10 things a returning alumnus noticed about Durham

Sooze admires Durham Cathedral and CastleI live in a tip-top touristy town (Stratford-upon-Avon). Durham is a similarly touristy town (okay, city) which I lived in for three years as a student. I was back in Durham last weekend, working with the Students’ Union, and took the opportunity to get reacquainted with the place after 15 years away. After reflecting on the weekend, here’s what stood out:

  1.  Everything’s cheaper.
    Bus trips are £1.50. Half the price of London. And in my area, no-one but pensioners and the desperate use buses (the pensioners: only because it’s free). A round for two people in a pub came to less than three quid. Companion thought he’d mis-heard. You can’t even buy a pint in my town for less than £3.30. Which might explain why…
  2. Everyone’s drunk!
    Locals, students, probably the wildlife too. There are quite a few drunks out and about from 10am but from 4pm, drunks are everywhere: hanging out in bars and cafes, carousing down the streets, festooning every wall and street-corner. Which leads to…
  3. People pee in alleyways in broad daylight.
    They’re utterly unembarrassed and quite polite about it. ‘Oops, scuse me.’ As well as those weak-of-bladder, you will also encounter students doing the ‘tactical chunder’: an early-evening barf to enable drinking to continue later into the night. Nice. The booze and cheap prices might partially explain why…
  4. Everyone’s friendly.
    In Durham, people are warm and outgoing towards their fellow humans. I visited on a warm sunny weekend but I recall this spirit continues even into bitterly cold winters. You find yourself immersed in chat at bus-stops, in queues, at the gym, anywhere. And if you fancied a quiet cuppa while you catch up on correspondence or reading, forget it – it’s impossible to sit quietly by yourself in a bar, cafe or restaurant.
  5. Rivers are always beautiful.
    Even if you stick a huge concrete monstrosity next to it.
  6. Durham is missing a trick in catering for tourists.
    Strolling from Palace Green (where the Castle and Cathedral are), I fancied writing some postcards. I couldn’t find any. (Admittedly WHSmith had just closed.) In my town they’re everywhere, touristy-tat shops are as ubiquitous as tea-rooms. I walked all round the city centre, including up to the bus station, surely a hub of tourists coming and going, and then had to give up my hunt for postcards. Instead I bought postcards in Craster, the next day. They know how to entice tourists: sea views, postcards and… kippers.
  7. There’s no security anywhere.
    The uni buildings (colleges, DSU etc) had no security – this is 2014, I was expecting swipe-card panels, control gates etc. I’ve walked past Birmingham Uni, Oxford and Cambridge colleges to know that unis are doing this. Why haven’t Durham? And it’s particularly important in a town where my home (while living out) was burgled and where Jim (my fella back in 1999) had his motorbike nicked. People used to say that in Durham, ‘if it’s not nailed down, it’ll get nicked’. Anyone with a van and an overall could easily steal (for example) all the PCs in the Union’s office.
  8. Durham has proper history. Ancient, whole-population significant, battles and murders, kings and knights, religious and supernatural type of history. My town is famous for one talented playwright who was born there, then bu**ered off to London.
  9. Student towns support enterprises which wouldn’t survive in other towns.
    For example:
    – alternative shoe shops (Scorpio, and the folk in there are so nice, see point 4
    – nightclubs (in my town if you want to go out late at night, we have one cr*p nightclub which keeps rebranding itself and no-one grown-up goes, and a cheesy over-priced strip-club)
    – cheap n cheerful restaurant (La Spagnettata hasn’t changed in 15 years – piles of delicious filling Italian grub, whizzed onto your table pronto by speedy chaps in black; meal for two including wine: £28 – see point 1)
  10. I can’t wait to go back!
    I’d like to talk to some of the Mildert students, go into the Physics department and see what’s changed, stroll the river-banks again, and of course, refuel at La Spag. Soon…

 

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Spot the signs: How to tell you’re switching to Spanish

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When I returned to England – after only 5 weeks away in Valencia – I realised I was more acclimatised to Spain than I thought. Here are some ways you know your brain is switching over to Spanish:

When you’re back in England…

  • Someone bumps you in the queue in a shop and out of your mouth pops: ‘perdon’…
  • And after buying something, you say ‘gracias’ to the cashier.
  • Your affirmative replies are si’ and ‘claro’.
  • You say things like ‘more better’.
  • You’re shocked by the cost of public transport.
  • And shocked by the price of a coffee…
  • But pleasantly surprised by how big the cups of coffee are.
  • You look the wrong way when crossing a street…
  • And are surprised when a street isn’t one-way.
  • You’re confused when shops are open at 4pm…
  • And that shops are open at all on a Sunday.
  • You know the keyboard shortcuts for ñ, ¡ and ¿.
  • Your brain still runs parallel translations of everyday exchanges…
  • And thinks up witty things to say… in Spanish.

