It’s been precisely 6 months since I broke it off with Barcelona and, like with all good love stories, one likes to nostalgically relive the special moments.
Even more so when you’re confined to your apartment, on your birthday, in the time of coronavirus pandemics.
So here goes: 4 restaurants, 3 bars, 2 sea-bound experiences and 1 spectacular visit to Sevilla, to top off my month-long Barcelona goodbye party.
It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to!
THE 4 Restaurants
El Racó del Mariner
Local vibes, a no-frill decor, fast-forward waiters – and the best fish & seafood you’ll get your hands on in the whole of Barcelona. We got this insider tip from a taxi driver, and boy were we grateful!
At El Raco del Mariner you can eat everything to your heart’s desire, without breaking the bank.
I recommend you book a table in advance – or get there 12-1PM. The restaurant is not open for dinner (they close at 5PM) but if you’ll eat like we did, there won’t be any room for dinner anyway.
One of the best sushis in town. The restaurant’s interior design is quite the eye-catcher: a lush ceiling of intimately lit, sinuous wooden bent arches, and island tables of various sizes, the entire place is beautifully decorated with flower arrangements (ikibana, what else)
There’s an interesting Japanese -Brazilian fusion going on, the service is spotless and yes, the prices can be steep, but it’s the perfect place for that one special occasion we’re all saving up for.
Mirador de les Caves
They truly have it all: a great location – in the heart of Cava Land (Sant Sadurní D’anoia, in Penedes), reachable by train, some 40 mins from barcelona) and a quick 15eur taxi ride
The restaurant is set on top of a hill, overlooking vineyards and a jaw dropping view of the Montserrat mountain range; they welcome you with a complimentary glass of cava (what else)and the portions in the lunch menu are large and satisfying – I dare you to clean your plates.
Before lunch, I highly recommend that you drop by the many cava estates in the area for some cava tasting – try out Llopart just next door (reservations needed) or Freixenet, which you’ll find just next to the train station.
Do you know the iconic W Hotel in Barcelona?
BlueSpot restaurant and bar is right next door, and although I wouldn’t say it’s one of the best spots in BCN I’ve put it on my list for several reasons:
Location – both indoor and outdoor seating, and the views are really gorgeous & Design: classy and modern looking, the kind you’d like to have for a special occasion.
THE 3 Bars
Paradiso – The Speakeasy Behind a Fridge Door
Conveniently placed near the Barceloneta metro station, this place is always packed. Their pulled pork sandwich is insanely delicious and a hat tip to the original, psychedelic cocktails. We tried quite the selection.
The cocktails menu changes regularly, so you’ll always be surprised by what they have in store.
Be extra careful of pickpockets here – we had an unfortunate display of ‘skills’ the last time we were there.
PunchRoom – The BEST Loungy Bar in BCN
This Place! If I were to choose my one and only one favorite bar in Barcelona, it’d have to be it. Punchroom is the embodiment of my perfect bar/ (wo)man cave:
- dark, intimate lighting, with modern classy art on the walls; lots of bottles on an elegant display, spotless service
- the corner billiard table
- the complimentary welcome punch and constant refill of cucumber infused water
- the Priorat wine we always used to order – by the bottle, how else
I’m getting nostalgic.. do try it out! I’d love to hear about your own experiences!
Bobby’s Free – The Speakeasy Behind a Barber Shop
Speakeasy concept. The barber doesn’t break character for one second. You’ll either tell him the password (look it up on their Instagram page) or you’ll stay out. Beyond the thick plush velvet curtains, a roaring 20’s style bar sits hidden in plain view, waiting to blow your socks off.
There’s a pretty good selection of gins (I wrote about Gin Tonics in BCN here) and spirits, most of them decently priced
Seabound : From Sunrise to Sunset
Stargazing on a Catamaran
I’ve written about this awesome Travel.Differently. experience here:
Don’t try this if : you’re not an early riser, you can’t stand the silence of being surrounded by calm waters, and you absolutely hate spectacular sunrises
You’ll be forgiven if you thought that going on a boat ride in Barcelona is that kitschy, touristy thing you won’t ever want to doI though the same. Trust me, this you’ll want to try out.
We booked a reasonably priced (19eur) 90 minute catamaran ride for my mother in law’s birthday, to put a bit of twist on the celebration. Never would I have thought I’d end up enjoying it too! Why?
The relative thin crowds on the boat (tip: don’t book the very last ride of the day, everyone flocks there because of the promise of sunset. Trust me, the winning choice is to get on the one just before sunset. In august, this was 7 PM)
The live jazz – it was spot on!
The view from the water – what better way to escape the crazy crowds of Las Ramblas, Gotico and Placa Catalunya! And then there’s the sunset! I love me some sunset any day.
THE One Mic-Drop: Sevilla
Sevilla was my last splurge before leaving Spain, and it really went all out to sweep me off my feet:
the moorish and gothic architectures that created the Alcazar and the Chatedral,
Las Setas and its expansive city views atop the walking platform
the most delicious, freshly squeezed orange juice I couldn’t get enough of.
Mingling with the locals at the churreria on the corner, or downing aperols at the riverside bar
And the day trip to Doñana National Park in search of the elusive Iberian Linx
with a stop in the whitewashed, western movie-style village of El Rocío
The surprising dunes of Matalascanas
I’ll be writing about Sevilla soon – after all, stuck at home in the time of coronavirus, we all have some extra time on our hands. So give me a chance to grab my thick socks, a blanket and some hot tea.
To be continued…