Aaaaand that was unfortunately the end of our trip to sunny Spain (I had everything crossed in the plane but it didn’t prevent London from being cold and wind-ey when we landed…)!
I don’t usually write reviews of stores here. But I had such a crush on Typographia (both the space and the Tshirts!) that I had to share it! Also because it might just be the solution to one of the major problems in my life: what present to give to all my male friends?!
What: Brilliant graphic T-Shirts for all the men in your life! + the only tourist T-Shirt you can actually wear in real life without looking like those guys
How much: 18.5€ each
Where: Typographia, Carrer de la Mare de Deu del Coll, 2, Barcelona (closest station: Lesseps). And they ship to Europe and beyond via their website!
*Pintxos are small snacks typical popular in the Basque country, which are usually ‘spiked’ with a skewer to a piece of bread. At the end of the meal, you return your plate and pay according to the number of skewers left in it.DECISIONS, DECISIONS…SEAFOOD TORTILLA PINTXOSMY PERSONAL FAVE: DUCK TERRINE + CONFIT ORANGE CROISSANT!FRESH CHEESE + PEPPER RELISH + PINE NUTS PINTXOJAMON + MUSHROOMS: ALWAYS A GOOD IDEATUNA STEAK + ONION PICKLE PINTXOFRESH ANCHOVY + TAPENADE + ONION PICKLE
ALL DONE + READY TO PAY!
Tip: As usual with Barcelona’s tapas bar, don’t be afraid to claim your spot at the bar! Ask the staff for a plate and get stuck in!
What to order: My favourite was the duck terrine & confit orange croissant, but the tortilla and anchovy ones were also really good!
How much: Each pintxos costs 2€. For a light lunch, you’ll want 6-8 pintxos/person, so the bill should be around 15€ pp + drinks.
Where: Irati Taverna Basca, Carrer del Cardenal Casañas, 17, 08002 Barcelona
PRETTY BUILDINGS + PALM TREESPALAU DE LA MUSICA CATALANATHEY’RE WATCHING US!GAUDI’S CASA BATTLOGAUDI’S CASA MILAPASSEIG DE GRACIALA SAGRADA FAMILIALA MONUMENTALTHE BEACHAND SOME CHURROS + HOT CHOC’ TO END THE DAY ON A SWEET NOTE!
After all the tapas-sampling and general face-stuffing at the Boqueria market, a little stroll accross the city was more than welcome. For digestive purposes, obviously. But we might have stumbled upon a few more foodie gems while wandering in the Old Town…Palm trees are everywhere in Barcelona: it multiplies the “holiday feeling” by about 100 and made me oh so happy! The same also applies to orange trees…It was the middle of the afternoon (aka siesta time!), so it felt a bit like walking in a ghosts’ city… only a very specific kind, full of old stones, amazing (mainly gothic) buildings and green little courtyards! I especially loved the area around Barcelona Cathedral. Look at how beautiful the cathedral itself is, it’s quite impossible not to fall in love! Unfortunately, we couldn’t get inside as there was a wedding that day, so we headed to the Arc de Triomf and more palm trees instead, before plunging back into Barcelona’s small streets!A little close-up for you to truly appreciate the beauty of it! Wish I could have brought one of those street lamps home! Another highlight was the former El Born market, which is now home to several exibitions on Barcelona’s story. Perfect mix of old (the foundations of the former market building) and new (industrial design 😍), Barcelona, you sure know how to reach my heart! Wonderful windows and colourful street art never hurts either! But Barcelona’s true hidden gem? Vioko! As usual, the most difficult part was to choose a reasonable number of flavours to taste! Oh, and not getting tempted by the macaroons was quite a challenge as well! In the end, we settled for Tùron (chocolate & hazelnut, really not my thing but my boyfriend loved it!), Mojito (very fresh and mint-ey, would work wonder in the summer!), Grapefruit & jasmine (so fresh and fragrant!) and Creme Catalana (a must-order! I was a bit scared it might be a tourist trap, but it ended up being my favourite of the lot!). En route, we also stopped inside the most adorable sweets’ shop I’ve ever seen (and trust me, I’ve visited A LOT of those!). Happy pills is somewhat of a cross between a pharmacie (white walls, prescription bottles…) and a candy shop (ALL the candy!). You just have to fill your little bottles with your favourite sweets, pick a label to put at the front and tadaaaaah, you suddently have magic candy that would make about anything in your life just a little better (yes, even if your fave football team loses their big game!). A brilliant idea really, and it would make for terrific gifts too, wouldn’t it?!
