For our time visiting the stone cities of Catalonia, we stayed in a beautiful property near Peratellada – Casa Mas Valoria. We found this lovely country estate on AirBnB and whole heartedly recommend it for anyone looking for a weekend getaway not too far from Barcelona.
There are a couple of ways to get to the estate. You can drive there, or hike a short way through the forest. When we got there on our first day, our host, Yassin, met us at the back entrance to Peratallada and drove us to the estate in our car. The way there isn’t too complicated, but you have to be shown it the first time since GPS isn’t too helpful locating your position on the small dirt roads in the area.
When we were there in autumn, we had the entire place to ourselves and the full attention of Yassin, who is a fantastic host and an amazing chef. When we got to the casa, we were seated by the pool and greeted with a lovely welcome drink flavoured with local herbs. Afterwards, we were shown around the house.
It’s quite a big house, but not so big it was difficult to get around in. It has a number of lovely themed rooms, all of which are quite different in style, and a large living room with a fireplace and a nice comfortable sofa. I will admit I spent quite sometime peeking into every single room (they were unoccupied), trying to catalogue the items in each of them that represented their theme most strongly.
When we were there, it was more fireside weather than pool weather. So, although we didn’t get the opportunity to take a refreshing dip in the pool, we had the chance to spend some time in the evening by the fire.
Yassin offered to make us dinner, which we were very happy to take up on. Dinner at Mas Valoria is a four course meal at €60 for two, including a bottle of wine. You can request for things you like, but we were more than happy to let Yassin decide for us.
In the end, our meal was a nice fusion of cuisines – starting with Moraccan split pea soup followed by a starter which was a tortilla made with herbs and I think coconut milk. The main was braised pork with plums. There was also the offer for a dessert, but we were too full to have it. I would really recommend Yassin’s dinner over any restaurant meal you would be able to get in town.
Waking up in Mas Valoria is a lovely experience. It was nice, coming from Barcelona, to wake up not to the sound of traffic but to bird chirping in the trees around us.
We had a delightful breakfast served to us on the terrace. One particularly memorable item on the breakfast menu which I have sworn to recreate is the bubble herb tea Yassin prepared for us.
In South and South East Asia, you can get a type of tea that is served foaming. The foam is created by pouring the tea back and fourth from metal canisters with long spouts until a lot of foam is formed. It’s technique I’ve seen picked up by many cocktail bars in Barcelona. Anyway, it is something that obviously cannot be recreated easily unless you are a skilled tea pourer, so Yassin came up with a great hack – by using a French press stuffed with herbs and tea, you can make the tea as bubbly as you want!
Our stay in Mas Valoria was too short by far, but we when we left, we vowed we would come back soon, hopefully with friends. It’s just that sort of place you want to share with your favourite people.