I’ve loved Barcelona ever since James and I first visited in 2010, on our belated honeymoon. Since we especially love the food there, I made sure that our agenda in this city comprised mostly eating. (It was a little sad that being pregnant meant I couldn’t eat my weight in jamon iberico, which is only the best damn ham in the entire known universe…)
James booked us a very comfy room in the lovely and well-located Hotel Alma, which was just off the main thoroughfare of Passeig de Gracia. Upon arrival it was tempting to just lounge there all evening. But we were hungry and also very curious to find out if dinner at Tapas24 was still as good as we remembered.
It’s pretty awesome how a few tapas dishes add up to one substantial meal. (Not pictured: patatas bravas, which are basically french fries in cubes instead of strips.) Our full bellies and road-weary bodies made for a Very Good sleep that night.
The next day’s adventures began with a visit to Escriba, which was our favourite breakfast place in 2010. Sadly we found that the pastries had shrunk to a third of their former size, which made for a much smaller breakfast than we’d hoped. The coffee was decent – whew – but between the minuscule croissants and the surly service, we didn’t enjoy the experience very much.
From La Rambla, we hoofed it toward the Barceloneta waterfront. It was an amazingly sunny day and not at all humid, which was very nice indeed.
We headed onward to a mall called Maremagnum located along the waterfront. Unlike nearly all other shops in the city, it’s open on Sundays and bank holidays. I think that’s because it’s classified as a ‘tourist shop’, which is one of the exemptions to the Sunday-closure rule. Maremagnum has lots of Spanish high street brands so we spent the morning shopping in air-conditioned comfort, like the typical Singaporeans we are 😉
Lunch was at TapaTapa, a chain restaurant along the mall’s boardwalk where we’d eaten before, and which I think is pretty decent as far as chain restaurants go.
After lunch we headed back to the hotel for a siesta, then to a bar in the Eixample that showed English football games because James wanted to catch the Manchester Derby.
To put it mildly, the game did not go well for United. It was sad. So we went to mourn over another tapas meal.
Cerveceria Catalana is another restaurant that we remembered from our first trip to this city; I suspect we might have eaten there twice in a week back in 2010. (Mich – love you long time for recommending us this place.) It serves up really good classic tapas, and is by all accounts enjoyed very much by locals and tourists alike. It’s popular enough that there seems to always be a line to enter the restaurant: we waited 15-20 minutes to get a table, which I thought wasn’t too bad considering the size of the crowd.
And that was it for Sunday! Come Monday morning, we grabbed a random pastry and cafe amb llet en route to La Boqueria, where we bought lots of jamon to bring home as gifts and for ourselves. (That stuff keeps for months in the fridge. I am so looking forward to eating it after I give birth next year.) I breezed through Passeig de Gracia for one last sweep of the high street shops, after which we drove to the airport – hanging bumper and all – for our flight back to London.