Tag Archives: Pays-Basque

Provence, Pyrenees & Pays Basque Road Trip

Last August, Rio and I embarked on a road trip to explore the South of France. While we’re here, we want to see as much of France as we can and decided that a road trip commencing from Avignon to Saint-Jean-de-Luz via the Pyrenees mountains sounded like just the way to do it. What we didn’t anticipate is that we would have to do this in a Smart car. Our favorite memories of the trip include experiencing a jai alai match, hiking, visiting our friend Steeve and his family in his hometown, walking through the red ochre town of Roussillon, driving through the hills of Luberon, and, of course, wine tasting!

So despite driving through some death-defying cols, we wouldn’t change a thing about this two-week adventure…actually, we really would have liked having a normal-sized car.

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Eating at…Akelaŕe

So about a year ago, I posted that I would “fly back to San Sebastián just to eat at Akelaŕe“. Well, I didn’t fly…but during the last leg of our Provence, Pyrenees and Pays-Basque trip, we stayed in Saint Jean De Luz, which is a mere 30 kilometers and 30 minute drive from this foodie town. So return to San Sebastián for Akelaŕe is exactly what I did.
Having dined at Akelaŕe twice now, I can honestly say that the food truly is amazing, the service is impeccable and the view of the Bay of Biscay while you indulge in eight courses can’t be beat. And it’s a nice touch when friendly, handlebar-mustachioed chef Pedro Subijana comes out and chats with each table (we might’ve hogged his attention for a bit.) However, if I make it back to San Sebastián for a third time, I think it’ll be time for me to try the other buzzed-about Michelin restaurant Arzak. That’s not to say that Akelaŕe’s food wasn’t as good as our first dining experience – but instead of saying “Wow” repeatedly after each dish like I did last year, this time I kept saying things like “Oh, I think I had this pasta dish last year. Remember our waiter who kind of looked like a better-looking Fabio last year? I remember this vegetable sea garden starter!”, and so on and so on. And honestly, when San Sebastián has more Michelin stars per square meter in the world (that’s 16, folks), then it’s probably a good idea to see what else is out there. But if you’ve never eaten at Akelaŕe, go!! You absolutely will not regret it, it’ll probably be one of your most memorable dining experiences, and honestly, you just can’t go to San Sebastián without ever having tried this restaurant. I highly recommend it.

Since I only posted one photo from Akelaŕe last year, here are a whole lot more. So I apologize for the following food porn…and to Rio for taking photos of every dish before letting him eat it.
Akelare Vegetable Sea Garde
Akelare - Gambas

Akelare - Gambas

Akelare - Gazpacho

Akelare - 2
Akelare Dessert


San Sebastián
Pasao Padre Orcoloaga, 56
20008 San Sebastián
Tél: 34-943-311-209
**Three prix fixe menus at 155 euros each. I had the Anorani menu (with some pescatarian adjustments) and Rio had the Bekarki menu.

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