UPDATE: Matís Bar is sadly no longer open.
Bombón de queso y tomate – The art of sphericalisation
As I’ve said before, I’m not normally invited to restaurants, Suzy and Steve are the English-language foodie experts in Barcelona so I leave it to them. But I’m not one to turn down a restaurant invite when it happens. So that’s how I found myself at Matís Bar. A restaurant in the basement of the Architects College in the cathedral square.
The Collegi D’Arquitects de Barcelona is the building in one corner of the square that has friezes on the exterior walls based on drawings by Picasso. It’s not a place where you’d expect to find a restaurant of any note. Even walking past you have to look for the sign directing you to the restaurant downstairs. Read the rest of this article…
UPDATE: Unfortunately the excellent Manolete is no more. It is now the Aperol Spritz Bar. A nice bar, with a covered terrace, in a good location, that thankfully serves more than Aperol.
Manolete, Passeig d’Isabel II, Barcelona
Located slap-bang next to Port Vell underneath the beautiful arches that line parts of Passeig d’Isabel II, Manolete is a charming little restaurant serving some equally charming tapas.
Now I want to be up front here. I don’t normally do restaurant posts. I’m not normally invited to restaurants. To review them I mean – I have friends. But Manolete kindly invited me and for once with these sort of things they were kind enough to invite my wife too. So it was brownie points all round.
We arrived on a warm August evening. You can see Manolete from across the street thanks to the string of bright bulbs out front that remind me of a stage actresses dressing room mirror. They have a small terrace outside with cute red and white polka-dot tablecloths. Inside is similarly charming. It has some nice touches. Distressed-look cupboards filled with glasses and wine, modern black and white photography perched on a shelf half way up the back wall, and pretty embroidered cushions along the wooden but perfectly comfortable benches. Even as I write this it sounds like it shouldn’t work, but it does. The lighting was just right too. And the music playing in the background was loud enough to notice but quiet enough not to be intrusive. I have to admit, I sat down, arranged my cushions behind me, looked around, listened, and then smiled. Even though the restaurant was pretty empty at this point it was an extremely pleasant atmosphere. Read the rest of this article…
A vineyard in the Baix Penedès wine region
Type ‘catalunya wine’ into Google and the chances are that after the obligatory Wikipedia entry (which is certainly a decent primer) you will find CatalunyaWine.com.
If you want to discover the wonders of the Catalan wine region that the rest of the world is even now only just discovering then this is the place to begin your journey.
Catalunya Wine exists to promote Catalan wines to the English-speaking world. Run by Canadian expat Tim Brown and aided by his Cuban-born (but with Catalan roots) wife Lis, the website chronicles Tim’s journey through this unique wine region as he exposes the great wines of Catalunya to promote them to hotels and restaurants both here and abroad. Read the rest of this article…
I’m not normally one for travel guides. Especially city guides that have to accommodate a persons every whim. They are really things that should be consumed beforehand and reduced to a few notes or page photos on your phone. To take the whole thing is far too unwieldy. And who wants to look like a tourist and attract the wrong attention anyway. Especially in Barcelona!
So it was with equal trepidation and interest when I was sent a copy of a new digital format eating guide for Barcelona, simply called Eat Guides: Barcelona.
Eat Guides Barcelona
This was a topic close to my heart – who doesn’t like eating out. And the format was entirely agreeable as it comes as a PDF (or a range of other digital formats). So I can keep it on my phone! Read the rest of this article…
The slow movement, ironically, continues apace since its roots in the mid-80s and the founding of the Slow Food organisation whose ideals advocate slowing down life’s pace and fighting against the notion that faster is always better.
But what is slow travel?
In writing A Manifesto for Slow Travel in 2009, Nicky Gardner describes it thus:
“Slow travel is about making conscious choices, and not letting the anticipation of arrival undermine the pleasure of the journey. By choosing to travel slowly, we reshape our relationship with place and with the communities through which we pass on our journeys.”
Guillermo and Cristina of Barcelona Slow Travel combine the values of slow food, slow travel and eco-tourism. They pride themselves on providing experiences that align with the principles of authenticity, sustainability and human experiences. And above all, they’re just lovely. Read the rest of this article…
If you haven’t checked out the Foodie in Barcelona website then you’ve definitely been missing out. Suzy’s own personal take on the food establishments of Barcelona is one of a very select few blogs I read religiously.
Suzy has been churning out words about the Barcelona restaurant scene for over a year now so what’s so new I hear you ask? Read the rest of this article…
Selecció d’olives i conserves Gloria, Mercat de l’Abaceria
I kindly received an invite from Devour Barcelona food tours to join them one morning. A food tour in Gràcia, one of my favourite neighbourhoods in Barcelona, sounded like great fun. So one Friday morning I found myself at the top of Passeig de Gràcia with our guide, the lovely Renée, giving us a brief history of the street and its connection to the neighbourhood of Gràcia.
And then off we went. Four hours of walking, talking, grazing, learning and generally passing the morning in a thoroughly pleasant way.
This was a food tour that was about more than just the food. Renée knew her stuff. And we were taken on a tour of not only the food, but of the people who prepare and serve it and the neighbourhood that they call home. It is a cultural walking tour that focuses on real lives with the added benefit that these people’s lives are about their passion for food. Read the rest of this article…