San Sebastian September 2018

So on Thursday last we went to San Sebastian to celebrate 18 years married. I had heard so many good things about this spot & have to say it didn’t disappoint. This is long & no fashion tips but might be useful if you’re planning a trip.

We flew into Bilbao & then it’s a 1 hour 15 minute bus ride to San Sebastian.

Weather was amazing, didn’t expect it to be so good. We just brought hand luggage so walked to our accommodation from the bus stop. We stayed in the church square and the pensione was grand but very very basic. Good location & we only slept there but if the weather wasn’t good or you wanted more luxury then our place was too basic!

We got changed and walked to the old town & towards the Aquarium. We had a beer then went to the beach and got in for a swim. Baltic and my knicks did come off with the first wave….Penneys bikinis are not made for a lashing, be warned.

Then we went for a quick pinxtos in Valles near us. Was grand. We were only learning. We got better!

That night we went to Nestors. Amazing steak, huge but so tender and full of flavour, rubbed in garlic. Tomatoes and green peppers too. This all sounds so basic. Trust me. It wasn’t! This place is a must! Red wine excellent and not expensive.

Then we went to Loco Polo for an ice cream lolly that you dip into a sauce and nuts of your choice. Very yum.

The next morn we had breakfast of giant brioche toast with apricot jam. Again, this sounds like nothing great but you just have to try it, so so good! Light, not too sweet, the best toast ever.

We hired bikes & then cycled round the coast and walked up to Monte Urgull. A lot of steps but a bar at the top! Well actually not the top top but as far as we went, the mountain had me at “bar”. You never get that reward in Ireland! Views are unreal!

Then we went back down and had lunch in La Rampa just beside the pier and aquarium. Excellent. Fresh tuna and squid and rosé, in the sun.

We cycled to the opposite end of the bay & then came back to the beach there and chilled, Paul swam, I met an Egyptian moustached student who played Karen Carpenter tunes, it was all bizarre but so good. I never knew there was a college here, some spot to be a student!

That night we cycled back into the old town. Word of warning. Do not cycle in the leopard zara shirt dress. I caught it all in the back wheel and was one rotation away from it being ripped from my body. Paul rescued me in a ….”why are you wearing this to cycle” way….eh sorry Paul I didn’t bring my night-time lycra collection!

Anyway we did a tapas crawl that night….and the leopard buzz is much calmer here….only met two twins. We went to Sirimiri for iberico secreto, patatas bravas and some anchovy thing….Paul loves anchovies, too much.

Then we did Fuegro Negro….was ok, had tuna, peppers, onions. Had better.

Next we did Borda Berri…very good, very loud, very crazy. Just go in strong. Don’t faff. Order beef cheek and creamy risotto. Both delish. Loads of craic in here.

Then we went to the cheesecake spot La Vina. Two slices. One Plate. Plenty and so good!

We had a drink in the square after, then bed.

The next morning after brioche brekkie we cycled to the far side again and got the tram up to the top of the mountain. It’s pretty spectacular up there. Amazing views & if you have kids with you there is a really pretty fun fair up at the castle too. We also walked round Mirimar Gardens. We went back for lunch at the pier and had monkfish and hake and rosé in Marinela Igeldo.

Then we got the boat to the island Santa Clara about 20 mins away. It has a little beach and bar and is perfect. We got in for a swim and had a beer and the views every which way are all wow. Paul tried to make some Kilkee comparisons….I blame the beer or sunstroke!

That night we did Txepetxa for their speciality of anchovy on toast with spider-crab cream, it’s yum and the white wine that’s everywhere, Txakoli, it’s poured from a height, no clue why & it tastes grand….prefer red or beer 🍻

Then we went to Tamboril for a hot tapas of mushrooms, very nice.

Atari next, for the octopus, it was good but not wow….a lot of chewing ha. Good fun spot though & really nice buzz outside on the steps opposite. A load of you said to try the creme brulee here too but we ran out of food time. We went to Gandarias after for Solomillo. So good. Then ice creams….kinder bueno icecream my new favourite. Then bed.

There are so many more tapas places to try & lots of Michelin star places & posher restaurants too. It really is foodie heaven. Great gin too! You can do gourmet tapas trails as well but we just got the bikes & a list of recommended places & did it our way. We stayed mainly around La Concha beach & the Old Town but there is a surfer beach too with huge waves.

This morning we walked the promenade & beach & had brekkie at La Perla, great spot & views. Then we had an early lunch at Ni Neu. Then home.

It’s an amazing place. Has it all really, beaches, walks, fabulous food, all the shops you want, stunning scenery, safe bike lanes, perfect for kids too. It’s just pretty perfect. We did no shops, same as NYC, I’ve no interest when I’m away, I just want to eat and chill. If you love shopping though you will love it here…lots of designer shops but also Zara, Sephora etc

We got amazing weather for the end of September which was a bit of a fluke. If it wasn’t as nice it would be better to be staying somewhere a bit more plush. We went budget style and it all worked out but if you want more of a treat some of the hotels at the beach are just fab! Definitely the best city break we have ever done 💞

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