So after neglecting the blog for the past month, I am back! If you follow my Instagram you’ll have seen we had an awesome break away in Europe so I thought I’d put together a couple of posts for you guys with recommendations from our trip. First up is Barcelona!
We spent a short but sweet 3 nights in Barcelona and on reflection wish we had an extra couple of nights as there is so much to do and see in this incredible, vibrant city. I have to be 100% honest here and say I can’t take full credit for all of these… most of them (actually 99%) came from a very good friend of mine, Omar (from my fave Boca), who spends a lot of time in the city and was kind enough to put together a huge list of recommendations for us.
Things to do:
Gaudi Go Car Tour: you can’t visit Barcelona without visiting some of the impressive Gaudi buildings all over the city. One of the best (and cheesiest!) ways to do this is to hire yourself a little yellow Noddy-car from Go Car, set yourself up on the 3 hour Gaudi tour and off you go. These cars are all self-guided with a rather comical voice over and you can go at your own pace stopping to get out and go for a walk or take pics as you wish. The tour took us all over the city seeing some of the best sites. Be warned however, these things whilst fun to drive are a tad temperamental; we got lost several times and even embarrassingly managed to stall on a rather busy roundabout! It’s well worth buying a ticket to go inside The Sagrada Familia (Gaudi’s most famous work) as the stunning ceilings and stain glass are a serious sight to behold, but be sure to get tickets in advance as it gets super busy. Visit: https://gocarbarcelona.com/
La Boqueria Market: The most famous food market in Barcelona, located just off La Ramblas is a must-visit for all foodies. The place gets packed so get there early (although note some places don’t open till 12pm) and just eat your way through the stalls selling fresh fruit, beautiful meats, seafood etc. Several of the stalls are set up like little eateries with bar stools where you can order tapas and sit and drink wine till your heart (or tummy!) is content. One of our favourites had to be El Quim (doesn’t open till 12pm) for their fresh oysters, anchovies and croquettes. Just on the outskirts of the market we also found a fab, tiny place called Homenaje, selling freshly carved Jamon where we sat round an old wine barrel and did some great people watching. Visit: http://www.boqueria.barcelona/home
Food Crawl Through the Gothic Quarter: We decided to spend an afternoon walking round the stunning Gothic Quarter visiting some fantastic tapas bars and basically drinking all the wine (notice a theme here?). We actually started near the beach just under the W Hotel where there are some really cute places and worked our way up from there. There are so many to restaurants to choose from (these Spaniards really know their food!) but some of our favourites were: El Vaso De Oro (the oldest tapas bar in Barcelona, but be warned it is tiny and you may need to queue for a seat!), a fab little taco spot called Macheti where they cook your taco’s at the bar in front of you and Sagardi, a cool Pintxo bar where we had the best mashed chorizo on toast ever!
Where to go for Dinner:
Vinitus: We arrived at this buzzing tapas bar late on our first night after only landing at 9pm and couldn’t believe how packed it was. We had to queue for a table but were gladly served a couple of cold beers while we waited. We managed to get a seat at the bar before too long where we worked our way through some incredible tapas and beautiful wine. The calamari, anchovies and patatas bravas are well worth checking out!
Dos Pebrots: the second restaurant from ex El Bulli Chef Albert Raurich, with Chef Borja García Ordoño heading up the kitchen where the focus is on Mediterranean fare. The restaurant is cosy and understated. The menu has some interesting takes on more traditional dishes with a few funky additions such as sow’s udder (yep!). You can opt for the tasting menu or just order as you go. Some of our faves were the tuna belly, the caprese salad and the Iberian porc. They also have a great, affordable winelist. We opted to go with the sommeliers recommendations by the glass which worked really well. Visit: http://www.dospebrots.com/
La Vinoteca Torres: I’m a huge fan of Torres wine and was super excited to try their restaurant in Barcelona. They were kind enough to arrange us an incredible 5 course food and wine pairing and this was probably our most enjoyable meal in the city. The minimalist wooden interiors are just lovely and the vibe totally relaxed. The staff are all super knowledgeable and incredibly friendly. Our favourite dish had to be the slow cooked egg (OMG!) with the filet mignon being a close second. Do NOT miss the Purgatori wine either, it is to DIE for. Full blog post on this coming soon! Visit: https://lavinotecatorres.com/index_en.php
I hope this gives you some ideas if you’re visiting Barcelona and that you enjoy some of the recommendations, although in hindsight I realise that they all pretty much revolve around food. Well, when in Rome (or Barcelona!).
Please do let me know if you visit any of these and what your thoughts are, I’d love to hear them.