After a little siesta, we were in mood to get in with the locals, so we headed to the tapas joint recommended by our Airbnb hosts: Jai-Ca, a tapas bar loved by locals and visitors alike! (sorry for the drop in picture quality btw, but Barcelona simply isn’t as blogger-ready as London when it comes to food pics… so if you want to be treated like a local, you better act like one!)Once again, it’s a bit of a dare-or-die sort of place, so do face your fears and fight off the crowd to get seats, and don’t be afraid of flagging waiters whenever you’re ready to order! And whatever happens, do get a platefull of Patatas Jai-Ca! Hands down the best bravas I’ve had in Barcelona!When you’re at it, you should also order my favourite: Chipirones! They are deep-fried baby squid, but if you don’t tell your date, I’m giving you my words they’ll never guess it!! Throw in some Buttifara (sausage with white beans), a couple of plates of Padron Peppers and maybe some croquetas and you should end up very full indeed! Finish things off with a Caffé con Leche… and maybe one or two cheeky chipitos?The best thing about Jai-Ca though? There’s no need to worry about the bill: somehow, it always end up being lower than you expected it to be (we payed about 30€ for two with drinks). Delicious food, cracking atmosphere, lovely staff and CHEAP? I have just one word: GO!!
Vioko, Passeig Don Joan Borbó Comte Barcelona, 55, 08003 Barcelona
Happy Pills, Carrer dels Arcs, 6, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Jai-Ca, Carrer de Ginebra, 13, 08003 Barcelona
If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you already know that I took off for sunny Barcelona last weekend… The truth is, it was a bit of a “get-up-and-go” sort of trip, with very little planning involved: all we knew is that we needed to get some sun, and loads and loads of tapas (obviously).
So we booked tickets, settled on staying with great Airbnb hosts and pinned a few things on a brand new Barcelona board before jumping in a plane! We arrived rather late on Friday evening and went -almost- straight to bed (after a few croquetas, because we have very clear priorities in life!!).
In true Spanish fashion, we woke up late and (see above priorities) headed to the world-famous Boqueria market for a taste of the best food the city has to offer!
We grabed juice (each cup was 1€, so we might have had several…) and wandered along the stalls, oh-ing and ah-ing and pointing fingers. My mum would certainly not approve of such a behaviour, but everything was looking so fresh, colourful and incredible that I couldn’t help myself. Meat, fish, veggies, La Boqueria is like heaven for any foodies and I just wanted to take it all in. So that’s what I did, happy-snappy style!Dreaming up a little barbecue right there! Some of the most beautiful fish I’ve ever seen…As well as some of the scariest one!Obligatory chorizo, ham and salsichon… Olives wherever you looked… Creative egg displays… Fragrant spices… La Boqueria really has it all! And then there’s the fruit… Piles upon piles of fruit! And then some more! I could happily have gone for a full box of those beauties for lunch, but we thought loading up on more croquetas was a good idea, so we headed to Bar Boqueria, one of the tapas counters nestled inside the market itself.
Then you can indulge in some menu-reading with a side of serious plancha-cooking action!! Those guys are incredibly quick, so before you know it, you’ll be presented with all the delicious treats you’ve picked!
Jamon croquetas are obviously a must-have. We also threw in a plate of grilled red peppers… you know, for the vitamins! And some zucchini tortilla too! Plus obligatory patatas bravas!
I loved the Boqueria Market and its atmosphere. So much that I had to be dragued out to go and explore the city…
And this only worked because 1. a walk seemed like a great way to digest this first round of tapas before we went for more. 2. I knew there was also terrific ice cream to be had later that day (best ice cream I’ve ever had. Coming soon on the blog, stay tuned!) 3. I was promised we’d go back before the end of the weekend!
Mercat de la Boqueria, La Rambla, 91, 08001 Barcelona, Mon-Sat, 8:00-5:00