The next day (and our final day in Spain after this day and this one), we popped out in search of even more of Bilbao, stopping at the local market (which was a huge part of Bilbao, got closed down and recently renovated into part-fresh food market and part restaurant/tapas bar area.
We carried on through the streets of Bilbao, stopping every so often for some sweet treats once our breakfast buzz wore off slightly, before heading into the Guggenheim.
As we’d been to the Guggenheim, just a few months before, there were bits of it I really wanted to see, bits I felt okay with skipping (I’m one of those people that read everything in museums so this was actually a good thing) and other bits I didn’t mind re-exploring.
We spent the next couple of hours doing just that – stopping to see the works of Bill Viola (something I’d been intrigued by with since I’d seen it all around Bilbao since the day before).
It’s funny, I actually arrived to see Bill Viola’s stuff slightly cynical as well about how much I’d like it but left thoroughly enjoying it!
I’m not an art critic and so I won’t pretend to be one but I feel like visual art, like music and food is something to be enjoyed and the measure of any critique, is how much you enjoyed so for me, it was absolutely perfect and what I was looking for out of it.
Lunch that afternoon was quite the treat! See, right next door to the Guggenheim (and I guess kind of in the Guggenheim actually) is Nerua restaurant – a Michelin star restaurant. We’d wanted to eat here on our last trip but it was closed when we were there and we never got round to coming back at the right time (it was a fair trek from our Airbnb to be fair).
This time, however, it was open and waiting for us. 🙂
For a restaurant that is (kind of) part of an art gallery, it has surprisingly almost no art or accoutrements in it. It’s fairly bare and under-stated, something which somehow manages to work in its favour.
We started off with a few tasters…
…before being shown to our tables where we proceeded to start with tomatoes, served with aromatic herbs and capers juice. Each tomato seemed also be filled with the juice so it burst in your mouth with the most amazing flavour – utterly delicious!
We moved on to beans in a vegetable broth, which sounds (and looks) plain but tastes absolutely amazing. (And I’m not a broth kinda guy so this say a lot!)
Next was the fried hake, served with txoricero pepper strands – this was my absolute favourite of the courses and that flake just came apart perfectly! Thinking about it now has me so hungry…
Next up was the rack of lamb (utterly delicious and cooked to perfection), served with rice germs (still have no clue what rice germs is till this day – I’m just gonna google it now actually) and sherry.
For dessert, we had an apple and cinnamon flan served with sheep’s milk curd ice-cream – the idea of curd ice-cream sounds strange on paper but it totally works!
The perfect finish to an absolutely perfect meal! (Suffice to say, I was pretty much live-whatsapping to our friends back in London about what they’d missed when we didn’t get to come to this restaurant during our previous trip to Bilbao).
Coffees, teas and a few glasses of wine later, we headed back to our hotel, going over the bridge for the best view of the Guggenheim, before leaving Bilbao and indeed, Spain for London!
Campo Viejo promised a summer of colour and judging from the past couple of days, and the delightful amount of Rioja we were carting back home to drinking with friends, they certainly delivered! 🙂