[dropcap]F[/dropcap]or Robin’s birthday, we decided fairly last minute that we wanted a weekend break in our favourite city- Barcelona! The week before had been our 11 year anniversary…and neither of us realised until half way through the day…oops! So, Barcelona it was! We couldn’t find a hotel for that weekend anywhere, so we turned to Air BnB. You can find some amazing affordable places to stay on Air Bnb, but even then it was slim pickings for our last minute plans. I was beginning to think we’d have to return to the hostel we used to stay in when we were ravey yoofs. Luckily, we found a nice place in the Gothic Quarter- a 4th floor walkup with gorgeous tiles, high ceilings and two balconies overlooking the street-perfect for people watching and late night gelato runs…of which there were many.
I got this idea into my head that I wanted to keep this trip simple and pare down to the essentials. I can’t believe I crammed everything for 2 nights into one backpack- clothes, makeup, a wash bag, sandals, chargers, cameras, the usual junk- into one bright yellow Kanken bag. Because nothing says inconspicuous like a bright yellow bag on your back. Our only plans consisted of eating good food and getting some much needed sunshine! On our first night we wandered into the El Born neighbourhood (which is probably my favourite bit of the city) and got some grub at Districte Born. I love that the Spanish don’t eat dinner until really late- like 10pm kind of late! We got into the restaurant at 10:30 and by 11pm it was buzzing with diners.
We had Catalan bread for starters- slices of crusty bread with tomato, olive oil and garlic rubbed all over it- I’ve tried to recreate it at home so many times and failed. There must be a knack to smooshing the ingredients onto the bread! There was a plate of crispy fried squid with lemon and lime peels so there was just a hint of citrus on the meat. And finally, the first of 8 zillion bowls of Patatas Bravas we’d consume over the trip- fried potato cubes with a garlicky mayo/tomato sauce squeezed all over it. Robin had the Iberian Pork with Apple Chutney and I had a Fillet of Beef with Pumpkin Chips. The starters were amazing, but our main dishes needed a little bit more seasoning. Apart from that, I was really pleased with our dinner find!
Summer has already hit Barcelona and walking back to the apartment in the warm night air was magic. Just opposite to where we were staying was a gelato shop so I took my scoop of Hazelnut over to our terrace and people watched until bed time! Years ago, we both daydreamed about living here one day and now I remembered why- the buzzy city, the vibrant street art, the laidback locals, tapas and free poured cocktails- it was good to be back!