A feast for foodies – why Oviedo is Spain’s new capital of gastronomy

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The Asturias city is home to revered cider, cheese, meat and beans – and a new rail link now makes it easy to get to from Madrid

As my train heads north-west from Madrid towards the green hills of Asturias, I eagerly await views of the lush landscape – but instead, I’m plunged into darkness. A new series of tunnels is leading me to the northern region’s capital, Oviedo, and among them is the seventh-longest in Europe: at 15 miles, it’s a complex work of engineering that cuts through the Cantabrian Mountains.

It’s much less scenic, but this new route – a €4bn (£3.4bn) infrastructure project launched last November – has reduced travel time between Madrid and Asturias by more than an hour, with an even shorter journey time expected later this year. The speedier connection means weekend breaks for madrileños and two-in-one holidays for visitors are more appealing than ever – not least for foodies drawn to the gastronomy of Spain’s greener, cooler regions.

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