Christmas in A Coruña
07 January, 2016
Christmas means decoration, gifts, ornaments, rituals, celebrations and much more. But, it is also a season when we probably have some extra leisure time. If you use it this year to visit A Coruña, you can get involved in a number of activities scheduled up to the moment the Three Wise Men arrive. Here, then, are our Christmas tips, and an introduction to two restaurants with Michelin stars not far from the city.
The María Pita Christmas Village opens to the public in early December and offers children’s activities, magic, games, music and gifts. Toddlers and infants will have a whale of a time here with the plethora of activities tailored to their needs. Children, the main focus of Christmas cheer, will be treated to a new edition of Nadaliño, a show featuring games and educational activities hosted in Palexco.
The A Coruña Science Museums have also scheduled a special programme for the season which entails learning while having fun. As ever, the festivities come to a close with the Grand Cavalcade of the Kings (Three Wise Men), a parade through the city’s streets, full of surprises, on the magical night of 5 January.
But, not everything has been devised for children. We adults can also enjoy these festivities. So, if you’re coming to A Coruña, be aware that there are numerous concerts on offer, as well as the premiere of several musicals and an Afro-American Gospel Music Festival.
Lastly, in the afternoon of the 31st, the customary San Silvestre Coruñesa race starts in the Plaza de María Pita and finishes at the Obelisco, for those who want to see the old year out in good shape and shed some of the calories acquired during the long holiday week.
While you’re here, we recommend a getaway to two restaurants in the area with a Michelin star:
O Porto de Barizo, Barizo, 15113 Malpica de Bergantiños, A Coruña
Chef: Fernando Agrasar
Located in the heart of the Costa da Morte (Coast of Death), opposite the Sisargas islands, the restaurant is housed in the hotel of the same name, a building with large windows that seem to lean out over the cliff edge. The dining-room is a relaxing, modern space with a formidable fireplace and just eleven tables set around it. The cuisine at As Garzas bears a sea flavour – that of the Atlantic in pristine state. Their chef, Fernando Agrasar, asserts that the cuisine is not avant-garde but creative. Sans impositions or any pointless elaborateness.
Key to the menu is the Galician fish and seafood, crafted into veritable pleasure bites. While liable to seasonal variation, grouper and sea bass always take pride of place. The rices, too, especially their lobster rice. Apart from an impressive seasonal menu, As Garzas also offers a carefully curated menu for “those reluctant to make a choice”. There are 12 to 14 dishes in all (bearing in mind that two of them are desserts), which vary in terms of the season and market, with innovation as the restaurant’s hallmark.
Retiro da Costiña
Av. de Santiago, 12. 15840 Santa Comba, A Coruña
Chef: Manuel Costiña
Set in a stately manor halfway between Santiago de Compostela and the Costa da Morte, each area in the Retiro is meticulously designed for enjoying each occasion. For appetizers, a wine cellar with a star-studded ceiling, while lunch and dinner are hosted in a spacious, stone-walled dining-room. And, for after-dinner, an elegant salon with a fireplace.
Retiro offers market cuisine with the most appetising dishes in season. No kidding – Galicia rules! So, it requires no effort to find such marvels as razor clams from Fisterra, grouper from Aguiño, hake from O Celeiro or oysters from O Freixo. Aside from the delicious menu, Manuel offers two tasting menus, one of which is carefully paired by the sommelier. And, there’s more – the wine cellar! In addition to a striking wine list, they have another featuring liqueurs, each with over 800 items. Enological gems such as 40- or 50-year-old Macallan whisky.
There you have it – what’s in store for you if you visit A Coruña over Christmas. Check out our flights here.
Text by Turismo de A Coruña
07 January, 2016