the person at the top – often a child – raises one hand in a four-fingered salute. While we watched, the castellers reached three, four and finally five storeys.
In the Costa Brava town of Palamós we watched a sardana, or Catalan circle dance. It seemed to happen spontaneously, like a flash mob, as people gathered to listen to the oddly harsh woodwind music. Family groups, elderly couples, teenagers and children put down their handbags and toys, linked arms and began the lively, complicated dance.
Within minutes, the entire seaside was alive with wheeling circles of dancers.

Catalonia essentials

Getting There
Girona Airport is the gateway to the region. Ryanair (0871 246 0000, calls cost 10p per minute; has flights from Stansted to Girona from £35 one way. Car rental is available at the airport.
Hotel Ciutat de Girona, Girona ££
In the centre of the city, this is a smart modern hotel with a stylish, Catalan-influenced restaurant (0034 9 7248 3038;; doubles from €90/£79.50 per night).
Le Mas Trilles, Ceret ££
A traditional Catalan farmhouse, just outside Ceret. Colourful rooms have views of Mt Canigou or of the gardens (4 6887 3837;; doubles from €93/£82 per night).
Hotel Aigua Blava, Begur £££
This luxury hotel is difficult to get to but worth the trouble for its dramatic views. Rooms are arranged in several buildings, giving the hotel the feeling of a small coastal village (9 7262 2058;; doubles with terrace from €223/£196 per night).
Le Cedrat, Le Boulou £
Near the French/Spanish border, in the unlikely setting of a casino. Chef Jean Plouzennec puts a modern spin on traditional ingredients (Joacasino Le Boulou, Route du Perthus; 4 6883 0120).
Restaurante Aigua Blava, Begur ££
First-class restaurant at the Hotel Aigua Blava, presided over by chef Lluis Ferrès. Fresh, local ingredients, with very good seafood and shellfish (9 7262 4562;
Bo Tic, Girona £££
Molecular cuisine, along with nouvelle-ish interpretations of the traditional flavours of Baix Empordà. Young chef/owner Albert Sastregener has just landed his first Michelin star (9 7263 0869;
What to avoid
  • Delicate shoes – everything interesting seems to be cobbled. The Call, Girona’s old quarter, is worth exploring on foot but, again, only in comfortable shoes.
  • Paella – cheaper restaurants feature it but it’s not a local speciality and it can be dreadful.

  • Talking politics – Catalan nationalism isn’t much of an issue but plenty of mid-20th century, civil war and fascist history still is. This is one kettle of zarzuela to avoid.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Castellfolit before the storm

The town of Castellfollit sits on a basalt mountain in Catalunya, Spain's only basalt rock source, an important agricultural mineral and decorative stone. The setting of the town on a mountain over a river is spectacular and just a short drive from Finca Carolina.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Maybe we have missed the boat?

Maybe we have missed the boat?

