Traveler Reviews

Madrid, Rioja, Basque Country & Barcelona

Hi Jane, finally back home.  The trip was great!!!  The city guides were excellent, the drivers and the vehicles were perfect.  The tapas tour in Madrid was delightful.  All the local guides were very, very accommodating and knowledgeable. In San Sebastian, the pinxtos tour was fantastic!!!  Thank you again for all your help.  Once again, the local guides were GREAT!!!!!–Lopez Family of 8, Tampa

Ibiza, Valencia & Barcelona Shore Excursions

Everything was great.  The Barcelona guide was wonderful but we knew that. The Ibiza and Valencia guides were outstanding. Wish we had cooler weather and could have done more in Valencia. Just need to go back. 
I gave your name out to many on our cruise. Too many people just use the app excursions from the ship and you provide a much better service.–David and Jennifer, Phoenix

Ribera del Duero

It was a wonderful experience! We enjoyed it tremendously and the guide was more than excellent. –Lopez extended family, 18 people, Miami

Basque Country

Hi Jane
This is a quick note to thank you for our week in San Sebastian. We had a great week and everything was seamlessly organised. 
We loved the guides - probably the best guides we have ever had. We felt like we got some real insight into Basque culture and they were also very patient as i unleashed six weeks of questioning on them. 
The hotel was fabulous and we had a great room too.  Zuberoa was a real surprise, one of our favourite meals in a long time.  Etxebarri was even better than anticipated. –Rob and Philip, St. Kilda, Victoria, Australia

Barcelona & The Priorat

Dear Jane,
Just a quick thank you and report back to let you know the tours you arranged were wonderful.
Everyone was on time and the itineraries well paced.
The Gaudi tour guide and the Priorat guide were knowledgeable, enthusiastic and very easy to talk with. Thanks to them we learned much about our tours but also so much more about Catalan and Barcelona life, history and politics. The cellars and olive oil shop we visited gave us a great overview of Priorat wines and lunch was a superb tasting of local foods. We really enjoyed the guide taking us to the old monastery -- truly the roots of Priorat. We look forward to following up on the chocolate shop, patisserie, and seafood restaurant the Barcelona guide told us about. Finally, our driver and car were superb. Thank you for giving us the VIP and very friendly fun tours.–Patty and Todd, Atlanta

Basque Country

The trip was phenomenal. All of the guides were absolutely superb!!!!! My sister kept calling it The Kardashian Tour because it was so exclusive. I preferred calling it The Anthony Bourdain Tour lol. We were extremely pleased and lucky to have been there on San Sebastian Day and to dine at the gastronomika that evening. That was perfect! Thanks for thinking to do that. All the best and I will send out good words into the world about your tours! – Ken and Elizabeth, New York

Andalucia

Just wanted to let you know that we had a fantastic holiday in Spain. All the hotels you picked were spectacular. They had so much character. All the tour guides were great and were extremely personable and knowledgeable.
The wine pairing dinner was amazing. Carlos was the chef. It was his first time doing this. So we were lucky to have him. We really enjoyed our time with him. He gave us a very informative tour of the market and Malaga city the following day, and we thoroughly enjoyed our time with him cooking Paella. He brought so much wine with him that we had to ask him to take them back. 
Thanks Jane for organising this amazing trip. It will be in our memory bank for years to come. – Donald, Daisy, Denyse, & Deone, Singapore

San Sebastián & Rioja

The trip was perfect, they loved every moment and I think it was the highlight of their their trip to Europe.  My thanks to you and your team for such a wonderful experience. – Bridget, Catherine and Gary, New Zealand

PRIORAT

Hi Jane:  We really did have a fun time in Catalonia and a terrific guide. With her local knowledge and skilled driving she is a great guide for Priorat. The Hotel Siuranella is marvelous (fairy tale, spectacular etc etc) and we had a wonderful dinner there on the Friday night. Best meal by far of the whole trip. Of the wineries, Scala Dei was the best and I wish we had done more of a tour there.  The Olive oil tasting was great, and our hike worked out well. Lunch was good as was the tasting at Mogador.   
Thanks again and we will be in touch about another trip. – Steve and Lynn, Ontario, Canada

Costa Brava & BARCELONA

Hi Jane, I know you're in Spain at the moment, but I just wanted to tell you that we had a fabulous time and everyone we interacted with was fantastic.  Our guide was the best. Period. End of sentence. She was a great guide/translator/wine adviser/driver. The guide in Barcelona was awesome; such a knowledgeable and nice guy.  The Dali guide was incredible; random people kept asking if they could join our tour because she was so well versed in all things Dali. The sommelier in Girona was amazing.
Miramar was phenomenal!  The combination of all the inventive and mind-blowing food, plus the location (sitting at a giant picture window overlooking the Med on a beautiful, sunny day) made for the best meal we've had, ever.
Thanks for all the hard work; it was a trip we will always remember.  Other experiences will now be judged in comparison to our trip to Spain. –Jorge & Cara, MD

