28 March 2016

Best Eats in Barcelona

There's no need for me to harp on about how much I love food but there is a great need for me to share with you my food highlights from my trip to Barcelona. I'm sure if you don't go there and see for yourself how incredible it is, you'll miss out on some of the best food in the world.

Recommended to me by my brother and his girlfriend, Bacoa was my favourite lunch after Bar Lobo. You don't need to spend a lot to enjoy a good meal in Barcelona, and Bacoa offered the cheapest – but most delicious – burgers ever. Shake Shack, you've been replaced, soz. Ps that's a hash brown so it doesn't really get much better.

I'm only halfway there when it comes to vegetarianism, but this meat-free salad had me all in a daze for about a week after. I couldn't tell you what was actually in this, just know that it was bloody delicious and you will only understand by trying it for yourself which, by the way, you must. Find it at the rear of La Boqueria on La Rambla.

Juice was popular in Barcelona, and I found a stall in La Boqueria that sold freshly squeezed juice without any added sugar. I've always wanted to try watermelon juice so that's what I got, and it was the most delicious, refreshing drink ever.

Despite my attempts to cut down on sugar, I couldn't resist getting some sweets. Never have I seen so much edible colour. It tasted as good as it looked, too.

Time Out has some brilliant articles on where best to eat out when traveling. I wanted to find the most traditional, authentic churros and Granja La Pallaresa delivered just that. These were crisp, hot and not too sweet, served with a thick, dark hot chocolate for dipping. So delicious and in such a pretty area of the city.

Los Bellota was a place we happened upon on our first night when we were craving tapas. The loveliest waiter served us sweet sangria and these four dishes: chorizo in red wine, mushrooms stuffed with pesto and salami shavings, potatas bravas and olives. We couldn't fault this place – the service, food, value for money and atmosphere were all 10/10. Situated near the Sagrada Familia.

After drinking this nutella machiatto at Artisa I never wanted to drink any other kind of coffee again. This was as good as it sounds - just look at the inside of that glass painted with my favourite chocolate spread. Filled with frothy, creamy, chocolatey, nutty coffee, I wondered why I didn't think of it myself. Enjoy one for yourself at this sweet little bakery/cafe just off La Rambla.

Have you been to Barcelona? Where do you recommend for food and drink? I absolutely loved this city and can't wait to visit again. 


5 March 2016

Changing perspective in Barcelona

The day before we left for Barcelona I was feeling pretty low. I won't delve into why but if you want to know a bit about my experience with depression you can do so here. Flying over the Alps on the morning of our trip and I was lifted out of the dark completely. When I see natural beauty like this I am reminded of what and who I am living for. He is so much bigger than a bad day, a broken heart, a missed train or ignored text messages. Perspective is a wonderful thing.

I can't remember exactly where this photo was taken but I know it was near one of Barcelona's many museums, if that's any help. We stood in a large courtyard surrounded by old and new architecture. The contrast was stunning, especially with the reflections and the clear blue sky.

Ever seen a vending machine as big as this one? We were amazed. Found in one of the metro stations, we had to stop for a photo and buy a snack.

The Sagrada Familia was recommended to us by so many people and it was one of our favourite sights in the city. The light inside this magnificent church was beautiful. So many different colours, shapes, patterns and avenues of light. If you're heading to Barcelona you have to check out this incredible work of art. Designed by the late architect Antoni Gaudi, construction of the Sagrada Familia started way back in 1882 and is still being built.

The beach in Barcelona was warm and quiet. We watched the shore lap close to our toes and dogs swim in the lukewarm water when this little chap came to say hi. There were so many dogs in Barcelona, which made me happy but also sad because I don't have one of my own.

We stood on the roof of Barcelona's cathedral in the January sunshine – what a treat. Another stunning piece of architecture.

If only my spending money had allowed for a pair (or ten) of these beautiful pumps. Found in one of those shops you stumble upon and never see again, there was a pair in every colour you could imagine. 

On our last day we headed to La Rambla, the tourist hotspot in Barcelona. Just off this busy street was Pla├ža Reial, a square in which friends meet for lunch, holiday-goers stop for selfies and, when it's warm, people sit on the edge of the water fountain to soak up the sun with an ice cream. We did all three.

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