Got any more? Add them by filling in the comment field below.

Blogging in Blighty

I’m back in the UK but that doesn’t mean I’m not blogging.

Kiz and SoozeFor over a year now, I’ve been building a photo-blog with my friend Kiz Crosbie. Every day, we both post a photo of something that we were doing, or that caught our eye after midday:

http://kizandsooze.wordpress.com

It’s a great way for us to keep in touch, now we live so far away from each other. We were inspired to start it when I read about two women on opposite sides of the USA doing similar. And we hope we’ll inspire other people to keep in touch through creative projects too.

La Lonja de Seda

Despite being listed in every tourist guide, and being a feature on every Old Town tour here, I’ve somehow managed to miss this historic Valencian landmark until today.

La Lonja de Seda – The Silk Exchange – is an impressive almost cathedral-like building opposite the Mercado Centrale. On Sundays, it’s free of charge to go in for a look around, so we had a stroll through the halls, looking out for the ‘rude gargoyles’ we’d been told about. Rather than ‘naughty’, these gargoyles are simply conforming to their other name, ‘grotesques’.

The main hall of the building, with its twisted columns up to a high vaulted roof, is as impressive as any cathedral. One guidebook says, ‘It’s impossible not to be wowed’ by it. I agree.

Mercado de Colon – free Sunday concert

Sooze and Niamh at Casa de l'Orxata

How to enjoy arts and culture in Valencia on very little money: on Sundays, have a coffee at the Mercado de Colon and enjoy a free concert by (what I think is) a college orchestra.

Niamh (with me, above), Amanda and I went to Casa de l’Orxata to sample the traditional ‘horchata con fartons‘ and nabbed a good table near the band. As well as the concert, we observed some free theatre when one of the camereros dropped a whole cup of hot coffee on one of the senior gents at the table next to us. The poor customer was drenched, probably with damage to his coat and jeans (if not the uhm, parts *under* his jeans), but he reacted as calmly as possible, more resigned than angry. The poor waiter was gutted, and then his boss stepped in to apologise. Awkward.

After the concert, we strolled around the market stalls, set up specially for the Sunday event. They were selling an array of teeny-tiny items for making Christmas cribs, from tiny donkeys and camels, to miniature pots, pans and sacks of lentils (?). Amanda bought a decoration for her Christmas tree – a ‘rustic’ wooden snowflake while I took photos.

Downstairs in the basement, a special event was taking place – possibly a promotion for a brand of cava, with stalls selling sliders, prawns and other artisan food samples. I was rather taken with two jolly fellows selling prawns who looked like Valencia’s version of the Hairy Bikers.

Another fab excursion to the MdC. Enjoy the photos…

Am I too old for an alligator?

Can I buy this alligator (from Zara Home, see below) or am I too old? Can I pretend I bought it as a ‘draught-excluder’? I like the fabric he’s made from, his big smiley gob, and that he has ‘boss eyes’, just like mine when I was a nipper.

(Amanda liked the lion, which she perched on my other shoulder.)

Sooze with a toy alligator and lion in Zara Home

Lazy lunch @ Hotel Neptuno’s Omega Terraza

Sooze, Amanda, Niamh at Hotel Neptuno's Omega Terraza

What a superb Saturday. A stroll to the beach, via Cabañal market to buy a bag-load of fruit for less than a fiver, and then a long lazy lunch at Omega, the terrace of Hotel Neptuno’s renowned Trident restaurant.

The photo above show me with Amanda and Niamh about to dig in to our segundo – Amanda had fish & chips (posher than it sounds), and Niamh and I had arroz meloso marinero. Not your typical paella, it’s a soupy risotto (meloso means ‘creamy/smooth’). Pudgy grains floated in a rich bisque-like broth, with big juicy prawns and some unidentifiable creatures which might have been mini-octopus.

Our camarera – also called Amanda, and from England – brought us special cutlery to eat this soupy rice: a spork! I thought this was rather nifty:

Sooze with a spork!