BARCELONA, Priorat & Costa Brava

You put together an A+ trip!  Bravo and thank you!!!! Everything was perfect!  All the tour guides were excellent and passionate about what they do!  The restaurants were all top notch, the hotels were great…
Amazing job - everything ran so smoothly - Thanks again! – Sharon, Robert,  Adam & Tracey, CT

Basque Country, RIOJA & Madrid

Everything was really spectacular.  The cooking class was especially fun and we enjoyed getting to help with all aspects of making the food. They told us that not many people were as into cooking as us! Ted really  enjoyed talking with the artisan cheese maker, the wine maker, and the women at the pig farm. They all seemed excited that we were as interested as we were.
The food was fantastic too!  I think we got stuffed early on, as we wanted to try everything and we had to take a step back and start pacing ourselves later in the week. Even tried fried pig ears, but I couldn't bring myself to finish it after the first bite!  Arroka Berri was great!  And so was Arzak! 
I can't say enough about all the guides.  It was clear they all enjoyed their jobs and they were very knowledgeable.  They made the excursions a lot of fun. We loved touring the historic towns and learning a bit of history.  And we enjoyed having some times to ourselves to explore as well.  You had a good balance of having things to do as well as having some down time.  The Parador in Hondarribia was really neat!  And you were right that we thoroughly enjoy the Hotel Londres in San Sebastian.  Great view!
Thanks so much, Jane - it was definitely one of our best vacations. You put together a great trip. Thanks again for helping us celebrate our 20th anniversary - we'll have many good memories of the trip for years to come! –Kristin and Ted, Maryland

PORTUGAL: Lisbon, Alentejo & Porto

Thank you for planning a memorable trip for us. It was a really great trip. I honestly can't think of an activity I would have cut.  We greatly enjoyed the guides. They were so warm, friendly, and completely accommodating.  By the end of our time with them, we truly felt like they were friends.  I would 100% recommend working with them in the future.  They were absolutely fantastic.
The hotels were all great. I think I could stay at the Yeatman for two weeks and be quite content rarely leaving the hotel.  The views were stunning, the rooms were more than comfortable, and the breakfast was the best of the three hotels. The views from the hotel in Evora were very charming with the castle wall right outside. 
We really liked the peaceful Alentejo region. I don't think it's someplace I would have stumbled upon on my own vacation planning. The guide we had in Evora and Monsaraz was excellent.  She was friendly, warm, welcoming, and very very knowledgeable. Dinner in Evora was fantastic.  Dinner in Monsaraz was also very good, I think it may have been the only time on the trip we actually asked for more of anything (because it was so good).  
Lunch at Fladgate was one of my favorite, especially with the great views.  I didn't know a lot about port, so I enjoyed both tours and tastings. I loved the atmosphere at Paparico's, where we had our own private back room. –Katie, Vic, Corrie, Francis, & Kathy, US & Tbilisi, Georgia
 

Barcelona & Basque Country

We loved everything. I should tell you that the guides were FANTASTIC.  The cooking class was my favorite part.  Akelarre was amazing too - we got the royal treatment with specially prepared non-lactose foods and a tour of the kitchen!  
We loved San Sebastian so much that I want to go spend a month there next summer.  We’re also grateful that you told us about Bilbao; the hotel there was AMAZING as was our room and the Guggenheim.  Thank you so very much for everything!  We loved it! – Timeri & Aurea, Denver

SAN SEBASTIÁN, Bilbao & RIOJA

We loved Rioja, it was spectacular. Marques de Riscal was a truly unique and fabulous hotel the likes of which we'd never seen before. Every driver and guide was ready and waiting for us before our scheduled times, we never once had a mix up with logistics even after I last minute decided to switch hotels. The Rioja guide was so warm, friendly and knowledgable and off her recommendation we ate at one of the most unique restaurants of our trip called Alameda. The ox chop was a once in a lifetime experience and the wine was fantastic! The cooking class in San Sebastian was so special, we got to cook in the oldest gastronomica club which is a member's only men's club. Everyone made us feel special and every experience felt one of a kind. We can't wait to get back there! – Allison, Samuel, David & Miranda, California & Hong Kong

Flamenco in Granada

We had an AMAZING time and the guide and whole experience was wonderful. Thank you so much! –John and Jaunie, California
 

San Sebastián & Rioja

The trip was grand!! Hotel Londres is a perfect location and could not imagine staying anywhere else while in San Sebastian. Perhaps not the most peaceful location but it is the city. In fact, I think if you want quiet you might need to stay in France, not Spain!!

We spent just the right amount of time in San Sebastian and perhaps the only mistake was self-created as we ate too much!! I have admitted to others that you warned me we might be over doing it on the Michelin restaurants. We did. If in the future you wish to suggest to clients that they contact me about the food being too much I would be glad to give another opinion of.......”don’t do it!!!!” Dinner at Martin Berasategui was our favorite experience for dinner. The service as you know cannot be explained and can only be experienced. Pic with Chef was the end to a wonderful day.

