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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Trevor: He’s not a people person
An indie feature film about a man in Spain and his daughter.
Plus wine, lamb, some ants and a cat.
How many creative expats does it take to make a film in Barcelona? Answer, not that many. At least not as many as you might think. I caught up with the screenwriter Georgina Tremayne, director Carlos Domeque and lead actor Hunter Tremayne from the soon to be filmed Trevor, a low-budget, and hopefully successfully crowdfunded feature about expats, and one in particular called Trevor (as you may have guessed). Read the rest of this article…
Snow in Barcelona (1962)
With the coldest months still to come in Barcelona there could still be some snow. But with balmy temperatures worldwide this year thanks to a particularly strong El Niño it’s looking highly unlikely. So for fans of winter whiteness check out the famous snow in Barcelona during the Christmas of 1962.
This was one of a handful of years on record where snow fell in the city but was by far the heaviest of the 20th century, most people had never seen or experienced anything like it. Luckily this freak occurrence is well documented online with photos and videos.
Below are a few of the best videos to give you an idea of what the city and surrounding area was like. Will this ever be seen again in the city? I hope so. Maybe this particularly strong El Niño will lead to a similarly strong cold-weather La Niña. Read the rest of this article…
Yes, I love Barcelona. And yes, I have spent some pretty perfect days over there, but there is more to Catalonia than its capital city. Let me take you 60 kilometres up the coast and show you around the place I call home: Malgrat de Mar.
The beach at Malgrat de Mar
It’s a calm Saturday morning in June. The temperature hopefully won’t raise over 25 degrees and the town is not that full of tourists yet. We enjoy our breakfast, that includes pan con tomate and orange juice, in the apartment. Around 10 o’clock we make our way down to the beach where you can go kite surfing or just relax and swim. After a couple of hours we follow our way over the beach and end up having a vermouth in Vivo Platja (Av. Pins, 5). Here you basically sit on the beach and you can totally calm down with the sound of the sea in the background. Read the rest of this article…
UPDATE: Unfortunately the excellent Manolete is no more. It is now the Aperol Spritz Bar. A nice bar, with a covered terrace, in a good location, that thankfully serves more than Aperol.
Manolete, Passeig d’Isabel II, Barcelona
Located slap-bang next to Port Vell underneath the beautiful arches that line parts of Passeig d’Isabel II, Manolete is a charming little restaurant serving some equally charming tapas.
Now I want to be up front here. I don’t normally do restaurant posts. I’m not normally invited to restaurants. To review them I mean – I have friends. But Manolete kindly invited me and for once with these sort of things they were kind enough to invite my wife too. So it was brownie points all round.
We arrived on a warm August evening. You can see Manolete from across the street thanks to the string of bright bulbs out front that remind me of a stage actresses dressing room mirror. They have a small terrace outside with cute red and white polka-dot tablecloths. Inside is similarly charming. It has some nice touches. Distressed-look cupboards filled with glasses and wine, modern black and white photography perched on a shelf half way up the back wall, and pretty embroidered cushions along the wooden but perfectly comfortable benches. Even as I write this it sounds like it shouldn’t work, but it does. The lighting was just right too. And the music playing in the background was loud enough to notice but quiet enough not to be intrusive. I have to admit, I sat down, arranged my cushions behind me, looked around, listened, and then smiled. Even though the restaurant was pretty empty at this point it was an extremely pleasant atmosphere. Read the rest of this article…