The dessert was simple and delicious – a glass pot, a fruity gel underneath a creamy yoghurt, topped with crumbled dried raspberry bits and a decorative kumquat. We washed this down with cava, Spain’s equivalent of champagne.

Cava and postre at Omega, Neptuno, Valencia

Service throughout was spot-on. Amanda helped us with the menu, answering our barrage of questions (what sort of fish? what does this mean? is there anchovies i that? etc). The terrace was quiet – the staff buzzed about efficiently and seemed to disappear into the background to allow diners to enjoy their food. We were also served by José who took a real pride in the ‘theatre’ of dining so we enjoyed his flourishes. There was a shift change while we were there so we didn’t get to thank Amanda properly, but hopefully she received a share of the tip.

Niamh and I had the set menu del dia for 19 euros, a few euros more than most of the restaurants on the beach-side strip, but worth every cent. Delicious and highly recommended for an affordable 5-star lunch.

And this – below – is how you end up after lunch here (this photo shows Niamh flumped over a cushion in Neptuno’s lounge near where we were sitting):

Niamh at Omega

Castillo de arena

We couldn’t believe our eyes at the beach today – this sandcastle is at least 5 metres long and over a metre high. Full of detail including gargoyles and – unexplicable – Spongebob Squarepants.

A chap hovered nearby, collecting pennies on a cloth. We asked how long it had taken to make. ‘About four days.’ Crikey. Agog, we took photos, and left some change.

Giant sandcastle at Valencia's beach

Sooze, Niamh and our mate ‘Diane’

Sooze, Niamh and the Ale-Hop cow

There’s one of these full-size cows outside every Ale-Hop shop. They must have got a job-lot from a factory in China. What cracks me up is all the cows are on castors, clearly for ease of wheeling out front of the store, but this makes them look like they’re on roller skates. Cow on skates? I’m sure there’s a gag in there about ‘meals on wheels’…

My drug of choice

Green tea

Everything looks better when you’re the right side of a cup of green tea. Here’s my favourite, green with jasmine, brought over from England and made by Heath & Heather. This does something magical to my brain. Energy, enthusiasm. It’s my drug of choice. What can I say, I’m a cheap date.

Palabra del dia: ‘sobre’

SobreThere’s something mischievous about words which are both homonyms (sound the same) and homographs (spelled the same). They lurk in a language, ready to trick foreigners.

In English, we have plenty of homonym+graphs, for example, ‘tie’, ‘lap’, ‘lie’, ”fair’ etc.
Here’s today’s Spanish trickster: ‘sobre’.

Sobre means both ‘on’ and – wait for it – ‘envelope’ or ‘packet’.

This photo (left) shows part of a recipe on the back of a sobre of chocolate chips. So for this recipe, you need packets of baking powder (which in Spain, for no obvious reason, comes rationed in little sobres) and chocolate chips.

When I asked for un cafe descafeinado, the camarera asked me:
¿Sobre o la máquina?
Huh?
She was asking if I wanted a ‘packet’ or ‘machine’ coffee.
Máquinaclaro.

So this photo below shows: Dos sobres sobre la mesa. El sobre pequeño esta sobre el sobre grande.
Blee!

Dos sobres sobre la mesa

La Ola Fresca

La Ola Fresca logo, designed by 'La Lupa'I met Julia, director of Maverick English, this morning at La Ola Fresca, her suggestion for a cuppa in the Beniclamet area of the city.

Once a village in its own right, Beniclamet has been subsumed by the Valencian city sprawl. But it keeps something of a village-y feel. You know, like Clapham.

The cafe was established three years ago by Helen who’s originally from Southampton. She arrived in Valencia, via Cornwall, for the America’s Cup in 2007 and just never left. She says it’s like she just surfed in on an ‘ola fresca’ and so her cafe’s name was conceived.

L.O.F runs regular theme nights where participants learn English through cooking together. Last week, the group made that English Christmas stalwart, mince pies. And this morning, a group of ladies were learning English from a Dutch musician who was teaching them through song lyrics. Cosmo and boho. How hip, eh?

Although the cafe’s a little hidden, it’s worth finding for the good (and BIG by Spanish standards) coffee. And the cakes. Proper English cakes, not Spanish pastry-fests. And Valencianos seem to like it – the place was full, every seat was taken so more were fetched for Julia and me.

