On a cold dreary January morning Chef and Sue took off from Heathrow and a couple of hours later arrived in sunny Barcelona. We checked in at Hotel Soho on the Grand Via, and after playing with the clever lights and blinds, went straight up to the roof terrace to take in the hazy view of the city. Inspired, we took to the streets, had a bite to eat at the venerable La Rita, then went to see Gaudi’s casas (Batllo and Mila) and the amazing Sagreda Familia with its famous tiled towers. Inside, the late afternoon sun cascaded through the kaleidoscopic windows and bathed the beautiful space in colourful light – video on vimeo here – then we went for a nerve shredding lift ride to the top to look out over the city.
As night fell we headed for dinner at Noti where we sat in a deep red booth amidst low lamps and gold walls. Sue had lovely fish of the day and I an array of fragrant vegetables, before we hit the cocktails. The next morning we wandered across the street to Escriba for baby croissants, toast, tea and coffee – all followed by a walk down Las Ramblas to the harbour front and the sunny decks and walls of La Barceloneta.
A walk into El Born led to a little shopping, where we found the bold Batallata – full of finely cut tshirts made from different striped materials – and an old Miro poster jubilantly spelling ‘Catalunya’ , from the selection at the Maeght gallery. After lunch at Santa Caterina market we strolled back through the old town to MACBA, and took in its contemporary art collection. That night we headed back to El Born for tasty tapas plates at Lonja de Tapas followed by Manhattans, Mai Tais and 80s disco at Tripode – all dark wood panels and cane furniture – magnificent.
After checking out we breakfasted at Escriba again, then we were off to the beautiful Park Guell – a tiled treasure up in the hills of Barcelona. A photo frenzy on the benches ensued and then we climbed up to the crosses on the crest of the hill and looked out at the city shimmering in the sun. With time for a last lunch at Bar Mut, Sue took on a giant prawn and just about won – then we headed to the airport. The perfect getaway – and Sue said yes! Chef’s Kiss!