Rioja: Enough said as it is again something to be experienced as opposed to defined in an email. The choices of boutique wineries were perfect and a personal tour by the winery owner and winemaker was my favorite as he loves his wine and the region. LaGuardia is of course extra special and another superb hotel choice and was Erika’s favorite hotel. 

We will certainly recommend you to others and Portugal is now on our radar. — Jacob and Erika, St. Louis


Rioja, Basque Country & Catalonia

Jane - our trip was incredible. All of the planning was perfect and the guides were exceptional. Our Basque Country and Rioja guide was particularly outstanding. We enjoyed every aspect and just said to each other we would not do anything different. My parents are considering a trip to Spain and they may well contact you based on our incredible experience. Every guide was terrific. The recommendations were spot on. The itineraries you provided were very helpful. Interestingly we noticed how spot-on they were after the trip when we could match our experience to what you wrote.

The big bummer for us now is that there is a dearth of Spanish restaurants and wine in Phoenix.   — Dave and Jennifer, Phoenix

Basque Country, Rioja & Barcelona

“We would like to follow up our phone conversation to let you know how much we enjoyed the food and wine trip in Spain that you planned for us. It could not have been better! The places we visited, the food and wine that we had, the hotels, and the excellent guides made this an unforgettable trip. We really appreciated your ability to understand the type of activities and lodging that we wanted and to customize this trip for us.

In particular, the four wineries we visited in Rioja were perfect. All were very different, but were so interesting that we felt we learned so much from each of them. And the wines we tasted at each were wonderful. Another highlight was the lunch at Celler de Can Roca in Girona that you were able to book for us - a once in a lifetime experience.

For persons looking for a luxury food, wine, and cultural experience in Spain, we think you provide an outstanding service.” — Fred and Judy, Michigan

PRIORAT

“The guide and Giuseppe and Brots and the wineries were amazing. Thanks for a memorable day. We loved it!”— Shelley, Howard and Sarah, New York

Barcelona, Penedes & Languedoc

Jane:  We had a marvelous time!  As the week progressed I could truly appreciate your expertise and what it took to coordinate all of our activities.   Everything you planned happened exactly as it was supposed to – there were no glitches whatsoever.  We enjoyed all the tour guides – they were welcoming and knowledgeable.   Margaret particularly liked the Barcelona gourmet tour guide because she was so youthful and hip!  We really got a feel for the Barcelona Gothic quarter and the Born. A highlight for me was the dinner and private cooking with Chef Xavier.  It was a once in a lifetime evening and I would recommend it for as long as you can get the Chef to do it!  He was so kind as he even walked us out after dinner to assist with grabbing a taxi. –Val B, Pennsylvania

Priorat Wine Trip

We want to thank you for arranging such a wonderful tour of Priorat for us!  The vineyards we visited, the winemakers with whom we spoke, the meals we ate and the wines we tasted made for a unique and memorable experience.  We loved it all! – Liz and Steven, Michigan

IBERIAN HAM TOUR, A TRUE FARM TO TABLE EXPERIENCE

While in Seville, we went on an Iberian Ham Tour with Epicurean Ways. This delightful tour was a true farm to table experience.

The guide picked us up promptly at 9:30 in the morning and took us in his private car on a scenic drive to a local pig farm about one and a half hours outside of Seville. When I pictured a "pig farm", I envisioned a tightly spaced pig pen with smelly hogs fighting for space. Quite to the contrary, the farm that the guide took us to was a vast, open park.

Here, pigs roam freely around on stretches and stretches of open land. A large man-made lake provides a cool respite on hot days. When they are hungry, the pigs have an ample supply of acorns provided by the many oak trees that dot the farm. Iberian ham, in fact, is distinguished from other hams like Serrano ham because Iberian pigs are raised on a natural acorn fed diet. As a result, Iberian ham is rich in healthy monounsaturated fat and exceptionally delicious.

After the farm tour, the guide introduced us to the owner of the farm, an exquisitely charming and loquacious lady. She generously prepared a delicious Spanish potato tortilla accompanied with slices of savory Iberian ham. We stuffed ourselves silly then traveled to see where and how the ham was made.

The guide took us to a large warehouse, where thousands of legs of Iberian ham hung to dry. During the curing process, the legs are first placed into a pile of salt for ten days. Then, a generous coating of sunflower is applied. The ham is then hung from hooks in the ceiling for a minimum of two to three years. Yes, I said years. Over the course of that time period, the ham is lovingly tended to, with periodic inspections and reapplications of sunflower oil.

All and all, a great way to see Andalucia, taste incredible ham, and understand where food comes from.

