Jun 102016


Well worth the tripDSC01215


Castell de Castells is a long way from the coast in the interior of the Marina Alta. It is a town of ancient streets and some of the houses are bedecked with flowers.




In the Calle Mayor, which actually is quite narrow, at no.6, close by the church, is a rusty façade behind which is the amazing restaurant, Castell dʹInés.    DSC01237


Mirco the chef is Italian and he is ably aided by Paula who is Spanish.



Together they offer a wonderful tasting menu of five dishes and dessert for €20, drinks not included. It is essential to have a reservation as the food is specifically prepared for the number of guests that have booked and the restaurant does not cater for a passing trade.



Our lunch commenced with a plate of fresh figs, tomatoes, goat´s cheese and salmon. The fusion of flavours was divine. Talking of wine, our host selected a Valdeorras from Galicia called Rua (€15) and a 2011 Rioja called Gavanza (€17) and both complemented the courses that followed.

The next course was beautifully presented raw Monkfish with diced avocado, apple and red peppers.


For some of us the third course was the outstanding one in terms of flavour; foie gras served with fresh apple.DSC01224



This was followed by carpaccio with stilton, onions and pine nuts and the final tasting course was beef cheek.


The dessert was sweetbread with ice cream, and as with all the other courses attractively presented and delicious.





Castell dʹInés fully deserves our five star ranking. Cost p.p. €36.63

MR 81scan buscard d'Ines

Nov 082013



Quaint but tiredDSC00044

Much of the centre of the sleepy inland town of Castell de Castells is pedestrianised and at 13 Calle San José there is a quaint restaurant called Hierbas. A series of long narrow rooms, with walls and ceiling covered with bric-a-brac lead into the dining room. This proved to be the most atmospheric part of our lunch, as we were the only customers.DSC00048


The team providing lunch was an unusual combination of English chef and a Spanish maître d’ which undoubtedly accounted for the selection of some of the dishes on the menu del día.


There were two menus del día available, priced at €10 and €12 plus 10% IVA, and we all chose the former. The alioli was accompanied by delicious warm bread and fresh salad.

For starters we chose creamy tomato soup, spring rolls and deep fried boquerones (anchovies) – all acceptable. The main courses selected were cottage pie, chicken breast with a rather bland pepper sauce and lamb cutlets that were a bit on the dry side. It has to be said that the French fries were outstanding.DSC00052


The house white was a vino de mesa called Conde Noble and as it was a bit dull our host traded up on the red for the reliable Rioja Crianza El Coto (€12).


We concluded our lunch with a chocolate brownie, almond ice cream and almond cake.

Price p.p. €15.40

MH  63                       Hierbas 001