Back in Barcelona. Well, sort of.
We flew from Leeds this time as it seemed easier but as I was partially responsible for booking the flights we obviously flew to Gerona instead.. oops.
The flight itself was an eventful one and never one for the quiet life I ended up being responsible for a medical emergency mid-flight. As a result, and on my say so, we diverted to Paris for an emergency landing. Needless to say, I’m not sure I have EVER been under as much pressure. So, when finally arriving in Barcelona itself (by bus), we were in dire need of a drink!
We settled at a bar in the sunshine outside the Born Cultural Centre, near to our friends apartment. There we enjoyed a couple of beers whilst recounting the journeys excitement and waited for our friend to finish work, ready to greet her with a pretty bouquet from the beautiful almond flowers.
Now, Barcelona is one of the worlds most notorious cities for pick-pocketing. Having learnt my lesson previously when I had my entire suitcase stolen, passport included (even though it was right next to me!) this time Katie and I were taking no chances. As a result, ribbon is now an essential item in our hand-luggage.
Spanish tip: ‘mi maleta es robada’ will come in handy if this ever happens to you and you find yourself at the Barcelona Police Station!
Barcelona is the most beautiful city and we were fortunate enough to have the first real sunshine of the year.
My friend Millie, being a local, took us to some of her favourite places which was great, as we didn’t have to plan anything at all and dined like royalty all weekend.
The first night we ate at Costa Pacifico, an amazing Mexican restaurant in Born. It’s a fun, lively place, in fact so much so that during our supper we got talking to some locals who joined us for the rest of the meal. The fish tacos were to die for, although we perhaps over indulged on the Margaritas a little!
I did try to get some pictures of our food, but by the time I got my phone out most of the meal was gone. Something I learnt as school is when eating with my friends, there is no time to waste on things like photography or you miss out on dinner!
So you’ll have to take my word for it. The food was delicious, especially if you, like us, are partial to cerviche.
We spent the weekend catching up and whiled away our days walking the streets of Barcelona…
enjoying the beach,
and hopping between tapas bars enjoying wine and incredible local food.
Not to mention the essential aperol spritz or two.
Now for any foodies out there like us who enjoy tapas Carrer de Blai is the perfect place for you! It is an entire street filled with endless eateries offering cheap pixtinos to eat at leisure. Just grab a seat, order some tapas and when you’re done, move on down about twenty metres and repeat the whole process again!
Obviously how much you spend will depend on how much you eat. With these girls the last time we were let loose on pix in Notting Hill we managed to devour £50 worth of tapas each!! It was delicious and by the end of our meal they had started bringing the food directly to our table instead of just laying it straight on the bar, however thankfully we did not consume quiet that much this time!
Finally, a must do is Palo Alto Market on a sunny day. It is a street style market in Poblenou selling anything and everything hipster and runs the first weekend of every month.
From local arts and crafts, to food, drink and live music, it’s only 4 euros to enter and definitely money well spent! Set amongst beautiful, old, tree lined walls it’s the perfect place to sip away the afternoon like a real Catalonian.
To round up I’m going to give you my two favourite restaurants we ate at during our stay. The first was Llamber opposite the Born cultural centre and luckily right by Millie’s apartment.
The food was beautifully presented and wonderfully fresh. Naturally, we had a little of everything, including more cerviche. Although delicious as this was, we ended lunching here following the previous nights escapades at Jamboree in Placa Reial and one of our party might have felt a little too ropey to enjoy this to the full!
The other place I highly recommend, for those of you that are tapas-ed out, is koku kitchen. It is a Japanese restaurant in the heart of the Gothic Quarter, specialising in Ramen and buns.
We ate upstairs in the bun restaurant and feasted on steamed buns, served in bamboo. They came with a variety of delicious fillings including grilled pork and duck. Not to mention, no meal would ever be complete without some sides of edamame, tempura prawns and a selection of dumplings.
As always, I think we managed to cram as much as humanly possible into our long weekend (including a little life saving!) and I can’t wait to be back again soon!