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Tess de Mar, Campos

Mediterranean fine dining in an elegant setting at the heart of Campos.

2019, May 27th

At first glance, Campos seems an unlikely setting for a fine-dining experience but, in the heart of this agricultural town, Tess de Mar is one of two excellent restaurants at the 5-star Sa Creu Nova Art Hotel and Spa – a sympathetic conversion of three townhouses.

Tess de Mar is open to the public and has a separate street entrance, so you don’t have to walk through the hotel foyer.

The restaurant’s super-stylish interior has exposed stone walls, part-vaulted ceiling, glossy wooden floor, and outstanding original art – some of it created by the hotel’s owner. You can also eat al fresco on the attractive garden terrace – where you’ll find it hard to believe you’re in a town.

Tess de Mar offers Mediterranean cuisine, based on local zero-kilometre produce – including some grown in its own kitchen garden. Argentinian executive chef Juan Ocampo previously worked in some top restaurants around the world, in countries including Argentina, the United Arab Emirates, and Dubai.

The kitchen has a Josper oven and this means a treat for meat eaters. For dinner, the charcoal-grill section of the à la carte menu includes a 1.2-kilo tomahawk steak and a one-kilo porterhouse steak. Wild turbot and a fish catch of the day are also available from this grill. Hearty appetites are recommended for the Josper-cooked dishes – all designed for two to share.

Dinner begins with an amuse-bouche and moreish home-made 90-hour-fermented bread with home-made vegan butter. From the starters, we had smoked sardine fillets, roasted vegetables and rye coca in a roasted vegetable broth, and tartar of aged-beef tenderloin, with a light ‘Béarnaise’ ice cream (delicious). Mains were grass-fed local lamb and the catch of the day – sea bass – with spiced pepper ‘mole’, a silky beetroot sauce, and coal-roasted leaves. Desserts brought a memorable dinner to a close.

A tasting menu is also offered: a selection of the chef’s five best seafood dishes (70€), with an optional wine pairing (30€) available. At lunchtime, expect an à la carte menu of lighter, healthier dishes.

Maître Filipe Silva ensures that service is friendly and professional. The well-curated wine list includes quality wines by the glass or bottle. Book a room in the hotel to take full advantage of the fine-dining experience at Tess de Mar.


Photos: Tess de Mar / Jan Edwards

Prices were correct at time of writing