Julia and I were so busy talking that I forgot to look at the products on sale in the shop (although I did notice plenty of books to be swapped). I heard Helen sells Marmite and Golden Syrup. Sure, I can get Marmite in Carrefour but I’d rather support L.O.F. And I’ve not seen Golden Syrup anywhere; my flapjacks aren’t the same without it (honey was a failure, and agave syrup’s just not quite right).

Thanks Julia for introducing me, L.O.F is now on my Valencia radar.

La Ola Fresca »

Did Google StreetView pop into L.O.F??
It actually goes into the shop – look at this:

La Ola Fresca - Google Maps

Palabra del dia: ‘Prisa’

Sign on the floor of Ayora metro

I’ve been wondering what this sign means for days. It’s glued to the floor at most Metro stations.

That’s a duck on the left, wearing a flying hat and goggles. On the right, two chilled-out potatoes. Or beans. I can’t be sure.

So the red (duck) side is ‘with’ something; the green (bean) side, is ‘without’. Con y sin, si entiendo. Amb‘ and ‘sense‘ are the Valenciano words. This dual language thing is like being in Wales. Except that, unlike Welsh’s relationship to English, Valenciano’s very similar to Castellano.

After weeks of walking over señores duck and bean, today I finally looked up the word ‘prisa‘. It means ‘haste’. I feel utterly stupid. But that duck doesn’t look like he’s hurrying does he?

Pan integral con higos y avellanas

Mi apartamento tiene un olor divino. Fresh out of the oven: two loaves baked from a recipe I adapted from this original recipe by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall.

Fig and nut breadFig and nut bread

Makes two loaves.

  • 400g plain wholemeal flour
  • 450g strong bread flour
    (plus extra plain flour for dusting)
  • 7g sachet dry yeast
  • 2-3 tsp fine sea-salt
  • 450ml skimmed milk
  • 100ml tap water
  • 60g buttery margerine, in small pieces
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • 150g dried figs, soaked for an hour in hot tea, then drained and roughly chopped (easiest with scissors)
  • 150g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  1. In a microwave-safe jug or bowl, heat the milk, water, butter and honey in the microwave in 30 sec blasts until it feels just warm to touch. Stir between each blast so the butter melts.
  2. Meanwhile, in a very large mixing bowl, combine the flours and salt. Make a well in the middle and add the yeast to the well.
  3. When the liquid mixture is warm, pour into the well and mix. In the bowl, bring together to form a rough dough, then turn out onto an oiled board and knead until soft and elastic (approx 10 mins).
    Shape into a ball, pat all over lightly with flour and place back in the mixing bowl. Cover with clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm place away from draughts until doubled in size (approx 1 hour).
  4. Meanwhile, chop the nuts, and drain and chop the figs.
  5. Turn the risen dough out on to a floured surface and press it gently into a rectangle. Combine the figs and walnuts in a bowl, scatter over the dough and roll up.
    Knead until thoroughly mixed. When it’s thoroughly mixed in, divide the dough in two.
    Lightly flour the surface and then shape each half into a ball, press it into a flat disc, and roll up tightly to make a even log/loaf shape.
    Smooth and tuck the ends under tightly, dust all over with flour, then leave to rise again, covered, on the floured board until the loaves almost double in size (approx 40 mins).
  6. After the dough has been rising for 20 mins, turn the oven on to ‘very hot’ (230’C is fine).
    Put in two loaf tins on a large baking tray (or alternatively, two baking trays) to heat up. And put a roasting tin or dish on the floor of the oven. Boil the kettle.
  7. When the loaves have risen, take the tins out of the oven, and put the loaves in them (or on the trays).
    Using a serrated knife, cut three parallel slashes into the top of each loaf, and put tins back on the tray in the oven.
    Pour half a kettleful of boiling water into the roasting tin and quickly close the oven door.
  8. After 10 minutes, turn down the heat to 190C/375F/gas mark 5 and bake for a further 20-30 minutes, until the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the base.
    Leave on a rack to cool completely before slicing.

Notes:

  • Customise the recipe with whatever nuts and dried fruits you have. Raisins and apricots work well. And/or almonds, walnuts etc.
  • Add a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg if you like.
  • In step 5, things get messy. The figs are soggy and the mixture tears through the dough. Persevere though, flour your hands and the board if it gets too sticky.
  • The bread’s delicious with sweet or savoury toppings.

I can’t resist ‘Temptacions’

Temptacions cafe, Calle Trafalgar, ValenciaThis cafe in Calle Trafalgar has become my favourite place to sit and work with a coffee.

