Place of Wonder: 24 hours in Barcelona
Having only visited Barcelona once a few years ago - and only then to the main tourist hot spots - I was excited to go back to explore. Arriving late, on a Friday evening, I was embraced by the charming Mediterranean city with the hustle and bustle of the locals and vibrant night-life. Underneath, this lively blur, sat Barcelona's peacefully quiet cobbled back-streets and colourful facades, not to mention the gorgeous terraced balconies which long to be photographed.
It was safe to say I still loved it here.
We started off the trip on the Saturday as all trips should; with brunch. We went to Brunch&Cake, just situated off Carrer d'Enric Granados, and we knew it was a goody even before we went inside. It was lively and bright, which created a lovely atmosphere after a sleepy morning from the night the before. Eggs Benedict on crispy waffles seemed the right option to start the day. The eggs were cooked just right and the plate was topped with lashings of hollandaise sauce, fresh rocket and nuts, sitting perfectly with the golden, waffles. It was a great to start the day in this pretty little cafe, with impeccable service, food and coffees.
After a lazy morning wandering through the Barcelona streets, people watching and getting the metro to the beach, we decided to take a pit stop. Through the sweeping clothing lines hanging from balcony to balcony and the sandy streets, a colourful eatery caught our eye. La Heladeria Mexicana, a vegan mexican cafe, a stone’s throw from Barceloneta beach. We went for Vegan burritos, nachos and their speciality, vegan spiced ice cream. A perfect, quirky treat it had the right amount of cacao and spice, and went down on a hot day like silk.
After some afternoon shopping and sangria in one of our favourite areas of Barcelona; Le Gotic, we decided to head back to our base, the Gothic Quarter. The cobbled alleyways are filled with boutiques, bakeries and bars and there seems to always be a buzz between the streets at all hours of the day. We wanted to head out to a cocktail bar with a twist, so we ventured to a salsa bar, El Bom Bon.
El Bom Bon has an essence of retro mixed with Latin, with decor that references to the 70s and 80s and if you look closely, legendary vinyls hanging on the walls. The music went through waves of a sexy authentic rhythm to more vivid beats. The mojitos were a must to try and came in vintage jam pots brimming with crushed ice and fresh limes. The cocktail menu was broad, which was perfect to work through while listening to the flamboyant sounds of the evening. Salsa dancers made the atmosphere vibrant, dipping between both rooms filled with vintage and recycled furniture. You couldn’t take your eyes off them.
El Bom Bon, Barcelona
As dusk turned to dawn, it was time to venture back through the cobbled streets which, although more peaceful at this time, still had the murmurs of the night echoing between them. We left El Bom Bon in a silly and happy daze, having had so much fun mingling with the locals, dancing and having had one too many (bitter) sweet cocktails. The feeling of end-of-holiday blues was immense, but collectively we all knew one thing for sure - until next time Barcelona.