Basque Country & Rioja Food and Wine

Dear Jane,  I wanted to let you know that the trip you arranged was wonderful.  The guide was capable and charming. Several of the ladies in our group would have taken him home in a suitcase if they could have. The restaurant choices and other food experiences delighted us every step of the way. – Blaine, Pasadena

Basque Country & Rioja Food and Wine

Our guide was superb and most appreciated by all. Our arrival in the Maria Cristina was a beautiful venue and a great start to the trip. The first evening at Arzak was great and a good start to experiencing the Basque region and its epicurean specialties. The owners graciously greeted us and made our group feel special with the personal attention given by allowing a tour of the kitchen as well as attention by the owner at our table.– Michael, Pasadena

Costa Brava Food & Wine

Jane, Just heading back after a great trip. Really it just worked so well and I am so glad we decided to use your team which made it stress free and we packed in such a lot. El Celler de Can Roca - what an experience - we had tours of the kitchen and cellar - great meal. Villa Mas - highly recommend - great food and a gem of a wine list at very reasonable prices. Palamos restaurant was excellent although they speak very little English. Excellent dishes and good selection of wines. Many thanks for sharing and organising our trip.– Chris, London

Sevilla, Aracena & Ronda

I wanted to send you a note about how much we really enjoyed our tours. The guide was fantastic–experienced and so lovely to spend time with. And the owner of the Iberico pig farm was a hoot. We had a blast there. The Ronda-Grazalema guide was passionate with a lot of energy. I would say he was infectious. We loved the winery and the cheese. Thanks again for everything. Oh, I absolutely loved that hotel we stayed in. Our room was fabulous and we did get a view of the city. I would recommend it to anyone!–Aimee A, Virginia

Madrid, Toledo, Barcelona & Priorat

First, all of the guides were great.  We fought over favorites… Re the restaurants, we were pleased with the whole lot. The clear winner was Locum, which we all agreed was one of the most perfect meals we’ve ever had.  The food and wine were extraordinary and the room was beautiful and bright.  La Tasquita was also very good but just a notch below Locum for the food.
Our Madrid guide really made us feel like he was giving us insider views of the places we visited and had a great attitude.  We were very happy to have started and ended with him in Madrid. Our Priorat guide was absolutely terrific and I suspect that not a lot of people get the kind of tours we got with the winery owners. Our Barcelona guide was a total trip.  She had artist sensibilities and was also very funny in her descriptions of the inner workings of Barcelona. The flamenco guide was just a joy, and her love of Flamenco was infectious.
In all it was a great trip and everybody had a wonderful time.  Thanks for pulling it all together!–George, New York City

Madrid & Andalucia

We got back last night from what turned out to be a fantastic trip for us. The Madrid guide is fantastic-such a delightful companion! Besides local foods, we visited craftsman shops including makers of hand-painted silk fans, guitars, flamenco shoes and dresses, traditional capes, etc. While everything we planned and saw were fantastic, the "unexpected" highlights for us were: Everything we did with the guide in Madrid and cooking in Seville. I cannot say enough good things about the chef in Seville–the cooking experience, his generosity in terms of telling us about many things beyond just the specific cooking class…–Leslie and Steven, Maryland


Madrid, Barcelona & Andalucia

Still remembering what a beautiful surprise Barcelona was.  We cannot wait to go back.
We had a wonderful time in Spain and it was a great itinerary.  The cooking lesson in Seville was a highlight. He is an amazing chef – his food was some of the most memorable we had. And I learned a lot, even though it wasn’t the hands-on type of lesson that I usually go for. You were right – Barcelona is amazing. –Michelle and Bennett, Virginia

Basque Country & Rioja

We LOVED our day in Rioja, and the lunch at Hector Oribe was one of the best meals of the trip. Delicious and beautiful food. We felt so lucky to be there when they were harvesting and pressing. I particularly appreciated seeing the traditional process at R Lopez de Heredia. It was a great perspective. Also, we really liked the Txakoli winery and the lunch at the cider place. Overall, we were very happy with our three days with the guide. He was a wonderful guide, and a great person to spend a few days with.–Linda, Bloomington, IN 

Basque Country & Rioja

The guide was amazing, and we had a great time.  He is really a treasure.  Rioja, the cooking club and the pintxos tour were very exciting (but we’d not properly thought out the effect of eating so much in one day). –Emily, Florida

Rioja Wine Trip

The guide in Rioja was amazing – there is nothing else to say.  A great mixture of knowledge, humor and reading his clients well.  The tapas tour guide likewise was great and we could have easily spent more time with her. The hotels:  you know they are terrific.  In Laguardia our room was above the front door over the square with a spectacular view of the festivities of the weekend.  The staff was superb as was the food. The hotel in Ezcaray was so different and very comfortable. The meals:  We really enjoyed lunch at La Viega Bogeda and Hector Oribe. –Steve and Lynn, Ontario

Costa Brava Wine Trip

Hi Jane–Thank you for organising a great week - we had a fantastic time and the hotels, wine and food were excellent and really good value. The winery visits and tour guides were excellent. I have to say that from my perspective the best restaurant of the trip was Compartir restaurant in Cadaqués - it was fantastic -great atmosphere and I couldn't fault food wine or service. –Tony, London

