When someone asks me to meet them on the Ramblas I’m immediately concerned, it’s a bit too hectic for my liking. But my fears were soon allayed as we headed into the foyer of Hotel 1898 – the former headquarters of the General Philippines Tobacco Company.
Originally designed by Catalan architect Josep Oriol Mestres as the private residence of the López y López family, this beautiful, colonial-style building has many original features and the letters FTC (Filipino Tobacco Company) still adorn the entrance-way. A brief walk through the downstairs lounge and we are out on Carrer del Pintor Fortuny, away from the hectic Rambla and our food tour really begins!
I have been invited on the Savor Spain food tour by marvellous Marwa, owner of Wanderbeak Tours, a company just beginning to make their mark on Barcelona and definitely one to watch out for.
Wanderbeak Barcelona Food Tour
Read the rest of this article…
Pedralbes Monastery (Monestir de Pedralbes in Catalan) was founded in 1326 by King James II of Aragon for his wife Elisenda de Montcada. The Gothic monastery (and the nuns who lived there) were granted protection by the queen through the Consell de Cent (the Counsel of the Hundred)…
But hold up, we’re not here for a history lesson, far from it. In fact, any desire I might have had to learn about the history of the monastery was not catered for on this tour. This was a photography tour. And not just a ‘come along and take some snaps’ photography tour. There was some professional shit going on here.
My time with an SLR before I met Martín at Maria Cristina metro could be distilled into a few seconds. I had held other people’s on occasion, very gingerly let me say. I might have even pressed the button (technical eh!) just to hear that authentic old-school noise it makes. But as far as look through the lens, adjust any settings, nada. I was a novice, a Luddite, as green as they come. This was immediately obvious to Martín when I turned up with my usual bit of kit on these things, my iPad Mini. Read the rest of this article…
I’m always up for getting out and about in Barcelona. And when it involves good food and wine I’m all the happier. Free food and wine and you just have to say the word.
So I was over the moon when Nuria and Margherita from Food Lovers Company got in touch to invite me on their Barcelona Tapas Tour.
But let’s be professional here. Free food and wine does not make me lose all morality, at least not in the beginning. You deserve an informative, subjective yet impartial review and that is what you will get. Read the rest of this article…
Voices, Faces, City Spaces: Ramon Holgado Ordaz (Otoxo Productions)
As part of the ‘Voices, Faces, City Spaces’ series by BCN Mes and Otoxo Productions this short film follows Ramon Holgado Ordaz, a homeless man whose life has been transformed thanks to the Hidden City Tours social enterprise project.
It’s a great little story that will only take 4 minutes of your time. Read the rest of this article…
Steel Donkey Bike Tours
If you’re in Barcelona and you fancy getting out and about on a bike for a few hours then you could do a lot worse than checking out Steel Donkey Bike Tours.
These guys have been around the block and are consistently recommended on TripAdvisor as a great way to see the city on two wheels.
They kindly asked me to join them one morning, and so, feeling like a modern-day Sancho Panza and on a very comfy set of wheels from Green Bikes, we set off from Plaça George Orwell with our guide whose name escapes me.
This lapse in memory is no reflection on the guide himself. He led the tour extremely well and was always ready to answer my questions. The groups are small, usually no more than 4 or 5, so I certainly felt there was opportunity to pick his brain. Read the rest of this article…