Remember your first time?
That exhilarating rush as you cross the rope and make your way into the VIP area, surrounded by pretty boys and girls? Every night in Barcelona is like the first time. Although the novelty of this luxury has slightly worn off, watching copies of my twenty one year old self will never get old. I’ve been you girl.
In my previous Barcelona post, I mentioned visiting Carpe Diem in a better mood and giving it a proper chance. After all, how could a girl not be fond of a place sponsored by Dom Perignon? An invitation to an intimate dinner amongst Barcelona’s glitterati arrived for Tuesday night. Upon arrival Linda and I are greeted by a handsome Italian man. Following a free pour of drinks, we’re seated at a long table and as I place my red wine on the table, my empty red wine glass is immediately removed. The attention to detail was impeccable. After sushi platters, satay chicken skewers, meat samosas, cream tartlets and a roasted chicken salad with black sesame seeds, our four courses ended with chocolate fondue and fresh fruit. CDLC gets ten out of ten for their food, service and hosting aesthetic in Barcelona.
Boujis is a newly opened glamorous playground in Barcelona. I know this before I attend an open invitation to another dinner because I’m familiar with Boujis London and the cult-like following it has behind the velvet rope. Owned by the Ignite Group, also owners of Eclipse Bar at W Hotel, as you can imagine, these venues attract the crème de la crème with it’s strong global reputation. Boujis London still stands to this day, even though many other clubs have come and gone in the West End, being transformed into the same shit, different name. Considering I enjoyed my time at Eclipse the week before, I could only expect the same level of standard in service. After overbooking the restaurant, management made an effort to put together an area inside the club. The mains and desserts were forgotten and once the party was about to begin, we were told to, “move over there,” by a staff member who was rude, unprofessional and unnecessary. So much for my premature Tweet about being Schmoozed, schmoozed with hot chips with a smashed egg on top at a premier dining spot. Maybe I shouldn’t Tweet too soon.
After the Boujis bomb, we’re more than happy to move onto The Sutton Club just around the corner. Sutton looks like my Tinder list, tall dark and mysterious with a touch of Belvedere. The venue is grand with numerous VIP areas and bars but the only thing that catches Linda’s eye is the large Patron poster framed on the wall as we walk in. Sutton is dubbed the place to be in Barcelona and if you’re a woman and looking for a suit, one word: Sutton. #LikeCandy
I’d love to be popular in Barcelona. That sounds like a fun job.
After Sutton, we walk into a venue I swore I’d never show my face at particularly because it sounds like a strip club in Sydney’s King’s Cross. At Bling Bling, courtesy of Barcelona Nightlife, we’re schmoozed with two bottles of Vodka and four bottles of champagne at 3am. I can’t forget to mention the endless sparklers that are more dangerous than they look, just ask Linda she burnt her hand. This place is a little loose for a Thursday with university students swaying all over the dance floor making it a little difficult to pass by without getting drenched with in some happy juice.
Linda and I turn on the lights at Bling Bling and with a new friend, decide to road trip to Sitges at 6am. No matter what city we were in the world, our lives always shaped to be far from normal but living in the moment did have it’s perks and brought us to places people Google during their nine to five. Sitges is a gorgeous beach side city 30 minutes away from Barcelona and even though it’s dark when we arrive, we manage to grab a few pictures before our unreliable iPhones die.
“I know a place we can stay where footballers take their mistresses, no one will ever know we were there. I used to go there when I was 21…” Fine. Synonymous with being scandalous, that’s what we were. What was another story to add to our ever growing adventurous collection?
We pull up in a garage in front of a large black curtain and wait. And wait…to be murdered. I may have even crossed myself for the first time since High School (I attended a Catholic School but no longer consider myself as Catholic).
A harmless Spanish man appears, opening up the curtains and asks for the car keys. Where the hell were we? There were certainly no water views. We check into two rooms of this seedy Boutique Hotel which grew on me with every sip of my vodka zuma. We fall asleep in separate rooms while normal civilians are on their way to work. In the late morning I’m told that my bathroom has a used condom above the shower, for once not mine. Great. I suppose you can expect that from a hotel whose policy was, “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”
A clear blue sky should never go to waste, so after we say goodbye to our new Catalan friend, Linda and I take a stroll down to Barceloneta beach for Seafood Paella, Andalucia Calamari and possibly some vino. Before our lunch, I also indulge in some chocolate crepes on the side of the road at the Marina and get chocolate all over my Not Going Home Jumper. After a recap of the morning, the adventure and what was yet to come, our Mediterranean back drop has us pause to smell some roses as we watch free spirits play volleyball on the beach. Who would have thought this time last year we would be here?
Friday night marks our final outing in Barcelona where Opium is one of the venues hosting Abroadfest over three days, featuring Laidback Luke, Sander Van Doorn, Showtek and GLOWINTHEDARK. Another hit of Opium, another lot of wristbands and plenty of bottles. Dutch boys, GLOWINTHEDARK hit the decks in style and drove the predominantly American crowd wild. A packed out Opium is also a very annoying one with numerous girls attempting to climb into VIP areas or dropping glasses carelessly.
Barcelona city comes with a huge warning, watch all your personal belongings like a hawk and don’t look like you’ve got money. Opportunists thieves are everywhere and often unidentifiable. On the streets some are obvious and a direct look in the eye is enough to let them know you’re watching and have psychopath skills if they come near you. Linda is the most careful and paranoid person I’ve ever met. My ears began to bleed at the amount of times she screamed at me for being careless about my belongings while out in public.
This wasn’t the first time we’d walked home this late, we often walked home alone no matter what the hour in the day and nothing ever happened. I lived in one of the most prestigious waterfront areas in Sydney, plagued with crime a couple blocks away from my home and I never felt unsafe or was violated. I’m used to the crazies, the junkies and the lost.
With two Indian men adjacent to us, a couple meters in front, we could smell trouble. You hear the stories, are super careful and don’t believe it could ever happen to you. As Linda was unlocking the door to our apartment building, one of the men saw the opportunity to snatch Linda’s clutch from under her arm and make a run for it… only to have Linda follow. After a hundred meter sprint around the corner, he threw her clutch back at her and traumatised my best friend.
Petty crime in Barcelona is more common than violent crime and if this happened on La Rambla, fair enough but outside our own building as we are putting the key into the front door is not cool.
Despite making plans of staying in Barcelona for two months, we cut our adventure short to two weeks and left to head back to the UK. Barcelona is an absolutely phenomenal city, but it is a real shame that a minority can ruin a bigger picture for a majority.
With Love x From Barcelona
Barcelona, hands down, the best city in Europe stained with a few fruitcakes but nonetheless always a good time. What have been your good and bad experiences in Barcelona? Have you found any incredible places to eat?