Thursday, 28 March 2013

{Eat, Drink, Do Barcelona}


Eat: Marmalade, 4-6 Carrer Riera Alta

Set in the heart of alternative El Raval, the waiters at Marmalade shake up the best cocktails in town without robbing you of all your pocket money. On the weekends, head down for hungover brunch - I recommend the forest fruit french toast and a Bellini, to dine in style. I also have it on great authority that their Bloody Marys are the best in Barca. 



One slightly groggy morning-after I ordered the Very Berry Banana Smoothie, which is the perfect way to start a day of sightseeing. It was imperative that we sampled the lunchtime burgers, which are to die for. Afterwards, you can burn off all that cream and alcohol with a wander around the nearby vintage shops on Carrer Riera Baixa.





Drink: El Bosc de les Fades, 5 Pje de la Banca

Step inside this bar, literally translated as Bar of the Fairies, and enter a woodland kingdom which could have been stolen straight out of any Tolkien film set. Huge trees shoot up from the floor, with lanterns & candles adding minimal light to the dimly lit-bar. Perch on wooden stalls or sit at a table under a wrought-iron chandelier, all set around a great waterfall in the middle of the room.


There's definitely an eery feel to the place, easily overcome with the help of a few Cosmos. You'll have to excuse the quality of the photo below, but almost pitch-black plus over-generous barmen does not make a great photographer! Hopefully you get an idea of the ambience in this magical bar. 



Located in a little alleyway next to the Wax Museum, just off Las Ramblas, this charming bar is definitely worth hunting down.

Do: La Boqueria, 91 Rambla 

The market of La Boqueria will overwhelm all of your senses. If you pick the wrong time of day you'll end up hustlin' & bustlin' with a wash of tourists, locals and pickpockets. However, if you get it right, you can wile away a good hour wandering the colourful stalls. Exotic fruits, delicious mojitos (I had to test) & other juices, and every type of nut imaginable. My least favourite area is the meat and fish stalls, but despite my squeamishness we bought some of the most delicious sausage and local ham.



The vendors are brisk but welcoming, and clearly know their stuff. They are always happy for you to taste their delicacies (within reason!), and you could probably create a whole meal just from nibbling at the samples. I always fall for something though, usually a fruit which doesn't even exist in England.



Last time I visited Barcelona the market was the last stop, to stock up on supplies for our overnight train journey to Paris. As I left, I decided La Boqueria is the perfect symbol for Barcelona; a little hectic and brash, with the ever-present danger of pick-pockets, but if you know how to play it right it's an exotic melange of delicacies that will always leave you wanting more.



Pin It Now!