The moment I realised I would be going to Valencia for a hen do, the first thing I could think of was indulging in an authentic paella.
You might not think about Valencia as a place for a typical hen party but that was the point – this wasn’t the standard weekend filled with neon pink feathery accessories and drunken escapades. This gorgeous bride wanted a weekend of luxury – Kardashian style.
After being treated to breakfast at the No 1 lounge at Gatwick, our two hour flight touched down in sunny Valencia and we were ready to celebrate, reminisce and explore.
Our first day involved us settling in to our weekend home – a bright and airy apartment located near Plaza de la Reina, where you could eat, shop and easily pick up transportation.
The roads are similar to Sorrento and are lined with the most beautiful buildings boasting uniform balconies. I became somewhat of an architecture fiend, snapping away at any given opportunity to capture the beauty and intricacy of these buildings.
I could spend hours wandering those streets, where lightly coloured buildings pave the way and create an air of romanticism. With every turn, you were likely to stumble across quaint cafes, colourful bars and eateries.
Boarding the city tour bus, we were taken around Valencia where we learnt more about the history of the city and the various influences that is still evident through the architecture and monuments that stand today from both Roman and Muslim rule.
We marvelled at some of the points of interest, taking a moment to really appreciate the life that had walked before us. After our tour we headed back to recoup and were once again out, exploring Valencia by night. Children happily played football as clocks neared midnight and as we freely roamed the streets looking for a good bar to relax at, I loved how safe it felt to be out this late. Of course you must keep your wits with you but as the night life starts relatively late in Spain, there were just as much people around as you would see during the day.
The only downside to Valencia however is the God awful slow service. You appreciate just how good the customer service is in London after you contend with staff in Valencia. Let me tell you, not only are you going to have to chase waiters for drinks, you’re going to have to put up with their blasé attitudes when they really screw up orders. An example of this being bringing me an alcoholic drink when I asked for no alcohol.
Yes. That kind of screw up.
You can’t let that deter you from the rest of the city though. If you want to get away from the rush of it all then why not head to the beach? A 20 minute cab ride from Plaza de la Reina, we pulled up to the bluest skies, towering palm trees and soft golden sand.
Playa de la Malvarrosa is a beautiful spot to lay out, top up that tan and frolick in the sea. Away from the beach, restaurants and bars line the street for those wanting to quench their thirst or satisfy their appetite.
If you prefer to get closer to the water and feel that sea breeze whilst gently riding the waves, then a sunset catamaran cruise will tick all those boxes. My favourite part of the entire weekend, it was good to just lie back, reflect and appreciate. The open sea is breathtaking. I’ve always had a bit of a fear of open water but that completely subsided and you can’t help but marvel at the endless blue right into the distance.
I can’t even describe the mural of colours as the sun began to set.. So I snapped a few pictures which I think explains my loss for words.
The final day of our luxurious weekend was spent at The Westin where we were treated to a soothing 60 minute treatment of our choice at the Caroli Health Club. I opted for a relaxing massage which was the perfect way to end this weekend of indulgence.
In terms of food, Valencia not only boasts dishes that tourists will be familiar with such as pizza and fast food franchises like McDonald’s and Burger King, but they also have more authentic dishes on offer like their traditional paella which I urge everyone to try.
One word of caution though, if you’re after an authentic paella then ensure that you don’t end up ordering arròs caldós by mistake. Although it’s a common dish in Valencia, the name translates to brothy rice. It is served in what reminded me of a cauldron which surprised me quite a bit but even with the mix up, it was a tasty meal.
For those with a sweet tooth, gelato is your answer. There are loads of gelaterias that line those bustling streets and with so many flavours to choose from, chances are you’ll be making more than one trip back.
It’s definitely been a while since I’ve been in Spain, however like my previous visits, I easily find myself not wanting to leave. As we were in Valencia for a purpose our focus was obviously living it up like Kimmy K – which I think we successfully did. Catamaran cruise. VIP access to the club. Indulgent spa treatment. You couldn’t ask for a better hen weekend!
However there is plenty more to explore here and I’m eager to resume my love affair with this vibrant Spanish city – Kardashian ready of course!