I am still not sure why El Bulli made me cry. Or at least how it magicked a hot tear to my eye. It wasn't the intensity of taste, with shifting textures and notes that lasted longer than Pavarotti's C. It wasn't that I felt I had to close my eyes in a crowded room to savour and surf every wave of flavour. It wasn't even that "peas 2011" tasted more like my first peas than in any dish I've eaten since I was seven. Nor was it, honestly, the toasty flow of Dom Pérignon 1973. It was simply, in the end, I think, the deliciousness that undid me.
Not all the dishes were sublime, of course – I am not sure chef Ferran Adrià is interested in that. He wants to make you think and to feel food, to orchestrate your mood, mess with your idea of what it could and should be. More flavour theatre than restaurant. We ate a Felliniesque, insane 50 dishes culled from Adrià's "greatest hits", the oldest from more than 20 years before, the newest only finalised that morning (the menu was revised six times). Plus endless choices from a giant chocolate box that looked like a flashing organ coming out of the floor. But if we pass over the Japanese-style tiramisu (a sleight of hand with miso that was plain unpleasant), the disappointing trademark carbonara tagliatelle, and the "challenging" frozen gorgonzola balloon, El Bulli's 50 cooks still sent out close to 50 plates of food for 50 people that no other restaurant may ever match. As Ferran Adrià's heir apparent and current number one cook in the world, René Redzepi of Copenhagen's Noma, tells me: "Ferran and his team are culinary freedom fighters. They helped free me."
Our superluxe Spanish food trip started, surreally, in Luton, in an anonymous single-storey airport building where celebrities and top business people avoid civilians and waiting for flights. We had just missed Ozzy Osbourne shuffling though the lounge, and then Simon le Bon suddenly couldn't come. But 30 minutes before takeoff on our private jet – like a top-end Lexus limo with wings – actress Rosamund Pike has heroically stepped in for the year's hot meal ticket: an El Bulli supper, pitch perfect for a selection of rare champagne, devised by Adrià with Richard Geoffroy, Dom Pérignon's effervescent chef de cave.
Later that day, over dinner in a private Catalan castle, I am sitting opposite Hollywood's Heather Graham and Jason Silva, her film-producer boyfriend, who have also flown in for the feast, watching as the star of Boogie Nights and The Hangover delicately transfers her food from her plate to her partner's. While the rest of us gorge on octopus, Iberico ham and vintage fizz, she is saved from starvation by a strawberry kebab.
But the star everyone is here to see is Ferran Adrià, the "best cook on the planet", according to Joël Robuchon, and he should know, with his world-record 26 Michelin stars.
"I never said I wouldn't feed people," Adrià smiles when I ask what he will miss when he closes his door at the end of this, his last season. "After July, El Bulli won't be a restaurant, not open every day. But I will still need feedback." Adrià's plan is for a nonprofit centre for "culinary creativity" opening in 2014, with a stream of new recipes posted on the internet. "We are excited," he says through an interpreter (Adrià doesn't trust his English to be precise enough for our purposes). "Bulli has always been about change. Why does Madonna with all her money need to earn more? She could share, not her money but her creativity. The young share, and we at the top should, too.
"When we started there were eight of us, all bachelors; now we have families, kids. I don't have children but I am very happily married, with a wonderful wife. With the foundation I can give something back – my talent, my luck. I have created 1,846 dishes – 80 per cent of new cookery techniques come from here – but no one can be number one for ever. Even those that love us get tired" – though this may be news to the two million people who desperately tried to book when the news of El Bulli's closure was announced.
"I will be 50 soon, with maybe 25-30 years left," he laughs. "I want to be happy like I have always been, and I can do this  by taking away the things I don't like. Do what I want, when I want, for who I want."
I head into the El Bulli kitchen in time to catch the team troop in at 1pm, seven hours before service: heads bowed, hushed, intent. More like medieval novices come to mass than chefs about to prepare perhaps the greatest avant-garde meal ever seen.
Mateu Casañas, who has been with Adrià for 12 years, talks me through the preparation. Quietly, the chefs split into smaller teams. Ten start by teasing the germ from pine kernels, another six grade peas and skin them; 12 extract translucent filaments from sea cucumber to be intricately, delicately, lined into squares; four more sort papery yellow roses for perfect petals to be stuffed and steamed like dim sum. Seamlessly and almost silently, they shift between jobs, splitting young almonds to extract a jelly, making "parmesan frozen air".
I talk to Francesca, a Canadian of Asian heritage. On the day the call came from El Bulli she had been offered a staff position at Thomas Keller's three-star Per Se in New York. "So did I take a paid job in New York," she smiles, "or another 'stage' in Spain where I didn't speak the language?" And yet here she is in her second unpaid season, frothing and freezing buckets of cheese foam with a large grin on her face.
Jason Atherton also worked a stage at El Bulli, in 1998 when he was 27 – the year Adrià created his first foam. Before my trip to El Bulli we talk in the bar at Pollen Street Social, the British chef's celebrated new place in Mayfair. "I had worked with great chefs before," he says, "Marco Pierre White, Nico Ladenis, Pierre Koffmann, but it was from Ferran I learnt to question everything."
It took a full three years, says Atherton, before he realised how much his time at El Bulli had changed him: "There were 40 of us at the start of the season and at the end there were only 20 left. It takes a lot out of you, but the principles of how to run a great restaurant stay: the system, the time clock, the attention to detail. If I hadn't learn that, I wouldn't be here today.
"The sangria foam I serve at Pollen Street is the exact recipe I learnt, 12 years on. It is the lightest, airiest sangria you will ever taste. Why would I need to mess around with that? Chefs aren't geniuses, we are cooks," he says, "but Ferran deserves the mantle. A place like El Bulli will never happen again. It is impossible. One man's vision of what you could do with food."
Back in Spain, Adrià's relentless assault on my taste buds has driven me from the table overwhelmed, succumbed, surrendered, my hands and legs shaking, and we are "only" around 30 courses in. I have licked my plate of "gazpacho" and "ajo blanco", oblivious to my more reserved, more refined companions. I have tasted five of Geoffroy's dazzling Dom Pérignons, but I need respite before the two hare dishes, the "game meat cappuccino", the "blood", the "pond", the donuts, the other desserts and the "box".
I wander into the kitchen, where Observer photographer Howard Sooley is seven hours into his shoot – the first time Adrià has let anyone photograph behind the scenes during service.
Sooley used to work for US Vogue, and I watch as he slides between the chefs as they change direction like a shoal of silvery fish. And it strikes me: this is almost cooking as couture, backstage behind the catwalk as fantastical creations are pinned and primped into shape. I take in the dozens of tiny saucepans, the syringe-spiked dishes, a group of six young chefs intently plating up. All the cooks appear choreographed like a beautiful, complicated machine. Nothing is taken for granted, nothing is unconsidered.
There is true art in the artifice here, an underlying integrity to every technique. But somehow my celebrity-spiked supper has conjured up memories and emotions as much as the expected exquisite tastes. The plate-licked gazpacho is saturated with Spanish holidays. The peas take me back to podding on the porch with my mother in her yellow summer dress. The smell of the hare stock I will carry with me for ever.
At the perimeter of the kitchen, Ferran Adrià paces in silence, quietly observing. The general, seemingly unemotional, almost uninvolved. But watching. His eye seeing everything, like an eagle hanging high in the sky to catch the movement of every blade of grass.
He turns, sees me, too, standing there with lost eyes, and comes over. "Magic," he smiles softly, and he is right. As Jason Atherton says: "The guy is a legend, simple as that. We won't see his like again in our lifetime."

