Platja de Sant Sebastià
I’m up early, before the sun, hoping that the coffee grinder doesn’t wake the kids as I prepare a Bialetti full of fragrant Ethiopian Sidamo. The smell of the beans, recently roasted at Cafès Ros, fills the kitchen.
I’ve had my caffeine fix and I park my motorbike near Nova Icària beach. The sun is over the horizon now and it glitters off the sea, throwing a long shadow behind me and making me squint. I put my headphones on and start to run. Along to the Forum, turn around, down to Barceloneta and the W hotel, then back to where I started. The beach is coming to life as the temperature rises, and I people-watch for a while before heading home. Read the rest of this article…
Bar Pinotxo, La Boqueria
What is a sobremesa?
Sobremesa is one of my favorite Spanish words, but it’s much more than a word, it’s a cultural act. In Spain people take their meals very seriously, hours can be spent at the dinner or lunch table chatting long after the plates have been cleared and the coffee has been served. It’s a time to bond with your guests, savor the moment without rushing and pragmatically, to digest your food. Overall it’s a wonderful and celebrated practice throughout Spain.
“I write about food, take pictures of food, think about food, turn every conversation into some topic of food, so it comes as no surprise when I’m in Barcelona, one of the food capitals of the world, I chow down. What I love about Catalan cuisine and the food culture of Barcelona is its determination to provide fresh, flavorful combinations to the masses at reasonable prices and with a slice of humility. Sure some have received Michelin stars, or can show off hundreds of press accolades adorned on the wall, but besides this, many continue to do what they set out to do decades ago. Setting an example for new chefs and young talent to follow in role-model fashion. Catalans have a very concrete culinary identity and I think this confidence shines through in their creations, meanwhile the patron walks away with a smile and without having this experience leave a whole in their wallet. Read the rest of this article…
Baluard, c/ Baluard, 38-40
“My perfect day in Barcelona would begin with a sunrise walk on the beach. It’s so lovely and peaceful before the crowds arrive. Then I’d take a walk through Barceloneta Park and to the Baluard bakery (c/ Baluard, 38-40) for some fresh bread and breakfast pastries. There’s always a tempting range on offer here and the big challenge is trying to choose between all the different cakes and bread. Baluard bread is the best in the city, with people coming from all over to buy it, so I’m thrilled to have the bakery so close to where I live.
As soon as I’ve digested my breakfast, I’d go for a Turkish bath at Aire de Barcelona (Passeig de Picasso, 22). There’s nothing quite like submerging yourself in varying degrees of hot water and getting an exfoliating massage to set you up for the day ahead. Read the rest of this article…
C.R.E.A.M. Bikes & Things (Cash Rules Everything Around Me)
“Now then, I’m five years deep in Catalonia, so I have my regular hang-outs and haunts, but that’s not to say there aren’t some glaring omissions in my fun day, as I am uncovering hidden gems on a monthly basis.
My day is fairly season-neutral. There are tons of special events around Barcelona throughout the year, but the route I’ll set out can be enjoyed on any old day. You’re going to need a bike though, which can be rented in various locations around the city. The most fashion-conscious will head straight to Cream and hook themselves up with a fixed-gear number, not cheap at 50€ a day, but let’s imagine your trip is being sponsored by a rich uncle bribing you to keep shtum after coming onto you at Christmas.
Breakfast. Starting in the Raval, I can definitely vouch for a pastoral and healthy first meal of the day at Olivia (c/ Pintor Fortuny). Tiny, comfortable, local press to peruse, hot mums make up the clientele. Or if that’s full, check out Forn de Betlem across the way, still good produce and press, not as healthy, hot mums make up the staff. Read the rest of this article…