Emporda Wine Trip

Jaume and Silvia are wonderful hosts and allowed us tastings from the maceration tanks which was quite unique and very interesting.  Their Catalan tasting lunch matched with wines was also excellent.  In fact we finished up buying quite a few cases of Jaume's wine.  Given that he learnt his trade at Petrus you'd expect his wine to be good and it didn't disappoint. 
Compartir was simply wonderful.  The food was outstanding and the overall experience, whilst quite different, was probably more relaxing and enjoyable than El Cellar de Can Roca.  It's worth the drive for lunch there alone.
My highlight though was the Clos D'Agon and Palamós trip.  Great winery, great wine, great people and great food.  Clara is a gem.  Her choice of restaurant in Palamós was first class and in our opinion was possibly the best food we had on the trip (but that could also be because we"d enjoyed quite a bit of Miguel"s excellent wine).
And thanks again for helping with the organisation.  Your knowledge and suggestions made the trip truly memorable.  We shall be back!!  Perhaps to Priorat next year! –Steve, East Lothian, Scotland

Rioja Wine Trip

The trip was just amazing, everyone had a great time. The guide was the perfect Ambassadrice for the trip, great personality with excellent knowledge and expertise on the subject and lots of fun as well... Thanks again to you for organising the full itinerary, it was definitely a first class experience. –Stephane,  Dunbartonshire, Scotland

Barcelona & Girona

Hi Jane. We enjoyed the trip very much. Our two guides in Girona were delightful. The first was very knowledgeable about the history and the second was an excellent sommelier. In Barcelona, the guide was a special treat because of his unusual background and we really got off the beaten track. –Joan, Michigan

The Priorat & Tarragona

Hi Jane, Just a quick note to tell you how fabulous the trip was.  I want to thank you for a well organized, high quality and professional program.  Larry, Issac, Judy and I look forward to [another trip in Spain] next year. A special thanks to Gerard for both the tour of the hotel and olive factory, and his lesson/tasting where I learned so much about olive oil. Lastly, Jane you should know what a fantastic job your guide did for us.  She is very knowledgeable and very professional. –Dave C., Penn State University

Barcelona & The Basque Country

Thank you for your thorough trip planning and sage recommendations and advice. Everything worked out very very well.  The hotels were great and the meal recommendations perfect! You attended to every detail with obvious depth of knowledge.–Nancy, San Mateo, CA

Spain, Portugal & France 

Jane, I just wanted to let you know that we thoroughly enjoyed the trip that you planned for us in Portugal, France and Spain. The guides that were provided were top notch and the food and wine events were outstanding. The trip went off without a hitch and we look forward to your assistance in planning another food and wine travel itinerary in the future. –Jeff & Cathy B, Los Gatos, CA

Basque Country & Rioja

Hi Jane, Just wanted to tell you how much we enjoyed the trip! All of the tour guides and the driver were wonderful! They made us feel right at home and were very informative! The hotels were great too. Thank you again for a lovely time!–Shelby, Hawaii

Andalucía & Catalonia

We had a wonderful trip.  All the guides were great, with the one in Barcelona being outstanding!    I would recommend all the guides to others, and the mix of guided days and days off was very good.  Please tell Jane she's put together quite a group of people to help a trip to Spain be very enjoyable.     –Judi and Bill, Chicago

Priorat & Barcelona

We loved everything and are so thankful to you for setting up an amazing trip for us. Truly, it was once in a lifetime and we loved every part of it!!! So many wonderful things, but at the end of the day it is the people that truly made our stay in the Priorat way exceed our expectations. I am a city girl so I loved Barcelona, but I will say I gladly became a country gal in the Priorat.  It is truly spectacular. –Heather, Dallas

Madrid & Andalucia

Wow, what a wonderful trip! Thank you so much for all your hard work and efforts to give us such an amazing experience. Everything was just perfect; comfortable, friendly hotels, knowledgeable and fun guides, and THE FOOD..........no adjective good enough here. All guides were great. There were so many special moments. Did you hear about our Sherry tasting with Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis?–Gayle T, Virginia

Priorat & Tarragona

Our Priorat trip was wonderful. The guide looked after us extremely well and made the trip very special. The 4 wineries, charcuterie and olive oil shop we visited were all so different and everyone had such a passion for their craft. We’re still amazed at the generosity of the people in spending so much time with us. It was very different wine touring, being right with the vineyard owner/winemaker, than we have done before.
We had a great time with the chef in Tarragona and she fully maintained the excellent standard of the 4 day tour.  –Steve and Mary D, Ontario, Canada

Barcelona Tour

Firstly, let me thank you for the two wonderful guides we have had so far. Our gourmet tour guide was great and showed us some wonderful little eating places, our favourite was the sardine place, the wine tasting, in fact it was all good. Her knowledge and passion is wonderful and made the tour more interesting. Our walking tour guide today was also fantastic. His overall knowledge was overwhelming. What he didn't know isn't worth knowing about. –Babette., NSW, Australia

