Tuesday, 31 May 2011

A Hedonist's Guide to Barcelona: Cafes and Restaurants

So, I didn't spend every waking minute in Barcelona in night clubs...luckily. In keeping with the Spanish way of life, I spent the daylight hours mincing around the city looking for anywhere to sit, ponder and scribble.

I'm going to dive straight in with my favourite place that I went to probably three or four times during my stay there; a little rustic tea house named Caj Chai. Situated in the heart of the Gothic quarter, (in fact it can be a mission to find but persevere because it's worth it!) this little den smells unbelievable the second you walk in and feels like home to me. You're given plenty of choice when it comes to tea to drink, with a plentiful menu littered with exotic options. My personal pick was cinammon black tea, one I ashamedly didn't budge from each time I went. Those who are a little peckish should randomly choose the little Indian and Arabic pastries served. Those a bit more hungry could probably take down a chocolate brownie if they think they can handle the density.

If you're out on a shopping spree in and around the Gothic quarter and fancy re-energising with some carbs, there is great place just off George Orwell Square aptly named Pasta Bar. This tucked away spot provides nicely sized portions, and reasonable priced too. You choose your pasta (some cost more than others but only by a euro or less), your sauce, and then any other accoutrements that take your fancy. Whipped up in a matter of minutes, it will keep you going all afternoon in the Barcelona sun.

Finally, this last place was introduced to me whilst eavesdropping on a conversation the delicious man at the front desk of our hostel was having with some other guests. Caleuche is situated on the other side of La Ramblas, Paral.lel being the closest metro station. It's mouth-watering menu made it hard to choose just one single thing, so myself and a friend of mine ended up having to choose at the last minute and then subsequently sharing. Whilst inching our chairs every so often back into the sunshine as it was moving over us, we ended up staying here for around three hours without even noticing, our bellies nicely full from pizza and salad. If you're staying the HelloBCN, which is just round the corner, ask the front desk for a card for this restaurant and you'll be able to bag some extra food for the same price.

Now I've talked about food, I'm starving...

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