Can Dionis Farm Homestay in Catalonia, Spain

Breakfast at a 700 Year-Old Catalonian Farm

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I could see the question on the faces of the owners of Can Dionis, a 700-year old farm that has been converted into a homestay in Catalonia, Spain as we sat down around a long table set up in their inner courtyard. How do you get a group of travel writers to put down their smart phones, cameras, and laptops?

A press trip with travel writers means constant tweeting, Facebook status updates, taking photos, Instagramming, sending emails and taking notes

A press trip with travel writers means constant tweeting, Facebook status updates, taking photos, Instagramming, sending emails and taking notes, until….

From the edges of the patio they watched us with cocked heads, puzzling over our strange behavior. Moments later, the wife smiled knowingly and signaled for her family to begin serving. To the baskets of fresh-baked bread, whose yeasty fragrance was already suffusing the air, they added plates of meaty red tomatoes, glass carafes of oil so rich it sparkled green in the sunlight, and giant chunks of farm-fresh cheese. Fresh-squeezed orange juice, Spanish Jamon and homemade yogurt followed. Last but not least, the father set a flat-pan cake coated in powdered sugar in the center of the table with a flourish. Neus Vila i Figareda, the director of the Visitors Bureau for the Girona Region and our guide for the day, cut into the golden crust, explaining, “This is a specialty of the house. I asked her to make it for us today. It is delicious spread with their homemade marmalade.”

Typical breakfast of fresh bread rubbed with tomatoes, drizzled in olive oil, and accompanied by cheese in Catalonia, Spain

Typical breakfast of fresh bread rubbed with tomatoes, drizzled in olive oil, and accompanied by cheese in Catalonia, Spain

Homemade cake with marmalade

Homemade cake with marmalade

It is a well-known fact that the only way to separate travel writers from their electronic equipment is with food and this was a veritable feast! Tweeting stopped. Smart phones were laid aside. Facebook updates ceased and laptops were slammed shut. A few more cameras clicked but soon even they were silenced as we dove into the meal with gusto.

Traditional Catalonian beakfast at 700 year-old Can Dionis farm in northeast Spain

…food is the only thing that can tear travel writers away from their electronic equipment

When the strong but delicious brewed coffee appeared I thought we were done but our hosts knew better. One of the younger male members of the family emerged from the kitchen carrying a glass carafe of wine. With a mischievous grin he raised the carafe and tilted his head back, allowing the burgundy colored liquid to stream into his open mouth. Higher and higher he stretched his arm, until it seemed the liquid sluicing from the carafe must splatter down the front of his shirt, but the arc of wine defied gravity and hit its mark with ease.

One of the owners of Can Dionis demonstrates how to drink the wine served at breakfast

One of the owners of Can Dionis demonstrates how to drink the wine served at breakfast

A couple of our group took the unspoken challenge and managed to hit their mouths without pouring half of the wine down their shirt fronts. Though not accomplished with the flamboyance demonstrated by the Catalonians, the effort was met with applause and accolades. We had passed the test. And yes, we had all picked up our cameras and smart phones by then, but we were focused on the event in front of us rather than the outside world.

Munching on seeds from a giant sunflower in the organic garden at Can Dionis

Munching on seeds from a giant sunflower in the organic garden at Can Dionis

Fresh melons from the organic garden

Fresh melons from the organic garden

When we were completely sated the family took us on a tour of their agricultural/livestock farm, demonstrating how they use age-old techniques to harvest and thresh beans and allowing us to pluck melons bursting with ripeness from their organic garden. Today, the farm produces only enough food for the family and guests of Can Dionis, a 13th century farmstead which was destroyed by the French at the beginning of the 19th century and restored and opened to the public in 2002 as a country house lodge.

Proud owners of Can Dionis, previously an operating farm but now a homestay for those who want to experience the culture of Catalonia, Spain

Proud owners of Can Dionis, previously an operating farm but now a homestay for those who want to experience the culture of Catalonia, Spain

Located in the village of Campllong (Girona province), between the Pyrenees Mountains and the Costa Brava, Can Dionis is surrounded by peaceful countryside that is perfect for long walks or bicycle rides to the nearby village. The house sleeps 15 people and offers three double bedrooms with bathrooms (one with handicap access) and three triple bedrooms with bathrooms. Breakfast and dinner are served and though guests are welcome to sample the local cuisine in the surrounding villages, take it from someone who’s personally sampled the goods – you’ll definitely want to have most of your meals at Can Dionis.

My trip to Can Dionis was hosted by Costa Brava Pirineu de Girona. However, the receipt and acceptance of complimentary items or services will never influence the content, topics, or posts in this blog. I write the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. If you are planning a trip to the Catalonia Region of Spain, you can stay at Can Dionis, which is a wonderful Bed and Breakfast as well, or arrange to dine there. For more information or to make reservations, contact the Girones Centre de Visitants (Gerona is the Catalan spelling of Girona) Avinguda de Franca, 221, Sarria de Ter, Girona 17840, Phone:972 011 669 (country code +34), Website with contact form: http://www.turismegirones.cat/uk/index.html.

11 Comments on “Breakfast at a 700 Year-Old Catalonian Farm

    • Hi Stephen: Yes, it was one among many incredible gastronomic experiences in Catalonia.I am back here after 6 weeks in France and discovering even more food. Everything here is fresh, local, and seasonal. So healthy.

  1. What a breakfast spread! I love pa amb tomaquet, I studied in Mallorca and had it every day for breakfast – it’s only tomato-rubbed bread but it’s so delicious. I miss Catalunya now!

    • Ashley, I loved the Spanish breakfast so much that I’ve been eating it in France for the last five weeks. I’m soon headed back to Spain, which makes me very happy, as I didn’t have nearly enough time to explore during my brief visit in September.

  2. That’s awesome! While I hope to one day be up there in the blogging world…I can relate to the photo taking during a meal! While I as having far too much fun photographing my various culinary treats at the San Sebastian Restaurant Week recently, a stranger came up to me and asked if I was a food critic! Made me giggle! Guess the photo and note taking while eating out gave that impression. LoL!!
    Very impressed with the wine drinking technique. I am sure I would have worn quite a bit of that!

    • Hi Anita – I’ve had that happen in restaurants where I’m taking photos and notes, too! It’s always good for a laugh.

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