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2 posts categorized "Spain"

Lisette reporting from Barcelona


This report is written by Lisette van de Graaf from cute suite and all images are by Lisette.

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.


On weekends, I love to hop on my bike and go to Bar Calders (Carrer Parlament, near the Sant Antoni market)... Barcalders

...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!



Thank you so much Lisette ... please visit her blog, cute suite, for much more Barcelona goodness

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Jessica reporting from Barcelona

Products{Well, as you all know Bloesem is a fantastic blog, and I couldn’t be happier to take part on this world tour and show you around a small bit of Barcelona! Thank you Irene!}
When travelling to Barcelona most people think of themselves shopping at all the zaras, strolling down the Ramblas and ending up on the beachfront! As a German Brasilian who came here following her heart, these are some of the places I would definitely not leave with out seeing!


I recommend any visitor to go see the fabulous and crazy architecture of Gaudí, from the Sagrada Familia (still unfinished) to the La pedrera. My all time favourite for Gaudí tough has to be the Parc Guell. With its inspiring coloured mosaic seating area and beautiful view of the whole city! It might be quite crowded, like all the tourist sites in Barcelona, but it is still so inspiring!

If you follow on down from there you will arrive at the neighbourhood of Gracia. The small village like streets and abundance of town squares (PLAZAS) makes it a lovely place to get lost in.  For those of you with little time I will do my best to pinpoint some of the places I always enjoy.
Start off going down the Calle Verdi, as it is a pedestrian street filled with small shops and cafés – if you have time you can also enjoy the cinema Verdi with its original movies.

One plaza I always enjoy sitting in is Rius y Taulet choose any of the cafés around with a terrace and watch as life just goes by. There is also a very sweet shop there owned by an Argentinean girl who sources lovely feminine clothes and accessories called MUSHI MUSHI.


Continue down to Calle Seneca and find the cool kiddies shop NObodinoz, furniture store OX and Swedish clothes design store SNÖ.


Then there is always Flash Flash, a tortilla restaurant that hasn’t changed its design and I would dare say many of its clientele for the last 30 years! Enjoy the cool décor and have a plate of the day, a tortilla or a Cadillac hamburger (my favourite by far!)


Down from Gracia is Eixample – with Passeo de Gracia where all the big labels have their stores. Don’t miss out on Vinçon, a lifestyle store in a beautiful building. Secret tip: go to the terrace on the second floor and you can actually peak into the la Pedrera with out waiting in line ;)


A trip to Barcelona would not be complete if you didn’t come by and visited us at vonblum, you can then follow through the Arco de triunfo...
...down to the Parc Ciutadella to the famous Barcelona Zoo and of course if you still have stamina follow the sea breeze and end up at the beachfront!

What is vonblum? It is a café store that I opened 3 months ago with the concept of having a space more or less like a friends home. Where you could come in for a coffee cake and chat, enjoy a healthy lunch or sip a fresh juice. All of that surrounded by nice things to put in your house, bring as a gift or just indulge in for yourself.

Thank you Jessica!

* * * VonBlum
* * * VonBlum blog

{here you can read a very nice review about vonblum and here is another onevonblum must be a very nice place and i hope I can visit vonblum and Jessica sometime next year when going to my father's house in Llagostera, an hour up North from Barcelona}

... and this is me, Irene from Bloesem, I just wanted to add a little something to Jessica's guide ...

Alicia is the owner of Duduá, a shop who supports young artists and sells DIY craft products. Alicia just posted a list of her favorite spots in Barcelona, a google map and she will be adding new places in the future, so if you are visiting Barcelona, this is a very handy guide by a Barcelonian!

{originally posted on August 11, 2008}

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