Sunday, May 01, 2016

A Short stay In Barcelona


Hello readers, hope your weekends going great. The Sun's finally out in London for a change, but alas am home putting this blog together because of a tiringly packed weekend that included a lovely wedding and a 28 days secret cinema event with zombies.  I went to a back to the future event last year and that was a blast. 

Now back to my newest blog post. Today's post will detail some of the things I got up to in Barcelona 2 weeks ago during a short stay. So where to start? Well I stayed at a skyscraper hotel called hotel Torre Catalunya located opposite Barcelona Sants railway station. The hotel room views were nothing short of impressive

Day 1



If you're really into your landscape views, a few minutes walk down the road to the Las Arenas bullring within Placa d'Espanya offers some very good vantage points. 










After climbing the stairs, battering a few selfie stick sellers our of our sight,  we gave in and finally decided to buy a selfie stick ( have managed to avoid this stuff somehow, however I guess we are all narcissistic to a point...so why not ) and got a tutorial from this dude. Hence the shock looked :)


A few test selfies later was soon followed by a march to an architectural museum 8 minutes walk away known as Poble Espanyol ( Spanish town). This museum consists of various buildings housing crafts, architecture, arts, restaurants etc. They've basically recreated an Iberian village. 




I popped into one of the buildings and spent a few minutes watching the process below unfold. 






We went into a few more shops, however it was midday and our stomachs were screaming at this point, so a stroll to one of the many restaurants in the compound beckoned. One restaurant's menu stood out.

Boria Cafe: You had me at oxtail. 



I'm quite a fan of oxtails, so I was pretty curious to try out the restaurants Paella oxtail with red wine reduction. For someone who was quite used to sea food and chicken Paellas, this was a little different. The oxtail and wine pairing worked quite well. Flavourful dish I have to say. 





All this was washed down with a nice jug of cold San gria 


I should also mention that we tried out some squid, but if I were to be honest, it was all about the oxtails for me :)


Meal over and a trip back to the hotel followed. I decided to check out our hotel restaurant before heading back to the room. 

.....and the view was pretty nice from here.  

The plan to come back here for dinner was pretty etched on my mind from there on. 

Visual Restaurant



Day 2

A quick bus tour around the city had to be the next thing on the card. The bus pretty much stops at all major landmarks, so it's a decent way of getting around.










Anthony Gaudi's beautifully designed Roman Catholic Basilica, the Sagrada Familia is probably one of the most recognised buildings on the planet. Over a hundred years old and still not complete, this buildings a sight to behold.


Video 


Sagrada Familia



Bus tour over and a dash back to a little restaurant called Zarautz next to the hotel, prior to heading out to see some friends that evening. 

Zarautz : Apple and duck goes like peaches and cream.

Based in the Sants station area ( behind torre Catalunya hotel), this restaurant served some of the best Pinchos have actually ever had. Their foie with Apple was to die for. Very rich and moorish,each bite a delight. I actually came back a few times during the 4 day trip.  Yep, I loved it that much it graced all my food pictures with its presence. I also tried their duck with foie, spicy sausage, dates with bacon, croquettes...the list went on. The last dish was chosen from their board menu. I think it was tuna and wasabi.  All dishes tasted great with prices ranging from €1.65 to €3.70. Very affordable.

Foie with apple







Meal over and a quick jog back to the hotel to get ready for the evening ensued. We spent the first part of the night at Restaurante Brasaylena in Macquinista. This meat lovers paradise works based on a traffic light card system. Leave your card green and varieties of meats keeps on coming to the table. You can guess what happens when you leave it red. We had so much we nearly passed out from a meat coma. It was so worth it though. 


The meats comes with servings of rice, salad, feijao ( black beans and sausage) and fried potatoes







The second part of the night was spent at a bar with a very nice atmosphere in the Barrio Gotico area called Penny banger. The stone arches and impressive murals gave the place a feel you only find in a few bars in Barcelona. Definitely a good place to enjoy the Barcelona nightlife. Did I also mention that they do good cocktails as well?

Penny banger




Yep...that Pina colada below's mine. I ordered 3 that night I think.


Massive thanks for the night Kingsley 


Day 3

This day entailed getting the Montjuic Cable car ( Teleferico de Montjuic ) from a lower terminus adjacent to the upper station of the Furnicular ( a functional railway that connects the Barcelona Metro Paral-lel station with the hills of Montjuic) to Montjuic castle on the hill. In terms of scenery, you can't get better than this in Barcelona I reckon. 

Video 











Visual Restaurant : amazing view 

We finished of the day by eating at our Hotel restaurant known as the visual. Tasty Mediterranean food in the highest 360 degrees roof lounge in Barcelona. What's there not to like. 

We had a tuna tataki, pepper bread,asparagus and paprika flavoured potatoes 

Visual restaurant tuna tataki, pepper bread,asparagus and paprika flavoured potatoes


Grilled duck magret with wheat risotto and black trumpet mushrooms. The duck was tasty and tender with a sauce that just made you want to wipe the whole plate clean.


Visual restaurant Grilled duck magret with wheat risotto and black trumpet mushrooms

Taste aside, the dishes were also well priced with both coming up to about £42, minus the service charge. All in all, a good restaurant indeed. One other restaurant I went to but didn't mention in this post was Santa Gula. Check out my previous blog post for that review. Possibly one of the best restaurants I had the fortune of visiting in Barcelona.

There goes my trip. Hope you liked the collection of pictures. I really enjoy Barcelona as a city, this being my 5th visit. I didn't spend time at the Ramblas area or Port olympico, however I would recommend you spend a bit of time at those places on your first trip. 



The markets definitely a must visit as well. My next destination blog will be from Florence in a few weeks so look out for it.
                                                          Bye for now 






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