(de La Canya, Olot. Tel: +34 972 26 92 09. Email: email@example.com)
Les Cols is the most extraordinary space. Occupying the ground floor of a large old house, it was renovated a few years ago. Walls and floor are clad in matt-finished dark steel sheeting. The same sheets, cut into 15cm strips, are used in an arrangement to separate tables along wall. The way the strips are attached to floor and ceiling makes them look like slightly twirled pieces of fabric. All tables and chairs are also metal – with a gold epoxy coating. The amazing thing about all this is that there is no sense of the space being hard and unfriendly, although soft lighting probably has something to do with it.
After the usual pre-prandial glass of Cava, the meal opened with artisanal bread accompanied by a selection of local olive oils. One would usually have associated the devotion to olive oil with Tuscany, but driving around Catalonia we saw several areas where ancient olive trees had been collected in preparation for sale and transplant to smart buildings in Europe’s capital cities. The gnarled trunks are – doubtless – a fabulous design feature in juxtaposition with minimalist modern interiors, but it does seem a shame to move trees from earth they have lived in for several hundred years.
We again selected the tasting menu, and found several of the courses enjoyable (lamb, roasted for 11 hours at 70 ºC was particularly good). However, we agreed that we would probably have been better off ordering from the a la carte menu on this occasion.