Archive | September, 2011

Best of Barcelona, ssh! it’s a secret…

21 Sep

Sightseeing in Barcelona


So you have the guidebook, so you know what you need to see…Well here’s my best of  if you are stuck for time in Barcelona, in no particular order….

Parc del Laberint d’Horta
This is as the name suggests, a giant labyrinth. Made me feel like I was in a lovely film, running around trying not to get lost. Beautiful gardens, crumbling Arabic mansion, and no city sounds…wonderful. p.s. I’ve lived in Barcelona for 4 years and I just discovered this beauty last weekend. It’s a weirdly not-rounded-up €2.17.

The Magic Fountain
This is a must see, but make sure to check the website before you make the journey. It’s roaring classical music meets lights, lasers and romance. Oh and it doesn’t cost a thing.

Mar Bella Beach
Forget the dirty touristic beach that sits on the end of the promenade. Go a little further, and meet the real 20 somethings of Barcelona. Great music, cleaner water and lots of bronzed bodies.

Walks

Gaudi
Parc Guell, Sagrada Familia, Fountains in Parc De la Cuitadella, Casa Mila and Casa Batllo…they are all in the guidebook for for good reasons.

El Gothic
Windy streets, lots of tourists, roman ruins, big squares, lots of cafes and bars, souvenir shops, shady characters, cheap raybans, hippy clothes will all leave you with the distinct feeling you’ve just been on holiday…Check out Plaza Trippy for some cosy but crazy nightlife.

La Rambla
It even has it’s own wiki page.

El Raval
Twisty, dirty streets, full of chaos, loud noises, large families, great museums, pickpocketers, lots of great bars, a huge mix of expats from all over the world..oh and lots of men offering cerveza beer and a whole concoction of other things. weird, a little smelly in places. But very Barcelona.

Gracia
This is real Barcelona, full of 20 somethings, always up for a good time, with fresh food markets, little quirky vintage boutiques and cosy little bars with great prices.

Camp Nou

One of the most famous reasons to visit Barcelona. This stadium is HUGE, and to be honest any ticket you get guarantees a good view of the guys in action.
Get your tickets here: Football Tickets Barcelona
These guys speak English, French, Spanish and German and have been doing this for years.

Bars

Timeline
Owned by the lovely Carla and Nina-both bilingual- this bar is sure to please. Decorated cleverly in, well, a timeline of clocks, vintage furniture, old school books as menus, delicious cocktails served in generous jam jars, oh and the most yummy patatas bravas you will find in Gracia..this is a great location to meet new friends, kick back, relax and watch the time go by..

Heliogabal
This is a gem if you are a big fan of little intimate bars with good music and cheap beer and vino. The crowd is a good mix of locals, and expats, usually only too happy to strike up conversation.

El Chatelet
This is one of my favs, they do great cocktails, there is always a good crowd and the atmosphere is second to none. The crowd is kind of trendy, but relaxed and chatty. Mostly locals.

Tapas

I think I should be on commission for Bitacora. Every time we have guests over, this is the one place that we always want to show off in. Fabulous tapas, served in a grungy FC Barcelona supporters bar. Rude writing on the bathroom walls, dirty napkin filled floors, but some of the most delicious food I have EVER tasted. eh..did I mention I think this place is pretty awesome??

Museums
Quirky, in the heart of Raval, surrounded by skaterboys and girls, is Macba, tattoos, kitch bars, and stark white surroundings, this is the heartbeat of the art scene in Barcelona. Keep an eye out for some great photography exhibits in the gallery there.

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recipe#10 chocolate bread and butter pudding

4 Sep

need:

10 slices of one day old white sliced bread

200g of dark chocolate-over 75% cocoa

80g butter

450 ml whipping cream

130g caster sugar

3 medium eggs

pinch of cinnamon

Chocolate Bread and Butter Pudding

make:

remove crusts from bread

cut into four triangles

gently heat chocolate, cream, sugar, butter and cinnamon until dissolved

stir all ingredients together

in another bowl, whisk eggs, then pour eggs over chocolate mix

pour half the chocolate and egg mix into greased ovenproof bowl

place half the bread triangles side by side over chocolate

pour almost all other half of chocolate on top of bread

add more bread again and finish off with more chocolate

press mix with fork to make sure all bread is coated and soggy

cover and leave to cool in fridge for up to 48 hours

when ready to cook, remove cover, preheat oven to 190 celsius

cook in middle shelf for about 30 mins

stand for ten mins to cool

dollop of whipped cream and a big cup of tea