Certificate of Excellence award 2012, 2013 and 2014 Read the Reviews
It can all be a little overwhelming, the city may not be huge but the culture, activities, events, eateries etc. is vast. So we have taken it upon ourselves to amalgamate our local 12 years experience in the city via our blog. Whether you are planning on coming over for the festivals, want to find out vegan eats or general insider information, we will keep you in the loop.
There is always something to be said about straying from the well-trodden path and Joaquin Costa in Raval is no exception. On the same street as Les Topettes and hot dog takeaway spot The Dog is Hot, you can find Wilde, a store dedicated to vintage sunglasses. Owned by Venezuelan Cao Azuaje and Teppei Kikugawa from Japan, this store is perfect if you are seeking a good assortment of sunglasses as they stock styles from 1950 to 1990.
Tomorrow sees the inauguration of the highly anticipated new Apple store in Plaça de Catalunya, Barcelona. The building that Apple will occupy, based on Passeig de Gracia, was formerly the headquarters of illegal communist organization Partit Socialista Unificat de Catalunya during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930’s.
MUTT Bookshop & Art Gallery was opened in late 2010 by Juanjo Fernandes, an active and well connected individual that wanted to offer more than books. Located in El Born neighborhood – the store is innovative and inspiring with art work beautifully mounted on the walls with a variety of literature dedicated to art, design and urban art decorating the space and presented as art itself. The balance between art, social and education is what makes this place an incredible hub for the creative types.
If like us you have a penchant for Nordic design, Estilo Nordico the distributor for Nordic interior brands, has a small furniture and decoration store that you must visit. The location says it all, as it is quaintly placed on C/Zaragoza in the upscale Sant Gervasi area and is just 5 minutes walk from our favorite Thai restaurant El Petit Bangkok. Bursting with an abundance of brands such as House Doctor, Affari there is an array of products to choose from.
You don’t have to be an expert to enjoy fine wine. Anyone can understand the joy of uncorking a new bottle handpicked by someone dear to you – and the assistance of an expert sommelier always helps, too. With an astounding reputation as one of the top five wine cellars in the world, Monvínic houses a dizzying selection of over 3,000 hand-selected bottles. continue reading
One of the freshest designers to grace Barcelona in several years, Mariam Ponsa is well-known for her classic approach to modern fashion, using traditional techniques and dyeing methods to create luxurious and unique pieces with an edge.
Tucked away in the Gotico area, Formatgeria La Seu is a small cheese shop dedicated to bringing us only the finest and most sought-after cheeses from the farthest reaches of Spain, each one hand-selected by the owner (Scottish born Katherine McLaughlin).
Rubbing shoulders with MACBA in the stylish upper part of Raval, Open House is a British-run design shop home to an eclectic blend of design wares, from the locally-based Basque illustrator Ibai Etxeberria to Swedish jewellery designer Lo Lou and unusual jewellery made of natural elements bone, carbon and wood by Karlota Laspalas.
A short stay in Barcelona is all too easily recognized by a return home with suitcases of endless garish gaudi paraphernalia, I HEART Barcelona sweaters and Sagrada Familia keyrings…but why are we all too often tempted by souvenir rubbish, made in China, when there is such an exquisite variety of genuine artesan-made, locally-designed products at our feet, begging to be discovered and lovingly regaled to our nearest and dearest this festive season? continue reading
In a bustling and cosmopolitan city like ours, shops flower season after season but while most of them come and go throughout the years, there’s a handful that have stood the passage of time for not only decades, but centuries. In an ever-changing world, where cities have moods and seasons, these places are like trees to many of us. Here’s my recommendation of a few magical places where it would appear that time has stood still and you can quite happily teleport to another world and another era…