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Going out in Valencia

radiocityI put myself out there in Valencia last week. I will share my thoughts on how to have a good night out in my favourite city.

On this visit we decided to stay in a Hospes 5 star hotel just outside the old town city centre. Palau de la Mar - a refurbished palace - has many interesting features. A vast wood door decorated with ironwork, an impressive hall and staircase and to the back a wooden courtyard and spa area.

Our room rate was cheap for a hotel of this standard - it was winter and mid-week. On arrival we found the road and pavement to the front was in disarray - perhaps that had dropped the price further. The receptionist did upgrade our room and put us to the back of the building to appease this. Despite the Upgrade the room was pretty small and, although perfectly in order, not particularly inspiring. I have decided that despite this buildings history it isn't quite quirky enough for our listing at QuirkyAccom. There is some soul lacking here.

 

Having said that my brief visit to the simple Spa was enjoyable (pre-warn staff you are going to fire up the sauna/steam room), the receptionist in the morning was very helpful and I'm sorry I can't report on the breakfast as we missed that due to a large night out. More on that in a minute! We did have a little joke about the doors having microphones in them as the corridor activity seemed to be amplified. But again this is partly the fault of the big night as we were trying to sleep in while the cleaners were doing the rounds. Despite reasonable room rates, the spa treatments come at 5 star prices and so does the mini-bar (of course it does - why did we make that school boy error - again!!)

 

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moodfoodThe top restaurant in Valencia on TripAdvisor was just around the corner from us so we booked a table and took that stroll. Mood Food is a little simple bistro bar with a handful of tables so it is necessary to reserve. We were very glad we did. We selected the 6 tapas dishes for €36 and let the chef choose our meal. Steak tartar, salmon with salad, tasty yogurt with berries were amongst them - every morsel delicious. Lots of flavours, friendly service and great value. This place does deserve its glowing reviews. I think they will be upsizing soon due to their popularity.

We then took a cab into the old town in search of the recommended Radio City music bar for a bit of dancing. We got distracted into this and that bar enroute and then, when we were suitably tipsy, made our statement on the dance floor until the place closed about 4am. Yes, we've still got it!

Next morning was swallowed up in recovery but then we were out into the sunshine, strolling in the park of the dry Turia riverbed close to the hotel. This area also has el Centro Cultural Bancaja at Plaça de Tetuán. Currently there is showing an exhibition on Picasso and his relation with TV, plus Sorolla. It is only €2 to enter and free on a Sunday. But this would have to wait for our next visit. We were on a mission to get a paella feast for lunch. The hotel had suggested the restaurant Jauja, on the other side of the dry riverbed park, not far from it. Despite being between 2 roads the outdoor seating was in a relaxed setting with some people-watching to keep us awake. The paella and salad were special - this is a great lunch spot on a sunny day.

An after-lunch snooze in the park set us up for the drive home. Another beautiful interlude from everyday life, in Valencia!