I loved how Barcelona had this artsy, quirky vibe about it, and I looked for evidence of it throughout the entire trip. This turned into some pretty fun inspiration for my food diary this time around...
We stayed at the Ohla Hotel in the Gothic Quarter, which was the perfect neighborhood for post- siesta wandering. I really cannot say enough good things about this hotel. It's a small boutique five star hotel, so the attention to detail is impeccable. The second you walk through their doors your luggage is whisked away and glasses of Cava are in your hands. The rooms are modern and sleek with amazing views of the city. The suite bathtub has an especially romantic view that is perfect for soaking in and sipping that Cava wine you were handed earlier. When you wake up and drag your jet lagged zombie body downstairs to breakfast in the morning, the walls of pastries, rows of freshly squeezed juices, and sandwiches are a sight for sore eyes. (More hotel information HERE)
There were plenty of boutiques, pottery shops, and restaurants to peruse. Eating dinner late was something that is hard for those used to an American dining timetable to get used to, so pretty much every restaurant was empty when we walked in. Early bird special! I knew what Tapas was before traveling to Spain, of course, but I don't think I really knew what I was getting into. Dinner is supposed to be a light meal because it is eaten so late. Really light. So if you're thinking of ordering one or two items on the menu, get six. And always order the patatas braves. For a couple of reasons. One: they do them differently at each restaurant so I loved being surprised by what we might get. Two: this backfills your stomach, like a kind of anti-hunger tapas insurance. Three: FRIED POTATOES. Accompanied by a spicy tomato sauce and a garlicky aioli for dipping.
Other than must sees such as La Sagrada Familia, Casa Batllo, and Parc Guell (the likes of which you already knew about and planned on seeing before reading this) we really just enjoyed our time in Barcelona living like locals. We didn't over plan an itinerary and left time for in-the-moment exploration and discovery.
I love sangria because it's pretty much just juice with alcohol and fruit in it. Watch out, this stuff sneaks up on you and before you know it you're in some bar singing the best hits from 1996 on karaoke at 3am.
What you'll need:
1-2 cups blackberries/blueberries/strawberries/any kind of berry
1 bottle Cava wine
1/2 cup triple sec
2 cups sparkling pink lemonade
1/2 cup sugar
GARNISH: I used lemons, chopped up dragon fruit, and edible flowers that add no flavor but just look pretty
Put your berries in a large pitcher, and sprinkle with sugar and allow to sit for 10 minutes. This allows the sugar to draw out the juice from the berries.
Add triple sec, pink lemonade, and 1/2 of the Cava
Chill for 1 hour.
When ready to serve, add remaining Cava, stir to combine, and add your garnish.