The 50 best: OFM's meal at El Bulli, course by course

beetroot and yoghurt meringue
tomato cookie
air baguette
mojito - caipirinha sugar cane
mojito and apple baguette
gin fizz
spherical olives
mimetic peanuts
pistachio ravioli
parmesan cheese "porra" 
parmesan cheese "macaron"
gorgonzola balloon
olive oil chip
flowers paper
golden egg
steamed shrimps with tea
roses with ham wonton and melon water
ham and ginger canape
Japanese ravioli
soy matches
nori ravioli with lemon
asparagus with miso
oysters and bone marrow tartar
parmesan frozen air with muesli
carbonara tagliatelle 
caviar cream with hazelnut caviar
pine nuts shabu shabu
"perrechico" cake
polenta gnocchi with coffee, safran, skin milk and capers
tender almonds perfumed with truffle
barnacle with caviar
two cooking prawns
lulo "ceviche" and mollusk
clam "ceviche"
Oaxaca "taco"
"gazpacho" and "ajo blanco"
peas 2011
sea cucumber
Shanghai lobster
hare fritter
game meat cappuccino
blackberry risotto with game meat sauce
hare ravioli with bolognese and blood
yoghurt blini
"coca de vidre" – crystal cake
mini donuts
apple rose
Dom Pérignon Oenothèque 1973
Dom Pérignon Vintage 2002
Dom Pérignon Oenothèque 1996
Dom Pérignon Oenothèque 1969
Dom Pérignon Oenothèque 1976vDom Pérignon Oenothèque Rosé 1990

The timeline: 1961-2011

1961 El Bulli opens as mini-golf attraction in Roses, Catalonia, Spain. Owners Marketta and Dr Hans Schilling add a restaurant three years later.
1983 Ferran Adrià arrives for work experience at El Bulli, aged 22. Joins full-time the following year.
1987 Adrià becomes head chef; wins two Michelin stars within three years.
1990 The Schillings retire. Adrià and manager Juli Soler take over.
1994 Ferran forms development team devoted to innovation.
1996 "Chef of the century" Joël Robuchon, winner of 26 Michelin stars, declares Adrià to be his "heir".
1997 El Bulli wins third Michelin star. Adrià sets up a permanent development centre, El Taller - "the workshop" - in Barcelona.
2002 El Bulli voted best in the world by Restaurant magazine.
2004 Adrià named one of 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine.
2008 Wins the Restaurant magazine best restaurant in the world award for the third year running, and for the fourth time in total.
2010 Ferran Adrià announces that he will close El Bulli in the summer of 2011 and set up an academy of culinary arts to open in 2014. More than two million people apply for a last chance to eat there.