Barcelona is my Las Vegas and I have a deep spot in my heart for the city but I felt it was too soon to get too close to someone I’d just met. Unfortunately for her, she was suffering from the repercussions of the fake Chanel bags I’d allowed in my life over the past twenty four months.
Our apartment was located 300m from the Marina, Casino and nightlife, which is dangerous and exciting at the same time. After a quick check-in, we take a stroll along La Barceloneta before hopping in a cab to La Ramblas to meet another girlfriend for some tapas. Summer may be around the corner and the sky may be crystal blue but the heat isn’t at it’s full potential yet.
This time round, La Ramblas is green, in full spring mode and buzzing with slow walking tourists and Indian men trying to sell you useless gadgets for a couple euros. After way too many plates of tapas, we head to Kush. I’m very ignorant about this scene particularly because it does not interest me and never has. I order a Mojito and am given two slices of pizza on the house. Spot the passive smoker, right? The mood of the room is chilled and relaxed, the air is grey and smoky. After three hours, I have no idea whether I am stoned or just retarded, potentially a combination of both which is not good for anyone, myself included.
Friday night marks a visit to super club, Opium where there are more men than ladies and getting attacked by an Italian man on holidays and/or heat is inevitable upon arrival. Thank god for wristbands and Barcelona Nightlife, our asses are safe and roped off from any unwanted touches. In my opinion, Opium is at it’s finest when they are hosting an international dj and not when a resident dj is playing commercial house music all night.
Barcelona may seem like a destination for incredible food but even the locals will warn you not to sit too soon. Strolling through El Born, one of my favourite areas and drifting past Barcelona Cathedral, we find ourselves seated inside Cuines Santa Caterina. This place is busy and after the greatest meal I’ve ever had in Barcelona, I now know why. I order the Alaska Salmon which comes with a garlic cream sauce and roast potatoes, the birthday girl orders a steak and salad while my other girlfriend finishes a plate of sushi. With an extra bottle of red wine and goats cheese salad, altogether we pay 77euros.
You’d never get fed this well in London for under 150 pounds. The service in this place was top class and the menu offers a variety of dishes from tapas, mediterranean grill to tashimi. I’ve never walked into a restaurant and snooped on other people’s meals so much. Everything looks and is delicious.
Boujis is the only place in Barcelona where I feel comfortable enough to leave my phone on the table with no fear of it being swiped. The dancefloor dies a little by 3am, the equivalent to midnight in most other venues but the bottles are still poppin’ and sparklers light the air in the table service area. I must also mention the incredibly sexy and friendly vip hostess, whose balayage would rival Sarah Jessica Parker. Loved the hospitality, she looked after us the way a woman would look after a diamond.
What kind of girl can’t spot a Zanotti sneaker two tables away? Not this one here and on this side of the world, a look is all it takes or as my close friends say ‘those shiksa eyes.’ We object to a kick-on after party at Sutton and decide to go home, put on our ‘I love Barcelona’ hoodies and create a mezze platter on the beach while drinking desperados.
You’d think at 5am, La Barceloneta Beach would be tamed, preparing for its early morning commuters. You’re wrong. The clubs behind are still peaking & at capacity, girls are peeing behind the recycling bins on the sand (and falling over each other afterwards) and Indian men offer an endless supply of beer for one euro every two minutes. There is something for everybody here, even as a spectator.
The following day, I have a lunch date at Maka Maka Beach Burger cafe, supposedly owned by Australians. My lunch date and local tells me that all the best Burger joints are owned by Australians in Barcelona. I agree, Bacoa didn’t disappoint me last time. I order the Maradona burger and for a change decide to eat it as it comes. I am the fussiest eater with the plainest appetite, I skimp nothing off this burger and for that I am rewarded with one hell of a feed. I definitely recommend this place, just a stone throw away from the beach. Burgers here range from 8-10euros and if you’re around peak season or on the weekend, book a table in advance.
My final drink in my favourite city is a Mojito at Big J’s Burger, still the best Mojito in Barcelona for 3.50euros. Note: This venue has sadly now shut down for business.
What did I learn over the weekend? Just like New Years in Berlin, the most beautiful moments appear when you least expect them and the people involved in these moments are generally the ones you overlook in the beginning. I am a fan of anyone, even a city, with the ability to unravel the walls of my heart.
It’s quite clear that I have a soft spot for Barcelona, as do most people that visit the city. One thing I do struggle with are the restaurants. If you have any great recommendations at any price point, please do leave them in the comments section below. Gracias.