Reviews for Casa Grande da Fervenza are a bit like London buses; none since August 2008 but then three come along at once – and all from UK residents! Don’t know why that should be; perhaps a recent plug in the Guardian newspaper for the Alistair Sawdays’ travel guides which has a very positive review? Anyway, I find myself more in agreement with Andy L from Hexham than some of the other reviewers.
Clearly the service in the excellent restaurant is an issue for some, but I think its unfair to compare Fervenza’s restaurant, set in ancient woodlands in a tranquil corner of Galicia where the pace of life mirrors the slow-moving waters of the River Minho which flows only a couple of hundred metres away, with say the bustling, tourist-laden streets of Lugo, Santiago or Pontevedra. As someone who frequently works twelve hour days in a high pressure job, I found the atmosphere and environment at Fervenza wonderfully relaxing – why not take two or three hours over dinner or lunch and just chill out. The food is superb (we had lunch & dinner there both days and it was tremendous quality) and the local wines, using albarino grapes almost to the exclusion of all others, are of equally high quality.
And chill out we did – big time. Fervenza was undoubtedly the highlight of a ten day tour around Galicia where we stayed in two up-scale hotels in Santiago & Vigo as well as three other Pazos. The main house was fully booked for our first night so we stayed in one of the two rooms above the restaurant/kitchen; perhaps not to the same standard as the main house (restricted headroom due to eaves position), but we were delighted to be offered the “premium” room the following night at the normal room rate – a nice touch by the incredibly helpful manager, Norman (no, he actually is Spanish!).
Being located beside one of the great Spanish rivers its not surprising the place is teeming with wildlife. We stayed, regrettably, for only two days and during that time sightings included large birds of prey, otters, numerous varieties of dragonfly and butterfly, frogs, heron and last, but not least a wild boar (see photos attached). If you have even a passing interest in photography then Fervenza and its environs provides great subject material.
No real criticisms but perhaps one or two suggestions – with so little English spoken in this part of Spain menus with English translations would be very helpful; great wine list but none appeared to be offered by the glass; with the biggest and most fruit-laden fig tree I have ever seen literally at the front door of the restaurant it was disappointing that fresh figs did not really feature on the menu (a fig compote as dessert was the only nod towards this wonderful fruit). So in summary, our two days at Casa Grande da Fervenza were among the best we have ever spent on a holiday anywhere in Europe never mind Spain. Highly recommended.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Casa Grande da Fervenza is an old house, born in the XVII century, the ancient house of a miller. The hotel, restaurant and museum, is placed at the bottom of Miño river, the main river of Galicia, “the country of the one thousand rivers”, as Galicia is known. A very old indigenous forest is also beside the hotel. Fervenza forest is a flooding forest, with oaks dated more than three hundred years old, and monumental alders, perhaps the biggest in Spain. Old trees and little lakes and puddles make an unusual landscape. Casa Grande da Fervenza has been awarded in 2007 with the Forest of the year national award 2007 (O.N.G. Bosques Sin Fronteras), because of the permanent fight of the owners to preserve that magnificent forest.Trekking paths part from the hotel to the forest, along river Miño and its typical and forested islands, with more than 36 km. long. The hotel has also prepared a natural bath and “spa” area at the mill’s weir. The hotel has also got a new swimming pool, made with old stone. This offer is completed with an interesting ethnographic museum, where visitors may see old traditions, working as they did three hundred years ago, included the old watermill, forge, ancient looms, sharpening stone, and so on.The old straw loft was changed in 1996 to Fervenza restaurant, where visitors may taste traditional Galician food, with a little bit of innovation. The immemorial wood oven, where rye bread was made, is now working as it did, and we cook on it restaurant specialties. ... more less
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