Barcelona Skyline

Monday, 30 March 2009

Barcelona under the sun: our selection of terraces

At last good weather has returned to our city, and in celebration Barcelona’s bars and cafes are once again hitting the streets and setting up their ever-popular “terrazas” (terraces).

Here you can relax in the open air after an enjoyable walk around town. Just around el Hotel Principal you will find a large selection of “bares con terraza”.Just in case you are having trouble deciding we offer our “top 4”:

BAR MENDIZABAL: Right on the corner of Junta de Comerc y Hospital, just a few steps from the hotel, you find this true Barcelona classic.You sometimes find film crews shooting local-color scenes for movies and often find our hotel staff having a coffee at beak time.

This friendly corner cafe offers up a refreshing array of fruit juices as well as sandwiches you will find nowhere else.Why not try serrano ham, goat cheese, mango, and arugula, my personal favorite? Or maybe something a little stronger like serrano ham, anchovies, and avocado?And you will be surrounded by the most typical of Barcelona street life.

PASTELERIA ESCRIBA: On a short pedestrian street just off the Ramblas, you have Barcelona’s best sweet shop made in the

Antoni Escriba, the founder, is known locally as “the Mozart of chocolate” and his concept goes way beyond mere gastronomy. His webpage (which seems right out of Pepperland) sends out a clear invitation:

"Do you want to bathe in chocolate and howl at the moon?” “Have you ever felt the urge to go into astral space on a spongecake rocket and explore the galaxy on a piece of candy?"

But perhaps the real down-to-earth question should be: Do you feel like enjoying an exotic desert while observing the street life of a hallucinatory city?

PATI DE LA SANTA CREU: This agreeable and surprising oasis of quiet and green in the very center of the Raval is a three-minute walk from the Hotel Principal. A stone arch transports you right into medieval Barcelona, a quiet garden surrounded by historic buildings which give shelter to two libraries.

You can of course just sit under the orange trees, but once there it’s almost impossible not to succumb to the temptation of stepping up to the open-air bar which at first seems a little out-of-place in this historic setting.But it seems just fine once you have enjoyed a cold drink, a sandwich or a "tapa"

RA:At a corner of Mercat de la Boqueria (the central market) you will find this one-of-a-kind bar-restaurant whose menu is as striking and original as its décor and waiters.

A trip to RA is a total alternative experience.This is the perfect place for your midday meal: their recipes are not the least bit conventional, not are the ingredients, the pairings, or their names.For an afford able 12 Euros you can enjoy two courses and a dessert.

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