While visiting Barcelona on a long weekend break we decided to spend the last night in Priorat wine region, located only 1.5hrs away from Barcelona. For those that have not heard about Priorat before, it is one the smallest wine regions in Spain but also considered one (if not the most!) prestigious one at the moment. Worth the visit if you like powerful reds with a great potential for aging and if you want to get away from the busy city life.
We stayed at Cal Llop Hotel, a quaint and modern boutique hotel atop of a small village of Gratallops, run by a friendly couple Cristina and Waldo. It is ideally located to explore the Priorat wine country, with Gratallops housing c. 20 wineries alone which are all within walking distance of the hotel.
Cal Llop is a charming and unique hotel. It combines modernism and authenticity in a harmonious way having been restored from an old barn, which preserves the ancient stone facade while the rooms offer a contemporary design.
Upon arrival we were warmly greeted by Cristina, who showed us to our room. We stayed in room 8, at the highest part of the building, which Cristina said used to be the granary. Now it is an elegant suite, with warm red colours, and magical views of the Montsant mountains, the Gratallops village, the vineyards and the nearby church. It’s a romantic room and it’s perfect for couples!
Our room – room 8; view from the room
Eager to explore, we check out the rest of the rooms. Each room is different, incorporating a bold mixture of tradition with a contemporary feel. They all have plenty of natural light, stunning views and are equipped to the highest standard with air-conditioning, telephone, internet access and plasma TV. The rooms come with excellent continental breakfast, local jams and great coffee!
On the 1st floor, there is the lounge area – a lovely corner to have a rest, have a glass of wine and enjoy one of the many books on design, architecture, wine or just a novel.
We head out for dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, La Boca del LLop, which is Waldo’s speciality. The cuisine is Catalan, specialising in dishes made from local ingredients and paired with local wines. We enjoyed Pa amb tomàquett (Catalan traditional recipe which involves rubbing toasted bread with fresh tomato, olive oil and garlic), cured hams and grilled baby octopus to start with. We thought the starters tasted exquisite and were overall very generous in size! For our mains, we chose lamb cutlets with stewed vegetables and succulent pork medallions. We paired the food with a splendid Priorat red from Alvaro Palacios Finca Dofi 2002. Though it was a 10 year old vintage, the wine was still bursting with dark fruit while showing notes of gamey and earthy tertiary aromas.
Tucking into Catalan food & wine at La Boca del LLop
We left the next day sad that we did not stay longer as it was truly an amazing experience. Winerist could not recommend this hotel more for wine lovers looking for great wines, food, service, and peace of mind! From Cal Llop you can easily explore the rest of the Gratallops village, visit some of the wineries (we recommend you drop by at Clos Figueres) or drive in the quiet countryside.
Written by: Tatiana Livesey, Winerist Co-founder.