As a lady on my own, I don’t feel comfortable in male domain of the usual Spanish bars, so this English/American -style coffee-shop is far more comfortable.

It’s called Temptacions because they do a ludicrously tempting range of sweet treats – whether your particular fetish is pastries, cakes, ice-cream or hot-chocolates, you’ll be satisfied with whatever you pick from their wide selection. They sell a range of artisan breads too, and many customers drop in for a sandwich or pizza slice.

Coffee and rollito at Temptacions cafe, ValenciaPersonally, I’m very happy with a simple cafe con leche and a rollito – a ‘rollito de Santa Clara‘ is a doughnut-shaped biscuit covered in hard white water icing, which is delicious dipped in a hot drink (and not as naughty as one of their pastry confections).

The interior is modern, in shades of brown – caramel, chocolate, black coffee – to match their food products. I take a seat & table if I want to type (free wifi, ask for the contraseña), or hog a leather armchair in the sunny window if I want to read.

The staff are friendly and remember what their individual customers like to have. People pop in for a banter, get lunch para llevar, or sit up at the bar to read a newspaper.

It’s easy to find: on the corner of Calle Trafalgar and Calle Carolina Alvarez, halfway between Avenida del Puerto and Turia (with the Aqua shopping centre and Ciudad des Artes y Ciencias).

Highly recommended.

(I wrote this for TripAdvisor and then discovered that this cafe doesn’t have a TripAdvisor page. Yet. I’ve requested one, but I think five people need to request it before they create a page…)

The counter at Temptacions

How to prepare a persimmon

Persimmon - whole

Until I came to Valencia, I’d never eaten a persimmon. I had no idea how to eat one. And I’m still confused about what they actually are.

A persimmon is apparently different from a ‘kaki’, although they look near identical. Whatever they are, wherever they come from, they are delicious. Imagine the delight of people eating pineapple, or water-melon, for the first time. It’s that good. Somewhere between a peach and an apple. Like a denser sweet melon.

Anyway here’s how to prepare a ‘kaki’:

Persimmon - cut in half

1) Cut in half and remove the stalk and leaves.

Persimmon - quartered

2) Cut into quarters.

Persimmon - removing the skin

3) Remove skin with a small sharp knife.

Persimmon - chopped

4) Chop and eat!

I’ve been having kaki and apple with yoghurt and granola for breakfast. Apparently you can eat the skin. But… it’s better without.

It’s raining money

'Play' moneyWhen I was walking from Ayora metro station tonight, the street was literally littered with tiny 500 euro notes. Hundreds of ’em. Shiny mini notes, printed on both sides, probably from a kids’ play-set. What were they doing in the street?

Universe, if you’re going to rain money, maybe next time make it *real* cash, eh??

A detour via Copenhagen

Copenhagen, exteriorNope, not a quick trip to Denmark, but to a slick new(ish) restaurant here in Valencia, with an ethos and design that pays respectful homenaje to the city it’s named after. Their website‘s design previews the sort of minimalist clean look to the restaurant’s interior.

I’m not vegetarian but I prefer to eat like I am. So going out for dinner with a vegetarian friend is a good excuse to find a restaurant specialising in veggie food.

Two sources of info – Google and TripAdvisor – both pointed to Copenhagen. A couple of other promising options (La Maduixes and La Lluna, which are Valenciano for The Strawberries and The Moon) both ruled themselves out by being closed on Sundays.

We met at el Mercado de Colon (I’m stealthily introducing as many people as possible to my favourite spot for coffee in the centre of town) and then walked the five minutes or so to find Copenhagen in Ruzafa.

In a city filled with traditional Spanish bars, all chrome and lino, Copenhagen stands out. Blond woods, white walls, a huge blackboard with an abstract line design high behind the counter. The perfect square cubbie-holes behind the bar and in the mis-en-place are pure Scandinavian design (although it could be straight from Ikea). This restaurant could be in the hippest area of London.

Copenhagen, interior

It was just after 8.30pm, when evening service starts at Copenhagen. Temprano for them but tarde para mi, la inglesa. If this was London, it’d already be packed and we’d be thinking, ‘Drat, we should have reserved a table.’ But it was deserted. We popped our heads around the door, ‘¿Está abierto..?’ The staff welcomed us, waving us in to sit wherever we wished. The floor was staffed by two handsome chaps, late 20s/early 30s, and an older lady who had an air of The Boss.

