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
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If I had to describe my perfect Barcelona day in three words, they would be: street art safari, of course!
I’m an early riser, so I’d probably wake up around 7 or so, take a nice run along the Paseo Marítimo before the boardwalk gets crowded, then have a café solo and a glass of water (a habit I picked up while in Italy) and sandwich in a small bar in Barceloneta.
Nowadays in Barcelona, if you want to see some fantastic urban art, you need Google no further than Murs Lliures, which is an initiative that gives artists a space to work, with the blessings of the city council. Most of these spots are concentrated in the old industrial areas of Poblenou, and tend to change quite frequently. I’ve been able to see some really great work there. Read the rest of this article…
The view from Montjuïc
It’s been more than 13 years since I landed at the airport of El Prat Barcelona and first started to enjoy Barcelona’s perfect days. Originally from Holland, I was living in Amsterdam at that time, when I decided to do an Erasmus in the Catalan capital. Barcelona was becoming more and more popular, but it had not reached the popularity it knows nowadays.
Over the years my perfect days have changed. In the beginning I enjoyed all the different sightseeing places Barcelona has to offer and I loved to discover the hidden and peculiar places of the city. My first summer here I also spent many hours at the beach, but now I hardly go there at all during the busy holiday season. And of course, I have seen a lot of the fantastic nightlife Barcelona has to offer. Read the rest of this article…
Selecció d’olives i conserves Gloria, Mercat de l’Abaceria
I kindly received an invite from Devour Barcelona food tours to join them one morning. A food tour in Gràcia, one of my favourite neighbourhoods in Barcelona, sounded like great fun. So one Friday morning I found myself at the top of Passeig de Gràcia with our guide, the lovely Renée, giving us a brief history of the street and its connection to the neighbourhood of Gràcia.
And then off we went. Four hours of walking, talking, grazing, learning and generally passing the morning in a thoroughly pleasant way.
This was a food tour that was about more than just the food. Renée knew her stuff. And we were taken on a tour of not only the food, but of the people who prepare and serve it and the neighbourhood that they call home. It is a cultural walking tour that focuses on real lives with the added benefit that these people’s lives are about their passion for food. Read the rest of this article…
The terrace at Cafè del Born Nou, Plaça Comercial, 10
Choosing a neighborhood in Barcelona wasn’t easy at first. I was moving on after years of living in Madrid, what many call the most genuine Spanish city out there, and I had been warned that my experience in Barcelona might not be the same in that aspect. People told me that its authenticity wouldn’t be as palpable, and that I might have a hard time truly immersing myself into the culture. And this was something important for me.
After much debate and seeing at least thirty different apartments, it so happened that the one I fell in love with was in the Born. This had its pros and cons… the Born is a beautiful neighborhood with an awesome location, it’s lively and bustling yet safe and pleasant… but on the other hand, after the very diverse Raval, the Born is arguably the least “Catalan” neighborhood in the city. Having undergone a recent gentrification, the once seedy neighborhood has become one of the trendiest around, and its population has evolved into a cosmopolitan melting pot of bohemian expats, replanted immigrants, wandering tourists and the like. Read the rest of this article…