To be invited by Irene to share some of 'my' Barcelona on Bloesem is a tremendous honor and definitely a challenge for a someone who has only just started blogging. Thanks ever so much, Irene! For seven years now, I have been living in Barcelona, and to this day, this wonderful city continues to amaze and surprise me.
I am inspired by its beauty and the many artful and architectural details that surround me everywhere, and delighted to discover new things in places I have passed lots of times before... I thought I'd take you on a bit of a wander around the area where I live, and show you the various places I like to hang out, shop, eat, or just people watch.
Let's start at Olivia Cafe (on the corner of Carrer Notariat and Carrer Pintor Fortuny), where I usually have my mid-morning coffee and sometimes one of their delicious rolls or home-made cakes or muffins.
Sometimes, I'll change my routine and treat myself to a scone at Buenas Migas, and sit on their terrace, on the lovely Plaça del Bonsuccès, to watch 'the world' go by.
Other great places to do that, while having a drink or enjoying a snack or meal, are any of the café terraces on Plaça Vicenç Martorell,
....or Bar Lobo on what is popularly known as Plaça dels Gats (Cat Square).
To have a delicious and inexpensive lunch al fresco, I usually go to Ànima, on Carrer dels Àngels. The food there is so fresh and tasty, and the owner and his personnel are super friendly.
It's just down the street from the MACBA and the lively square (Plaça dels Àngels) that it 'presides',
...and of course the FAD which to a designer is a must-go place for inspiration on all that is new and of interest to all creative fields.
...for a delicious aperitivo, consisting of a vermouth and something to nibble on, such as their patatas bravas 'with a difference' (which are to die for) or any of their many delicious dishes.
When cooking at home, I often make Asian food, and for that I do all my shopping at Dong Fang, a great supermarket that has just about anything I might need. It is located on Carrer Balmes 6, not far from Plaça Catalunya.
When I fancy Italian food, I go to La Italiana, a delightful deli, on Carrer del Bonsuccès, to buy my ingredients (or if I'm lazy, a prepared meal).
Delicious bread can be found at Barcelona Reykjavik - the bread is made the traditional way, without any artificial additives, and they bake it on-site.
At times I can smell the yeast from my flat. Yumm! They have various outlets around town, but I go to the one around the corner, on Carrer Doctor Dou.
Both sides of this street are lined with great shops and restaurants; to name a few: En Ville for delicious French food in truly gorgeous surroundings;
Santa Rita sells quirky gifts, great children's and design books, as well as vinyls and cd's; and for custom printed t-shirts, JBP is the place to go.
On Carrer Elisabets there are quite a number of shops too, noticeably shoe shops, such as Camper and...
...Vialis, as well as a couple of small boutiques, and Casa Camper, the hotel the world-famous shoe manufacturer opened some years ago.
Speaking of shoes, I love the comfort of espadrilles and for an amazing range of styles (at very low prices) I go to La Manual Alpargatera on Carrer Avinyó in the Barri Gòtic.
Not far from there, on Plaça del Pi, there are artisans markets on weekends, selling home-made delicacies and various other Catalan products - great for earthenware and wooden cooking utensils, as well as delicious honey and various cheeses...
Before I head back across La Rambla to my part of the Ciutat Vella, I'll have a look at the shop window at Loreak Mendian (Carrer del Duc) - they always have their clothes displayed beautifully and often in innovative ways.
Finally, a quick stop at the flower stall on Placeta de Ramon Amadeu (just off Carrer Santa Anna) for some inexpensive but beautiful flowers, before I head home again. I hope you enjoyed wandering around town with me!