The street art shutter (complete with dripping chocolate!) at one of Barcelona's most famous cafés: come along, Wednesday | Photo: Tom Walton
Funnily enough, we happened to know visitors to Barcelona who found chocolate con churros way, way more interesting than the Sagrada Familia! We have both for you on our social programme this week 😉 !
- Tuesday 13th | Come with us this afternoon to visit Poble Sec, the district between the Avenida del Paralelo and Montjuic. Once home to factories, of which little now remains, it's a barrio popular, not least because of its many bars (see the recommendations in TimeOut and on TripAdvisor). The Carrer Blai [Google Maps] is particularly popular if you want to ir de tapas (16.00).
- Wednesday 14th | One of Barcelona's great traditions (OK, that would possibly be other parts of Spain, too 😉 !): chocolate con churros for afternoon tea, for which we'll be heading over into the Barrio Gótico to one of our favourite granjas (cafés) on the Carrer Petrixol (now that is the Barcelona tradition!). Also traditionally consumed when you come out of the disco at about five in the morning. Price €8 (disco not included!) . Yummy (16.00)!
- Thursday 15th | One you just must see: the best known Gaudí building in Barcelona, the still unfinished Sagrada Familia, though it's supposed to be finished in 2026 (see this video if you can't wait that long!). If you want to go inside, note that it costs a minimum €15 (and book online if you want to do that) but is definitely not something to be missed (16.00). See also some of the cool pictures to be found on the official Sagrada Familia Instagram feed (16.00).
- Friday 16th | Come get yourself some extra Spanish practice at our Friday Club language exchange (in the bar/on the terrace, 19.00-21.00).
Join us in Spanish Reception (C floor), unless otherwise stated, at the times given above.
Footnote: The excellent TimeOut Barcelona recently had a feature on some of Barcelona's best known granjas, if you like chocolate con churros.
According to The Guardian, this from Mark Nelson wasn't voted the funniest joke at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival:
Jesus fed 5,000 people with two fishes and a loaf of bread. That’s not a miracle. That’s tapas.
But we think it should have been 😉 !
Traditionally, a calçotada is a late-winter/early-spring barbecue held out in the open air, at which grilled calçots (a kind of spring onion) are eaten, followed by grilled meat (most typically butifarra, a Catalan sausage, and lamb cutlets) all of which is washed down with copious amounts of red wine. It gets messy, so you really need a bib for it 😉 !.
If you fail to make Catalan friends who invite you to one, Cristina recommends us a restaurant in Sants…
- Nombre: Restaurante Carmen
- Dónde: Valladolid 44 [mapa], Metro Plaça de Sants (L1 o L5) o Sants-Estació (L1 o L3)
- Me gusta: Toda la información que tienen en su web sobre los calçots: receta de romesco, orígenes, etc.
- Cuándo: Si no puedes disfrutar de una calçotada fuera de la ciudad, es una muy buena opción.
- Para: Una calçotada
- En la web: restaurantcarmen.com
- Nos lo recomienda: Cristina.
Metropolitan has a great little guide (in English) on how to throw a calçotada if you want to try it in the back garden.
Further help with the vocab in the comments…
There's more to tapas than just tortilla and patatas bravas, and this is a good week to find out…
Las tapas – con el permiso de la paella – son las estrellas de la cocina española. Si quieres comprobar que hay vida más allá del pincho de tortilla y de las patatas bravas, sal de tapas por Barcelona.
Esta semana (del 21 de febrero al 3 de marzo) puedes disfrutar de las mejores tapas en diferentes bares de la ciudad, ya que se celebra la 6ª edición de la fiesta gastronómica De tapes per Barcelona.
Los bares que participan ofrecen una tapa especial y un quinto (una pequeña botella de cerveza) por solo 2,40 euros.
Aquí puedes consultar la lista de bares y la tapa que sirven.
Autumn in Barcelona | Photo: Tom Walton
It's that lovely time of year in Barcelona now when you just about need a light jacket in the morning but can leave it in the office if you go out for a lunchtime stroll and will definitely want to take it off if you're sitting on a café terrace in the sunshine.
You really couldn't call it "autumn" at all, though you'll see panaiets in all the bakers and chestnuts being roasted and sold in the streets.
To appreciate the true colors of autumn, you probably want to get away from Barcelona as far as the Montseny (about 60km) or the magnificent countryside of the Garrotxa (about 140km), for both of which you really need a car (or be a really serious cyclist).
As you can see, for our photo, we had to make do with the display in the baker's window (plus half a dozen panaiets, just to actually taste autumn!).