For two days, a group of journalists were able to observe firsthand what means an experience in Puebloastur. The complex which opened its doors in Cofiño, Parres, a few days ago, received the visit of the media most prestigious of the country, in a meeting in which the environment of the installations were made known explaining step by step the habits and customs.
To do this the program of this first meeting counted on the knowledge of the biologist Juancho Aspra who took them to a tour around the hotel reviewing the most represented species in the area as the marten or the kestrel and showing them unique pieces of yew, beech forests, the centenarian church and even the original washhouse of Cofiño.
Kiko Lamata, director of Puebloastur, accompanied them during their stay at the 5 star Hotel where they were able to learn about the project's philosophy that goes beyond a mere hotel establishment. This is a clear commitment to rural life, a respect for tradition, the environment and nature that extrapolates in every corner of Puebloastur. From its construction materials up to the raw material of its dishes it represents a tribute to Asturias and its people.
Another milestone of the trip was definitely the gastronomic quality check of "Puebloastur" and "Halcon", the two restaurants in the complex. The first highlight was the place where the meeting started, where they could exchange the first data from the experience and try a tasting menu designed for the occasion and the second because it offered them the chance to enjoy the senses of taste, smell and views, but not only of the food but also of the panoramic views offered by "the Halcon" through its large windows in front of the Picos de Europa.
Quite a show of the entire team led by Ramón Celorio, head chef of Nature Group and Javi Felechosa, Responsible for the kitchen of Puebloastur, which made the weekend a perfect culinary appointment. Some examples of culinary delights that caught the attention of the diners were callos de pixin, the Asturcelta gochin and last not least the typical Asturian bean stew and desserts including rice pudding and the authentic recipe casadielles of Chef Felechosa's grandmother. Again a sign of respect for tradition coexisting with “cutting edge” cuisine.
The Puebloastur frame is a privilege for its natural beauty but also for being located in an area where two Michelin star establishments are concentrated. The proximity of its location, El Corral del Indiano José Antonio Campoviejo located in Arriondas, just 5 km from Puebloastur, and Casa Marcial another Spaniard Michelin star, Nacho Manzano also within 5 km of Puebloastur made it possible that we could turn them away from their kitchens to have breakfast with our guests and talk about the importance of respecting the tradition and the farmland that gives us the products that after all are the stuff with which their professional merits are achieved.
The meeting could not end without knowing the context in which all this bet is made: Asturias.
A region which is rich in every aspect and of which everybody knows a lot of places and which yet can surprise again and again its visitors. Such as the mighty Sella River passing through the Salmonera Cano in the council de Onis. Quite a spectacle even without being the season of rising salmons.
The trip ended with a small intervention of the expert in rural environments, Jaime Izquierdo, who took the opportunity to defend rural life and a new development of towns and villages and of course of initiatives like Puebloastur which not only pretend to live with that environment but encourage it. Proof of this is undoubtedly the cultivation of vegetable gardens of which the hotel will be supplied, stables or barns where native species such as the pita pinta, the Asturcelta gochu, the Xalda sheep or asturcón are raised, the bakery where you work the sourdough bread or winch where the Asturian ancestors recognize the same taking a "pint" of wine buying some "madreñas".
As a must-attend event on Sunday, we got off to Cangas de Onis and visited the market where cheeses and fabas were the protagonists. Speaking of product quality and cultivated land they had to meet the sellers of household products who every Sunday go to the fair with lots of fabas, honey and cheese among other delicacies.
The meeting will be repeated because there was much still to learn and where to go and because each of them have surely fell in love with some corner of the route. Not all was work, there was also time to try the spa and to relax in the rooms with panoramic views.
Hopefully then we meet again ... in "Puebloastur".