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…
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…
Enric Mestres Illamola
Photographer Enric Mestres started ‘Humans of Barcelona’ on October 10th 2010. Originally called LaLaLaBarcelona Enric changed the name after finding out about the ‘Humans of New York’ project and seeing the effect it had on people around the world.
Guillem Costas’ short 5 minute documentary follows Enric around Barcelona as he explains his process and passion for the project. Read the rest of this article…
A vineyard in the Baix Penedès wine region
Type ‘catalunya wine’ into Google and the chances are that after the obligatory Wikipedia entry (which is certainly a decent primer) you will find CatalunyaWine.com.
If you want to discover the wonders of the Catalan wine region that the rest of the world is even now only just discovering then this is the place to begin your journey.
Catalunya Wine exists to promote Catalan wines to the English-speaking world. Run by Canadian expat Tim Brown and aided by his Cuban-born (but with Catalan roots) wife Lis, the website chronicles Tim’s journey through this unique wine region as he exposes the great wines of Catalunya to promote them to hotels and restaurants both here and abroad. Read the rest of this article…