So it’s been a while since my last post. Like a lot of things in life I started this blog with an enthusiasm that didn’t last. But unlike some of those other things (yoga, walking to work, making cupcakes) I feel inspired to do it again, I think due in part to my recent trip to Barcelona and in particular the wonderful La Boqueria market.
There probably isn’t much that hasn’t been said about Barcelona as a foodie destination and it’s most famous food market. But here’s my tuppenceworth on the city and what I ate whilst there:
Tapas:
At the risk of sounding an uncultured Brit, there’s a limit to how much tapas I can enjoy before I want a big plate of food all to myself, and I reached that limit by day two into our four day trip. I also prefer tapas at lunch time, sometimes feeling a little unsatisfied having small plates for dinner. That’s not to say we didn’t have some delicious tapas; a friend living in Barcelona recommended Café Delfin in El Borne area and we enjoyed our meal there on the first night, highlights being the ubiquitous bread with olive oil & tomato, chorizo sautéed in red wine and goats cheese salad with honey. The restaurant has a lovely traditional feel and the food and wine (we had a chilled Rioja) were very reasonable.
Visiting in August:
I’d read that many restaurants in Barcelona shut down in August, when the locals escape the city at it’s most humid. I seemed to forget about this detail however and was twice disappointed when, having navigated the winding streets of El Gothic and Gracia, found a restaurant I’d read about, only for it to be in darkness with a ‘Closed for August’ sign in the door. So bear it in mind if you’re there in August and have a list of places to visit.
Beaches:
The main beach at Barceloneta lived up to what I’d read & what many friends had told me; overcrowded, not very clean and apparently rife with pick pockets. We had a drink at a beach side bar there but I didn’t fancy it for a days sunbathing and swimming. Luckily our hotel, Vincci Bit, was in the north of the city near the El Poblenou area and the nearby beach was fairly quiet, clean and had nice sunbeds & umbrellas to rent for 5 euros each for the day. We bagged a couple near the beach bar so it’s wasn’t far to stroll for a cold Estrella.
La Boqueria Market:
A source of inspiration for any waning food blogger. What struck me most about the huge range of food being sold was that it was so colourful; beautifully and creatively displayed, from fish and jamon to fruit and sweets, everything looked wonderful and you really felt that the traders knew about food and were passionate about what they sold. It made me feel a bit sad to think about some of the food you see in supermarkets; dull, limp and uninspiring, so removed from its natural state.
I had wanted to visit Barcelona for about 10 years but always seemed to be going somewhere else. I’m really glad I finally went and it’s a wonderful city, but the main reason I want to go back, and stay in an apartment rather than a hotel, is so I can host a dinner party, having shopped for ingredients at La Boqueria market.