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Les Cols Restaurant. Photo: Hisao Suzuki

Les Cols Restaurant. Photo: Hisao Suzuki

Les Cols Restaurant. Photo: Hisao Suzuki

Les Cols Restaurant. Photo: Hisao Suzuki

Les Cols Pavellons. Photo: Hisao Suzuki

Montsacopa volcano. Photo: Pep Callís

Ca l'Enric Vall de Bianya

Ca l'Enric Vall de Bianya

Fred Perry Olot

Address 17800 Olot | See on map
Website http://www.turismeolot.com/
Time to go For gastrohounds, best to go on a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Festes del Tura around September 8 each year.
How to get there

By car: Approximately 90 minutes from Barcelona along the C-17 to Vic, then C-37. By bus: Two-three hours with Teisa Bus from Barcelona’s Estació del Nord. One-way EUR 10-18.

It has a charming historical centre and the scenary surrounding this small town near the Pyrenees really is quite beautiful. The volcanic plains around Olot form a lush landscape of green, rolling hills and scenic craters, not unlike how Tolkien imagined the Shire of the Hobbits.

That probably all sounds pleasant enough, if perhaps not quite meriting a near two-hour roadtrip across Catalunya. However, the area has a couple of other attractions that definitely make it worth your while.

Les Cols Restaurant

The biggest draw is likely to be Les Cols, Fina Puigdevall’s restaurant, that boasts two Michelin stars for the gastronomy and a handful of architectural awards for the RCR studio’s work. It’s a most spectacular blend of fine dining, avant-garde design and 13th-century country house.

Les Cols OlotThe cuisine might seem a little underwhelming, focusing on the quality of the ingredients, all local to the Garrotxa region or farmed onsite, instead of gastromolecular gimmickry, smoke or mirrors (well, except for the plates and decor). It’s glorified country-style cooking, though done to perfection.

An egg has rarely tasted this good, and the humble chicken turned into divine matter (though it’s slightly disconcerting seeing that same poultry walking right outside the window). Bring a healthy appetite, even for the cheaper tasting menu, and go light on the bread-and-oil trolley to make it through.

Part of attraction is the architecture, and the staff is happy to show you the grounds, restaurant and kitchen, just as you’re welcome to have your aperitif and dessert served in the garden or on the lawn. The only real disappointment is that the main dining room overlooks the orhard; you’ll need a group to enjoy the privées or the emblematic golden long-room.

The best part is saved for last: The size of the check. This is a bargain compared to any other Michelin-star restaurants – in Barcelona or elsewhere.

Les Cols, Carretera de la Canya, 17800 Olot – +34 972 269 209
Tues 13-15:30. Wed-Sat 13-15:30, 20:30-22:30. Sun 13-15:30.
Tasting menu EUR 85 plus drinks. Reduced menu EUR 50 (incl. drinks, dessert and coffee).

Les Cols Pavellons

Hardcore design fans shouldn’t settle for just a meal at Les Cols, but also book a night at one of the five rooms at the adjacent Pavellons.

Les Cols PavellonsDesigned to let you be one with nature, the rooms are little more than glass cubes – literally six sides of green-tinted glass – with beds in the middle. The shower and bathtub are transparent, too, and the rooms open up into a private garden. It’s a unique, almost meditative, environment that takes the indoor-outdoor concept to a new extreme.

Order a picnic – or have the staff wrap up left-overs from breakfast (it’s ample) – and make the trek up to the Sant Francesc church at the top of the crater of the Montsacopa volcano.

Les Cols Pavellons, Avinguda de les Cols, 2, 17800 Olot – +34 699 813 817
Tues 13-15:30. Wed-Sat 13-15:30, 20:30-22:30. Sun 13-15:30.
Double with breakfast EUR 330. Day picnic EUR 66, night picnic EUR 132.

Ca l’Enric

Ca l'EnricFor all of its accolades, Les Cols isn’t the only gourmet game in this area. Siblings Juan, Jordi and Isabel Junka run Ca l’Enric in the neighbouring village of Val de Bianya and, wouldn’t you know it, it has a Michelin star as well.

Foodwise, this is arguably the better choice and, for bragging rights among fellow foodies, then a visit to this renovated farmhouse is a mandatory stop for gastrohounds. While Les Cols is as much about appearance, Ca l’Enric is all about substance. Homemade recipes refined to perfection with exquisite combinations and sublime flavours.

If you decide to go, do bring a designated driver or arrange for transportation back to Olot (a ten-minute ride); you don’t want to pass on the wine menu here.

Ca l’Enric, Carretera de Camprodon, Nacional 260 (km 91), 17813 La Vall de Bianya – +34 972 290 015
Tues-Wed 13:15-15:15. Thur-Sat 13:15-15:15, 20:45-22:30. Sun 13:15-15:15.
Tasting menus EUR 66-121. Wine menu EUR 33.

Fred Perry outlet

The Spanish distributor for Fred Perry happens to be located in Olot and the main outlet is also located here. Lots of samples from the current collection as well as accessories and basics from past seasons can be picked up at discounts ranging from 50 to 80 percent. Cash only.

Fred Perry OlotFor the rest of Olot’s shops, head over to the small narrow streets in the old town center, around Plaça Major behind the Sant Esteve church.

Fred Perry Olot, Avinguda Reis Catòlics 7, 17800 Olot – +34 972 262 262
Monday to Friday 17-20:30, Saturday 10-14. Closed first half of August