2012 09/10

Maria’s Barcelona Love Affair

Plaça del Sol

Plaça del Sol

“Me and Barcelona have a passionate relationship. It was love at first sight. Barcelona seduced me on its birthday, on the Mercè in September when everyone was invited to celebrate. We met on a dark street in Raval, where I was wined with sangría and dined with the cheapest and most heavenly tapas I had ever eaten. We looked at pictures of bullfighters on the wall and I was star struck. We went down to the port, bought a bottle of cava, laid down to watch the fireworks. “I never want to leave your side” I said quietly, so I didn’t. 5 years later we are still in love, a love equally as passionate as the first day we met.

Barcelona beach

…a swim in the ocean…

Barcelona is a master of all that is seduction. We meet in embraces on hot summer nights in dark narrow gothic streets, we steal kisses under the moonlight on the stairs of Santa Maria del Mar, and we get drunk on cheap wine in a restaurant in the Raval that has been there for a hundred years or more. We dance until the first rays of sun in the morning at the Port Olimpic, and end it all with a swim in the ocean when the city is just waking up. It’s the best date you’ve ever had, but it never ends. Read the rest of this article…

2012 28/09

Joel’s Perfect Day in Barcelona

photo of Playa de la Mar Bella

Playa de la Mar Bella

“Barcelona… the city that Anthony Bourdain of No Reservations described as “the most exciting place to eat in the Western world”.

The perfect day in Barcelona would fall in late September, when the stinging heat gives way to long barmy nights. Barcelona is the only global city with access to incredible beaches via public transport (Sydney and Rio de Janeiro also come to mind), so a morning swim at Playa de la Mar Bella is obligatory.

Breakfast in Spain does not hold the same status as it does in the UK (Full English) or Latin America (Calentado), but a slice of melon draped with jamon, some fresh mato cheese with honey and the caffeine kick of a cortado is a nice way to start the day.

Shops and galleries begin opening at 10am in Barcelona so a visit to the Picasso Museum, the Ferran Adrià & El Bulli exhibition and Roca Gallery will easily fill a few hours and have you thinking about lunch. Read the rest of this article…

2012 19/09

Helen’s Perfect Day in Barcelona

“What is a perfect day? Is anything perfect? Well even if there is no such thing as perfection, it’s possible to get near perfection! Having lived in Barcelona for 5 years, I can safely say that there are many things to see and do which makes up a perfect day for me. However my perfect day involves food and drink with lots of relaxing, one of life’s pleasures!

Food and drink are a passion of mine so it’s important to start the day off on the right track with a good breakfast. Barcelona has an abundance of bakeries and breakfast emporiums where one can enjoy a variety of food. However, one of my favourite places to have breakfast is at the Pastisseria Mauri (c/ Provença, 241). This is a traditional pastisseria which has been open since 1929. There are plenty of things to choose from, ranging from sandwiches to pastries.

photo outside Cacao Sampaka

Cacao Sampaka, c/ Consell de Cent, 292

After breakfast, I would go for a walk down Rambla de Catalunya and soak up the ambience, rummaging through the shops and small boutiques of L’Eixample. If one works up a thirst, then the chocolate shop, Cacao Sampaka (c/ Consell de Cent, 292), is the ideal place. With chocolate from all over the world, the smell is overwhelming. There is a little café at the back of the shop which serves up the best hot chocolate I’ve ever tasted. Try the dark hot chocolate. It’s delightful. Read the rest of this article…

2012 12/09

Rachel’s Perfect Day in Barcelona

Forn de Sant Jaume

Forn de Sant Jaume – photo © La Florinata

“My perfect day in Barcelona is a walking and eating day.

It starts on a sunny summer day at about 7:30 am with a run down the center of Rambla Catalunya, through La Rambla, down to the pier and over to the W Hotel. This is a great time to be out, as there are not a lot of cars and almost no pedestrians on La Rambla, and it’s a great running route if you’re staying in Rambla Catalunya.

