Monday, 11 July 2016

From Gelato to Mojitos, Barcelona

Last week my sister and I popped over to Barcelona for a whirlwind tour of the Spanish city. After a very early start and a delayed car transfer, we arrived in the city at around lunchtime, giving us the perfect opportunity for a delicious bite to eat in Flax and Kale. We heard about this healthy-eating place from a vast array of sources, from magazines to blog posts, and felt it was our duty to see what all the hype was about.

We took a spin around Eixample, the area our hotel was situated in, before heading to Flax and Kale.

With New-York-worthy interiors, this restaurant is an Instagrammer's paradise. Besides aesthetics however, F&K's dishes are 80% plant-based and the other 20% is based on recipes containing oily fish, meaning it's also great for not only those with a penchant for healthy indulgences, but food allergies and queries too.

While Jess devoured a watermelon and goat cheese starter dish, I rather happily sipped on a smoothie that contained just about every fruit under the sun. It included: frozen mango, pineapple, strawberries, acai, goji berries, alongside orange juice, chia and agave.

The menu is pretty dang extensive. But we both eventually opted for 'Orange is the new healthy' - spelt & turmeric ravioli filled with carrot, sweet potato, pear and maca,with pumpkin sauce, macerated pear, beetroot, cheese parmesan. It was as incredible as it looks!

On to dessert, naturally.

We shared the plant-based grilled carrot cake, with mango cream, mint sorbet and coconut milk yoghurt foam. Super healthy but honestly, you genuinely wouldn't notice this didn't contain any added sugar, salt or any other nasty extras.

A truly delicious meal and an impressive reveal of what Barcelona has to offer. Well worth a visit if you're around in the city.

Time for a post-lunch amble in the sunshine. We aimlessly wandered and stumbled upon the Catedral de Barcelona in the Gothic Quarter. Expect me to say everything is beautiful in these Barca blog posts, but seeing this cathedral was probably one of my highlights. The surrounding area too was interesting, with unique Gothic architecture popping up in every nook and cranny.

After realising how close we were to it, we decided to walk to Parc de la Ciutadella. However the walking and hot temperatures were taking their toll on our feet, so a gelato stop it was...what a shame! Lemon sorbet is always a favourite of mine, so I opted for that and a berry flavour.

Soaking up the welcome sunshine and pretty views from every angle.

The park is so beautiful (-see, I told you!), with unique sights to see in every corner. This is the equivalent to London's Hyde Park, New York's Central Park or even Paris' Jardin Des Tuileries...but Spain's version includes palm trees, so it's naturally my favourite.

Routing home we came across some of Gaudi's architecture, who's works crop up all over the city.

This is the famous Gaudi house, or Casa Batllo. Much of the facade is decorated with a colourful mosaic made of broken ceramic tiles.

All of that exploring deserves some well-earned r&r by the pool. Our hotel (more on this in the next post) boasts a fantastic rooftop bar and pool, which showcases some incredible views of the city. We bathed in the sunshine until dusk, before heading to Boca Chica for pre-dinner cocktails.

Boca Chica is an elegant and refined cocktail bar, but not too pricey or pretentious. It's a real swanky place, but the restaurant, Boca Grande, appeared a bit too much for our liking. The cocktail bar is perfect and a relaxing space, but from what we gathered from the restaurant, it was a slightly smarter ambiance.

It's decor is said to bring "Africa to Europe and New York to Barcelona", which we definitely gathered from the quirky sophisticated interiors. I definitely had one of the best mojitos out there.

Then, as the sun gently descended and disappeared behind the mountains, we hopped and giggled around the corner to La Bodegueta Provenca for traditional tapas. I took a few snaps to show you how delicious it was, but the lighting was much too dark to do it justice (but perhaps the best things in life remain a mystery).

Our first day and night in Barcelona more than lived up to our expectations, and quite frankly, I can't wait to go back soon!

Have you ever been to Barcelona?

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