Long Distance Liquid Lunch in Valencia
by The Tapas Lunch Company
From the TLC Blog
Visitors to Spain wanting to dine out on great Spanish food often ask me how they can have a long, liquid, alcohol fuelled lunch if they don't want to drive.
Can they enjoy that extra glass or bottle of value for money red wine over lunch and still get home? What if they want to linger after lunch and enjoy another glass of Gin and Tonic - will they have to walk home?
The answers are, yes and no.
There are plenty of places in Spain you can get to and from using the excellent public transport available. Have a long lunch and get back to base.
My craziest day trip for lunch went like this.
I got up at 3.30am and drove two hours and fifteen minutes from Granada to Seville. I boarded the breakfast flight from Seville to Valencia. A flight so comfortable I didn't want it to end. But it did. Very swiftly. But I got to enjoy great dawn views of Andalucia and Valencia.
I landed at Valencia airport and hopped on to the superb metro service that runs between the city and the airport. I emerged from below the very grand main railway station in Valencia just as thousands of commuters were arriving for their day at work in the third biggest city in Spain.
I had now been up and about for 5 hours and I was in Valencia in time for breakfast!
Way too early for booze. That would not be wise with such a long day ahead. I didn't want to peak too soon. I shall save my drinking for a long lunch along the coastline.
No, breakfast was a glass of freshly squeezed juice using some of the oranges for which Valencia is so famed. Accompanied by a energy packed pancake. A wander around the streets of this superb city and then time to hop on a bus for a lunch meeting with friends. I'm heading out of the city.
The area just outside the centre of Valencia is every bit as attractive and enticing.
The restaurants at the Malvarosa beach claim to serve the best paella, although the bragging rights for being the birthplace of the dish belongs to the villages of El Palmar and El Perellonet in the La Albufera area, just 15 kilometres south of Valencia.
Paella tastes really good here because the way they cook it ensures that the rice is drier in texture.
But I make a late change of decision. I take up the chance of enjoying another local speciality. Fideua. A paella made using noodles rather than rice. They take great care with the preparation of this meal, as they do with all the rice dishes for which restaurants here are so renowned.
The rest of my party ordered paella and a superb meal of black rice (arrós negre).
They are serious foodies in Valencia. They are very proud of their historical connections to the culinary life of Spain. And they have much to be proud of.The food was supported by jugs of agua de valencia (orange juice, cava and vodka) and fine wine. In typical Spanish fashion the lunch lasted over three hours. A refreshing orange sorbet brought the eating to a close but, again typically, it was followed by plenty of good conversation thereafter.
This area of Valencia is also home to lovely beaches and a post lunch walk along the coastline helped with the sobering process.
Before I knew it, the time had come for the return journey. Bus, metro and a flight back to Seville from where the teetotal member of my party drove this rather tired and emotional writer back to his bed, arriving there 23 hours after I left it.
A long, lovely day and a Spanish lunch to remember.