We sat halfway between the bar and the kitchen with half an idea of watching some kitchen theatre. That was forgotten because we were too busy chatting and, when the food appeared, too entranced by that to look up at what was occurring elsewhere but on our plates. During our couple of hours there, more diners drifted in. Admittedly not very many: only four other tables. (And the folks on one of those tables seemed to be mates with the chef.) Perhaps it’s packed on other nights of the week? It certainly deserved to be. Because – oh my word – la comida...

We forewent the traditional Spanish way of having dinner: primero, segundo, postres, and instead went straight for segundo (with an eye on getting to postres…). The menu isn’t extensive – a dozen or so dishes. I was drawn to the ‘Curry Hindu’ straightaway, browsed the rest of the list and then went back to my first instinct. Even though I didn’t know precisely what it came with, it’s a vegetarian place so I figured I could just wing it:

‘…con arroz aromático, buñuelos de tofu y berenjena’ – rice, tofu and… errm, something. A post-dinner thumb through my dictionary reveals that ‘berenjena’ is aubergine, and ‘buñuelos’ translates as ‘doughnuts’ so… ‘fried tofu chunks and aubergine’.

Copenhagen’s menu »

Since we were first to order, our food came speedily. The aroma of my curry arrived at the table before the food itself.

Copenhagen's 'Curry Hindu'

It’s tricky to make a plate of curry look good but Copenhagen pull it off (see photo above). A pristine white plate; the pool of thick sauce underneath a slightly overwhelming mountain of yellow aromatic rice; chunks of fried tofu, and aubergine wedges; a ball of delicate seed shoots. As you’d expect, it tasted as good as it smelled. I ate small forkfuls of the curry, trying to decipher what was in it. Cebellas y tomates, obvio. ¿Qué más? Lentejas? The textures all sung harmoniously: smooth curry with the crispy tofu. I had a minor craving for a small chunk of flatbread, and maybe a dollop of raita. But there was so much going on flavour-wise that it didn’t really need these Indian extras.

Hamburguesa Copenhagen

On the other side of the table, the ‘hamburguesa Copenhagen’ was going down well. The menu describes it as: ‘huevo, queso, hamburguesa de soja, brotes tiernos, pepinillos y tomate sobre base de patata al horno con tapenade’. Two things are unorthodox here: egg, and ‘on a base of baked potato’. Huh? Don’t hamburgers always come wedged in a sliced bun? Not in Copenhagen. See photo: under that egg blanket, the soya burger is indeed perched on potato. I had a nibble. The burger tasted… meaty. ¡Qué extraño! Pero delicioso.

So the segundos are substantial but they didn’t prohibit consumption of postres… The waiter explained two puds weren’t available so we chose from the other options. I had a chocolate tart, made with chestnuts (puré de castañas). It arrived looking like a modern work of art.

Tarta casera de chocolate y puré de castañas

Two triangular slabs of tart, spliced with an angular sheet of chocolate flecked with caramel, on a chocolate puddle, with a cocoa dusting. Did I really have to eat this arty creation? (Yes.) Chocolate tarts can be heavy and/or too rich, but Copenhagen have got this just right – creamy texture, a big whack of chocolate, a sweet undertone from the chestnuts. I enjoyed every bite, going slowly because with every mouthful it was closer to terminado.

I traded a chunk of chocolate tart for a heap of the white chocolate mousse. The mousse was light, like a creamy fluffy cloud, tethered to its plate with a shard of white chocolate studded with popping candy. Next to this cloud was a ball of ruby-red sorbet, deep in flavour, zingy, fresh and the perfect complement to the smooth mousse.

Mousse de chocolate blanco con frambuesas frescas, confitura de pétalos y helado

I can’t comment on the carta de vinos because we drank water (Lanjaron still water, stylished packaged in tall almost medical-looking bottles). And there wasn’t any room or inclination for tea or coffee afterwards.

Our gastronomically delightful dinner cost us only 15 euros each, plus tip. On our way out, I asked the staff if they knew what time the metro finishes on Sundays. They weren’t sure, and since they weren’t rushed off their feet, the boss lady quickly got on the phone to find out for me. How’s that for customer service?

I highly recommend Copenhagen to anyone looking for a good quality dinner here in Valencia. Vegetarian or not, the food they’re cooking up is tasty, creative and above all, delicious. It’s the calidad of a top London or New York restaurant but at precios Valenciano¡Qué suerte!