An unexpected Monday evening at a cider house

On our last night in Spain, we found ourselves staying at a ‘Spanish Passion’ residence, a cider house about 20 kms south of San Sebastian. Free accommodation (inc clifftop view) in their car park, on the condition that we sample their local fare – in this case 4 courses + all the  apple cider you can drink  for 27 Euro per person.

We arrived for dinner to a huge, beautiful stone cellar, with roaring fire ( freezing tonight and raining so very welcomed by us!), long wooden tables complete with serviettes and cutlery and a hunk of artisan bread plonked in the middle of each table.

We very quickly learnt the “cider house rules”:  all stand around one of the many big barrels of cider and the tap is turned on. You must very quickly put your glass underneath the stream of cider, before it reaches the ground and only fill it up as much as you can throw back in one gulp, because anything left after the first sip must be discarded and it is considered rude to take your full glass back to the table. Of course we only learnt this after the first round., but hey, we’re new to these parts!

Returned back to the table for course 1 : fish omelette. All 4 of us sat around one dish with 4 forks and some crusty bread and tucked into a delicious starter.  This was intercepted by shouts from next door that it was time to go and refill your glass!  By this time, there were 3 other large groups of people who had arrived, all of whom were so welcoming and lovely; before we knew it there were photos being taken all round, long conversations directed at us in Spanish (to which we just nodded) and the kids were covered in lipstick from all the smooches from the ladies!

2nd course: fish fillets in gravy. Again, all around one dish and delicious! By this time the table was covered in crumbs!  Kids had very impressively devoured everything! Again with more trips to a different barrel each time, including the ones out the back in the colder temperatures.

3rd course; a giant steak!  That’s it! A giant, succulent, mouth watering, perfectly cooked, moorish hunk of steak. No veggies, no salad, just steak!  Again devoured by the 4 of us Dave was tempted to accept the offer of another one but was glad to have declined when out came a plate of sheep’s cheese ( brebis) and apple paste, along with a large bag of walnuts and hazelnuts with nutcrackers. A taste sensation!!

Suffice to say we are very content and satisfied with our evening.  What a gorgeous way to spend a dreary Monday night! Despite us having been in the company of complete strangers, without any of us speaking the other’s language, we had our own conversation with smiles, laughs, actions and smooches for the kids! Such a lasting memory for our last night in Spain and we thoroughly recommend it to you if you ever find yourselves in the north of Spain!

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