“Firstly my perfect day would have about 36 hours in it. At least! Having had a long and lovely night’s sleep, I would wake up early, and drive or cycle to the beach. Next to the W Hotel at the end of the Barceloneta beach, there is a great place to swim. I would meet up with my swimming buddies and have a long 2km swim. Then, run up the beach and have a well deserved cup of tea at the Buenas Migas (‘good crumbs’ in Spanish). They do great focaccia and cakes. I would chill there for a while, watching the sun over the sea and the hippies doing their morning yoga on the beach.
Then I would go to the Real Club de Polo de Barcelona and do an hour’s riding or polo practice in the beautiful grounds. Then breakfast overlooking the polo pitch – pan con tomate y jamón (‘tomatoed’ bread and Serrano ham) with a café con leche.
Having had a bit of sunbathing time, I would think about lunch – food being one of the most important and best things about being in Spain.
There are so many places I love for food. So depending on the mood I would go to La Gavina at the beach front for a paella or tuna millefleur (outstanding!) followed by an ice cream at the best place in town – Gelato Fratello (Passeig de Joan Borbó, 15). The “dulce de leche” is to literally die for but there are so many flavours you could go every day and not get bored.
I would then maybe have a wander into the Born, always lots of things to do and see there. Then if I was feeling up to it, a walk in the Parc de la Ciutadella or even up to Tibidabo and have a more energetic walk up to the fairground for amazing views of the city. Then a tram back down to the Mirablau. A quick drink there and back into town to meet friends in a cute little café I discovered the other day on Pau Claris with Valencia called Josephine’s. One of my favourite new places. A very cute and relaxed atmosphere.
Then back home, recharge the batteries, and head out to a rooftop bar for pre-dinner drinks. The Hotel Condes de Barcelona has a lovely bar in the summer, as does the Claris Hotel and the Majestic. After sipping cava and eating a few tapas we would go for dinner at either a lovely sushi place called Kibuka in Gràcia or if we were feeling indulgent to Osmosis. A fantastic tasting menu restaurant in Eixample (Aribau with Mallorca).
After all that food a quick digestif at the bar next door called Paradoja. Run by a family of Argentineans, it has some of the best cocktails in town. Then off to dance the night away at either Opium Mar, Diobar or Astoria.
As I said, this perfect day would have to have AT LEAST 36 hours!”
Valerie works as a physiotherapist. She has been living in Barcelona for 6 years.
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