For foodies, there is but one Meccah: the handsome seaside city of San Sebastian in northern Spain.
A charming and wealthy spot on a headland overlooking a lovely curving beach, it boasts nine Michelin-starred restaurants, a trio of which boast three stars. Within a thirty minute drive of town there are a further eight.
Now that might not seem that remarkable - there are fifty four in London, after all - but remember that San Sebastian is a town of a little over four hundred thousand souls, against London's eight million. But the real deal for foodies is that the general standard of cooking outside the Michelin hot-house is of a staggeringly high order.
For the Basque people, food is elevated to reverential status, in the same way that Italians value design, the French value going on strike and the Germans value telling their neighbours what to do.
This is the home of pintxos, Basque cuisine's gift to the world: finger-sized morsels of food of such staggering quality and variety that there's even a verb for going on a pintxos crawl - txikiteo (pronounced 'chikitayo'). Wherever you wander in San Sebastatian's mediaeval Parte Vieja you'll find bar after bar serving quite remarkable grub, piled on huge plates and brought out with great ceremony.
The food is held in place on the slice of French bread on which it sits by a tooth pick and you just grab a plate and help yourself. When you're done you hand in your plate, the picks are counted and the cost tallied up. Simple.
It's one of the reasons why Angus Armstrong, our courageous but ultimately dead hero in chapter one of The Blood Puzzle, had gone native. Basque cuisine is emblematic of their wider culture, civility and values and it drew him in and held him there.
You should go if you can: it's a beautiful corner of Spain with a stunning coastline, green and moutainous interior and none of the searing heat of the south. Tom Paver loves it for good reason.