The balconies of the Festa Major de Gràcia
The 195th running of the Festa Major de Gràcia starts today (Mon 15th Aug 2011) and runs all week until Sun 21st August.
This Gràcia festival was my first experience of any of the barrio festivals when I arrived in Barcelona just over a year ago. I went to the Poble Sec festival just recently and I have to say, even with their Correfoc, it isn’t a patch on the Gràcia experience. In terms of size, entertainment and all round effort, nothing beats Gràcia. Read the rest of this article…
My friends at Beach Fit Barcelona are organising their first boot camp. I love what they do. Even though I am yet to attend. I want to go. I really do. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. But I might go along to this just for the evening activities. But somehow I don’t think that’s allowed.
Anyway, read what the guys at Beach Fit have to say about it… Read the rest of this article…
This is what Google Maps is great for. Creating your own map with points of interest relating to a specific topic and place. This map was created by a friend of mine who is partial to the odd glass of vino. It highlights what he considers to be the best Barcelona bodegas. Or the ones he has come across so far at any rate.
The Best Bodegas in Barcelona (via the medium of Google Maps)
So what is a bodega?
In Spanish the word ‘bodega’ means cellar. But in Spanish-speaking countries it is often used to describe a winery, wine cellar, wine shop, bar or even a small convenience store. Read the rest of this article…
So what is vermouth?
“Vermouth (pronounced ‘ver-məθ [UK] or /vərˈmuːθ/ [US]) is a fortified wine flavored with various dry ingredients. The word “vermouth” comes from the German word wermut for wormwood that has been used as an ingredient in the drink over its history. The modern versions of the beverage were first produced around the late 18th and early 19th centuries in Italy and France. Vermouth was consumed as a medicinal libation until the latter 19th century when it became an important ingredient in many of the first, classic cocktails, such as the martini.” Wikipedia
Cala del Vermut, c/ Magdalenes, 6
Now my knowledge of vermouth is limited to say the least. I always associated it with the Italian red vermouth, Martini Rosso. A foul drink as I remember. A drink from a different era. A drink my parents drunk at dinner parties. I’d tasted it, but generally it was to be avoided. Maybe in the odd cocktail, but on its own, no thank you.
And then I moved to Barcelona and was taken to my very first ‘vermut’ bar, Cala del Vermut, where they serve their own label, Catalan brewed, Spanish vermouth on tap. It comes in a tall straight glass, with ice and a green olive. It was fantastic. I loved it. The perfect apéritif. And at €2 it is an absolute bargain. Read the rest of this article…
Green Tea French Macaron
I’m quite partial to a cake, especially carrot cake. And I make a very good apple, date and walnut cake that may well be the death of me. That’s if the walnut and sour cherry chocolate brownies don’t get me first.
So bribe me with anything cake-like and there’s a good chance I’ll do pretty much anything for you. Except ironing. I hate ironing. But a blog post? No problem. I have absolutely no blogging morals whatsoever when it comes to cake.
So, here goes… Read the rest of this article…
The Dancing Egg (L’Ou com Balla)
Today is the Feast of Corpus Christi, a Western Catholic tradition. Catholics (and a few other religions) celebrate this day with processions through the streets of towns and cities around the world.
But something that seems to be unique to Barcelona (or certainly Catalonia) is the tradition of L’Ou com Balla (the Dancing Egg).
There are many stories as to its origins. Some say it’s a metaphor for the cycle of life or simply that it was an amusement for the nobles as the processions went by (which I much prefer). But it does seem to have been going on for a rather long time. Since the sixteenth century! That’s quite a few eggs!
Read the rest of this article…
UPDATE: Venue Change
Now at La Fira, c/ Provenca, 171
I first wrote about the Giggling Guiri back in March. I’d just been to see Howard Marks and had seen Steve Hughes previous to that. Well shortly it’s their last show of the season and if you haven’t been to one of their Barcelona comedy events then I urge you to do so.
Tom Stade is in town for their season-ending show and by all accounts he is worth seeing. And apparently the girls like him though I can’t see it myself.
“TOM STADE: nominated for Best Headliner in the Chortle Awards 2011, people in the UK have finally woken up to this pearl of Canadian comedy who has come and settled amongst them. A comic who likes to do things a little different has won over the British hearts with his brilliant and unique takes on their culture. We catch him on what was supposed to be the end of a total sellout 40 date UK tour which has now been extended into the Autumn with another 30 dates added to meet public demand. The kind of touring reserved only for the very hottest acts in comedy. Sizzling!!”
Read the rest of this article…