We visited Fonda Farre on our way home, while riding through the Spanish Pyrenees.
This fonda has all the ingredients that we like when we're traveling on motorcycle:
- There is a bar, where people of the village come to drink and talk.
- There are comfortable rooms with a splendid view of the Pyrenees.
- The owner and his parents are enjoyable and welcoming.
- And on top of that, it has a restaurant with splendid food.
Here is our report, made in 2010.
Arrival: the reception, the room and the bar
It was late, I was tired, and we had been looking for a hotel for a long time, when we spotted a yellow building with the name Fonda Farré. Fonda sometimes means a place to eat, and sometimes a place to eat and sleep, so Ernst rode to the building, and asked an old man standing outside, whether there were rooms, habitaciones. The man said yes.
When we rode together to the building, the old man stood there, smiling, to point us out where we could leave the motorcycles, and he handed us over to his son who would take care of everthing. Which the son, Jaime, did, in a very friendly way.
The room and the bar
We were given a room. Nothing special, but good, clean, a good bathroom, and a splendid view. Once downstairs again, we decided to drink a beer outside. To help us make the desicion about which beer, the father put the different bottles for us on the bar, with the glasses that belonged to it ;-)
In short, you are welcomed by the whole family here, and everybody is very friendly and helpful.
I was certain that the bikes would be absolutely dsafe in front of the Fonda, and we could even have parked them at the back of the building, but the owners insisted that we parked them inside their own garage.
This is a good home for the bikes as well.
Even though we were the only guests that night, we could have "cena", the evening meal, in the restaurant.
Here, you see the restaurant: yellow walls, red ceiling, tables with a white tablecloth and wooden chairs. The wine and the water are already on the table.
In most circumstances, this room will be full of people: the sound of voices, glass and cutlery on plates will be everywhere. Of course, those sounds belong to a meal in Spain, but we had to do without.
Jaime, the owner and cook, speaks very good French, which makes conversation a bit easier for us. He really made up for the lack of other people: we talked about our travel, about the restaurant and its history, about the food.We were lucky to be the only guests: in other circumstances, he will not have time to talk to everyone!
Cooking as an art
Food in Spain is often simple, but not so in Fonda Farré: Jaime makes cooking what it is: an art. He loves cooking, he love innovating, he loves experimenting, and above all, he loves food.
The menu of Fonda Farré changes often.
The base for food is here, obviously, Catalan in the first place; not Spanish. In fact Spanish doesn't exist: every region is different, and this applies especially to Catalonia.
The photograph shows us with the entrees. For Ernst a Catalan soup; for me roasted Catalan bread with roasted peppers, roasted eggplant, goat's cheese and salad.
The main course is a self-made butifarra for me (Catalan sausages), and pollo, chicken, for Ernst. And as a dessert, we get self-made torta with mulberries.
It is not only all fresh and self-made, and Catalan, but also incredibly delicious.
Of course, the wine we are given also tastes great. This is an address for good food, better than we are worth it! We seldomly eat in a good restaurant, and I'm sure that whoever is used to good restaurants, will be enthousiastic about Jaime as a cook. But even when we lack the experience, we do have taste: Jaime cooks deliciously, that is absolutely clear.
Places to visit
On a motorcycle, you will probably go to the Pyrenees to ride! But when you would like to visit a town, you could consider La Seu de Urgell with its cathedral, or you could admire the Modernista former ayuntamiento of La Pobla de Segur, Casa Mauri.
But the real treat here are, of course, the mountains, and the roads that go through them.
You could explore, for instance, the C-13 (later C-28) to the north, leading to the Val d'Aran after you have passed the Port the la Bonaigua. Especially interesting here are the side-road thak take you high into the mountains. Often, they are a dead-end, but there is one road, starting in Esterri d'Aneu, that will take you (part unpaved) to Bacquiera. from where you can use the C-28 to get home again.
Or you could ride to Andorra, and avoid the town, and instead explore the various side-roads.
Or you could make a tour over the Coll de Faidella and the Coll de Boixols, and then on, to the Coll de Jou, and then to the north using small roads, to Tuixen and Fornols. and eventually to La Seu d'Urgell.
You just can't go wrong here.