Category: Barcelona

One of the other attractions of Barcelona is the weather and the promenade by the beach. We decided to take a walk and have a nice lunch by the beach.

Magician and Twinkie wanted to rent bikes… Since 2007, the Barcelona city council launched the innovative bicycle borrowing scheme called “El Bicing.”. Unfortunately, these bikes are only for residents, the tourists need to rent from bike shops.

We finally found a shop, and they rented their bikes… why I didn’t rent a bike? Well, I am ashamed to announce that I don’t know how to ride one…. And seriously do you see me on a bike? Where would I put my purse, and how can I bike with heels? And then the bike has to be in matching colors with my outfit… too complicated.

The boys proposed me to teach (I guess they wanted to laugh), I proposed them to put a basket in front of their bike and sit on it (as I am so tiny, lol)…

We finally decided that it will be wise to skip biking for Nat, wonder why? Lol.

All the restaurants seemed to have the same menu, we opted for “Bestial” (thank you wifey for your advice). This restaurant situated near the beach with a great terrace offers Mediterranean cuisine with an Italian twist.

Our hotel told us that it was like a Mc Donalds…

I don’t know if the Mc Donalds are very fancy in Barca, or they have never seen one, but this restaurant was far from one. To start with the decor is minimalist and modern, and the food is far better.

I guess they don’t take a commission from the restaurant…

Anyway, as we couldn’t make up our mind, we didn’t do any reservations… we tried all the tricks to get a table, they restaurant side was full, so we sat on “the lounge side”.

Let me translate that, we couldn’t sit at a proper table and order from the menu, but sit at the comfy couches and order only appetizers. This is where I see, Barcelona has become very popular. In the past, they will do everything to be pleasant and helpful…. Now the attitude is: “you are not happy, you can leave”. If we were in Turkey, they would have even proposed the menu of the adjacent restaurant.

I decided for once “to not have” a fight and we ordered our food. We had mushroom and truffle croquettas, some Spanish ham, calamaris and two mini pizza, one of them with cheese the other one with sun dried tomatoes and ruccola. All this with a rose, that looked more “fushia” than rose…

Everything was delicious; the service …. nonexistent!!! I don’t know if you are considered as a second-class citizen when you sit at the lounge, but our waiter never came to see us. Once our plates were on the table, he decided that we were done… We had to chase him. The worst? When he literally told us that we cannot order the other dishes from the menu, he served them to the next table…. Guess what I finally had my fight!!!

Thanks God for them, the restaurant is well located with good food, and it was an amazing day and great company… Thinking about it, maybe that’s what the hotel was implying when they said it is Mac Donalds… it is a self service ;) )))

My first night, we decided to have a drink at the W hotel. The W Barcelona opened recently and is designed by world-famed architect Ricardo Bofill. If you are not familiar with his work, he has also designed the city’s airport who received the award for the best airport in Europe.

“W”, located along the famed boardwalk La Barceloneta, strangely reminds you of the Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai.

When you enter to the hotel, you notice it is very modern. Like almost all the W hotels are, it is very dark with some bright purple lights. It is beautiful, but didn’t make me feel comfy and homy.

It was too windy, and they didn’t have warmers at the terrace, so we sat at the indoor bar. Half full, with a DJ playing with a way too loud music . Let me tell you, I am happy that we stayed at the Hotel Arts.

After a quick drink, we all went to Botafumeiro. This restaurant, has opened its doors more than 25 years ago, and serves amazing seafood. It has a long bar where you can also eat. We opted for a table.
As Magician and Twinkie were not hungry, we ate our food and theirs…

You know how they say, “your eyes are bigger than your stomach”; well, we wanted to taste everything so we ordered a bit of everything. We have started with seafood croquettas, calamaris and don’t laugh a Russian salad (come on we are with the Russian Ring Ding) which was revised Spanish style. Oh without forgetting a spider crab gratin.

The next plate was a seafood platter and, off course, we had to try the paella. As we couldn’t make up our mind, we opted for one with calamari and squid ink, and one with seafood.

Everything was yummy, but between us, we shouldn’t have lost our time and appetite with the appetizers and start straight with the seafood platter. Then maybe we could have eaten the paella.

After three and a half hour hard work of eating and drinking… we couldn’t move anymore. Even when the mariachi’s came to play for us, I think the only part of my body that could move was my eyes.

I am ashamed to say that, it didn’t stop us to try the cream Catalana.

What do I think about the restaurant? A bit touristic, great food, lovely service and as usual amazing company. Next time (if I ever go back), I will definitely sit at the bar and enjoy a seafood platter with a chilled white wine.

On the other side, we are in Barcelona with so many great addresses, so I guess during my next trip I won’t lose my time and calorie count there, and go to another tapas or seafood restaurant.

That night we were hoping to hit the Casino and gamble a little… but seriously, I am just happy that I managed to walk to a cab….

Let’s talk about the serious stuff and Barcelona – Food.

My day of arrival I joined the Marmelades for tapas at Paco Meralgo. For the ones who haven’t met this mythical family the Marmelades live in NY. Lady Fleur and Ring Ding (the parents) have two sons Twinkie and Magician. The parents are known for their famous terrace M in summer and the kids for their killing looks.

When I arrived at the restaurant they had already eaten but were waiting for me to finish the second bottle of wine and some freshly ordered tapas… I didn’t have time to take pics as I was starving.

Just one word: “delicious”. I had some seafood croquettes, fresh tuna carpaccio, grilled foie gras on toast, some fresh anchovies, and the region specialty, “Pa amb Tomaquet” (toasted bread with fresh tomato paste and olive oil). The whole experience was thrilling; I just wished I wasn’t stuck in traffic that long and order more food before they closed.

After our 4pm lunch, we went to the hotel for a nap, in other words digest so we could eat dinner. You know, in Spain, the dinner starts very late…. Around 10pm. I know it is far from early bird in the States, or regular dinner time in Switzerland.

In Spain, every meal is later than the other countries. They start with a light breakfast between 9-11am, have later lunch between 2-3pm, and dinner only after 9pm.

How does people do when they work? Well the working day usually starts between 8 – 9am, lunch break is around 1.30 – 2pm until 3-4pm (the time when Swiss stops working, lol). They finish work around 6 – 7.30pm. (when we have dinner in Switzerland)

According to this schedule, working in NY is slavery as I remember I used to arrive at work around 8ish and leave around 7.30pm, and will have a quick salad in front of my PC for lunch.

Hmmmm, I wonder why I didn’t move to Barcelona as my first instinct ;)