Epicurean Spain with Chef Susan Spicer

It was all wonderful, Jane, and we will definitely be recommending you to our friends . . . as well as keeping you in mind for another possible trip in the future. Thank you—it was truly a great trip! — Jason, Berkeley

Basque Country

This was definitely more than just a food tour, it was an unforgettable experience.— C. and S. Ty, Vancouver

Catalonia and Madrid Tour

The wine tour was phenomenal. The tour guide was great and she really took us to excellent wineries and we enjoyed lunch at a great restaurant. It was an educational tour as well. I would definitely recommend her again. By far, this was the highlight of the week! –Deborah O, Williston, SC

Andalucía

Spain was superlative. I can’t remember the last time I felt so relaxed and just able to enjoy everything and I can’t wait to do it again. We have decided we need to make honeymoons an annual event. We fell in love with Seville and the hotel you booked for us was perfect - great location, lovely ambiance, and the staff were incredibly nice and helpful. –Shannon G, Maryland

Epicurean Spain with Chef Susan Spicer

Chocolatier: Fantastic. I’m running out of superlatives, but this visit was certainly worthy of them! It was great to experience the chocolate-making process first-hand. I had no idea how labor-intensive and hands-on the work was before this visit. It was fun (and humbling) to take a stab at making our own chocolate. All the staff, especially the owner, were very gracious and fun to be around. –Kathryn E., New Orleans

Epicurean Spain with Chef Susan Spicer

Restaurant in Navarra: One of the highlights of the trip.  A lovely meal and wine tasting.  The meal was much more sophisticated than the setting would lead you to expect.  The baby goat was delicious. 
–Myrna B., Nantucket

Epicurean Spain with Chef Susan Spicer

Jane Gregg set a positive tone for the tour through her conscientious and thorough organization of the tour and her responsiveness to questions and concerns. We recognize that it is difficult and perhaps impossible to organize a tour that completely satisfies 11 people. This tour did a very good job of delivering what was promised. –Ron B., Nantucket

Barcelona, Madrid & Basque Country

The tour of the Boqueria and surrounding area was great fun. We got lots of goodies along the way. And the guide couldn’t have been nicer. She accidentally stayed longer than scheduled because she was having so much fun too. We highly recommend her. Our Madrid guide was another great find. She was excellent and gave us much more than just a tapas tour. She has a great depth of knowledge and was fascinating to talk with. Lunch at Sergi Arola Gastro was a great way to end our time in Spain. That meal was one of our favorites of the trip. His dishes were not just inventive, but delicious. Your arrangements allowed us to have great tables at every restaurant and we thank you for that. –Jim K., New Jersey

Gourmet Emporda

We arrived home from Spain last Tuesday night. I wanted to take a minute to let you know how much we enjoyed our tapas cooking class.The chef is a wonderful instructor with a vibrant personality. Very easy to be with. We loved the class, and the resulting tapas. The environment and atmosphere were fabulous. Thank you so much for setting up this great event. –Lori B., Virginia

Fourteen Days in Spain

The trip was beyond expectations (and expectations were high!).  Only trip we have ever taken with literally no problems whatsoever - incredible.  Great hotels, meals, guides, excursions, etc etc.  I could go on and on… Once again, thank you for arranging an incredible vacation! –Scott B., Georgia

Cooking in San Sebastián

We typically shy away from organized tours, but we were so impressed with our Epicurean Ways experience that we will definitely travel with you again whenever we go to Spain.
I just wanted to let you know how delighted we were with our cooking class in San Sebastián. Chef Haritz did an incredible job of exposing us to what San Sebastián has to offer on a deeper, market-driven level—and he made our day shopping at the market and cooking with him the highlight of our trip.  By introducing us to various fish mongers, farmers, produce importers, and specialty food shopkeepers, we gained a greater understanding of how Donosti chefs acquire the raw products for their culinary creations. Later, the dishes we prepared during our cooking class were inspired by what we selected at the market in the morning—improvised and truly driven by what was fresh and in season. His friendliness, professionalism, culinary knowledge, and sincere enthusiasm in helping us learn about gastronomy in San Sebastián were outstanding. –Manuel R., Viridian Farms, Oregon

Gourmet Empordà

We LOVED the hotel.  Everything - the hotel and restaurant - was top notch.  We adored our tasting menu dinner (with fantastic wine) on the terrace.  Nothing short of phenomenal! Each dish was more delicious than the next!  Even the dessert was fantastic.  I know I will be craving another meal there. –Nik and Jennifer M., Ontario, Canada

Catalan Cooking in the Empordà

The cooking school was by far the best part of our Spanish trip.  The chef was great as he didn’t just tell us what we were cooking but also explained all about Spanish cuisine. We wish we could’ve stayed at that hotel the whole time we were in Spain, it was so outstanding. The tour was great, especially the wine, ham and cheese tasting. –Garreth and Felicity R., NSW, Australia