As I head back, I stop a ½ block from my apartment at Forn de Sant Jaume (Rambla de Catalunya, 50) bakery and pick up a post workout snack – the best chocolate croissant I’ve found in Barcelona. It has to be the one with the powered sugar on top, not the chocolate covering the outside. It is perfectly buttery, yet like and flakey. If you get them early enough after they come out of the oven, the chocolate is still oozy. Yummmm.

El Quim de la Boqueria

Rachel & Quim at El Quim de la Boqueria

After a shower, I head back down La Rambla to El Quim de la Boqueria for breakfast at around 9:30-10 am. Quim makes the best potato tortilla (Spanish omelette) in town, but I’m torn as my favorite is actually the huevos con setas (eggs with wild mushrooms).  He uses olive oil for everything, so it’s 2 fried eggs in olive oil, topped with a mix of mushrooms sautéed in olive oil, all topped with a balsamic reduction. A glass of fresh squeezed o.j. and perhaps a plate of either razor clams or gambas con cava to round out breakfast and I’m set for at least 2 more hours. ;) Read the rest of this article…

2012 29/08

Sally’s Perfect Day in Barcelona

photo of Barcelo 360 Bar

Sally at the Barcelo 360 Bar

“One of these days, the city of Barcelona will be but an entry in my memoirs. A mere peppercorn in the mill of my life as a whole, but what a glorious little peppercorn it is! Packed with punch, bite and heat. I shall sit in my rocking chair, cast my gaze over the misty English hills and remember a time when I was all over Barcelona like a flannel. I shan’t remember things exactly as they were, rather, I will compose a golden day drawn from all my favourite elements so very perfect that I will almost believe that it was true and tell anyone who will listen that once, I lived like a queen. Read the rest of this article…

2012 18/08

Pilar’s Perfect Day in Barcelona

photo of Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló

“I have to thank Rob for letting me share on his blog one of the routes I’ve done on more than one occasion when I go to Barcelona. We usually go alone my Nikon camera and I, from now on I will have the feeling that you’re all accompanying me, it will be a pleasure.

I have the great fortune to live 30 km from this fantastic city, which allows me to get there any day of the week. I don’t know why, but I usually choose Wednesdays. I suppose that even though the city is always crowded with tourists and local people, you can still breathe the calm of the beginning of the week.

First of all a good breakfast and if it can be Pa amb tomaquet i pernil (Bread with tomato and ham) all the better. I know! It is very typical, but… the roots are the roots. Once I have the batteries fully charged I start the route. I advise that if you want to follow me you’d better wear comfortable shoes, because the whole journey is by foot. Read the rest of this article…

2012 11/08

Lapin’s Perfect Day in Barcelona

I am very grateful to all the people who have written for this blog. They, more than I, have made it what it is. But I’m very proud to have the French illustrator, Lapin, take the time to write something. His wonderfully reprinted old accounting books full of illustrations are beautiful objects. I have the Barcelona one. If you appreciate his style, I urge you to get your hands on one via the link below – but first…

Illustration of the view from Lapin's apartment

The view from Lapin’s apartment – © Lapin

I woke up around 7:30am, that’s the price of being a father ;). I still felt a little bit sleepy. I made myself a cortado and stepped out onto my terrace. There I had all of Poblenou lying beneath and fulfilling me with its energy. The weather was usual for Barcelona. That’s one of the crucial reasons I fell for this city.

Illustration of the building at C/ Pere IV, 63-67

One of my favourite buildings on C/ Pere IV, 63-67 – © Lapin

I had to go to Mercat dels Encants to look for some second-hand accounting books to use for drawing and it’s a perfect day to wander and do some doodling of course!

I took Bicing. Strangely I found one right away! Sometimes it really drives me nuts finding empty Bicing stations or not finding any proper working bicycles. Arrghh! Anyway I still like it and it was my lucky day! I passed all the graffiti of Poblenou and one of my favourite buildings on Carrer de Pere IV, 63-67. Read the rest of this article…

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