“My perfect day is inspired by a First World problem, if ever there was one. I apologise in advance if I sound ungrateful, (and I’m really not) but Barcelona sometimes just has a little bit too much going on. For instance, I’d love to try more of the tapas bars, drinking dens and restaurants, old and new, that I hear about, but I don’t want to end up looking like Jabba the Hut on the beach every weekend. When I’m on the beach, nibbling on some watermelon, I still feel guilty – because I’m lying in the sun and not, say, checking out an exhibition that I know is about to finish. I’m not really tugging on any heart-strings, I know, but if we’re talking about a perfect day, and since those rarely happen, then I’d fill mine with low-key indulgence and guilty pleasures.
Santa María del Mar
For maximum clarity of conscience, this day would take place in October, when my bikini has been safely packed away for another year. It would fall just after payday, and would be enjoyed with a like-minded, undemanding visitor, such as my sister.
We’d start off with a bit of late breakfast and a look through the paper at the most unpretentious café in the world – Bar Mendizábal, across the street from me (c/ Junta de Comerç, 2) – then would wander over to the Gótico to begin our assault on the off-high street shops. We’d coo over the lovely accessories and separates at Le Fortune on Avinyó, then swoop onto El Born, the richest hunting ground of all. We might get little a taste of the spine-tingling Gothic interior of Santa Maria del Mar, and remind ourselves of what we can enjoy on a day with a more cerebral bent. (And we can try to spot the FC Barcelona logo in one of its stained windows, too.) Read the rest of this article…
Last Updated: 28th February 2019 – I intend to keep this post updated as people seem to find it useful and places keep moving or closing down. Any questions please leave a comment below.
Kitchen Shops in Barcelona
I realise kitchenware is not the most riveting of subjects for some but personally I do love a kitchen gadget. I like most gadgets, but as I’ve gotten older the kitchen gadget is my want. If I had a garden then I’m positive I’d like garden gadgets, but I have a 3m square terrace so the kitchen is my gadget domain.
Kitchen Shops in Barcelona: I’m not talking about shops selling fridges or dishwashers or whole kitchens. These are shops for people looking for that cool item that does a certain cooking task the perfect way. Or the perfect gift for a foodie friend. As well as of course great knives and cookware.
This started when I wanted to buy a Lékué Steam Case, one of those silicone jobs that can withstand the oven, the freezer, the dishwasher, and cats it seems. I thought I’d go on a little trawl of all the kitchen shops I knew and see what I could find. Read the rest of this article…
Don Quixote rode into Barcelona in the 16th century
An article from Hildy Snow about the wild side of Barcelona literature.
Most discussions about Barcelona as a literary city inevitably end up with people mentioning two books: Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s The Shadow of the Wind and Ildefonso Falcones’ Cathedral of the Sea. Not to knock these books – they’re good reads – but there’s so much more to the city’s literary universe than these bestsellers and their Barcelona literary brand of Gothic mystique and historical weightiness. The Catalan capital’s literary life goes back much, much further. Beyond the post-war struggles of Mercè Rodoreda’s La Plaça del Diamant, beyond the Civil War battlefields of George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia. All the way back to Cervantes, whose Don Quixote and Sancho Panza rode into Barcelona in the 16th century. For eons, Barcelona has served as the literary scene of romance, love, betrayal, adventure, friendship, familial conflict, mystery, crime and war. Read the rest of this article…
The Santa Caterina burger at Kiosko
Burgers – often derided especially in relation to McDonalds. And not the most traditional of Catalan foods. But the list of burger places in Barcelona just keeps growing and growing. A phenomenon of relatively recent years that has no sign of dying out.
I do love a good burger. Especially after my recent near death experience with a piece of steak. The allure of ground beef has appreciated ten-fold. So luckily for me burger restaurants (the posh term) seem to be springing up all over BCN. The much-loved Wushu was even turned into a burger bar by its owner Bradley Ainsworth.
In an interview with Le Cool Barcelona, Bradley said,
“Bacoa began almost by accident. I had the space closed for a couple of years and I wanted to sell it, but at a good price. So I set up Bacoa with the idea to sell it… and it turned out to be a hit. It was so successful that I decided to change Wushu into Kiosko, a new gourmet hamburger shop, which opened on January 14th.”
Read the rest of this article…
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…