Catalan Harvest L'Horta de Can Patxei

The other day we went for a long lazy lunch with Mr B's family. They're a fun bunch who enjoy their food, and can be totally guaranteed to choose a good restaurant. My brother and sister-in-law live, who just outside of Pals, suggested we go to Can Patxei, an arable farm with a restaurant added on for good measure.

The food, the company, the ambience and the vino were all fabulous. I'd make a rubbish restaurant critic as I always have too much fun to break off and take photos of the food and analyse exactly what they've put on my plate. Suffice it to say that it was all super-delicious, very tasty, traditional Catalan food.

But what I really enjoyed was seeing the fruit harvest at close quarters. After we'd all over-indulged at the table we went for a little stroll around the farm. Just feast your eyes on the grapes:

They had a whole hedge of these babies growing swollen and luscious in the sunshine.

And this was the view from the lawn on the other side of that grape-festooned hedge.

On the very top of that impressive-looking hill on the right is the very impressive-looking Montgrí Castle. I have a long-standing ambition to climb up there and have a good nosey around. Mr B tells me he'll be busy that day, but he might be able to catch up with me on the terrace of Can Patxei when I'm done for a nice glass of something chilled and wet to quench my thirst. 

Montgrí Castle was built over a number of years from 1294 to 1301, during a period when the Counts of Barcelona were jockeying for power with the Counts of Empúries. At this stage, what with the Crusades and everything, the folk hereabouts were very taken with the Eastern style of fortress building. So Montgrí was built to look like a Crusader Castle from the Bosphorus. 

We went from ancient castles to the vegetable patch ... where they were quietly growing some very fine drills of beans and tomatoes.

Just down the avenue they had acres and acres of apples, growing in straight lines, which stretched away as far as the eye could see.

There were a few rows of peaches too,  but the bulk of the harvest was composed of huge red apples.

And they all seemed ripe and ready to go. In fact someone had been very busy picking this lot just before we swung by.

And when we paid the bill, rather than leaving mints, they left us this beautiful mini gourd. 

If you're in the area and feeling peckish this would be a great place to come. They're happy to entertain both dogs and children as part of your party. The Wonder Dog was immediately given a big bowl of water when we arrived, and our children were welcome to play games on the huge lawn when they got bored with adult conversation around the table. You can find their website here:  L'Horta de Can Patxei

All the best for now,

Bonny x