Basque Country and San Sebastián

Our guide certainly knows his Basque country! He is knowledgeable and passionate about his history, culture, and the food and wine. We all loved the pintxos tour - he took us to the best places for all kinds of pintxos. My favorite was the foie gras which was caramelized and tasted heavenly. We also loved the little chipiron, grilled with the tentacles and all. We went from bar to bar and the guide certainly knows his stuff, the best bar for certain pintxos and what wine to pair with it. –Ching T., California

Barcelona Walking Tour

Oh my, the food! The first morning we arrived, we dropped off our bags and headed to Boqueria Market, a feast for the eyes and soul. Snacked at both El Quim and Bar Pinotxo and were not disappointed. The absolute best however, the simple patatas bravas at Bar Tomas in Sarrià. –Susan, New York

Cooking in Bilbao

The class was really good. It was held in a restaurant that requires reservations - similar to one of the “cooking clubs” that was closed to women for years. It was going to be full for lunch so we not only got to see them prepare our meal but several others as well. It was interesting and informative to watch the chef work while asking him questions. He made a sauce we had had a few days before and could not identify. Now we can make it!  He also made pisto, the Spanish version of ratatouille. The Spanish, or really the Basque, have a different twist that we will now incorporate when we make the dish. —Linda L., North Carolina

Cooking in Bilbao

It was FANTASTIC!  The venue was in a romantic part of Bilbao, down a little side street with an air of a family home, but the facilities of a top kitchen- really special.  Our food was masterfully prepared and was stunning, simply stunning; we have all promised to try to emulate the recipes at home. I would recommend this in a heartbeat...Thank you, what a gem we found… —Nick B., Stafford, U.K.

Northern Spain with Chef Susan Spicer

Top two or three trips of my life. –Robert G, Houston, TX (professional pilot)

Aracena and Jamón ibérico

Our trip to Aracena stands out as one of my favorite days of the whole trip. The guide was fantastic, and it was such a treat to see the whole process from the raising of the animals (I don’t think I’ve ever seen such happy pigs!), to the ham curing factory, to the meal we had (wow, to die for). –Shannon G, Maryland 

Epicurean Spain with Chef Susan Spicer

Our expectations were high but the trip exceeded them. –Karin R., New Orleans

Cooking in Málaga

The cooking class itself was so much fun. The chef was so charming and funny and he clearly was enjoying himself. I was really impressed by how much effort and thought he put in to selecting dishes and ingredients that we can find and prepare at home. We learned to make 1) shrimp carpaccio with lime-basil pesto, avocado cream, and olive oil salt, 2) sherry vinegar semi-secco tomatoes with pine nuts and goat cheese, and 3) (my personal favorite - I could have died happy after eating this dish) charred octopus with truffles, truffle oil, and a baked potato/olive oil/cream soup. The chef showed us how he prepares the dishes, and gave us work-around options for our own kitchen (for example, using smoked salt for the char flavor on the octopus rather than going through a rather dangerous process of adding hot carbonized olive pits to a vat of sunflower oil - yikes!). We then got a full tasting menu for dinner with the first three courses being those we learned to prepare, and several others to follow with great local wines. I would strongly encourage you to send people his way.–Tim M, Maryland

Barcelona & the Basque Country

The restaurant was great. The owner is a showman and we thoroughly enjoyed his tableside dissection and narrative on turbot. The tour with the shepherd and his cheese facility was fascinating. His cheeses are outstanding. –Jeff L., Los Angeles

Epicurean Spain with Chef Susan Spicer

The guide was extremely knowledgeable and very comfortable with the different regions/areas. She was solicitous and made sure that all the tour participants were enjoying every minute of their experience. She seems comfortable staying in the background and making sure that everything runs smoothly, but is also at ease with all the social interactions and is a wonderful meal partner. She seemed highly attuned to the group’s feelings. I was left with the feeling that she picked up on even the subtle nuances of the trip dynamics and acted to improve things. –Kathryn E., New Orleans

Epicurean Spain with Chef Susan Spicer

The food was better than we ever thought and we come from a foodie town, New Orleans. The private settings and service were extraordinary as were the menus at nearly every meal. –Sam R., New Orleans

Epicurean Spain with Chef Susan Spicer

We tasted all of the reds from Alvaro Palacios, save (understandably) for the L’Ermita, and as we were tasting the Dolfi, an arrary of foods (jamon iberico, lomo, etc.) came out along with Alvaro Palacios himself.  It truly was a GREAT visit! –Jason, Berkeley

Catalonia & Provence Epicurean Trip

The hotel in Spain, what a special place this is. Set in the Spanish countryside with Roman roads leading from it, I found it to be an oasis of serenity.  The tasting menu we partook of there was another “once in a lifetime” experience.  The young couple (he is the chef) were wonderful.  We took a cooking class with him...what fun, informative and delish!!!  Again, a small hotel I would like to think I will return to someday. The meals we enjoyed were each and every one memorable due to the foods we were introduced to and the superb quality...how I would love to return to the restaurant you selected with the most delicious Iberian Ham and cava. –Suzanne B. 

