from the airport to the centre of Valencia, which is where
paella originally comes from, is easy. You unpack and settle
into your downtown self-catering apartment and already you are
thinking about paella, although no one has warned you that
ordering paella in the centre of Valencia is the equivalent to a
culinary catastrophe. Other things you probably do not know are
that there are dozens of kinds of paella as well as the fact
that for the best paellas you need to order in advance.
delicious seafood paella, take the metro to the Las Arenas
beach where there is a row of famous and reasonably priced
restaurants right by the sand. Here you will not have to book
ahead but you will need to be patient as real paellas are made
individually and take half an hour or so to prepare. While away
your time munching tellinas or clams.
decide to rent a car, book a Valencian paella in Serra, which is
a town up in the mountains, to savour what the Valencians
consider to be the authentic paella. It is made with chicken,
rabbit, snails, rosemary, butter beans and green beans and
cooked over a log fire. You have to book though or your journey
will be wasted. My favourite restaurant is La Balsa de San
Antonio, just out of town tucked into a bend in the mountain
road by a small reservoir. Take advantage of having a car and
drive out to the fishing village of El Palmar by the lagoon.
Order arros a banda or arros amb caranc, which is
crab and rice stew along with a serving of spicy eels with
potatoes called all i pebre.