Though as appreciative of a delectable morsel or two as the next person with taste buds, I’m not much of a foodie. My meals at home are spartan, put together with the purpose of filling me up and being vaguely nutritious. When eating out, I’ll get excited about the odd truffle or addition of extra cheese, but nowhere near as much as card-carrying members of the food fan clubs are. To me, stuff I eat is sidelined to the status of being a necessity to keep the machine going that offers up the occasional pleasure. It is not something to spend too much time on – or give too much thought to.
This makes me about as far from Hacienda Zorita’s ideal reviewer as possible. A small hotel about an hour-and-a-half outside of Madrid, they pride themselves on the estate’s wine and their adherence to the ‘slow food’ movement. They make their own cheese, rear their own animals for meat, grow their own vegetables and then get them all ready to sell or eat on site. It’s a serious operation to them, the food stuff – hell, even the spa treatments revolve around grapes, with the signature massage starting with a slathering of the stuff.
I was there for Marie Claire (read my article for them here), so kept schtum on my rather unfashionable ideas about food and got on with the job which for two glorious days involved drinking in sunshine and wine in the company of fantastic people (most notably the delightful Rebecca Reid who writes for the Telegraph among others – read her stuff, she’s a great writer and bloody brilliant woman).
It also involved a fair bit of eating. Given my above feelings, I thought I’d be a bit blasé about the food. But, no. Even a heathen such as I could appreciate the raw Ewe’s milk cheese (so creamy), the tomatoes (freshly-harvested and juicy as can be), and flavoursome peppers grilled just enough to soften the skins. Oh balls, clearly my usual lunch of a piece of bread with some veggies just won’t cut it today. What a curse comparison is. Perhaps I could be temped to the foodie movement. As I ponder that, I’ll leave you with some pictures of the estate and Salamanca (ancient university city half an hour from HZ – ever so pretty), and – in case you missed it – click here for a link to the products I packed //
The Hotel Grounds & View /
The Interiors /
The Spa /
The Food & Drink /
Nearby Ledesma & Salamanca /