Dinner in Catalonia

The dinner tonight was fabulous, perhaps top 25 all time, and that includes Alinea and Charlie Trotters. –Jeff K., Chicago

Barcelona Gourmet Tour

Epicurean Ways arranged a personalized food tour of Barcelona for me.  For a guide, I had a most knowledgeable, accommodating Barcelona local who showed me all the trendiest and most popular places.  I was in foodie paradise! –Erika S., California

Barcelona and San Sebastián

The experience exceeded my expectations - there is nothing I would have changed. The pace of the trip was perfect. –Amy M, New York 

Gourmet San Sebastián

We had the THE most fantastic time, and our guide was exceptional - the group all loved him. Every single thing was amazing and the pintxos tour was absolutely a highlight (they were dancing in the street by the end!), as was the Sociedad and the walk/lunch on the tuna boat. –S. Heine, Australia

Gourmet San Sebastián

San Sebastián’s charm and Etxebarri [restaurant] definitely made a positive impression. Everything was wonderful and perfect. The guide was a delight - generous, and so well connected.  Thank you so much for such a fantastic trip.  We could not have done it without you and everyone else involved with the tour. –Carl F., NY

Madrid, Barcelona and Wine Country

Just returned from a fabulous trip to Spain. Thanks to Epicurean Ways’ superb connections with great tour guides, my husband and I enjoyed a trip of a lifetime! We visited 7 wineries, learned much about Spanish wines, history (including my Sephardic Jewish ancestory), and culture, and ate delicious food. The arrangements and accomodations were perfect. Will go back, hopefully soon! –Deborah T., Indiana

Epicurean Madrid and Sevilla

Just back from El Prado and Estado Puro [restaurant], which is across the street. Saw Las Meninas and had a lovely meal on the patio, and got to try the things we did not have room for last night.  The waiter remembered me from being with my guide, that was sweet.  Thanks again - this trip has been amazing, and I never would have had this experience without your hard work and enchufes. –Amy M., New York 

San Sebastián

The three days in San Sebastian with the guide were great.  He’s a wonderful guide with a good sense of humor, loads of energy, and great knowledge of the area.  The pintxos tour was delicious.  And when we did our own pintxos tour a couple of days later, we realized how important local knowledge is!  We enjoyed the winery visit and lunch in the gastronomic club, too. Thanks for helping us have a wonderful visit to Spain! –Dan and Lynn M., New York

Gourmet Catalonia

The trip was a success in every way! The hotel was charming and the class with the chef was so much fun! Eating on the little private terrace what we had just prepared made it even more wonderful.  We also ate at the restaurant that night and had the special tasting menu, which was decadent and incredibly special. Thank you for everything, –Madeline, Canada 

Priorat Wine

Absolutely amazing. Your restaurant suggestions really made Barcelona even better. But just when we thought our trip couldn’t get any better, we arrived at the hotel. It was like a dream, and if we didn’t take pictures, I probably would not have believed we were really there. The guide was very very nice. She knew so much about the history of the Priorat, and did such a great job selecting the wineries. We loved Ferrán too. We loved everyone and everything really. I can’t thank you enough! –Lou D., New York

Wine Country Walking Tour

We want to thank you so much for the incredible experience. We truly loved it and have a special place in our hearts for Spain because of it.  We look forward to the future - perhaps for the “walking tour” again or another adventure! –Laura and Craig, Arizona

Catalan Cooking in the Empordà

Among my six trips to Spain, the 6-night Catalan Cooking in the Empordà/Barcelona trip run by Epicurean Ways in November was the best I have ever had. I appreciated your selection of excellent guides - I felt like I was their guest, not just a tourist.  Thank you a lot for making great trip plans and for sharing your knowledge of Spain. –E. Nakajima, Tokyo

Catalonia

Thank you so much for organising such a FANTASTIC trip for us. We will definitely be recommending Epicurean Ways to anyone who travels over there. –Garreth and Felicity R., NSW, Australia

Barcelona and Girona

We really had an amazing time and will contact you when we return to see more of Spain!  Thank you for all of your help and thanks to the people you had recommended, as they really made our Spain experience come alive.  We will be sure to let our friends know about our trip and your help in planning it! —Nik M., Ontario, Canada

Barcelona

Our guide was wonderful! His knowledge of history, culture and food was extraordinary and we really tried to soak it all in. He ran an excellent tour, particularly since we wanted something more “unstructured” and perhaps a bit off the normal sightseeing path. —S.L., New York

Barcelona & Girona

"I have just returned from Barcelona and Girona and what a wonderful trip it was. Jane was so very helpful in the success of my trip.  She listened to what I wanted to do and with her expertise and knowledge she was able to provide all that I wanted and more. The guides that she provided and the accommodations were fantastic. It was a magical experience and I will definitely plan more trips with Epicurean Ways in the future. Muchisimas gracias, Jane!"  Barbara S., NY