“It would be much easier to write about ‘my perfect WEEKEND in Barcelona’ as I have so many favourite places and things to do and they all depend on whether it’s a day spent with my family, a day having some well earned ‘me’ time or whether we have visitors to entertain. However, the remit given was to write about a day so to fit it all into 24 hours I shall make it possible by hiring a special flying machine that has the ability to travel everywhere at close to the speed of light allowing time to stand still. This is of course in complete contrast to the reality of days and nights out in Barcelona. Nowhere else could the phrase ‘time flies when you’re having fun’ be more apt.
OK, so I awake to blue skies and sunshine flooding in through my balcony window and although my bed is a sanctuary of delicious sleepiness I feel myself being summoned to a world of promises that the day outside has to offer. After grabbing a quick breakfast of café con leche and a Magdalena from Paul patisserie and bakery (c/ Valencia, 287) I head off to my morning ballet class at Carles Ibanez. It’s located just beside Montjuïc (with plenty of parking space for a flying machine). After class I whizz off to meet my fave girlies for an afternoon of indulgent Arabian pampering at Aire de Barcelona (Passeig de Picasso, 22). From there we head off for some boutique shopping in El Born followed by a menú del día at Salero.
My apartment is close to the Arc de Triomf so I will change my mode of transport at this point and stroll home through the Parc de la Ciutadella, stopping en route via the capoeiristas, circus performers, guitar players and young couples in love to see my friend and fellow dancer Iván and his incredible tap/hip-hop dance crew Walk On Tap On perform on the bandstand. The sun will be high in the sky at this point so I may even take the opportunity to bask in the sun whilst re-charging the batteries with a light siesta before my gorgeous husband and our two daughters join me for a roller blade home along Passeig de Sant Joan taking time to stop and watch the skate boarders and BMXers perform stunts in a glory of teenage uber cool.
All that exercise has worked us up an appetite so it’s time for some afternoon tea and the prettiest cakes in town at Cup & Cake (c/ Enrique Granados, 145). From here we head home for a cheeky game of Mario Kart on the Wii before getting ready for a perfect night out.
Before a big night out the hubby and I like to sneak in a bit of ‘us (and a rum and coke) time’ and there’s no better place to have this than at Les Gens Que J’aime (c/ Valencia, 286). This sexy little hideaway in the centre of the city is full of 1920s burlesque charm all under the glow of a sleazy red light. They even have a resident tarot reader for an added touch of mystique. From here we cruise on up to Bar Mut (c/ Pau Claris, 192) for the BEST Catalan tapas this side of the Pyrenees; their chicken with pear, almejas, huevos con morcilla and bravas are exquisite and they have a fine choice of Cava’s too. Just around the corner from Bar Mut is a private members lounge called Mutis. It’s one of Barcelona’s best kept secrets (Ssshhh…). It can be tough to get in but once you do you will not be sorry.
Mutis is a cocktail bar/cabaret club and is a little like stepping into an Agatha Christie film set where the atmosphere hints at an unpredictable night ahead. The room is filled with art deco exuberance and as you sip on a cocktail made by the resident mixologist and have your cares carried away by the moody jazz vocalist you are hit by a feeling that moving to Barcelona was the BEST decision you’ve ever made.
So the cocktails have gone to our heads and it’s at this point in the evening that we forget we have two children to wake up for in the morning and remote control our flying machine to pick us up and take us to Diobar for a boogie till the early hours. Lucky for us there’s a supply of ProPlus in the glove compartment which gives us just the right amount of juice to tear it up on the dance floor to the eclectic array of tunes spinning out from the turntables of Barcelona’s quirkiest DJs.
I tend not to remember what happens from here onwards so I’ll fast forward to Sunday morning where our girls jump into bed for morning cuddles and the coffee brews as Bebo & Cigala’s Lágrimas Negras plays away our hangovers from the kitchen iPod docking station. The windows and balcony doors of our apartment are open to allow in a gentle breeze and warm inviting skies, for a few hours at least, Barcelona’s seductive charm’s will have to wait.”
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